The event’s hub of LITNESS.

Come along to listen to fresh and honest onstage speakers who work in the storytelling world - no waffling, just straight creative dialogue.  

From photography and illustration, to journalism and novel-writing, whatever the type of storytelling, we’ve got you covered. These incredible young creatives are making waves in their industries but want to share their modern-day secrets of success with you.

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Hosted by presenter Vanessa Maria Wilson interviewing by Shedzi.

Read about our event extraordinaires underneath the speaker line up.

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12PM - 12.10pm

Intro from your host Vanessa Maria Wilson

Welcome to ERIC Fest: Storytelling. Here, Vanessa introduces what the festival is all about and what to expect from the speakers, the immersive experiences and the incredible companies involved. Shout out to Hachette, Pan Macmillan, Penguin and, of course, the beautiful venue we’re in - Somerset House!

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12.10pm - 12.3opm

Storytelling through: Writing


Derek Owusu is a British writer and podcaster. He edited and contributed to the book Safe: On Black British Men Reclaiming Space (2019), is the former co-host of the literature podcast Mostly Lit and works at Penguin Books.

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12.40pm - 1pm

Storytelling with: Hachette

Author Candice Carty-Williams will be interviewing some of the Hachette team about their roles in the publishing house and what it’s like to work in a storytelling-focused industry.

Candice Carty-Williams is an author and the Sunday Times bestselling author of Queenie. In 2016, Candice created and launched the Guardian and 4th Estate BAME Short Story Prize, the first inclusive initiative of its kind in book publishing. As a journalist she has written for BEAT Magazine, Black Ballad, Refinery 29, Guardian, i-D, Vogue International, Sunday Times Style and more. She will probably always live in South London.

Mireille Harper is an editorial assistant & arts/culture PR, comms & content freelancer and runs Cassandra x Camille with her sister in her free time.

India Hill is the Marketing Coordinator for the Little, Brown Book Group and is a designer, illustrator & poet outside of working hours.

Hena Bryan is a Rights Trainee for the Little, Brown Book Group. Outside of her day job she runs her own Publishing company that specialises in the broadcasting of diverse narratives and images for children.

Patricia Deveer is Orion’s new Publicity Assistant, having just been given a full-time role after interning.. She’s also a music fanatic and is currently learning Spanish.

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1.05PM - 1.25PM

Storytelling through: ACTIVISM

Jamie Windust

Jamie Windust is an award-winning editor in chief of FRUITCAKE Magazine (website & insta), freelance writer, public speaker and model. They've worked with the likes of Tommy Hilfiger, Ugg and ASOS and are about to embark on their second UK speaking tour. They're also featured in the new Scarlett Curtis' book coming out on the 3rd October 'It's Not Ok To Be Blue & Other Lies', as well as writing their debut book due for release in October 2020. They identify as non-binary and use they/them pronouns.


1.30PM - 1.50PM

Storytelling with: Penguin

Penguin is the UK’s biggest book publisher, home to some of the world’s best-known authors includ-ing Malorie Blackman and Zadie Smith, Michelle Obama and Stormzy.

Too often panel discussions feature a line-up of senior, experienced people whose worlds can feel quite far away. So we’re flip reversing things. This is your chance to hear from fresh talent who have recently joined Penguin, including a debut writer, a new editor, and an assistant. They might not have years of experience, but they do know what it’s like to join the publishing industry today and how to get your foot in the door.

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1.55PM - 2.15PM

Storytelling through: poetry

Caleb Femi

Caleb Femi is a poet and director featured in the Dazed 100 list of the next generation shaping youth culture. Using film, photography and music Caleb pushes the boundaries of poetry both on the page, in performance and on digital mediums. He has written and directed short films commissioned by the BBC and Channel 4 and poems by the Tate Modern, The Royal Society for Literature, St Paul's Cathedral, the BBC, the Guardian and many more. Between 2016-2018, Caleb was the Young People’s Laureate for London working with young people on a city, national and global level. Caleb performs and speaks internationally gracing major stages, institutions and festivals. He works on global advertising campaigns.

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2.20pm - 2.40pm

Storytelling through: photography


Ron Timehin is a freelance photographer and Sony Imaging Ambassador based in London. Specialising in Cityscape and Portrait photography, Ron has established a varied client list that consists of commissioned work for many global brands and household names. Ron has accumulated a reach of over 59,000 followers and has also successfully engaged in several brand media campaigns.

