The timeless love, lust and loss of romance novels has kept readers enamoured for centuries. Romance is now the most popular literary genre in the world, providing the inspiration for countless enduring love stories on page, stage and screen.

Join us for a magical event as two debut romance novelists discuss why the love story is just as important today as it was in the 1800s.

Emily Kerr’s humorous modernisation of the classic romance sees life and love in a stately home hampered by dwindling bank balances and unexpected film crews, whilst Sonya Lalli’s novel is a playful look at the trials and tribulations of traditional courtship and modern dating in multicultural London, whilst Milly Johnson has written more than a dozen bestselling romantic novels.

Join Milly, Emily, Sonya and host Jodie Matthews as they explore how romance novels have evolved with contemporary attitudes to love and relationships, and discuss the enduring nature of romance.

About The Speakers

Milly Johnson

Milly Johnson is a Top Five Sunday Times bestselling author of thirteen novels. Her novels are about the universal issues of friendship, family, love, betrayal, good food and a little bit of that magic in life that sometimes visits the unsuspecting. Milly is a columnist for her local newspaper and is also an experienced broadcaster on radio and TV.

Emily Kerr

Emily Kerr studied Classics at the University of Oxford, then did a postgraduate degree in Broadcast Journalism. She works as a television journalist and is based in Yorkshire. Her debut romantic comedy Who Does He Think He Is? was named runner-up in the Festival of Romance New Talent Award.

Sonya Lalli

Sonya Lalli grew up in Canada and now works as a journalist in London. Her debut novel The Arrangement debut book will released this August.

About The Chair

Jodie Matthews

Jodie is an academic and critic specialising in 19th-century literature and culture and the ways in which we interpret texts from that period. She is a proud feminist and left-winger, and firmly believes in research and writing that is politically aware and engaged.