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Brighton Book Festival at Brighton Soup


Afrori Books & The Feminist Bookshop have teamed up to create a brand new festival for our city. After a phenomenal first year we are back with an even bigger festival for 2023.

Brighton Book Festival 2023 is a series of over 20 events across independent bookshop week to celebrate the power of books with our community.

The Brighton Book Festival seeks to celebrate and develop the literary and cultural wealth of our region, showcasing the vibrant writing scene in Brighton and Hove and drawing innovative, creative, change-making writers from around the UK.


Our aim is to inspire and enable writers at every stage in their careers to share their work and to champion the power of the written word to enrich and change lives. 

We seek to amplify a wide spectrum of voices, to connect readers and authors in new ways and to promote compelling and challenging writing, with special attention to work that engages with pressing social issues or that might otherwise be excluded or marginalised.

Brighton Pier


Carolynn Bain


Founder of Afrori Books

"If I had to put who I am in any kind of order I am first a Christian Black woman. I am also a mother, a bookseller, an activist, a mentor, a lyricist and a wife." 


In 2020 Caroylnn opened an online bookshop that created a one stop-shop for books by black authors. In 2021, following a very successful crowdfund, she opened a bricks and mortar shop in the heart of Brighton. Afrori Books now has the biggest selection of books by black authors in the UK. Giving a platform to over 2000 black authors through their shop and social media channels.

Ruth Wainwright


Founder and owner of The Feminist Bookshop in Brighton - a bookshop, coffee shop and events space which advocates for intersectional feminism and seeks to promote the work of self-identifying female and non-binary writers.


Ruth also works with local charities and advocacy groups to champion their work in the community, hosting fundraisers for organisations including Survivors Network, Rise, Brighton Women’s Centre, Thousand 4 £1000 and Reclaim the NIght Brighton.



Senior Editorial Director at Virago

Rose has worked for over ten years publishing literary fiction and non-fiction. Her authors have won or been shortlisted for prizes including the Women’s Prize, Baillie Gifford, Desmond Elliot, Bath Novel and Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year. At Virago she co-runs independent bookshop events and the podcast OurShelves. She teaches creative writing at various universities and festivals as well as the Faber Academy and Arvon.



Emma Topping is an Executive Producer (Sony’s PETER RABBIT feature franchise and Netflix’s tentpole feature and series REDWALL franchise based on Brian Jacques books) and an Entertainment Lawyer with over 20 years’ experience in the entertainment business including with industry leaders: Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Really Useful Group, The Walt Disney Company, Macmillan Publishers and Penguin Random House.  Emma also lectures at Screen Film School Brighton where she co-created and will be course leading a new BA Hons Film Business & Production Degree that launches in September 2022.


Emma left Penguin Random House in 2020 after nearly 10 years to focus on her company Viv Loves Film: a literary, development and production agency that specialises in book to screen, and stage and video games adaptations and world building media franchises.  Viv Loves Film exclusively represents a variety of content creators including Redwall Abbey Company (the Estate of Brian Jacques), 2019 – 2021 UK Comics Laureate Hannah Berry and independent publishers Myriad Editions, RedDoor Press, Cipher Press and Inkandescent.

Amy Hall


Amy is a co-editor of New Internationalist magazine which publishes stories of social and environmental justice from across the world. It is a multi-stakeholder co-operative, co-owned by its workers and over 3,600 international readers.


She has over a decade of professional experience as a journalist and has previously written for The Guardian, openDemocracy, Al Jazeera and others. Amy is a co-founder of The Race Beat, a national network of people of colour working in the media.

Kate Appleton


Head of Publicity at Head of Zeus

Kate is the Head of Publicity at Head of Zeus, a division of Bloomsbury Publishing, a position she’s had since June 2020. Previously she worked at communications agency Midas PR, where she worked on campaigns for the likes of; Rose McGowan, MP Jess Phillips, London Book Fair and the Swansea University Dylan Thomas Prize, as well as, author agency Authoright and entertainment brand partnerships agency IMS.

Nicola Streeten


Director of LDComics

Dr Nicola Streeten is a UK based multi-award-winning graphic novelist and comics. She delivers comics workshops, public talks and facilitates projects and residencies nationally and internationally. Her graphic memoir Billy, Me & You (Myriad Editions, 2011) was followed by The Inking Woman (Myriad Editions, 2018) a 250-year illustrated history of British women’s cartoonists. This was complemented by theoretical publication UK Feminist Cartoons and Comics: A Critical Survey (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020).

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