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The CWWA in conjunction with The School of Cultural Studies and Humanities at Leeds Metropolitan University are delighted to welcome a number of speakers to Leeds Met in a series of Conversations with Contemporary Women Writers. Funded by a Research Leadership Award from Leeds Met’s research office, Susan Watkins, with the help of Leanne Bibby and Lisa Samson, has organised a series of events open to the public to celebrate the diversity of contemporary women’s writing. Speakers include poets Maggie Butt and Shamshad Khan, author of romantic fiction and mystery/thrillers Kate Johnson and historical novelist Elizabeth Chadwick, as well as Manju Jaidka, the author of an Indian historical romance.

Susan says, ‘In this particular series of events I wanted to question the distinctions of both genre and high/ low/ middlebrow writing. As Chair of an Association interested in all kinds of women’s writing and working, as I do, in a School of Cultural Studies and Humanities it seems to me that we should celebrate the interesting and various work that contemporary women writers do. The aim of these events is to stimulate discussion and enjoyment of good books of all kinds. We have performance poetry, thrillers, great romantic and historical fiction. Some of these readers may not be aware of; others are deservedly loved in fan communities but less well known within the Academy. We’re interested particularly in how writers transform their research into stories that reach their readers. We hope you enjoy listening to these talks even if you couldn’t attend.’

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Elizabeth Chadwick, award-winning author of historical fiction, speaks about writing and research (Podcast)


Shamshad Khan, performance poet and author of Meglomaniac reads and speaks about literature and performance (Podcast)

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Kate Johnson, author of romantic and paranormal fiction, discusses 21st century romance and being a woman writer (Podcast)


Anne Caldwell, poet and author of Talking with the Dead, speaks about her writing (Podcast).

Manju Jaidka

Professor Manju Jaidka, author of Scandal Point, speaks about the process of historical research and writing historical fiction. (Podcast)