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Behind The Scenes with Guest Curators & Slay In Your Lane Authors Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebinené

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Our brand-new weekly blog invites you behind the scenes to hear from our Literature Festival programming team, Guest Curators and authors. They’ll share their excitement about their part of the programme and what they are looking forward to most. And we’ll be revealing our Reading the World list, collated from 70 literary festivals across the globe.

Through Slay In Your Lane, Festival Guest Curators Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebinené not only created an inspirational guide to life, they started a national conversation. Over the past year we’ve been lucky enough to work alongside them to create a series of three events that celebrate powerful role models and capture their belief that, with the right tools, we can find success in every sphere of our lives. Literature Festival Programme Manager Emma Whittle takes us behind the scenes with Yomi and Elizabeth to give us a flavour of the events that they’ve curated for the programme…

We’re so thrilled to have had the opportunity to work with Cheltenham to curate a vibrant and innovative series of events. We always maintain that Slay In Your Lane is not just a book, but a movement, and we couldn’t wait to bring our ethos of flourishing in spite of the limitations in life through a number of accessible, practical and inspirational sessions.

In our increasingly busy lives, the pressure to juggle different commitments can feel overwhelming. In Eat Well, Live Well, we’ll bring together a panel of ambitious and successful women to share tips and advice about how we can strike the perfect balance. You’ll hear about everything from food and exercise to useful apps that can help manage your mood. Following the discussion, you’ll enjoy a delicious lunch taken from chef Rachel Ama’s new recipe book, Vegan Eats.

We’ll also be talking about Slay In Your Lane and introducing our exciting new project, Slay In Your Lane: The Journal with presenter Tinea Taylor. We look forward to discussing the empowering stories of the extraordinary women that inspired us to write the Black Girl Bible. Having found journaling to be an important part of our own success, we’ll be sharing a practical toolkit for recording your goals and achievements so that you can get ahead in all aspects of life, whatever you aspire to.

In Black Faces, White Spaces, Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff chairs a timely panel discussion that will explore how it feels to be a black woman in a predominantly white space. For many women, navigating a professional and personal life can be made harder when their cultural identity feels at odds with the environment they are trying to thrive in. From universities to the workplace, our panel will draw upon their personal experiences and look at the issue across society to consider how we can improve access and inclusivity.

Yomi and Elizabeth will be at the Festival for our opening weekend on the 5th and 6th October – we hope to see you there!

Check out the rest of our programme for more events covering topics ranging from mental health to campaigning and activism with speakers including Scarlett Curtis, Nimko Ali, Gina Martin, Derek Owusu, Jordan Stephens and Caroline Criado-Perez.