SED February 2024 Newsletter

Welcome to your February 2024 newsletter from the School of English and Drama at Queen Mary University of London.

We have a jam packed edition for the new year with lots of events coming up!

Things to Do in February 

Book your place for our next SED Taster Day, Rediscover: Postcolonialism, on 27 March here
Read Queen Mary Global blogger, Ficky, from Indonesia – sharing her experiences of studying English Literature in London at SED.   


Queen Mary Wasafiri Writing Prize 2024

For 15 years, the Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize has awarded some of the most exciting new voices in life writing, poetry, and fiction from around the world. We are pleased to share that 2024 edition of the prize, in the 40th anniversary year of the magazine, is now open for submissions until 5pm BST on 1 July 2024.

This year’s multi-award-winning judges are Margaret Busby CBE (Chair), Cristina Rivera Garza (Life Writing), Meena Kandasamy (Poetry), and Isabel Waidner (Fiction).   

Representing more of the globe than any other prize of its kind, the prize supports writers who have not published book-length works, with no limits on age, gender, nationality, or background. The winners of each category will receive a £1,000 cash prize and publication in Wasafiri magazine, and all winners and shortlisted writers will be published and offered career development support through prize partners, The Literary Consultancy and The Good Literary Agency, and also receive a one-year print subscription to Wasafiri.
Enter Here

Intelligence wins 2024 Women’s prize for Playwriting

QMUL PhD Drama Alum, Sarah Grochala, recently won the Women’s Prize for Playwriting for her play Intelligence, which begins with Victorian computer pioneer Ada Lovelace in the 1840s then moves through a series of unexpected reincarnations.

Grochala, who completed her PhD at QMUL on the politics of dramatic structure in contemporary stage writing (supervised by Prof. Michael McKinnie), now teaches at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.
Read more


News in brief

Congratulations to Lois Weaver and her partner Peggy Shaw (the writing and performing duo of Split Britches) who won a Lifetime Achievement Award in the 2023 Obies, announced on 27 January.

The New Books Network Podcast on Matthew Rubery’s book “Reader’s Block: A History of Reading Differences” is now available here

The Philip Leverhulme Foundation will be running a profile and highlighting the research of Dr Nil Palabiyik under its ‘Grants in Focus’ section. This is in recognition of her being one of the 30 prize winners for 2023, it is only extended to one or two people per year.

Call for papers from undergraduates, masters and PhD students and researchers – for international conference. Wings of Ink: Manifestations of Fantasy in Literature. Deadline for proposal submission: 15th February 2024.

Calling for submissions for A Season of Bangla Drama 2024 (taking place 1-24 November 2024).  This fantastic festival of theatre will be back in 2024 and once again they are seeking new writing. Please complete the expression of interest form here by 15 February 2024.

Events in February

Fiction and Film as Both Record and Distortion

Seminar (Histories of libraries series) – 6 February 2024, 5:30 – 7:30pm
Bloomsbury Room, G35, Ground Floor, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

Speaker Alistair Black (University of Illinois) on ‘Fiction and Film as Both Record and Distortion: Kingsley Amis’s Novel That Uncertain Feeling (1955), the Feature Film Only Two Can Play (1962) and the Post-War Public Library in Britain’.

In 1962 Kingsley Amis’s second novel That Uncertain Feeling, published in 1955, was turned into the comedy film  Only Two Can Play , starring Peter Sellers as the Welsh public librarian Amis had created. Both book and film can be used to explore the history of the public library in post-war Britain by examining the extent to which they either serve as a true record and valuable primary source or represent a distortion of reality which in itself, ironically, can provide useful evidence of that history.

Book now

Samuel Takes A Break In Male Dungeon No. 5 After A Long But Generally Successful Day of ToursYard

Theatre Hackney Wick
9 February – 9 March, 7:30pm, 2:30pm Saturday Matinee. Tickets start at £10 discounts for groups

Samuel Takes a Break is a darkly comedic and genre-bending odyssey on the legacy of slavery within Ghana and beyond from debut writer Rhianna Ilube (shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Playwriting and Soho Theatre’s Verity Bargate Award) and directed by Olivier Award-Winning Director Anthony Simpson-Pike To secure your seats, please email

Read more

Corey Fah Does Social Mobility Tuesday 13 February, 6pm on Zoom Isabel Waidner talks about her latest novel, Corey Fah Does Social Mobility, in conversation with Merve Emre (Professor of Creative Writing and Criticism at Wesleyan University).

