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Dystopia or Reality? Rachelle Atalla & Cailean Steed 

Sunday 24th September, 1-2 pm BST
Main Hall King's Pavilion, King's College Campus University of Aberdeen  

Two Aberdeen graduates discuss their thrilling dystopic novels which may be closer to our reality than we think... Rachelle Atalla’s second novel, Thirsty Animals, imagines what would happen at the Anglo-Scottish border if our water supply ran out, while the protagonist of Cailean Steed’s debut Home returns to a gender-segregated cult to save their sister.

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Rachelle Atalla is a Scottish-Egyptian novelist, short story writer and screenwriter based in Glasgow. Her short stories have been published widely in literary anthologies and she is the recipient of a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award. Her first short film screenplay Trifle was commissioned by the Scottish Film & Talent Network and she is developing her first feature-length screenplay with BBC Film. Her first novel The Pharmacist was shortlisted for the Scottish Fiction Book of the Year.


Cailean Steed is a writer, teacher and aspiring dog-owner. Cailean lives near Glasgow with their husband and son. They have also resided in Aberdeen and Dublin, and hope one day to live somewhere with less rain. Cailean’s work has been published by New Writing Scotland, Boudicca Press and Barren Magazine. Their mother would like them to write something more cheerful.

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