Crime author Sarah Ward will be speaking as part of the programme.

Online programme to celebrate female authors, activists and journalists

A four-week online programme, from Hull Libraries, launches next week celebrating female writers.

Leading up to International Women’s Day on Monday 8 March, Unfinished Business: The Fight for Women’s Rights will discuss historic, contemporary and future themes of womanhood, exploring gender, equality and liberation.

The programme, curated by Hull Libraries in partnership with The British Library and Living Knowledge Network, will feature female authors, activists and journalists.

Speakers include award-winning journalist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, best-selling novelist Sarah Ward, historian and author Clara Barley, Senior Lecturer at the University of Hull Dr Sabine Vanacker and young adult and children’s author Sally Nicholls.

Councillor Marjorie Brabazon, chair of Hull Culture and Leisure, said: “Strong female voices are vital in an equal, representative and progressive society.

“This programme will celebrate some of those voices, as well as explore and discuss important themes and topics, leading up to International Women’s Day in March.”

Unfinished Business: The Fight for Women’s Rights runs from Tuesday 16 February until Monday 8 March. All events are free and will be delivered via Zoom.


Sarah Ward: In Conversation with Nick Quantrill

Tuesday 16 February, 6.30pm

Join Sarah Ward, Amazon best-selling crime writer, as she talks about both her contemporary and historical fiction and how her love of urban and rural landscapes inspire her books.

Sarah Ward is the author of four crime novels, In Bitter Chill, A Deadly Thaw, A Patient Fury and The Shrouded Path which are set in the Derbyshire Peak District.

Find out more or book tickets here.

Clara Barley will discuss her novel The Moss House. Photo credit: Marion Botella.



Sarah Ward: Writing Workshop

Saturday 20 February, 2.00pm – 4.00pm

Sarah Ward will look at examples of positive representations of women in crime fiction and how to integrate them into writing.

Find out more or book tickets here.


Dr Sabine Vanacker: Dangerous domesticity in two modern thrillers: Gone Girl and Big Little Lies 

Tuesday 23 February, 6.30pm

Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn (2012) and Big Little Lies, by Liane Moriarty (2014), have both been recent best-sellers, turned into a commercial film and successful television series respectively.  They belong to a new, highly popular thriller genre, Domestic Noir, which explores the dangers within modern love, marriage and personal relationships.  Five decades after the Women’s Liberation Movement of the late sixties, and in the midst of a renewed awareness of domestic abuse, sexual harassment and relationship bullying, these crime novels once again focus on the dangers – for women and men – that lie within the home, within modern marriage and love.

Join Dr Sabine Vanacker as she explores feminist crime writing and Domestic Noir through the lens of these two 21st Century best-sellers.

Find out more or book tickets here.


Sally Nicholls in conversation

Saturday 27 February, 2.00pm

Join prize-winning children’s author Sally Nicholls as she talks about the inspiration behind her Carnegie Medal and National Book Award shortlisted novel, Things a Bright Girl Can Do.

Find out more or book tickets here.


Clara Barley: The Moss House

Presented by Read Regional and New Writing North

Thursday 4 March, 6.30pm

Set more than 200 years ago in Halifax, West Yorkshire, The Moss House is about the desire for love and to be loved. The novel is based on the true stories of Anne Lister and Ann Walker, two very different women, as they try to create a life together.

Join Clara Barley as she talks about the fascinating stories behind her novel and her involvement in the retelling of the life of Anne Lister, more widely known as Gentleman Jack.

Find out more or book tickets here.

Journalist and author Yasmin Alibhai-Brown will discuss her book, Ladies Who Punch.

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown in conversation with Eleanor Mills

Monday 8 March, 6.30pm

Courageous women change history and remould our culture. For centuries, rebel ladies have been punching up, fighting for freedoms and equality, challenging the world order. Today, the next generation continue the fight, boldly marching, banners flying, into a brighter future.

Journalist and author Yasmin Alibhai-Brown discusses her book, Ladies Who Punch: Fifty Trailblazing Women Whose Stories You Should Know with award-winning editor, writer and columnist Eleanor Mills.

Find out more or book tickets here.


The Living Knowledge Network is a UK-wide partnership of national and public libraries. Together they share ideas and spark connections between libraries, their collections and their people.

Created by the British Library to explore new ways for libraries across the country to work as one, the network currently includes more than 20 public libraries, the British Library itself, the National Library of Scotland and the National Library of Wales.

For more information about Unfinished Business: The Fight for Women’s Rights visit


Hull City Hall