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2.45pm - 3.05pm

Storytelling with: Pan macmillan

3-words, 3 reasons why we need YOU in publishing! Pan Macmillan are introducing you to some of our partners. We will be giving 3, 3-minute Ted-style talks on the main stage from Nikesh Shukla, an author, screenwriter and one of the most prominent voices around diversity and inclusion in the arts in Britain, Vivian Archer the manager of the prize-winning, trailblazing Newham Bookshop and Andy Joannou, Senior Audience Development Manager at Pan Macmillan who will all be speaking about why you are the future of books. This will be followed by a Q&A where Raakhi Vadera, HR Manager at Pan Macmillan will be joining.

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3.10pm - 3.30pm

Storytelling through: audio

Clarissa Pabi

Listed on the inaugural FutureBook40 list, Clarissa is a multi-award-winning marketeer, producer and content manager. After graduating from Oxford University she did a Creative Access internship and then spent over 6 years working in marketing and creating global bestsellers at publishers like Penguin Random House and Bonnier Books. Through her transmedia campaigns she has created global bestselling books, and created the first podcasts at these publishers. She currently works at Acast, the world’s largest podcast company, after being headhunter for the newly created role of UK Content Manager. At Acast she helps to launch, market and monetise podcasts from independent podcasts and publishers.

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3.35pm - 3.55pm

Storytelling through: scriptwriting / directing

Laura Kirwan-Ashman

“I am a writer-director whose work focuses on Blackness, queerness, and the female experience. My roots are in DIY filmmaking; in 2015 I co-founded female film collective Sorta Kinda Maybe Yeah, writing and appearing in our web series of the same name. I was chosen for the Betty Box and Peter Rogers Comedy Writing programme, BBC Comedy Writersroom, Channel 4 Commissioning Mentorship, and the 2018 BFI NETWORK @ LFF programme.”

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4.00pm - 4.20pm

Storytelling through: illustration

Janet Kutin

Jae (Janet Kutin) AKA The INKtrovert is a Storyteller that currently focuses on Illustration for Music, Film & Children’s Edutainment (+ tries to implement her weirdness, space themes or lamp fascination somewhere in these). With her personal projects, she likes to show the roughness, what stages she’s been through and sometimes what mistakes have been made – she loves the raw aesthetic. The narrative element of illustration and literary exploration is important to her hence why she decided the title of illustrator was just not enough. At the moment she is in a semi-state of hibernation; stepping back, assessing, re-learning some skills and quietly building a new brand - a vital move for progression and trying to figure things out.


4.25pm - 4.45pm

Storytelling through: news & journalism

Walyd Abdallah

Walyd Abdallah is Co-Founder of Worth Of Mouth, an online media platform that creates and shares inspiring content for young people. Walyd’s goal is continue to grow the platform as a go-to hub for young people, where they can be motivated to a make a start on building their dream no matter their circumstances. Walyd has a deep passion for business and maintains an entrepreneurial mind-set.

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About Vanessa

Vanessa Maria Wilson is a DJ, Presenter, Radio Host and Production Management Assistant at the BBC. An East London native with a Psychology degree and a passionate supporter of raising mental health awareness. As well as featuring on the BBC as a presenter, Vanessa has interviewed and awarded Sir David Attenborough with his life long achievement award. Recently, Vanessa was featured on the BME Powerlist, as one of Bristol’s most inspiring, successful and influential black and minority ethnic people. Catch her on 1020 radio every second Saturday of the month, 11-1pm.


About Shedzi

Shedzi is a fast-rising British-Nigerian award winning TV personality, based in London. This is self-proclaimed “Classy, Sassy and Stylish” character is also a Content creator, Fashion-Influencer and Creative Director. Shedzi features on various TV and online media platforms across the UK and Africa, including; BBC, YangaTV, FoxLife, Vox Africa, GlamAfrica Magazine, Pulse TV, and many others. She is currently the host of Nigeria Top Weddings on Yanga TV in the UK and making waves on FoxlifeAfrica in over 40 African countries and the UK. She is an advocate of  ‘Self-expression and confidence’ through the arts.  


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