#108: World Book Night Wonders // Hannah Kent

April 19, 2017

It's almost World Book Night! Jane and Paul discuss past, present and future WBN picks, including colour-flipped dystopias, grief-stricken and anxious narrators, a book for when you're heartbroken and classics worth revisiting:

On our list:

 And hopefully on the list in 2018: The Diva Rules by Michelle Visage

In a Room of One's Own, Rebecca chats to Hannah Kent, awardwinning author of Burial Rites, and whose latest novel The Good People is out now (download a free sample chapter via her website).

And don't forget to grab your Grrrl Con ticket while there's still some left. Plus there's still time to vote for us in the Saboteur Awards.


Editing by Rebecca Smith // Music by She Makes War



#107: Jane and Paul’s High School Reunion // Chibundu Onuzo

April 5, 2017

Twenty years on from Romy & Michelle's High School Reunion, we're taking a trip down memory lane and reminiscing about the books by women we loved in high school. Hear Jane and Paul wax lyrical about high school heroines including: 

Plus honorable mentions for: Stitched Up by Tansy Hoskins, In Other Worlds by Margaret Atwood, Ursula K. LeGuin

In A Room of One's Own, Rebecca Smith chats to awardwinning novelist Chibundo Onuzo, author of Welcome to Lagos.

Other news: Our spoken word night That's What She Said got shortlisted for a Saboteur Award! Vote for us to win Best Spoken Word Night here. We've also just released more tickets for Grrrl Con, so get yours while you can.

Tell us what you were reading in high school by getting in touch via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and please don't forget to rate, review and subscribe. Until next time!

Music by She Makes War



#106: Performance Poetry Queen Team // Ayobami Adebayo

March 22, 2017

Yesterday was World Poetry Day! First up in this fortnight's episode, Paul and Jane are celebrating by sharing some of their favourite women performance poets, including: 

Honorable mentions for: Commonword's Women in the Spotlight programme and The Good Immigrant.

In a Room of One's Own, Rebecca Smith chats to Ayobami Adebayo, whose debut novel Stay with Me has just been nominated for the Bailey's Prize.

Last up, a reminder about next week's launch of Nasty Women with 404 Ink. The number of tickets left are down to single digits so grab yours while you can!

Music by She Makes War


#105: Rebel Dykes // Nasty Women // Karen Kao

March 8, 2017

In this episode, we're getting over-excited about being involved in a very exciting event in Manchester; a work-in-progress cut screening of the documentary Rebel Dykes, followed by a panel discussion and spoken word showcase curated by yours truly. First up, we got producer Siobhan Fahey to tell us all about it. Then, to celebrate, Jane and Paul discuss their favourite books with heroines who could be described as rebel dykes, including...

Then, Rebecca Smith chats to the team behind 404 Ink, ahead of our collaboration on the London launch of Nasty Women at the end of the month. In a Room of One's Own, Rebecca gets the lowdown from author Karen Kao, whose debut novel The Dancing Girl and the Turtle will be published by Linen Press next month.


Next time, we're talking poetry, so follow us on Twitter, Insta or Facebook to share your must-reads with us there. Until then...


Editing by Rebecca Smith // Music by She Makes War




#104: Women in Horror // Amy Burns

February 22, 2017

It's still Women in Horror Month for the next few days, so in this episode Jane Bradley and Paul Forster start by discussing the books that have them sleeping with the lights on, including...

In A Room of One's Own, Rebecca Smith chats to novelist Amy Burns, author of Leaving is My Color.

If you're listening to this on release date, come on down tonight for the 2nd birthday of our spoken word night, That's What She Said. Otherwise, check out the website or our social channels for details of the other exciting events we've got coming up.

Before we go: it's the last few days to submit to our ghosts anthology! Submissions close this weekend, February 26th. Send us your short stories now.

In the meantime: follow us on Twitter, Insta or Facebook, and please don't forget to subscribe, rate and review. Until next time... 

Editing by Rebecca Smith // Music by She Makes War


#103: Fictional Character Crushes // Kirsty Logan

February 8, 2017

Valentine's Day is coming up, so this fortnight co-hosts Jane Bradley and Paul Forster share their fictional character crushes, including....

