Ashley Hickson-Lovence grew up wanting to be a poet (secretly) and a football referee. He is now a successful novelist, a poet, a Lecturer of Creative Writing - and he also formally observes referees for the FA in his spare time.
Ashley's debut novel The 392 came out in April 2019. It's a book set on a bus (The 392) with each passenger telling us their story, every voice original and fresh, as the bus weaves its way from East to North London.
His second novel Your Show is based on the life and career of former Black football referee Uriah Rennie, where he draws on his own experience of being a referee (yes, Ashley achieved this goal) to bring Uriah's fantastic story to life. As you turn the pages you can almost hear the whistle and the roar of the crowd.
Ashley was working at a secondary school as an English teacher when he completed his MA in Creative Writing and Publishing, and he has just finished his PhD in Creative and Critical Writing at the University of East Anglia, making him Doctor Ashley Hickson-Lovence (congratulations!). If his journey sounds straight-forward though, it wasn't. Ashley wrote on social media recently that he did 'not the best at GCSEs' and 'underperformed at his degree', crediting the good people around him who helped him on his way. Ashley’s third book Wild East, aimed at young adults, will be released with Penguin in 2024 and he'll be sharing from this too.
Davina Quinlivan is a writer, presenter and Lecturer in English and on Film. Her first book, Shalimar, is a non-fiction book exploring how our family history and migration shapes our identity. Living near Exeter, Davina was a Writer-in-residence at Literature Works in 2023, and is currently working on a follow up to Shalimar, a series of short stories retelling fairyales in a modern and ecological context, and a novel set between Cornwall and the Black Sea.
Ashley will be talking to Davina Quinlivan about his journey to becoming a writer, his books, and answering any questions you might have on writing, books, overcoming hurdles, and anything else!
This is the first of a series of events and workshops for young people, called Bookbag Youth Club. We hope they'll inspire young people to begin, or keep, reading, writing and creating. They are aimed at 15 +, but get in touch with any queries about this.
Saturday 12 August
£3 via Eventbrite Bookbag Youth Club Series 1 - with Ashley Hickson-Lovence Tickets, Sat 12 Aug 2023 at 18:00 | Eventbrite or email email@example.com to pay what you can afford.