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Write to Speak: with Holly Bourne, Mariam Khan & Yann W. Tanoé

Who am I? How do I feel? Where is my place in society? Join three young, talented and outspoken authors as they explore identity, mental health and how to negotiate the landscape of our divided world.

Holly Bourne is the bestselling author of Am I Normal Yet? and How Do You Like Me Now?, described by Dolly Alderton as ‘the most perceptive book I have ever read about the female interior’.

Mariam Khan is a British writer and activist. She is the editor of It’s Not About the Burqa, an anthology of essays by Muslim women.

Yann W. Tanoé is a French author, children’s activist and entrepreneur whose multicultural upbringing and way of life opened his mind very early on in life to the wealth that he could draw upon to shape his identity.

Part of the Handover Literary Festival of Social Activism, a one-day event at Norfolk & Norwich Festival.

Important information

About the writers

Holly Bourne

Holly Bourne started her writing career as a news journalist, where she was nominated for Best Print Journalist of the Year. She then spent six years working as an editor, a relationship advisor, and general ‘agony aunt’ for a youth charity – helping young people with their relationships and mental health. Inspired by what she saw, she started writing teen fiction, including the best-selling, award-winning ‘Spinster Club’ series which helps educate teenagers about feminism. When she turned 30, Holly wrote her first adult novel, examining the intensified pressures on women once they hit that landmark.

Alongside her writing, Holly has a keen interest in women’s rights and is an advocate for reducing the stigma of mental health problems. She’s helped create online apps that teach young people about sexual consent, works with Women’s Aid to spread awareness of abusive relationships, and runs Rethink’s mental health book club. Website

‘It is so good! It is so honest about being a woman and all the things that are expected of us … I enjoyed it very much’ – Marian Keyes on How Do You Like Me Now?

Mariam Khan

Mariam Khan (born 1993) is a British writer and activist. She is the editor of It’s Not About the Burqa, an anthology of essays by Muslim women. She lives in Birmingham.

‘Wide-ranging . . . engrossing . . . fascinating . . . these essays take a courageous and panoramic view of Muslims’ – Observer


Yann W. Tanoé

Yann W. Tanoé is a multicultural French author/Publisher of Ivorian, Ghanaian and Lebanese origins. He utilises his frank, emotive and poetic writing style to empower his readers with a motivational message of consciousness. He is the founder of SunBird Enterprises, an international social enterprise which has for aim to improve education through his own bespoke educational curriculum. He lives Suffolk, England. Website


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We want Handover Festival to be open and accessible to all, whatever your background or financial circumstances. To make this possible we’ve introduced a ‘pay what you can’ pricing structure for each event: choose from £8, £5 or £3 tickets depending on what you can comfortably afford.

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The Handover Festival is programmed entirely by a team of young people from ten Norfolk schools. Ticket sales and donations will go towards our work with young people and schools across Norfolk – to encourage everyone to have a chance to tell their story and have a voice. Please give what you can!

The Engage! Handover festival is a project funded by creative Europe, managed by the National Centre for Writing. The NCW programme team have been supporting a group of 15 x 14-17-year-olds from across Norfolk, to design and deliver a literary festival in a day on the theme of social activism. The group has taken a lead in all parts of the process, from inviting artists, to marketing and budgeting and finding a venue. It’s been an exciting year taking this group of inspiring young people on the programming journey and they are full of innovative ideas and creative energy, paving the way for more young people to take on the arts scene and keep the torch burning.

Engage! is a collaborative project between four UNESCO cities of literature around Europe – Barcelona (Spain), Krakow (Poland), Växjö (Sweden) and Norwich (UK). Find out more


In partnership with National Centre for Writing.

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