ALBW 2023 – Anne Lister Birthday Week – Bold Strokes Books Writing Workshop

Anne Lister Birthday Week, ALBW 2023: Bold Strokes Books Writing Workshop Anna Larner Mayapee Chowdhury Cathy Dunnell Lyn Hemphill Jenna Jarvis

Anne Lister Birthday Week

Anne Lister was an iconic businesswoman, landowner, lesbian, scholar, and traveller – whose story became world-famous through Sally Wainwright’s BBC/HBO series, Gentleman Jack.

The ground-breaking TV series inspired American fan Pat Esgate to visit Anne Lister’s hometown, Halifax, West Yorkshire, UK in 2019 and to organise the 2020 Anne Lister Birthday Festival.

A celebration of all things Anne Lister is now held annually.

The 2023 festival will bring Anne Lister’s story to life through tours, talks, workshops – all situated amongst Halifax’s stunning heritage sites, including Anne’s historic home, Shibden Hall, the Halifax Minster, Piece Hall, Dean Clough and many more.

Bold Strokes Books

As part of the celebrations LGBTQ+ publishing house Bold Strokes Books invites you to immerse yourselves in the fictional worlds built by Mayapee Chowdhury, Cathy Dunnell, Lyn Hemphill, Jenna Jarvis, and Anna Larner – worlds in which gender non-conforming sapphic characters defy the boundaries their societies would impose on them, in life and in love.

Writing Workshop : Writing Gender Non-Conforming Characters Past and Present.

I’m delighted to be taking part in this workshop which celebrates diverse modes of storytelling and world-building: from a contemporary romance set in India, to a historical set on the Victorian-era North Yorkshire moors, to both contemporary and epic fantasies (mermaids! dragons!), to the tale of a modern Englishwoman who finds her courage with the discovery of her connection to her brave suffragette ancestor.

So join us for readings, a panel discussion, and audience Q&A.

SATURDAY April 1st, 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm
Caygill Rooms, The Piece Hall.

The workshop is free but you do need to book a ticket.


Image of Anne Lister - past and present

Anne Lister represents something very special to me, which is the unapologetic right for a human being to be themselves.  

Being yourself takes great courage that must be applied every day to each decision you make, and to every encounter that challenges and seeks to undermine who you are. 

Anne Lister did not look to others for approval or permission to be herself. She led by example with actions that were progressive and bold, and with a determination and strength in both heart and mind.  

The legacy she leaves is inspiring and gives hope. I can hear her say, “I am me. I live my life being true to myself. And that is living indeed.” 

Anna Larner, Lesbian Romance Author

ALBW 2023 Event Launch


ALBW 2023 Event Guide

For more information about the writing workshop and other events planned so far, check out the ALBW2023 event guide!


ALBW 2023 Tickets

Tickets go on sale 22/12/2022 at 12pm EST; 5pm UK


Anne Lister (3 April 1791 – 22 September 1840) was an English diarist, famous for revelations for which she was dubbed “the first modern lesbian”. Lister’s diaries reveal much about contemporary life in West Yorkshire, including her development of historic Shibden Hall, and her interests in landscaping, mining, railways, and canals. Many entries were written in code that was not decrypted until long after her death. These graphic portrayals of lesbianism were so frank that they were thought to be a hoax until their authenticity was confirmed.

Source: Wikipedia

Bold Strokes Books - ALBW2023 Writing Workshop

Bold Strokes Books

Bold Strokes Books is a midsized independent publisher headquartered in Cambridge, New York that offers a diverse collection of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer general and genre fiction. (LGBTQ+)