A cornerstone of the festival’s B-Lit Programme, the Takeover Challenge gives local students control of a whole day of festival events; they choose the topics, pick the speakers, market the events – and they’re the ones running the show on the day.

Dixons City Academy presents ‘Stereotypes & Superlatives: Minorities in Literature’

Not all stereotypes are negative. Some rely on ‘positive’ attributes: the affluent metropolitan gay man; the ‘liberated’ Muslim woman, their liberation symbolised by an absence of hijab or veil; the black person who excels at sport.

This panel discussion will ask how the publishing industry can improve representations of diverse communities in a more three-dimensional way.



This year we are excited to launch our new B-Lit Programme for young people aged 13 – 18, made possible by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation. Look out for events marked with the B-Lit stamp as tickets are free for anybody aged 18 or under. 



About The Chair

Anne C Perry

Anne Perry is Editorial Director of Adult Fiction at Simon and Schuster. Her notable titles include Sarah Lotz’s The Three, which sold in 28 counties, and Pierce Brown’s Red Rising trilogy, a number one New York Times bestseller.

About The Speakers

Ayisha Malik

Ayisha Malik’s, Sofia Khan is Not Obliged, was a WHSmith Fresh Talent Pick. Ayisha was shortlisted for The Asian Women of Achievement Award and Marie Claire’s Future Shapers’ Award. She is also the writer behind Nadiya Hussain’s novels. Her third novel, This Green and Pleasant Land, is a dramedy about a Muslim family building a mosque in an English village.

Russ Thomas

Russ Thomas was born in Essex, raised in Berkshire, and now lives in Sheffield. He grew up in the 80s reading anything he could get from the library and writing stories. After a career in bookselling, most recently with Waterstones, he decided to write a book of his own.