News and Events Archive: 2011-2012

‍ OCTOBER 2012 

Guildford Book festival

Friday 26th October 7-9 pm. Farley Room

Patricia will be appearing at the Guildford Book Festival this autumn and teaching a class on How to Begin!

Absolute Beginners: Getting Started (Practical Class rather than a workshop)

Do you have a story to tell or a poem to write but don't know how to turn your fragments into forms? I shall be giving suggestions and advice on how to get started and how to keep going. Bring pen and paper. 


View the Guildford Book festival website

‍ JULY 2012 

Work in Progress: Fiction

9-14 July. Arvon Foundation course at Totleigh Barton, Devon

Stuck somewhere in the middle? Worried your plot has saggy bits? Wondering if it's ready to submit or why your submission was rejected? Dr Duncker and Mr Gale will see you now! Fine-tuning and editing is addictive but Keep/Polish/Axe is a challenging game. We'll aim to give you the confidence to make bold changes and help you develop your editing skills to show your writing to its best advantage.


Patricia Duncker's novels include Hallucinating Foucault and The Strange Case of the Composer and his Judge, shortlisted for the Golden Dagger Award. She is Professor of Contemporary Literature at the University of Manchester.

Patrick Gale is the author of 13 novels, including Notes from an Exhibition, The Whole Day Through and Good People.

Guest Sarah Savitt is an editor at Faber & Faber. Her authors include Maria McCann and Louise Doughty.  


View the Arvon Foundation website

‍ JULY 2012 

The Transit of Venus: Pilate’s Wife

3 June 2012, 7:45pm. BBC Radio 4

The BBC asked me to write a story to celebrate the forthcoming Transit of Venus which is the last one we will all see in our lifetimes as the transit only occurs every hundred years or so. And then happens twice within eight years. My story, Pilate's Wife, will be broadcast on Sunday 3rd June at 7.45 on Radio 4. Here is some information from the last event in 2004:

NASA joined the world in viewing a rare celestial event, one not seen by any person now alive. The planet Venus appeared to cross in front of the Sun as seen from Earth. The last 'Venus transit' occurred more than a century ago, in 1882, and was used to compute the distance from the Earth to the Sun. If people missed the June 8 Venus transit, they will have another chance in 2012 (June 6). After that, there will not be another Venus transit until 2117 (December 11).  


To read more about the Venus transit see the NASA website

‍ MAY 2012 

Writing a Book: Fiction and Autobiography

28 May - 2 June 2012. Ty Newydd (National Writers' Centre for Wales)

(Extended Course - for Women).

Patricia Duncker and Janet Thomas. Guest: Lindsay Ashford

Are you writing a book? This course is for writers working on a full-length book: fiction in all genres, for adults or children, autobiography, memoir or travel. Have you finished a draft? Are you stuck? Or have you written short fiction up till now and you are now beginning to write a full-length novel? We are here to help with structure, plot, viewpoint, description, and all the technical details. Participants will be selected.*

Supported by Honno, the Welsh Women's Press

Janet Thomas is a freelance editor who works for a range of publishers in Wales and London, working on fiction, non-fiction and children's books. She was Honno Editor and has been on the Honno Management Committee for the last eight years. She has also had short fiction published and her children's book Can I Play? (Egmont) won a Practical Pre-School gold award.  


View the Ty Newydd website

‍ MAY 2012 

Honno 25th Anniversary

28 May - 2 June 2012. Ty Newydd (National Writers' Centre for Wales)

Honno, Welsh Women's Press, is launching its twenty-fifth anniversary celebrations this spring with an anthology of great women's writing from the last quarter of a century.

Fiction writers such as Patricia Duncker, Sian James, Sarah Jackman and Jo Mazelis contribute tales of tangled relationships, discovery loss and love, told with wit and compassion, while non fiction ranges from the horror of Belsen through the eyes of a Welsh nurse, to the swinging sixties with Molly Parkin. The book will be published on the 17th May.

View the Honno website

Hay Festival Event

Honno is celebrating its 25th anniversary at this year's Hay Festival featuring Patricia Duncker, Stephanie Tillotson, Sian Melangell Dafydd, Catherine Merriman and Jane Aaron. 

View the Hay Festival website

‍ APRIL 2012 

Fiction Network

25 April 2012. Aspex Gallery, University of Portsmouth

Transvestites, King Kong and the Virgin Mary at the Centre for Studies in Literature Celebration.

By Matt Wingett

Internationally renowned writer Patricia Duncker gave a fascinating talk and reading at the Aspex Gallery on the evening of Wednesday 25th April to celebrate recent publications by members of Portsmouth University's Centre for Studies in Literature. The evening kicked off with an introduction by Christine Berberich, in which she showcased the website for the CSL and, by way of introduction, spoke about the works and career of award-winner academic and novelist Patricia Duncker. Duncker soon took the floor, and with great relish revealed that she grew up in Petersfield, describing fond memories of "behaving very badly" on most weekends in Portsmouth, and admitting that it felt like home to be back in the city. Duncker gave a short talk about publishing and writing, commenting on the changes to publishing in the last few years, and describing the threat to the print book from Amazon and new structures of publishing, and the erosion of livelihoods from Google's digitization of works. She described her passion for "real" printed books, and her love of the hardback - and was delighted to see such an active and successful collection of writers and editors under the CSL umbrella. Duncker went on to read one of her own short stories, which was peppered with literary allusions and spiced with a strong sense of the absurd and of fun - including transvestites, King Kong and the Virgin Mary turning up at a fancy dress party. At the end of her reading, she congratulated the success stories she was there to celebrate, including writers Theo Savvas and Christopher Pittard and editors Petra Rau, Ben Dew, Christine Berberich, Arthur Aughey, Neil Campbell and Robert Hudson, as well as Bronwen Price, Bran Nicol, Patricia Pulham and Eugene McNulty for their academic works. All the books, including Duncker's novels, are available from Blackwell's bookshop. In all, a fascinating evening showing how vibrant the cultural scene is in Portsmouth, and the great academic work that is going on here.

