A Life in Art – Alison Milner Gulland

A Life in Art – Alison Milner Gulland

When I heard from Jeremy Knight, Curator of Horsham Museum, about the secret project dreamed up by Robin Milner Gulland, husband of Washington artist Alison Milner-Gulland, to produce a book to accompany a retrospective exhibition in honour of her 80th birthday, I was absolutely thrilled because she is one of my favourite artists. With the help of art expert Rupert Toovey, a long-time fan, they have put together a delightful record of the wide-ranging work of this remarkable artist. There is a little story behind each piece, from the ancient legends of Chanctonbury Ring to the icons of Russia and the sad history of Syria. Here in this book we have a brief taste of a life full of adventure and creative exploration, with work both figurative and abstract, masterfully rendered in paint, pastel, collage or ceramics. As this quiet and indomitable artist says “I don’t paint to sell – I do it because I want to say ‘look, I’ve seen this, look at it’. It either sells or it doesn’t. Some will see what I see and if they don’t, well tough!” This lovingly produced book gives a wonderful opportunity to appreciate this philosophy at first hand.


A Thousand Moons

A Thousand Moons

The eagerly awaited sequel to the Costa Award winning Days Without End by one of Ireland’s greatest writers and current Irish Laureate.

A Thousand Moons extends the sequence of Barry’s eight novels, which touch each time on the worlds of two families – the Dunnes and the McNultys. In this novel, as in Days Without End, we meet with Thomas McNulty and John Cole, American Civil War soldiers, now a couple, living on a tobacco farm in Tennessee. Their adopted Sioux daughter Winona is the narrator this time, and we follow her journey as she deals with the consequences of a violent act against her. Full of memorable characters and written in Barry’s gorgeous lyrical prose, dreamy yet unflinching when confronted by the darker side of humanity, this is a wonderful book.

The Runaways

The Runaways

Fatima Bhutto, born in Syria and educated in the USA and the UK, is the niece of former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto, and came to public attention with her memoir Songs of Blood and Sword which accused her aunt of the “moral responsibility” for her father’s assassination. Her powerful writing is used to good effect in The Runaways, her second novel, a story of three young people in Pakistan and England all of whom are disaffected in some way and experiencing a feeling of alienation which leads them to be exploited by skilful jihadis. This is an engrossing, exciting and truthful novel which, while not excusing the choices made by the protagonists, makes us aware of the vulnerabilities which can propel young people into catastrophic choices.
“burns with controlled indignation at the state of our world” Financial Times

CANCELLED – Pre-Schooler Fun with Sam Lloyd

CANCELLED – Pre-Schooler Fun with Sam Lloyd

A fun weekday morning session for pre-schoolers with popular author / illustrator Sam Lloyd, on Tuesday 24th March at 11.30am.

Sam’s event will be based around her new picture book Put Your Botty on the Potty, a brilliant, funny and fresh take on the potty training book! There will be stories, singing, colouring and sticking, and children will be able to create their own ‘Moo Monster’…and put him on the potty!

Sam Lloyd is hugely talented at creating laugh-out-loud funny books for children. Her titles include the Whoops-A-Daisy-World series and Mr Pusskins, which was the winner of the Roald Dahl Funny Prize, and the Booktrust Early Years Award for Best Pre-School Book. Sam’s novelty books include Calm Down, Boris, Hello Dudley, What’s In Your Tummy Mummy, Grumpy
Gertie and Farty Fred. 

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Bad Mothers’ Day with Stephanie Calman

Bad Mothers’ Day with Stephanie Calman

Tuesday 17th March 7.30pm at the bookshop
Just before Mothers’ Day (on Sunday 22nd March), let’s celebrate bad mothers with Stephanie Calman.

Daughter of the late well-loved humorist and cartoonist Mel Calman, Stephanie is the author of six books including the bestselling Confessions of a Bad Mother. Her latest, Confessions of a Bad Mother – the Teenage Years, published by Pan Macmillan, is full of witty and wry observations on life with teenagers, and is a must-read for parents and grandparents alike – and probably should be read by teenagers themselves!

Ticket includes a glass or two of wine, and ticket price of £5 is redeemable against book purchase.

Stephanie Calman is the founder of the Bad Mothers Club website and the author of six previous books including the bestselling Confessions of a Bad Mother. She created the hit Channel 4 sitcom Dressing For Breakfast and has appeared on many TV shows including Have I Got News For You and The Wright Stuff. She has also written for most British newspapers and magazines including the Daily Telegraph, Observer, Guardian, Cosmopolitan, GQ and Harpers & Queen, and has contributed to a wide variety of radio programmes, including Woman’s Hour and The Today Programme. She is married to the author Peter Grimsdale.

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Stories & Draw-Along with Alice McKinley

Stories & Draw-Along with Alice McKinley

On Saturday 14th March at 11 am, we have a lovely event for younger children with up-and-coming illustrator Alice McKinley. Alice will read her book ‘Nine Lives Newton’ and lead a fun draw-along session.

Alice’s charmingly funny picture book debut ‘Nine Lives Newton’ is released by Simon & Schuster Children’s books in March.

Featuring wonderfully exuberant illustrations, the book tells the story of Newton, the dog who thinks he has nine lives and infinite luck. And if Newton has nine lives, then that means he can do all his favourite things but be MUCH more daring….but what if Newton’s got it all wrong and he’s not quite as invincible as he thinks he is?

Tickets are just £3 for children (accompanying adults are free) and the ticket price is redeemable against purchase of ‘Nine Lives Newton’.

Age guide 4-9 years.

