Stormzy’s #Merky Books announces line-up for literary festival

Tickets to the two-day event in April will be free.
Tickets to the two-day event in April will be free.

A free literature festival organised by Stormzy’s #Merky Books imprint will feature rapper Wretch 32 and writers John Agard and Malorie Blackman on its programme.

The event, sponsored by Netflix, will take place across April 22 and 23 aiming to “demystify creative industries and inspire a new generation of creatives”.

Workshops and masterclasses will be hosted at London’s Roundhouse venue as part of its larger In The Round Festival.

The headline event on Saturday April 22 will be a panel discussion with rapper Wretch 32 and poet and playwright Agard, followed by an opening party hosted by Sounds by No Signal.

Blackman, former children’s laureate and author of the Noughts And Crosses series, will be interviewed by Vick Hope on Sunday April 23.

There will also be a panel discussion exploring the theme of girlhood with author Candice Brathwaite and playwright and screenwriter Theresa Ikoko, and a conversation on mental health and resilience hosted by BBC Radio 1Xtra presenter Richie Brave.

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.”

Wretch 32, real name Jermaine Sinclaire Scott, added he was “excited to join such an inspirational line-up from #Merky Books and Netflix.

“It’s so important to encourage and support young people across the full range of creative industries.”

The Brit Awards 2023 – Arrivals – London
Stormzy at the 2023 Brit Awards (Ian West/PA)

The festival will be free to attend, with passes available from the Roundhouse website.

Lemara Lindsay-Prince, senior commissioning editor for #Merky Books, said: “At #Merky Books, we are committed to breaking down barriers in the publishing industry and investing in the voices of today and tomorrow.

“We are incredibly excited to host our first-ever literary festival in partnership with Netflix and proud to put on an event that speaks directly to our core values – going even further to demystify the creative industries, empower a new generation of talent and offer an insight into the range of careers in the arts.”

Stormzy launched his own publishing imprint, a collaboration with Penguin Random House, in July 2018.