Yasnaya Polyana
Wednesday 12 July 2017 - 00:00 to Saturday 15 July 2017 - 00:00
Yasnaya Polyana

The British Council, in partnership with the Leo Tolstoy estate museum Yasnaya Polyana, is inviting applications for the second British Literature Today seminar. The seminar will take place from 12 to 15 July 2017 at Yasnaya Polyana near Tula.

Following the traditions of the annual British literature seminar which the British Council has run since 1986 in Germany, this 3-day event will bring together writers, academics, literary critics, translators, journalists and all who are interested in the contemporary international literary process.

While last year the seminar gave a general overview of big names and trends, this year its topic is shaped by three anniversaries. In 2017 it is 200 years since the death of Jane Austen, 220 years since the birth of Mary Shelley and 200 years since Mary Shelley completed Frankenstein, which gave birth to science fiction as a genre. So the themes of the seminar will be innovation and tradition under headings such as the development of the novel, women in literature and the spectrum of genres on the contemporary literary scene from fiction memoire to parody.

The programme of the seminar will include public talks by contemporary UK authors, panel discussions, practical sessions, film screenings and literary walks. 


We welcome applications from writers, literary critics, academics, journalists and those who are either working in the field of literature or are broadly interested in the current process and would like to enlarge their skills and knowledge. 

To take part in the seminar please complete in English and submit the application form by 12 June 2017.            

Please note that the number of participants is limited and the applicants will be shortlisted.

Requirements for applicants:

  • over 18 years old
  • Russian citizenship
  • fluent spoken and written English.

The seminar will be in English without translation.

Participation fees

The registration fee for the seminar costs 7,000 roubles, which covers

  • accommodation in Yasnaya Polyana from 12 to 15 July 2017
  • all meals
  • transfer from Moscow to the venue and back
  • all seminar materials.

Participants travelling from outside Moscow will need to cover their own travel to and from Moscow and, if required, accommodation in Moscow.

For more information please contact the project manager, Lidia Khesed, at Lidia.Khesed@britishcouncil.org, + 7 (495) 287 1800 (ext. 1804).  

Invited authors

monica ali

Monica Ali

Monica Ali is a bestselling and award winning author of Brick Lane (shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize), In the Kitchen and Untold Story, one of Granta’s 2003 Best of Young British Novelists.

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Graeme Macrae Burnet

Graeme Macrae Burnet

Graeme Macrae Burnet is a winner of Scottish Book Trust New Writers’ Award, author of Disappearance of Adèle Bedeau and His Bloody Project (shortlisted for the 2016 Man Booker prize).

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Gwendoline Riley

Gwendoline Riley

Author of five novels, whose last book First Love was shortlisted for the Bailey's Women's Prize for Fiction.

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Bee Rowlatt

Writer, journalist and broadcaster, whose recent book In Search of Mary is inspired by the life of Mary Wollstonecraft.

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Rupert Thomson

Rupert Thomson

Author of ten critically acclaimed novels, including The Insult, which was shortlisted for the Guardian Fiction Prize, The Book of Revelation (adapted for screen by A. Kokkinos), Death of a Murderer, which was shortlisted for the Costa Prize, and a memoire This Party’s Got to Stop, which won him the Writers’ Guild Non-Fiction Book of the Year.

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John Mullan

The seminar will be chaired by Lord Northcliffe Professor of Modern English Literature and Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Humanities at University College London John Mullan, who specializes on 18th and 19th century literature and whose books include What Matters in Jane Austen, How Novels Workand Anonymity. A Secret History of English Literature.

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