Ellah Wakatama Leads University of Manchester’s Novel Voices Series

The editor will be in conversation with 10 “exceptional” debut authors “whose range of narratives reflect the literary landscape of 2021.”
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Ellah Wakatama by Ellah Wakatama.

Ellah Wakatama by Ellah Wakatama.

The University of Manchester is launching Novel Voices, a new literary series that will feature the editor Ellah P. Wakatama in conversation with 10 debut authors. The series is presented by Creative Manchester, The Centre for New Writing, and Blackwell’s Bookshop.

With Ellah P. Wakatama, Senior Research Fellow at The Centre for New Writing and Editor-at-Large at Canongate Books, they have chosen “10 genre-spanning authors whose range of narratives reflect the literary landscape of 2021.”

Novel Voices will feature five online events, each showcasing two authors.

“These authors are largely from underrepresented backgrounds, and are affiliated with a range of independent and corporate publishing houses,” the university said in a statement. “Paired based on thematic similarities in their work, they will be invited to explore the influences, experiences and structures that helped shape their narrative tone, voices and approaches.”

The chosen debut authors are “exceptional,” Ellah Wakatama told Open Country Mag. “I’ll be speaking to them about their craft and journey towards publishing their first, full body of work.”

The first Novel Voices event is scheduled for 22 February 2021. It will feature Meng Jin, author of Little Gods, who “expands the future of the immigrant novel even as it holds us in uneasy thrall to the past,” and J. A. Mensah, author of Castles from Cobwebs, “a compelling exploration of memory, race, mothers and the fractured self.”

Other authors to be showcased in future events include Victoria Princewill, Catherine Menon, Natasha Brown, and Jarred McGinnis.

Tickets can be purchased on Eventbrite.

Paula Willie-Okafor
Paula Willie-Okafor is a staff writer at Open Country Mag. She is a student at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, where she is custodian of The Writers' Community (TWC). Her writing has appeared in Kissing Dynamite Magazine and Praxis Magazine.
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