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Wednesday 14 June 2023

‘It spread ever so far, her life, herself.’

Join us for Dalloway Day 2023. We are celebrating the life and writing of Virginia Woolf, and breathing new life into her works through adaptations, writing workshops, and new commissions. What does it mean to reimagine ourselves, our work, and that of others? Where might that take us?

‘For Heaven only knows why one loves it so, how one sees it so, making it up, building it round one, tumbling it, creating it every moment afresh.’

The pulse of a perfect heart
Published on our website on Wednesday 14 June. 

The Royal Society of Literature, in partnership with Peninsula Press, have commissioned three writers to respond to the combined might, maps and meaning of two distinctively London-based novels: Mrs Dalloway by Viriginia Woolf and Love, Leda by Mark Hyatt. Three writers – Ashleigh Nugent, Oluwaseun Olayiwola and Tice Cin — received copies of the two books, as well as a map created by artist Ian Giles: A Guide to Leda’s London. They were tasked with creating responses which nodded to both books – their points of connections and divergence – whilst creating something new, further populating and complicating, not to mention enriching, London’s literary landscape. Creating every moment afresh.

Find out more here. 



Write & Shine Workshop: Point of View
Wednesday 14 June, 7.30-9am, Zoom 

Start your day with a burst of creativity! Join Write & Shine for ‘Point of View.’ This morning writing workshop is inspired by Virgina Woolf’s Flush, her playful biography of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s cocker spaniel published 90 years ago. The workshop will be led by author Gemma Seltzer and will take place in the morning, because we think it’s the best time to think, dream and imagine! In Write & Shine workshops, you won’t be expected to share your writing, which encourages all kinds of unexpected ideas to emerge. 

Limited free tickets are reserved for RSL Members – book here
Public tickets £23 – book here.

In partnership with Write & Shine.
Image credit: Rachel Cherry Photography

Margo Jefferson and Virginia Nicholson: Woolf’s Diaries
Available from 14 June

On the publication of new, unexpurgated editions of the diaries of Virginia Woolf, Rathbones Folio and Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Margo Jefferson discusses her long standing admiration for Woolf, and how the diaries reveal a unique mind, and a rich insight into her life and times. She is joined by author and RSL Fellow Virginia Nicholson, the great-niece of Virginia Woolf, who has also contributed to the new editions of the diaries. This conversation will be chaired by Dr Patrick Hayes.

This is a recording of a live event held at the British Library on 31 May; exclusively released online via the RSL to celebrate Dalloway Day. Sign up here to receive the recording direct to your inbox on 14 June. 

In partnership with The British Library.


Young People’s Workshop with Helen Bowell: Learning from Orlando
Available from 14 June

How do you present yourself to the outside world? Are you who you were ten years ago, last year, last month, yesterday, just now? Can you choose which self to be in any given moment – or do your selves choose for you? In this workshop, we will be looking at ideas of selfhood, gender and identity through Virginia Woolf’s groundbreaking novels Orlando (which claims to be a biography) and Mrs Dalloway.  To celebrate Dalloway Day, poet Helen Bowell has created a resource that encourages the reader to explore how Woolf’s work can help us to interpret our present moment(s), and how we can speak back.

Helen will be hosting a live workshop at Mulberry School for Girls, and producing a FREE worksheet resource that can be shared with students everywhere. Available to all but most suitable for 16-to-18-year-old students. To share the worksheet with students, register your interest now to receive a link direct to your mailbox.


Neil Bartlett and Sarah Ruhl: Working with Orlando 
Available from 14 June

Playwrights Neil Bartlett and Sarah Ruhl come together in conversation to discuss their adaptations of Virginia Woolf’s novel Orlando.
In this exclusive conversation for the Royal Society of Literature, the writers will reflect on the process of adapting such a shifting, shimmering story, how best to take Woolf’s language from page to stage, and why they set about it in the first place. 

Sign up here to receive the recording direct to your inbox on 14 June. 




Zadie Smith In Conversation: On Virginia Woolf
Wednesday 14 June, 7pm

Zadie Smith joins Lisa Appignanesi at the British Library for a conversation about the life and works of Virginia Woolf.

To attend the event in person – register here.
To watch the event online – register here. 

In partnership with the British Library and BBC Radio 3.




Our partners are:


Ever so many books there were… 

Burley Fisher Books, an independent bookshop in Haggerston, London, are our bookselling partners for Dalloway Day this year. Since 2016, Burley Fisher have been bringing the best in books, coffee, events and chats and we’re delighted to be working with them. They’re passionate about indie fiction, nonfiction and poetry, offer subscriptions, prizes and carefully selected recommendations, and you can order all the books relating to Dalloway Day 2023 from their website.