A Stroke of the Pen: Terry Pratchett’s Lost Stories

Terry Pratchett
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  • Tel: +44 (0)1937 546546
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  • From £3.25 – £14 Concessions available

The discovery of 20 lost tales. With readings by Jon Culshaw.

This event takes place in the British Library and will be simultaneously live streamed on the British Library platform.  Tickets to attend in person are now sold out but tickets are available to watch the livestream online -  either live or within 48 hours on catch up. Viewing links will be sent out shortly before the event.

The arrival of new stories by the late, great Terry Pratchett, the award-winning author and creator of the phenomenally successful Discworld series, was thought to be an impossibility. As per his wishes to not have anything unpublished released, his hard drive was crushed with a steamroller after his death.

But now, 20 lost tales have been rediscovered - written by Pratchett under a pseudonym and printed in newspapers during the 1970s and 1980s. Whilst none are set in Discworld, they hint towards what he would go on to create, containing all of his trademark wit, satirical wisdom and fantastic imagination.

This unmissable event for Pratchett fans will be, for most, a first chance to discover these unearthed stories. We are joined by Pat and Jan Harkin, who went through decades’ worth of old newspapers to rediscover the lost treasures. Plus conversation with culture writer Alison Flood and special guest readings by Pratchett fan and Britain’s most acclaimed impressionist Jon Culshaw. Hosted by Katy Guest.

Each story is a gem. Meet Og the inventor, the first caveman to cultivate fire, as he discovers the highs and lows of progress; haunt the Ministry of Nuisances with the defiant evicted ghosts of Pilgarlic Towers; visit Blackbury, a small market town with weird weather and an otherworldly visitor; and go on a dangerous quest through time and space with hero Kron, which begins in the ancient city of Morpork...

Doors and Bar open at 18:00. Followed by a book stall.

Half price tickets available for British Library Members, students, under 26s and other concession groups.

Jon Culshaw is an accomplished comedian, actor and widely regarded as Britain’s best impressionist, with an unmatched versatility and a catalogue of over 350 voices and impersonations. Notable credits include the multi award winning BBC Radio 4 satire Dead Ringers, Spitting Image, Radio 4’s The Secret World, The Impressionable Jon Culshaw, The Royal Variety Performance, The Sky at Night, 2DTV, The Now Show, The Final Take: Bowie in the Studio, Head Cases, Jon Culshaw’s Commercial Breakdown and The Impressions Show. Jon also performed at the iconic Edinburgh Festival in 2022 in 'Les Dawson: Flying High' to rave reviews and subsequently toured the country, and at this year's Festival he reprised his role as Hughie Green in 'LENA' and starred in his new one-man show 'Jon Culshaw: Imposter Syndrome'. Jon has also recently finished filming for Midsomer Murders and new Channel 4 drama 'Partygate', playing Boris Johnson. A long-term fan of Terry Pratchett, Jon recently narrated eight volumes of his ‘The City Watch’ series, and a story for the audiobook of Pratchett’s ‘A Stroke of the Pen’.

Alison Flood is comment and culture editor for the New Scientist and is the Observer’s thriller columnist. She has a degree in English Literature from Cambridge University and was previously books writer for the Guardian. She loves Terry Pratchett.

Pat and Jan Harkin are retired doctors living in Leeds, West Yorkshire. Pat has been a Pratchett fan for many years. He was dubbed “Lord of the Uber-fans” by Sir Terry, and has a large collection of Discworld books and Pratchett related memorabilia, along with an improbable number and variety of small rubber ducks. Sir Terry used him as a source of expert opinion in slightly obscure areas, such as how much earwax a person creates in a lifetime. Pat is one of the members of The Venerable Order of the Honeybee, a group Sir Terry had created to acknowledge those who had helped in his writing. Jan (aka Dr Jan Clarke) acts as travel organiser and supporter for Pat on many international Discworld conventions and tolerates his massive collection of books, prints and collectables. She worked alongside Pat on the Quest for The Quest for the Keys.

Katy Guest is a reviewer, writer, book editor and journalist, and a regular panel host at book festivals including Oxford, Wimbledon, Bath, Guildford and Kew. She is former literary editor of the Independent on Sunday, and former senior commissioning editor of Unbound.

This event accompanies our exhibition Fantasy: Realms of Imagination, supported by:

Wayland Games   

If you’re attending in person, please arrive no later than 15 minutes before the start time of this event. 

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Name: A Stroke of the Pen: Terry Pratchett’s Lost Stories
Where: Pigott Theatre
The Knowledge Centre
The British Library
96 Euston Road
Show Map      How to get to the Library
When: -
Price: From £3.25 – £14
Concessions available
Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546
Book now

* Please note that there is a £1.50 transaction fee when tickets are posted, or for telephone sales when an e-ticket is requested.