(Like we mentioned last time, although our main remit is writing by women, in 2017 and beyond we intend to expand our focus to include more writers who identify as trans, genderqueer, genderfluid and/or non-binary. That's why we've continued to discuss and include work by Billy Martin written under the name and identity of Poppy Z. Brite.)

Honorable mentions: Our very own erotica collection, Tongue in Cheek.

In a Room of One's Own, Rebecca Smith interviews Kirsty Logan on her writing locations, habits and processes, as well as her own fictional character fangirling.

Next time, we'll be talking women in horror, so get in touch on Twitter, Insta or Facebook to tell us yours. Until then...

Editing by Rebecca Smith // Music by She Makes War


#102: LGBT History Month // Claire Fuller

January 25, 2017

LGBT History Month gets underway in February, and we're getting the party started early! This fortnight, co-hosts Jane Bradley and Paul Forster share some of their favourite books by LGBTQIA+ authors, including...

(Although our main remit is writing by women, in 2017 and beyond we intend to expand our focus to include more writers who identify as trans, genderqueer, genderfluid and/or non-binary. That's why we've continued to discuss and include work by Billy Martin written under the name and identity of Poppy Z. Brite.)

Honorable mentions for: Zami: A New Spelling of My Name (1982) by Audre Lorde and Wolf-Girls (2012) edited by Hannah Kate.

In Room of One's Own, Rebecca Smith interviews Claire Fuller, author of Our Endless Numbered Days and Swimming Lessons.

Next time, we'll be discussing our crushes on fictional characters ready for Valentine's Day, so get in touch on Twitter, Insta or Facebook to tell us yours. Until then...


Editing by Rebecca Smith // Music by She Makes War



#101: Most Anticipated Books of 2017 // Deanna Raybourn

January 11, 2017

The For Books' Sake podcast returns! Hosted by Jane Bradley and Paul Forster with correspondent Rebecca Smith, this fortnight you can hear Jane and Paul discuss their most anticipated books of 2017, including...

Defender by G. X. Todd (January, Headline); Not Just Jane by Shelley DeWees (January, HarperCollins); A Beginner's Guide to Losing Your Mind by Emily Reynolds (February, Hodder Stoughton); Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls (March, Timbuktu Labs); Come Let Us Sing Anyway by Leone Ross (March, Peepal Tree Press); The Night Brother by Rosie Garland (June, Borough Press).

Highlights from 2016 (not all of which came out in 2016!): Boys in the Trees by Carly Simon and Trash by Dorothy Allison.

For our new segment A Room of One's Own, Rebecca Smith interviews New York Times bestselling author Deanna Raybourn. (Want more? Read our 2011 interview with her here.)

Feeling inspired? We're still accepting submissions to our next anthology.

Until next time: get in touch via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or email to tell us which books you're most excited about in 2017!

Editing by Rebecca Smith // Music by She Makes War


#5: Salena Godden and Sci-Fi Superstars

August 31, 2016

In this episode...

Lauren sat down with Salena Godden earlier this summer for an interview touching on her memoir, Bowie, the politics in poetry and her experience helping at the refugee camps in Calais. Salena is a poet, performer and author. More information about her work and upcoming performances can be found via Salena's website and you can follow her thoughts and hilarity on Twitter.

Then Grace talks us through some of her favourite science fiction writers, featuring Clare Winger Harris, the first women to publish a story in a US sci fi journal under her own name.

The Queens of Sci Fi:
- Ursula Le Guin, Margaret Atwood and Octavia Butler.
- Mary Anne Mohanraj, founder of speculative fiction magazine Strange Horizons
- .Nnedi Okorafor, author of the YA books The Shadow Speaker and Zahara the Wind Seeker, and adult novel, Who Fears Death, winner of the World Fantasy Award for Best Novel in 2011 and nominated for the 2010 Nebula Award.
-Marjorie Lui, novelist and comic book writer of the novel tie in for the X Men films, Dark Mirror, and the Marvel X-Men spin off series, NYX, for which she was nominated for a GLAAD media award in 2013.

