The perk of being an author is that I am asked to deliver informative and inspirational talks and debates.
Often it’s been topics relating to my research and writing on modern relationships (Intelligence Squared, How The Light Gets In Festival, Stylist Live). More recently I’ve given inspirational talks on going from city girl to hardened endurance athlete; talks on the state of journalism to media students at universities; and workshops on pitching stories to the press.
Below are some Keynote talks. If you have your own ideas, feel free to contact me.
This Girl Ran: From Party Girl to GB Triathlete
“Four years ago I wouldn’t even walk to the tube in the rain in case it ruined my hair. Two years later I was fixing punctures in hail storms and swimming in freezing lakes and training for World Championships triathlon.”
This talk is based on my latest book This Girl Ran: Tales of a Party Girl Turned Triathlete. It’s the story of breaking away from my cosy lifestyle of cocktail bars and high fashion and toughening up through outdoor sport.
It all started when I joined a running club. At my first race I didn’t even own a backpack so I turned up with my kit (i.e. make up bag) in a designer tote bag. The closest thing I had to ‘outdoor clothes’ was last season’s wardrobe downgraded to casual wear.
Driven by a desire to push personal boundaries, I took on increasingly tougher endurance challenges until in 2015 I qualified to represent GB in my age group at World Championships Triathlon. This talk is both funny and inspirational and shows we can all do more than we think we can.
How to Pitch to the Press
With 15 years experience as a journalist I’ve worked on all the media platforms from radio, television, newspapers, magazines and digital. Knowing what makes a story is instinctive to me.
As a journalist and producer, I receive dozens of pitches from PRs and entrepreneurs daily, vying for publicity, but only a handful are successful. As an author I have to pitch myself to the press.
Using real-life examples from pitches and press releases I’ve received, and pitches I’ve sent myself, I give the inside track on how news and features are planned and when, how and to whom to pitch a story.
There is more to writing a memoir than telling a true story. Through my own examples and those of other well known memoirs, I unveil the techniques for channeling the complex chain of real-life events into meaningful story arcs (yes even when memory is an issue!).
I’ve devised a unique memoir writing course drawing on my own success as a writer of two memoirs and one narrative non-fiction. I cover how to make a story more commercial, the methods I used to structure my books and summarise the essential legal things you need to know when writing about real people and events.
Screw The Fairytale: The New Rules of Modern Relationships
This talk is based on my second book, Screw The Fairytale: A Modern Guide to Sex and Love, in which I researched modern models of relationships as alternatives to conventional marriage. I visited a polyamorous commune, mixed with men on a ‘wife finding’ tour in Ukraine, interviewed couples in open relationships, joined a networking group of sperm donor mothers who had given up on men altogether and interviewed life-long bachelors, a-sexuals, married couples who live apart, psychologists and anthropologists.
All in pursuit of the answer to whether happily-ever-after can ever work in a modern age of independence?