Stormzy’s #Merky Books announces literature festival to inspire next-gen creatives

Stormzy’s #Merky Books is hosting a free literature festival, aiming to inspire young creatives with a diverse lineup of established and up-and-coming voices in the creative industries.

Stormzy has been a prominent figure in the UK music scene since the release of his debut album “Gang Signs & Prayer” in 2017. The British rapper, singer, and songwriter in particular are known for his socially conscious and politically charged lyrics. So when he created #Merky Books with Penguin with the aim to provide a platform for new voices in literature, we were beyond stoked.

Now #Merky Books has expanded on its successful initial 2019 pop-up with a two-day literature festival in London’s Roundhouse.  Sponsored by Netflix, the festival will bring together established and up-and-coming authors from #Merky Books and beyond, along with workshops, screenings, and masterclasses.

Stormzy #merky books

The event aims to inspire and demystify the creative industries for a new generation of creatives. Highlights include a panel discussion with Wretch 32 and John Agard, an opening party hosted by Sounds by No Signal, and a spoken-word performance with Sophia Thakur, Monika Radojevic, Caleb Femi, and Yomi Sode.

#merky books stormzy#merky books stormzy

The festival is free to attend, and event passes can be obtained from Roundhouse’s website. Speaking about the festival, Stormzy said, “I’m so proud that we’re able to offer a free festival to inspire young creatives. This is going to be our biggest event yet for #Merky Books.” 

Free event passes will be available from Roundhouse’s website, with further sign-ups for workshops and masterclasses at the venue on the day.


(For Sunday’s schedule, click here)


11.00 – 11.45pm


Fancy a career in the creative industries but unsure where to start? Montana Leigh Hall, founder of

Run The Check, a platform that showcases paid creative opportunities, is joined by a range of

experts from across Penguin and Netflix to share everything you need to know about getting into

TV, film and publishing. 

12.15 – 1.15pm


Ever wondered how to get a creative project off the ground? Love Island star and broadcaster

Priscilla Anyabu interviews finance expert Bola Sol,author of How to Save It, and Damola Timeyin,

author of How to Build It, as they share the steps to securing creative funding and show how to

make entrepreneurship work for you.


1.45 – 2.45pm


Sofia Akel, cultural historian and founder of the Free Books Campaign, introduces the boldest new

voices of 2023 with a discussion on writing fiction and how to get published. The event will feature

debut novelists Taylor-Dior Rumble, whose romance novel The Situationship explores the dating

lives of millennials; Jyoti Patel, winner of the #Merky Books New Writers’ Prize and author of The

Things That We Lost; and Ore Agbaje-Williams, who wrote her suburban millennial comedy The

Three of Us while in lockdown.

3.15 – 4.15pm


Everyone has read a book that’s made them think ‘This should be a film or TV series!’ − but how

does adaptation actually work? Join Jade LB, author of cultural phenomenon Keisha the Sket, Caleb

Azumah Nelson, bestselling author of Open Water, and Nicôle Lecky, writer, actor and singer-

songwriter, in conversation with Alice Pearse, an original series commissioner at Netflix, as they

discuss the process of taking words and turning them into something for the big screen. 

4.45 – 5.45pm


Join us for a dynamic celebration of the power of poetry, with a series of spoken word performances. Each poet will bring their unique voice and

perspective to the stage, featuring Sophia Thakur’s evocative explorations of identity and belonging,

Monika Radojevic’s unflinching commentary on social issues, Yomi Sode’s poignant reflections on

family and heritage, and Caleb Femi’s raw and honest expression of the Black British experience.


7.00 – 8.30pm


Celebrating homegrown British talent and multi-disciplinary creativity. Join us for an inspiring

conversation between acclaimed author and musician Wretch 32, award-winning poet and

playwright John Agard, and the Director of UK Film at Netflix Fiona Lamptey. The panel will explore

the creative process − from how to develop and refine your ideas, to finding inspiration in

unexpected places. This event is presented in association with Renaissance One