TEST SIGNAL – out now

bridges over the Tyne / crumbling coastlines / influencers’ online worlds / asylum applications / packed train carriages / forgotten village social clubs / family in Nigeria / holidays in Greece / shining university campuses / ghosts in city cemeteries / jobs in London / teenage explorations / monstrous graffiti / suburban woodland


A ground-breaking anthology of the best contemporary northern writing from Dead Ink and Bloomsbury, showcasing the wealth of literary talent in the North of England.
Adam Farrer / Andrew Michael Hurley / Amy Stewart / Carmen Marcus / Crista Ermiya / Désirée Reynolds / Jane Claire Bradley / Jenna Isherwood / J. A. Mensah / Kit Fan / Lara Williams / Laura Bui / Matt Wesolowski / Melissa Wan / Naomi Booth / Rebecca Hill / Robert Williams / Sammy Wright / Sara Sherwood / Sharon Telfer / Tawseef Khan / Tricia Cresswell

Cultureword’s 9th National Black Writers Conference will take place on Saturday, 13th October 2018. The Conference is for writers and publishers who identify as Black/Asian/BAME/POC. The conference will be covering: digital literature, afro-futurism, mental health, crime, developing audiences, self publishing and the Black Cultural Economy. Over Here Zine Fest, a festival of zines that showcase the work of creatives who identify as Black/Asian/BAME/POC, will also be taking place as part of the Conference. Desiree will be taking part in two events.

Writer Journeys

Every writer has a story to tell, rarely do they tell their own. What got them into writing, what kept them going and how, eventually, they achieved success.

Panellists: Keisha Thompson, Hirohisa Fukuda, chaired by Desiree Reynolds



How is our sense of self and our mental health affected by the stories a racialised society projects onto people of colour? Is a significant cause of mental illness among black communities an internalisation of such stories? Is mad a sick alternative to bad? What stories do writers of colour choose to tell that address (or transverse) mental health and why? How do we all maintain our mental well-being as writers and artists?

Panellists: Kei Miller, Desiree Reynolds and Col Bashir




 In Conversation with Afua Hirsch 18 October

In collaboration with Our Mel, Festival of Debate, BAME Staff Network – The University of Sheffield and Sheffield Students’ Union as part of MelaninFest – Sheffield’s Black History Month Festival.

Join Afua Hirsch and Desiree Reynolds for a discussion on Afuas’ Sunday Times Bestseller, Brit(ish).

Brit(ish) is about a search for identity. It is about the everyday racism that plagues British society. It is about our awkward, troubled relationship with our history. It is about why liberal attempts to be ‘colour-blind’ have caused more problems than they have solved. It is about why we continue to avoid talking about race.

In this personal and provocative investigation, Afua Hirsch explores a very British crisis of identity. We are a nation in denial about our past and our present. We believe we are the nation of abolition, but forget we are the nation of slavery. We are convinced that fairness is one of our values, but that immigration is one of our problems. Brit(ish) is the story of how and why this came to be, and an urgent call for change.

This event will be chaired by Desiree Reynolds – journalist, author and a trustee of The Racial Justice Network.

This event will take place in Lecture Theatre 4 in The Diamond at The University of Sheffield.

Tickets: Free

Talk About Change – Festival of the Mind

23rd September

“In a time when events seem ever and ever out of our control, writing is resistance.” – Desiree Reynolds

Join us for a spoken word performance that sheds light on how words have changed over time and how conversations about the history and power of language shape the way we live.

The project is a collaboration between Our Mel (a local organisation exploring cultural identity), novelist and creative writer Desiree Reynolds and researchers Dr Iona Hine and Dr Seth Mehl, formed out of creative writing workshops under the title Writing As Resistance.

Talk About Change




25th April 

The Mash-Up Memoir writing project for young women in Hounslow was established in 2017 in response to consultations with young women who told us that they felt voiceless and wanted a platform to be heard and to be creative.  We created the unique concept of a mash-up approach to writing to enable young women to experiment with different genres as they developed confidence in their creative abilities.

In the first year of this exciting arts project, over 70 young women took part in writing and performance workshops.   The young women attended writing workshops and received remote mentoring from award-winning women writers from around the country.

Inky Lemons is the anthology of the young women’s writing.  The anthology includes contributions from some of the country’s best poets and novelists.

Hive South Yorkshire
Saturday 14th April

Writer advice chats

At the festival, there will be a number of 20 minute advice 1 to 1 sessions with the writers and professionals listed below. Different people will have different time available and there will be a sign up sheet when you arrive to register. Some sessions will be during breaks, and while workshops are running, so do bear that in mind when looking at the times you book. You can bring a poem or a page or two of something you’re working on too (although it’s not essential), but time will be short so don’t bring 100 chapters! ? – Slots limited!

Writer advice chats


Grrrl Con 2017

June 16th, 17th and 18th 2017

Desiree will be running a practical and interactive workshop at GrrlCon. To book a ticket visit:

Hay Festival – Spoken Word Poets
Venue: BBC Tent

Manchester-based poetry collective Young Identity present a live set from some of the rising stars of the UK spoken word scene with performances by Isaiah Hull, Shirley May, Inna Voice and Chris Jam, plus a reading from novelist Desiree Reynolds. This diverse group of artists are aged 16-25 years old and represent some of the most articulate young voices the country has to offer.


Peepal Tree Salon at Waterstones Piccadilly

15th June 2016 7pm Free but you need to book.

Peepal Tree Salon at Waterstones Piccadilly | Peepal Tree Press

Waterstones Piccadilly will be hosting an evening of memoir, poetry and fiction from Peepal Tree Press with authors Yvonne Weekes, Desiree Reynolds, and Maya Chowdhry. All published by the celebrated Leeds-based Caribbean and Black British publishers, these three talented women writers will read and discuss their work with Peepal Tree’s Managing Editor and Henry Swanzy award-winner Jeremy Poynting.



