The pandemic saw most of us in a communally self-reflective mood. With fewer distractions, a record number of people started looking inside and starting to tackle long-held beliefs, process childhood trauma or just re-tell their own personal stories. This year’s Gala shows us how powerful owning your own story can be and how it can have a ripple effect on others and their own lives. Hosted by author – and former deputy director of English PEN – Catherine Taylor, we feature a series of writers who, through various routes, teach us about how the highs, lows, disappointments and anecdotes of our own stories can help us navigate the world in a more meaningful way and bring us closer to those around us. Featuring Jeffrey Boakye (I Heard What You Said and Black, Listed), Sylvia Patterson (Same Old Girl and I’m Not With the Band), Tom Mitchelson (Don’t Ask Me About My Dad) and Harriet Gibsone (Is This Ok? One Woman’s Search for Connection Online). We’ll be discussing cancer, toxic relationships, the Black educational experience and online obsessions but we promise we’ll have fun doing so.
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