Rewriting the North: Catherine Simpson and Adam Farrer on Memoir

  • AGES

    All ages welcome


    Free (but please book)


    The Portico Library
    57 Mosley St, Manchester, M2 3HY

Writers Catherine Simpson and Adam Farrer in conversation with Will Mackie about blurring boundaries between life writing, memoir & fiction.

The next event in our Rewriting the North series, which celebrates writers and writing connected with the North of England, sees us connect with New Writing North. Writers Catherine Simpson and Adam Farrer are in conversation with Will Mackie about life writing, memoir and lines (or not) between (auto)biography and fiction. Dr David Cooper (Centre for Place Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University) will introduce the event.
Catherine Simpson is a memoir-writer, novelist, poet, short-story writer and journalist based in Edinburgh. Her memoir One Body (2022) was recently published by Saraband, which follows an earlier memoir, When I Had a Little Sister, (4th Estate, 2019) and her debut novel, Truestory (Sandstone Press, 2015). She is a regular reviewer on BBC Radio Scotland’s Tuesday Review.
Adam Farrer is a writer and editor based in Manchester, UK. His first book, Cold Fish Soup, a memoir in essays about the Yorkshire coast, won the NorthBound Book Award at the 2021 Northern Writers’ Awards and is published by Saraband in August 2022. He also wrote one of the Portico’s Rewriting the North podcasts.
Will Mackie is Senior Programme Manager for Writing and Awards at new Writing North, leading on talent development and devising programmes of support for writers and translators while working alongside partners such as Channel 4, Hachette Children’s Group and the British Council. Additionally, he manages New Writing North’s literary prizes – the David Cohen Prize and the Gordon Burn Prize – and Read Regional, NWN’s programme of library activities in the North.
The 2022 season of Rewriting the North explores themes in the Portico Prize 2022 winning novel, Toto Among the Murderers by Sally J. Morgan, which captures life for young women on the edges of counterculture in 1970s Sheffield and Leeds. Themes that are explored in the novel and that will be discussed during the events include the impact of male violence, fiction about the recent past, memoir fused with fiction, writing about the north at a distance, and women’s art.
Rewriting the North is funded by the Arts Council and is curated by the Portico Library in partnership with the Centre for Place Writing, Manchester Metropolitan University.