Reading at Limehouse’s Yurt Salon

Tuesday 17th May 6.30pm

On Tuesday 17th May, Limehouse’s Yurt Salon will feature four groundbreaking British Black Writers:
Karen Onojaife
Desiree Reynolds
Judith Bryan
Jacqueline Crooks

All four have been published by Peepal Tree Press, including the recent anthology Closure (edited by Jacob Ross).
Music will be provided by Bobby Dylan performing a new electric set.




Reading at Closure Short Story reading at GEORGE WOOD THEATRE, London, United Kingdom
29th January 2016 18.30

Buy tickets here:


Desiree Reynolds Guest Writer at Inscribe Readers and Writers Group
26th September 4-6pm – Inkwell Arts, Potternewton Lane, Chapel Allerton, Leeds


‘At our next meeting we’ll be hearing from published writer Desiree Reynolds, who will talk about her novel, Seduce, the process of developing her characters, giving them distinctive voices and the challenges of writing from the diaspora.

Desiree Reynolds started her writing career in London as a freelance journalist for the Jamaica Gleaner and the Village Voice. She has gone on to write film scripts, poetry and short stories. Seduce is her first novel

If you’d like to look at Seduce before Desiree’s visit, we have a special group member price of £5 (usually £8.99) It’s also available in ebook format from Amazon.

Inkwell Arts, Potternewton Lane, Chapel Allerton, Leeds. LS7 3LW Group co-ordinator Khadijah Ibrahiim’

To apply email



Desiree Reynolds at the Launch of Closure 
25th September 6pm – Guildhall Art Gallery, Leeds

(featured in the Late @ Guildhall: Cultural Revolutions 
Friday 25 September 2015
Guildhall Art Gallery 
Guildhall Courtyard
Gresham Street

8 of the 30 writers in this new anthology of Black British fiction writers will be reading excerpts of their stories

Cultural Revolutions is from 6-10pm

Introduced by Closure editor Jacob Ross

A rare opportunity to have your book signed by many of the authors. Writers on the evening are:

Sai Murray
Gaylene Gould
Hana Riaz
Desiree Reynolds
Judith Bryan
Jacqueline Crooks


CEREP (Centre d’Enseignement et de Recherche en Etudes Postcoloniales / Centre for Teaching and Research in Postcolonial Studies) will be holding a symposium around the theme “Altered States: Configuring Madness in Caribbean Literature” in Liège, Belgium, on April 23 and 24, 2015.

22nd / 23rd April  14.00-14.30 Reading — Desiree Reynolds (UK) reads from her novel, Seduce



Huddersfield Literature Carnival
10th March 7pm

Come and celebrate the life and work of Dr Maya Angelou, one of the world’s most important and influential writers and activists. Author, poet, memoirist, playwright and civil rights’ activist, her work includes the bestselling memoir, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.

Director and Producer Amanda Huxtable presents this unique event bringing together poets, novelists and playwrights, including Peepal Tree Press publisher and writer Kadija Sesay, to discuss the impact and influence of Maya Angelou’s work. Joining the  celebrations will be a debut dance performance, the sharing of favourite passages from writers based in the region, and readings of Maya Angelou’s most divine work.

Cafe Ollo, The Media Centre, 7 Northumberland Street, Huddersfield, HD1 1RL

£5 (£2.50 conc)




Desiree Reynolds reads from her work
Monday 23rd February 2015 5pm -6pm
University of Leicester
find out more here





Black Book Swap #6
Saturday 29th November 2014 12am-16.30pm
Pancras Square Library 5 Pancras Square, London NIC 4AG

This is the 6th run of our popular literature festival that is focused upon hearing from both newly published and established authors. Black Book Swap is a chilled out event that enables everyone to hear what the authors have to say, chat to them about their work, and purchase their books. We are always so pleased when authors say yes to us. Do come and meet them on the 29th.

Uniquely Black Book Swap is the only event that lets you, the reader exchange the book that you have finished for one that has been ‘pre-loved’ by others. This circulation of a books – whether loved or hated is a good thing. You’ll be able to pick up something new, or something that you always planned to read. So check your book shelves and remember to bring your ‘swap’ with with you on Saturday 29 November.

Book tickets here: Black Book Swap 6




In the City – University of Sheffield
13 May, 5.30-8pm
HRI, 34 Gell Street
S3 7QY

This remarkable debut novel, Seduce (2013), by Sheffield-based author Desiree Reynolds explores the unfolding conflicts between men and women, parents and children, lovers and friends on a mythical Caribbean island intimately connected to the history of slavery.

Written in the vernacular speech-style of the islanders, this novel deserves to be both read and heard. This event celebrates the Sheffield launch of Seduce with the author reading from her work, followed by a Q&A chaired by Dr Rachel van Duyvenbode from the School of English.

(Book online)


“WeBe40” Radical Bookfair & Spaces of Dissent Forum – Fiction of Dissent
Sunday 1 June, 4pm

Part of the flagship 40th birthday celebrations for News from Nowhere with a unique Radical Bookfair at the Bluecoat. Not only will the Hub be packed with a fabulous range of books to challenge, inform and inspire, but you can make a whole day of it with our Spaces of Dissent in the Sandon Room.

The Fiction of Dissent features Robert Llewellyn (Red Dwarf, Scrapheap Challenge and author of eco-utopian trilogy inspired by William Morris) and Desiree Reynolds (debut Black British author marrying issues of race, class & sexuality).
What a line-up! But we also have music!

(More information)