BFDay21 Festival: A Weekend Celebrating Burley Fisher Books & Indie Lit, 15-16 Oct 2021

On 18 February 2021, Burley Fisher Books marked our fifth birthday – alone, in lockdown!

With things opening up safely, we’re delighted to announce that we’re throwing our BFDay21 Festival, and everyone’s invited. We’ll celebrate by showcasing some of our favourite indie publishers and writers with a live weekend programme of readings, discussions, workshops, parties… and, of course, bookselling. 

Please wear a mask while indoors at the festival to help make the event safe and accessible for everyone.

BSL interpretation by Link Hearing will be available on demand throughout the festival. If you need interpretation, please email us webshop[at]burleyfisherbooks[dot]com, letting us know the specific session/s you're planning to attend so we can confirm.

What: #BFDay21, a weekend celebrating Burley Fisher Books & indie lit 

When: Friday 15 October 7pm-10.30 pm, Saturday 16 October 10.30am-10.30pm

Where: St Peter De Beauvoir Town, Northchurch Terrace, Hackney, London N1 4DA [Google pin]

Volunteers from the De Beauvoir Association will be in Café in the Crypt with hot beverages and homemade snacks to raise funds for De Beauvoir Welcomes Refugees. Bring change to help make change! Sat 16 Oct, 12-4.45 pm. 

We'll also have a contemplative outside-indoors space created by Ignota Books and a Cafe OTO book table in Cafe in the Crypt on Saturday.

How to book

  • 100 early bird passes ONLY available now @ £40
  • 100 tickets only for our headline event Speaking Truth to Power: Elif Shafak in Conversation with Patrice Lawrence, Sat 16 Oct, 6-7.30 pm: available NOW @ £10
  • 100 tickets for each panel event available now @ £5, or £7 for the evening events (includes a glass of wine). Click on the Book Now links below to read more about each event & grab your tickets!
  • Tickets for all events will be available at the information table / bookstall in Café in the Crypt throughout the festival
  • #YourNextBook Live (Fri, 8-9) and Poetry Showcase (Sat, 8-9) tickets include a glass of wine
  • We recommend booking for free events as capacity is limited
Event time  Event details

Fri 15 Oct, 7-8pm, crypt

Open Pen Novelette Showcase with Bonny Brooks, Sarah Manvel and Morgan Omotoye, compèred by Fernando Sdrigotti Free
Fri 15 Oct, 8-9pm, crypt #YourNextBook Live with Brixton Review of Books, with Jen Calleja, Lauren Elkin and Yara Rodrigues Fowler, chaired by Catherine Taylor Book now, £5
Sat 16 Oct, 10.30-11.30am, crypt
Flying Eye Family Festival Fun: hands-on excitement for all with Flying Eye. Children 3+ welcome with accompanying adults.

10.30-11.30am — Michael Holland, I Ate Sunshine for Breakfast

11.30am-12.30pm – Madeleine Finlay, Beetles for Breakfast


Sat 16 Oct, 12-1pm, main hall

Embodying the Essay with Alice Hattrick, Amber Husain and Adam Zmith, chaired by Rebecca Liu

Book now, £5

Sat 16 Oct, 1-2pm, crypt

Getting Into Translation with Antonia Lloyd-Jones and Nichola Smalley, chaired by Anna Aslanyan

Book now, £5

Sat 16 Oct, 1.30-2.30pm, main hall

New Fictions, Hybrid Writing with Mona Arshi and Juliet Jacques, chaired by Nisha Ramayya

Book now, £5

Sat 16 Oct, 3-4pm, main hall

New Fiction, Real Londons with Tice Cin, Frankie Miren and Gboyega Odubanjo, chaired by Will Harris

Book now, £5

Sat 16 Oct, 4-5pm, crypt

Getting Published with Gary Budden (Influx) and Jenn Thompson (Cipher), chaired by Robert Greer

Book now, £5

Sat 16 Oct, 4.30-5.30pm, main hall

We <3 Short Stories with Alice Ash, Vanessa Onwuemezi and Gemma Seltzer, chaired by Chris Power

Book now, £5

Sat 16 Oct, 5-6pm, crypt Food for All with Thomas Walker (Hackney School of Food) Free!
Sat 16 Oct, 6-7.30pm, main hall

Speaking Truth to Power: Elif Shafak in Conversation with Patrice Lawrence

Book now, £10

Sat 16 Oct, 8-9pm, crypt

Bodies in the Crypt with Nicholas Royle and Alison Rumfitt, chaired by Gareth Evans

Book now, £5

Sat 16 Oct, 8-9pm, main hall

Poetry Showcase with Anthony Anaxagorou, Will Harris, Daisy Lafarge, Holly Pester, Nisha Ramayya, Peter Scalpello and Stephanie Sy-Quia, hosted by Rachael Allen

Book now, £7


Image © BF Collective

In order to welcome everyone, we’ll be relocating temporarily to our beautiful local church, St Peter De Beauvoir Town: a fully wheelchair-accessible, eco-conscious venue with three wonderful event spaces. We’ll be hosting all our readings and discussions in the roomy main hall, all our workshops in the atmospheric crypt, and an entirely free pick n’ mix programme in the side space.

All events will be BSL interpreted. Readings will be recorded and made available subsequently via Burley Fisher’s Isolation Station podcast

We are proud to be partnering with nine publishers whose authors and books we’ve loved and celebrated over the last five years. They are: And Other Stories, Cipher, Fitzcarraldo, Granta Poetry, Ignota, Influx, Open Pen, Peninsula, Serpent’s Tail

Here are responses to the event from some of our publisher partners —

“Honoured. And five years, wowser. That went quick.” Sean Preston, Open Pen

“A super extraordinary and exciting prospect! For so many reasons – to celebrate you all, drinking, to being around people.” Rachael Allen, Granta Poetry

“Wow, we could not be more excited about all this, yes to everything, yes to it all.” Jenn Thompson, Cipher Press


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