Sleep Stories and the Science of Sleep

Roundtable event at Durham Book Festival 2021

Saturday 9 October, 8-9pm BST (available to watch on demand until 31st October)

With Durham Book Festival, we have commissioned leading British writers Salena Godden, Jenn Ashworth and Andrew McMillan to each write and record an exclusive short story inspired by the theme of sleep. These stories will be released as a podcast series and we will launch the first in our series – an exclusive short story from Salena Godden – at this event. Find out more about “Sleep Stories” here.

This roundtable discussion will delve into the science and culture of sleep. Dr Diletta De Cristofaro is joined by Salena Godden whose debut novel, Mrs Death Misses Death is shortlisted for the 2021 Gordon Burn Prize, Jason Ellis, Professor in Psychology and the Director of the Northumbria Centre for Sleep Research, and Dr Erik Hoel, a neuroscientist and author of The Revelations.

The speakers will discuss the rewards and challenges of engaging with sleep in creative writing, sleep and sleep disorders in our hyperconnected and restless world, a theory of the neural purpose of dreaming that has striking resonances with the purposes of fiction, and much more. Further information here.

Watch a video collecting highlights of the conversation: