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Writers in Conversation: Bridget Blankley

25 November, 2019

Writers in Conversation features some of today’s best fiction writers, poets, non-fiction writers and playwrights reading from their work and talking about their writing lifestyle

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University of Southampton presents

Writers in Conversation: Bridget Blankley

Monday 25 November 2019 at 7.30pm at NST Campus


Bridget Blankley, winner of the 2016 Commonword Diversity Writing for Children Prize, will be reading from and talking about her debut book, The Ghosts & Jamal, a children’s novel set in Africa and told from the point of view of a 13-year-old boy in Nigeria. The event is part of the University of Southampton English department’s Writers in Conversation series.

The Ghosts & Jamal, which was also nominated for the prestigious Carnegie Medal, opens after a terrorist attack that leaves Jamal the only person in his village alive, although he doesn’t understand what has happened.  He goes off in search on his grandfather, and has a series of adventures, some comical, some threatening, and Jamal’s continued misunderstandings illuminate the realities of today’s world. 

Blankley completed her MA Creative Writing at the University of Southampton, and worked on The Ghosts & Jamal as part of her MA dissertation.

She spent most of her early life in Nigeria, and as well as reading from her debut novel, she will discuss how she went about bringing that world alive in this novel and writing from an African boy’s point of view. She will take question from the audience and moderator Carole Burns, a fiction writer, journalist, head of creative writing at the University of Southampton – and one of her Creative Writing tutors at the University.


“With an ending that will take your breath away, The Ghosts & Jamal is a beautifully written book about survival, bravery and finding your places in the world"
Editor’s Choice,  Children’s Books Ireland

“a  beautiful, mesmerising book”

Book Trust


Writers in Conversation features some of today’s best fiction writers, poets, non-fiction writers and playwrights reading from their work and talking about their writing lifestyle - how characters take shape and where ideas come from. Led by creative writing lecturers at the University of Southampton, the event takes place in Nuffield Southampton Theatres Campus Cafe/Bar, helping to create an evening that is relaxed, engaging and intelligent, yet informal.

Tickets £5

Free for Uni of Southampton staff and students with code.