States of Independence 2019 - Saturday 23 March


Free of charge | 10.30am - 4.30pm | Open to all

Clephan Building, De Montfort University, Oxford Street (entrance on Bonners Lane), Leicester LE1 5XY

Workshops | Readings | Panels | Seminars | Book launches

Bookstalls | Independent presses | Regional writers

Fiction | Non-fiction | Poetry | Plays | Artist books | Magazines | Journals


The organisers of States of Independence 2020 have taken the decision to cancel this year's fair, due to the unfolding situation around the coronavirus outbreak. We would like to thank all stallholders, speakers and ticket holders for your support and engagement with our event. We look forward to welcoming you to next year's festival. 


About | Information | Organisers




About States of Independence


Independent publishing | Independent writing | Independent thinking

A book festival in a day.


Now in its eleventh year our 2020 programme includes:

  • A keynote speech by Benjamin Zephaniah
  • Panel discussions on working class voices, pathways for new writers, the role of indie presses, zine culture and empowering communities
  • Workshops on poetry, writing about space and funding for writers

Featuring authors: Jane Adams, Rod Duncan, Anthony Joseph, Nicola Monaghan,
Simon Perril, Mahsuda Snaith, Maria Taylor and many more.

A unique opportunity to argue about issues in the book industry and to meet independent presses from across the region.

States of Independence supports independent thinking, independent writing and independent presses. Join us for the day or an hour. Attend lots of events - you will be spoiled for choice - or just one, or simply come along and browse through the twenty or so bookstalls to see what the independent sector is publishing.

States of Independence is a free event, hosted by DMU’s Leicester Centre for Creative Writing, with the support of over fifty writers and over thirty presses. Our industry partner this year is Dahlia Books.

States of Independence is organised by the Leicester Centre Creative Writing Team at De Montfort University, Leicester and Dahlia Books.



The Book Fair and all readings take place in the Clephan Building, Oxford Street (entrance on Bonners Lane), Leicester LE1 5XY

Public transport and car parking information on the De Montfort University website. Clephan Building is five minutes from Leicester city centre and fifteen minutes from the train station. On-site parking is only available for stall holders and speakers, sorry.

All events are free, tickets for the opening keynote with Benjamin Zephaniah can be booked on Eventbrite.

Bookstalls are on the ground floor.

Events take place on second and third floors – there is lift access. Please allow ten minutes to get to the correct room.

There will be an information point as you come in to Clephan Building

All rooms are accessible. Please get in touch if you have any special access requirements.

Catering: Clephan Building is very close to the city centre, cafes, shops and pubs. We can only provide vending machines on site. There is a cafe four or five minutes from the main site - look out for posters – selling light refreshments, excellent cakes and light lunches.

For further information please contact or

You can find us on Facebook and Twitter on @statesofindie

2020 Programme

Please note, these times are subject to confirmation. This website will be updated if necessary and a full printed programme will be available on the day.

Opening keynote – Benjamin Zephaniah
Tickets for this event will need to be booked via Eventbrite.
Panel: Does Publishing Hear Working Class Voices?
Workshop: Funding for Writers with Sabrina Smith
Panel: Making Way for New Writers with Peepal Tree Press
Workshop: Not Arriving - Writing Poetry from Place with Joanne Dixon
Panel: Poetry in Translation with Roy Marshall and Maria Taylor
Readings: Oystercatcher Press
Behind the Crime Scene Authors Uncovered.
Reading: The Frequency of Magic with Anthony Joseph
How Science Fiction Sparked the Space Race
Readings: Demon Crew
Come and hear DMU Creative Writers, undergrad and postgrad, read from work in a variety of genres and forms. YA fiction, Memoir, SF, Lit Fic, Weird Fic, poetry – we have it all!
Talk: Literary Landscapes in the Peak District
Writing in the Digital Age
Panel: The Role of Independent Presses in Today’s Industry
Talk: Genre Hopping in Gas Lit Empire Series with Rod Duncan
Workshop: Writing to the Moon and back
Panel: Zine Culture and Empowering Communities.
Readings: Stonewood Press and Erbacce Press
Workshop: Poetry in Response to Abstract Art with Oystercatcher Press
Readings: A Decade of Dahlia Books
Farhana Shaikh will discuss a decade of Dahlia Books and their focus on short fiction. Authors Mark Newman and Laura Besley will read from their newly-launched publications.
Talk: Ghost Stories from Grimalkin Press with Jane Adams
Readings: Factor Fiction Press presents The Speculators Anthology
Talk: Fictionalising the Great War with Jon Wilkins
Readings: New Collections with Emma Lee and Charles Lauder
Poets and Greece, Ancient to Modern:
poets Maria Taylor and Simon Perril read and discuss their very different interests in Greece