On June 29, A City for Her will be glad to welcome two incredible women with two incredible stories at the Nest34, on the Champs Elysées.

During this evening of sharing and networking, Hazel Manuel and Phoebe Blackburn will tell us their own stories, speak about the choices they’ve made in life, what they resulted from and how they achieved it.

Talks:Life goals as moving targets’, by Hazel Manuel and ‘Mine the Gap’, by Phoebe Blackburn


About the speakers


Hazel Manuel

Hazel Manuel is a UK born novelist whose writing follows a career in education, first as a teacher/lecturer and after as a business leader within the education sector. Having headed up two successful companies as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Hazel made the life-changing decision to become a full-time novelist. Since then her writing has received international attention, her first novel ‘Kanyakumari’ winning the coveted Cinnamon Press Debut Novel award and being nominated for Wales book of the Year. In her three years as a full-time writer Hazel has had two novels published and has given talks and taken part in international panel discussions, including at the Goa Arts and Literary Festival in India and the London Welsh Literature Festival. She has given interviews about her work on BBC Radio Wales and World Radio Paris, and has delivered workshops and author talks at writing retreats, festivals and groups in France the UK and India. Hazel’s third book is to be published later this year in India and she is now working on her fourth. As part of her literary career, Hazel runs writing retreats in the Loire Valley and hosts a Paris-based literary salon for aspiring writers. You can read more about Hazel and her work here: www.hazelmanuel.net

During her Talk ‘Life goals as moving targets’, Hazel will tell us about her business career, what she loved about it, why and how she made her career change and why she loves what she is doing now.



Phoebe Blackburn

Phoebe feels European in spirit, born in London and raised in Paris and in the UK. She has what a French HR manager calls a ‘profil atypique’. After studying languages & literature at Oxford and in Germany, her 15 years of working life have included: administering online ad campaigns at Yahoo in Munich, deputy Cultural attaché at the French Embassy in London and various roles at the EDF Group such as ‘chef de cabinet’ in Paris and Corporate Social Responsibility manager in London, not to mention other shorter, more bizarre in-between jobs such as two weeks as a postwoman for Royal Mail and half a year as an au pair for 5 children in Hamburg. In 2012 she quit her corporate job and went travelling solo for 10 months, taking the Trans-siberian to Beijing and exploring Asia, and doing some volunteer work for NGOs in Hanoi. On her return to Paris she created a photography exhibition showing pictures of dustbins she took along the way, ‘Les Plu’Belles’, which was recently shown at the Ville de Paris offices, a gallery and a sustainability salon, Produrable, at the Palais des Congrès. Today, she has her own activity, Phenomenal Words, and works freelance as a high-end language coach for managers and artists, a translator, editorial consultant and a facilitator on the circular economy. She’s completing her book on trashcans/waste linked to her trip. Her interests include singing, MOOCs, art, shoes, vélibbing, reading anything she finds, and … more pictures of trashcans!

‘Mine the Gap’: in her talk, Phoebe will tell us about quitting an office job, travelling solo, her ‘gap years’ and career changes and some of the things she’s learnt from going freelance.



Get-together starting at 7pm, including a welcome drink

Talks starting at 7:30 pm, followed by discussions with the public

8:30-45 – 10:15 pm: Book signing session with Hazel Manuel, Networking time with finger food and some drinks

Price for Free members is 18 EUR and for Premium members 13 EUR

Be ready to get inspired.

We look forward to meeting you on June 29 at the Nest34 and to spending a wonderful evening together.


View from The Nest 34



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