University of Portsmouth Fiction Network

The new University of Portsmouth Fiction Network (1950s to the Present) website is now up and running. This network is designed to foster debate, academic collaboration and exchange on topics within the broad field of contemporary fiction. It aims to bring together scholars with interests in the field in order to maximise synergies between their current research projects, exploring both ‘literary studies' perspectives and other multi-disciplinary approaches. These webpages and the associated mailing list also offer a range of resources for those interested in contemporary fiction, such as information about conferences and events in the field.

University of Portsmouth FICTION.Network website

‍ APRIL 2012 

Scarborough Literature Festival

12-15 April

Patricia will be the 2012 writer in residence at the Scarborough Literature Festival. She will be hosting a writer's day, workshops and also giving a lecture. Please see the festival brochure for details and booking.

‍ FEBRUARY 2012 

Hampshire Writers’ Society, University of Winchester

3-5 February 

Choosing English

Speaker, Patricia Duncker, author and Professor of Contemporary Literature at the University of Manchester.

Choosing English. Would you choose to write in a language other than your mother tongue? The most important element in my writing...and indeed in all writing is the literary language that I choose to inhabit. But many writers now choose English even when it is not the first language they spoke as children or the language within which they live. This is the story of how I came to choose English. 


View the Hampshire Writers’ Society website

‍ FEBRUARY 2012 

8th Geneva Writers Conference Workshop

3-5 February. Geneva, Switzerland

Beginnings / Patricia Duncker

Your opening pages establish a complex relationship with your readers. Is this the book they want to read? Why should they read on? What is your book about? Not what happens, but what it's about. Bring an A4 sheet with your outline describing what your book is about and the first few pages. 


View the Geneva Writers’ Group website

‍ DECEMBER 2011 

Green Carnation Prize

The Strange Case of the Composer and his Judge has been shortlisted for the Green Carnation Prize 2011. The 2011 shortlist has been announced with an accompanying article in The Guardian. 

‍ DECEMBER 2011 

The Madonna at the Midland

Patricia was Writer in Residence at the Midland over the summer and here is the commissioned story she performed at the Manchester Literary Festival on October 19th 2011. The venue was the French Restaurant and the story is set in the Hotel. 

‍ DECEMBER 2011 

Body of Work

UEA and Full Circle Editions launch Body of Work: 40 Years of Creative Writing at UEA edited by Giles Foden (launch event by invitation only) The occasion also marks the opening of the Writers' Centre Norwich and the UEA creative writing website. 


View the New Writing website

‍ OCTOBER 2011 

6th Manchester Literature Festival

19th October (3pm). Midland Hotel, Manchester 

Afternoon Tea with Patricia Duncker

Midland Hotel: Fact & Fiction

Patricia Duncker was recently appointed Writer in Residence at Manchester's famous Midland Hotel, and has been jointly commissioned by MLF and the Midland to write a short story set in the hotel. Patricia Duncker is the author of the acclaimed novels Hallucinating Foucault, Miss Webster and Cherif, and The Strange Case of the Composer and His Judge. Come and hear her read her new story over tea and scones. For those who wish to know more about the Midland, there will also be an optional tour of the hotel at 1pm with historian Barbara Frost.  

View the Manchester Literature festival website

‍ OCTOBER 2011 

Bluecoat Literature Festival

15th October. Bluecoat, Liverpool

Patricia will read from her acclaimed novel The Strange Case of the Composer and his Judge

‍ DECEMBER 2011 

Ilkley Literature festival

Patricia Duncker Masterclass: Thinking about Contemporary Fictional Narratives

What kind of book are you reading or writing? We shall be considering genre, audience, target age, gendering the genre (vampires, historical romance, swashbucklers!) and comfort zone reading. What does the opening of a piece of fiction set out to do? What is it that you want the reader to absorb and remember? This workshop addresses the crucial questions of beginnings and the ways in which writers need to take the reader into account. We'll be discussing examples and looking at the big issues.

Lasts 2 hours. For all levels. Please bring pen and paper. (Places limited - please book in advance.)

View Ilkley Festival website

Patricia Duncker Talk

Award-winning novelist Patricia Duncker, acclaimed author of Hallucinating Foucault, talks about her new, powerful, multi-layered metaphysical mystery, The Strange Case of the Composer and His Judge. We are drawn into a world of complex family ties, seductive music and ancient cosmic beliefs, journeying from the vineyards of France to the gabled houses of Lubeck and cobbled streets of an Alpine village.  

‍ OCTOBER 2011

Patricia Duncker website launched  

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