Irenosen Okojie: Journeys into the Fantastical

Friday 30 July 2021

The Brontë Festival of Women’s Writing 2021

The Brontë Festival of Women’s Writing 2021

Irenosen Okojie: Journeys into the Fantastical
Friday 30 July, 8 - 9.15pm
Ticket prices: £8 (£6 concessions)

Join critically acclaimed Nigerian British writer, Irenosen Okojie, as she talks about journeying into fantastical worlds in her writing with writer, publisher and curator Sarah Shin. Bursting with imagery and strange creatures, Irenosen's prose conjures worlds that mix the otherworldly and the mundane in a unique and irresistible manner. In this special event, we relate Irenosen's word building to Gondal, the fictional North Pacific island invented by 12-year old Emily Brontë and her younger sister Anne in 1831. Gondal’s landscape is similar to Emily’s native Yorkshire moors, but also reminiscent of the Scottish highland setting of the works of her favourite author Sir Walter Scott.

How does a writer create a world that will entice, enchant and even frighten their reader - how do they move away from the limits of the present day environment in which they find themselves and create magical and phantasmagorical universes?

Irenosen Okojie's debut novel Butterfly Fish won a Betty Trask award and was shortlisted for an Edinburgh International First Book Award. Her short stories have been published internationally including Salt's Best British Short Stories 2017 and 2020, Kwani? and The Year's Best Weird Fiction. She was presented at the London Short Story Festival by Booker Prize winning author Ben Okri as a dynamic talent. Her short story collection Speak Gigantular, published by Jacaranda Books was shortlisted for the Edgehill Short Story Prize, the Jhalak Prize, the Saboteur Awards and nominated for a Shirley Jackson Award. Her new collection of stories, Nudibranch published by Little Brown's Dialogue Books was longlisted for the Jhalak Prize. She is the winner of the 2020 AKO Caine Prize for her story, 'Grace Jones'. She is a fellow and Vice Chair of The Royal Society of Literature. She was awarded an MBE For Services to Literature in 2021.


Sarah Shin is a writer, publisher and curator. She is the founder of New Suns, a curation and storytelling project, which began as a literary festival at the Barbican. She is also among the co-founders of Silver Press, a feminist publisher, and Ignota Books, an experimental platform exploring technology, myth-making and magic. 

This event will take place via Zoom Webinar. You can watch the event live and it will also be recorded and made available to Ticket Holders on our Vimeo channel from Tuesday 3 August 2021 for 7 days (you will be emailed after the event with a link).

Full details of how to join the event will be sent once you have booked your place.  


This event will feature captions via There will be an explanation of how to make use of these services at the start of the event.


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This Code of Conduct represents The Brontë Society’s Duty of Care as convenors of digital events. We are committed to protecting and safeguarding all of our participants and speakers and operate a zero tolerance policy to harassment or intimidation of any kind toward staff members, artists, authors, creatives and audiences. We also have a policy of respect which means that all parties are expected to behave towards each other and speak to and about each other with respect at all times and do their utmost to promote and embed respect in all areas of the organisation. The Brontë Society has a commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion and will not tolerate offensive comments relating to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, age, race, ethnicity, background or religion. Any attendee who attempts to harass or intimidate another person within the event will be immediately removed.


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