Literary Festival kicks off

Martina Cole
Author Martina Cole
Published: Monday, 4 November 2019

Book your place to meet acclaimed authors, social media sensations and TV personalities.

Following last year’s success, the Havering Literary Festival returns to the borough this week to celebrate reading, writing and creativity.

Taking place from Monday 4 November to Saturday 23 November 2019 in libraries across the borough, the festival programme is packed with events, talks and workshops for all ages, designed to celebrate, inspire and nurture a love of reading.

Kicking off the first week of the Havering Literary Festival will be leading travel writer Simon Calder, who will be joined by Dr Claire Corkhill to discuss the nuclear disaster Chernobyl.

Anthropologist, broadcaster and popular science author Alice Roberts will also be appearing, along with acclaimed author Dorothy Koomson and social media sensation Knee Deep In Life (Laura Belbin), to name but a few.

The following weeks will see dozens more talks and workshops, featuring different authors, from Martina Cole to Elizabeth Chadwick, as well as TV broadcaster Simon Thomas, who will be talking about Love, Interrupted, his new book, in which he discusses his heartbreak following the death of his wife from Leukaemia and life as a single parent.

Crime and thriller fans can enjoy sessions with internationally acclaimed authors such as Adele Parks, as well as an evening of discussion with leading crime writers as part of the Female Voices in Crime Fiction event.

One of Scotland’s foremost crime writers, James Oswald, will also be launching his new novel ‘Nothing to Hide’ at a special event on Thursday 14 November.

Sunday Times best-selling author of ‘The Beekeeper of Aleppo’, Christy Lefteri, will be hosting a talk about her book at Elm Park Library, inspired by her experiences working as a volunteer at a Unicef refugee centre in Athens.

There’s plenty for children and schools to enjoy, including award-winning author Sally Nichols, who will be hosting pre-school and baby bounce sessions throughout the festival. Schools will also be able to enjoy a talk with two leading children’s writers/illustrators as well as other sessions across the three weeks.

Councillor Viddy Persaud, Cabinet Member for Culture, said:

“We are proud to see the return of the Havering Literary Festival following the success of its inaugural year in 2018.

"Just like last year, the festival is packed with something for all tastes and ages.

"The festival is an opportunity for us to bring communities across the borough together and encourage residents to enjoy reading – whether that be through meeting their favourite authors or inspiring a new generation of readers.”