Described as a novel that celebrates radical queer survival and gleefully takes a hammer to false notions of success.

Subtexts: Bodies

Wednesday 14 February, 5-7pm
White Box Gallery, BLOC

Open-mic event around the theme of BODIES.  Bring something along to read!

We welcome readings of all work that has any connection to the theme for a 5-minute reading slot.  Pains and chains of the flesh, viscera, monsters, hybrid, identities, embodiments, hauntings, morphings, autonomies, fugitivities, in this world (or others), we want everything and in betweenness.

If you would like to do a reading email Prerana on

Otherwise just come along and have a listen!

On Direct Action

14 & 15 February 2024 – Various venues

There is a series of events marking the 130th anniversary of the Greenwich Outrage, to consider the ways that revolutionary pasts can inspire contemporary praxis.

Two days of creative performances, workshops, film screenings and talks will take the 130th anniversary of the Greenwich Outrage as an opportunity to bring organisers, activists, scholars and artists together in order to consider the past, present and possible futures of direct action.

Book here

Martin O’Brien’s DISCHARGE

Saturday 2 March 2024, various times
Ugly Duck, 49 Tanner Street, London SE1 3PL

Tickets £8 – £25

DISCHARGE was a notorious performance art event dedicated to presenting difficult, radical and marginalised performance work. Curated by artist Martin O’Brien it embraced the endless possibilities of the performance space for aesthetic, physical, and political art and experimentation.

Marking the end of Martin’s project ‘An Eternity of Nothingness or The (Im)possibility of Living On’, DISCHARGE returns with a special one-off event making space to think queerly about living and dying.

The talks, conversations and performances reflect on sickness, sex, queerness, death, disability, mourning and (im)mortality.

Sam McBean is speaking at the symposium and Swati Arora will be chairing one of the panels.  Ansuman Bisws and BA and MA alum Pianka Parna are performing.

Book here

Events Round Up

Yoko Ono at Tate Modern, preview Wednesday 14 February 9-10am.  Looking for students to attend the press view and be photographed in the show itself.  The shots would be candid shot of people naturally exploring the exhibition.  This would be an exclusive first view of the show before it opens to the public on Thursday 15 February. If interested email by 2 February.

Placing Migrant Histories Centre Stage, Pinter Studio, Arts One, Mile End Campus. Wed, 14 Feb 2024 14:00 – 16:00 GMT. Join us to explore how migrant histories can be represented through theatre and performance. Book here.

Law, Politics, and Literature in the Nineteenth Century, Wednesday 14 February 17:30 – 19:30pm. Room 313, Third Floor, School of Law, Queen Mary University of London, Mile End Road, London E1 4NS. In this in-person roundtable the Law and History Research Group brings together  Professor Pamela ClemitProfessor Georgios Varouxakis , and Postdoctoral Fellow Dr. Charlotte Johann  to present and discuss their recent work in nineteenth century intellectual history. The presentations will be followed by an open Q&A session. The aim is to bring together scholars interested in the relations and intersections between law, politics, and literature in the nineteenth century. Book here 

GRAVY – 20 February 2024, 7pm, Canary Warf (a floating theatre on a converted cargo ship). Poetry performances by Joelle Taylor, Hannah Silva, Abigail Parry, Oluwaseun Olayiwola, Fran Lock, sound artist Reid Dudley Peirson.

Verve Poetry Festival – 24 February 2004, 4 – 5pm, Hippodrome Birmingham. Hannah Silva performs from ‘My Child, the Algorithm‘.

Apologies if we missed any listings or made any errors, do let us know and we can post on social media.

Also if you have any news for our next newsletter please do reply or get in touch.

Best wishes,

Lynn McSweeney

Marketing Manager

Queen Mary University of London

Published by

All Things SED Editor

I am the Web and Marketing Administrator in the School of English and Drama. Amongst my various roles, I run the School's website ( and its Twitter feed (@QMULsed). I also manage the running of the School's Open Days and draft promotional materials.

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