New books:
- Harry Potter and The Cursed Child Parts I and II – the script of the long awaited play can be purchased basically everywhere.
- The Good Immigrant by Nikesh Shulka, bringing together fifteen emerging British black, Asian and minority ethnic writers, poets, journalists and artists. In these fifteen essays about race and immigration, they paint a picture of what it means to be ‘other’ in a country that wants you, doesn’t want you, doesn’t accept you, needs you for its equality monitoring forms and would prefer you if you won a major reality show competition.


Mentoring scheme by Penguin/Random House WriteNow, which will offer 150 writers the opportunity to attend publishing insight days in Birmingham, Manchester and London. It will then support 10 exceptional writers through a year-long mentoring programme.

Not mentioned but SUPER EXCITING is the For Books’ Sake 6th Birthday Party on Friday 16 September at The Star of Kings. More info and tickets can be found on the Eventbrite page.


#4: Just F***ing Do it at Grrrl Con 2016

July 18, 2016

In this episode...

Interview with Jenny Brown:
Founder of Jenny Brown Associates, one of the UK’s leading literary agencies, Jenny was previously Head of Literature at the Scottish Arts Council, presenter of book programmes for Scottish Television, and founder Director of the Edinburgh International Book Festival. She is also a former Committee member of the Association of Authors’ Agents and was shortlisted in 2014 for the Agent of the Year Award. In this interview, Jenny Brown outlines the role of an agent, gives more insight into the world of publishers and tells us what writers we should look out for in the coming months (including Chitra Ramaswamy, who wrote about her book Expecting for For Books' Sake recently).

Independent Publishers:
Throughout Grrrl Con, lots of the speakers gave shout-outs to the work of publishers. Lauren talks about a few independent publishers based around the UK. Her list is by no means exhaustive (of course!) and we would love to hear from you about any publishers that you really rate, so email us with your suggestions.Here are the publishers mentioned in the podcast, with a few resources thrown in there for good measure too...

Independent publishers:
Peepal Tree Press
Dahlia Publishing
Tilted Axis Press
Galley Beggar Press

Additional resources
Spread the Word
Writers and Artists
Forgot to mention: Creative Access

Top Tips from Kirsty Logan and Marjorie Lofti Gill
Kirsty Logan - who shares her top four tips for writing magic realism in this episode - is the author of the short story collection The Rental Heart and Other Fairytales (Salt, 2014), which was recently awarded the Polari First Book Prize, and debut novel The Gracekeepers (Harvill Secker, 2015). Her latest book, A Portable Shelter (ASLS, 2015), is a collection of stories inspired by Scottish folktales.

Marjorie Lofti Gill is the poet in Residence at Jupiter Artland and co-founder of The Belonging Project, which reflects on the flight, journey and assimilation of refugees, and Open Book, a charity running shared reading and writing groups for adults in the community. Marjorie’s poems have been published in a variety of journals and anthologies in the UK and US, and have been performed on BBC Radio 4. Marjorie ran a workshop on how to construct the perfect sentence, and gives us some advice on how to craft our words.

Interview with Denise Mina
Dame Denise Mina is a critically acclaimed Glaswegian crime writer. Her novels include The End of the Wasp Season and Gods and Beasts, both of which won the prestigious Theakstons Old Peculiar Crime Novel of the Year Award in consecutive years. Denise also writes short stories and plays, and is the author of the Garnethill trilogy. She was inducted into the Crime Writers’ Association Hall of Fame in 2014. Grace and Lauren got to chat to Denise after her talk on the final day of Grrrl Con, asking for advice on how to just get on and do it, in what ways can we prioritise our writing, and how to take critical feedback. She advised ditching the gym and bribing ourselves with KitKats alongside other essential tips.

A big thank you to all of our featured guests for sharing your words of wisdom with us and for taking the time to sit down with us and chat. A special thanks has to go out to Grrrl Con organisers Jane Bradley, Claire Askew and Kerry Ryan, for a fabulous weekend. Also thanks to all of the volunteers over the weekend for making sure we knew where we were to go and what was coming next (Charlotte Forfieh, we’re looking at you!) And finally to the amazing grrrls, all those who agreed to be a part of our podcast and everyone else for making the weekend such a success. It was great to meet you all – roll on next year!