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‘Greta and the Giants’ – Environmental Stories & Crafts with Zoe Tucker

‘Greta and the Giants’ – Environmental Stories & Crafts with Zoe Tucker

Half term kids event. Tuesday 18th February at 2.30pm.

Join us for environmentally-themed stories & crafts with author and designer Zoe Tucker.
Zoe’s picture book ‘Greta and the Giants’ tells the story of Greta Thunberg’s environmental mission, re-imagining Greta as a forest child struggling against giants who are chopping down all the trees.

Zoe will read stories and help children get busy making an environmentally-themed crafty project!

Perfect for ages 4-8.
Ticket price £3 redeemable against a book.
Free refreshments provided.

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Julia Donaldson Book Signing with POSTMAN BEAR! February 2019

Julia Donaldson Book Signing with POSTMAN BEAR! February 2019

BOOK SIGNING AND CHARACTER MEET AND GREET. Saturday 1st February from 11.30am. Booking Essential. 

To celebrate 20 years of the Acorn Wood books, we have a very special visitor on February 1st! Postman Bear will be making an appearance at the Steyning Bookshop, accompanied by his creator, Julia Donaldson! We will have Acorn Wood themed games and  activities, free refreshments for children, and of course Julia will be meeting fans to sign books purchased at the shop.

To book your place, either call the shop on 01903 812062, pop in, or use our NEW ONLINE BOOKING SYSTEM! This event is essentially free – with a book purchase. To allow for online booking, we will charge £7 per family group. A family group can consist of either 1 or 2 adults and up to 3 children. This will entitle you to a confirmed place at the signing. Your £7 payment will be deducted from the price of the Julia D book/s that you purchase on the day. The Steyning Bookshop will have a full range of all Julia’s books on sale for signing, including of course, all the lovely Acorn Wood books! We regret that attendees are not permitted to bring books purchased elsewhere to be signed by Julia. Booking will be in timed half hour slots, starting at 11.30am.

The 11.30, 12 and 12.30 slots are full, we are booking into afternoon slots now. Please give us a ring on 01903 812062 if this link does not work or the slot has sold out without us noticing!

Book now2 pm slot.

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2.30pm slot

The delightful Acorn Wood series are some of our very favourite picture books for pre-schoolers. With their simple rhyming stories, charming illustrations by Axel Scheffler and fun flaps to peek under on every page, they are a perfect introduction into Julia and Axel’s world. The original four stories are Postman Bear, Fox’s Socks, Hide and Seek Pig, and Rabbit’s Nap, which have all been re-issued as smart new anniversary editions by Macmillan to celebrate 20 years in print! Even more excitingly, Julia and Axel are creating four new stories set to be published in 2021 and 2022.



Zog Story Time

Zog Story Time

On Monday 27th January 2020 at 11.30am we have a very special story time for little people! Actors from the brilliant Freckle Theatre production of Zog, which will be at the Capitol in Horsham next week, are kindly joining us at the bookshop for a story time session.

Expect much raucous roarsome fun! Perfect for pre-schoolers. Please book in advance so we know how many little people to expect. Only £3, redeemable against book purchase.

An Evening with Poet and Novelist Brian Bilston

An Evening with Poet and Novelist Brian Bilston

Tuesday 11th February 7.30pm at the Gluck Studio.

We are really excited to have finally bagged a visit from Brian Bilston, the hilarious poet and novelist, frequently described as the ‘Accidental Poet Laureate of Twitter’. Brian’s novel ‘Diary of a Somebody’ is just out in paperback and has been short-listed for the Costa Book Award, First Novel Category.
‘Diary of a Somebody’ is the achingly funny story of a year in the life of .. ‘Brian Bilston’. It’s January 1st and Brian Bilston’s life needs to change. His ex-wife has taken up with a new man, a motivational speaker and marketing guru to boot; he seems to constantly disappoint his long-suffering son; and at work he is drowning in a sea of spreadsheets and management jargon. Brian’s resolution is to write a poem every day; poetry will be his salvation. But there is an obstacle to his happiness in the form of Toby Salt, his arch nemesis in the Poetry Group and rival suitor to Liz, Brian’s new poetic inspiration. When Toby goes missing, Brian is the number one suspect… Part tender love story, part murder mystery, part coruscating description of a wasted life, and interspersed with some of the funniest poems about the mundane and the profound, Diary of a Somebody is a unique, warm, and hilarious novel.

Brian Bilston has been dubbed ‘the Banksy of Poetry’ – he has kept his identity secret and stumbled into poetry via composing short poems on Twitter, eventually racking up more than 50,000 followers. His first volume of poetry ‘You Took the Last Bus Home’ was released in 2017, and ‘Diary of a Somebody’ came out in 2019. His powerful poem ‘Refugees’ has also been released as a beautifully illustrated children’s picture book. His clever, wry poems can take the shape of Christmas trees or Venn diagrams, he can poke fun at grammar pedants, and take the piss out of Jeremy Clarkson, but also tap into profound depths.

Tickets are £12 to include a paperback copy of ‘Diary of a Somebody’, plus wine & nibbles. Brian’s other books will also be on sale.

Pop into the shop, give us a ring on 01903 812062 , or book online –  we think this will be a popular one so buy soon!

Book online  here  

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Glorious. I will be astonished if I read a more original, more inventive or funnier novel this year.’ – Adam Kay, author of This Is Going to Hurt

An Evening with Elly Griffiths

An Evening with Elly Griffiths

An Evening with Elly Griffiths, Wednesday 26th February at 7.30pm, at the Gluck Studio.

We are thrilled that Elly Griffiths has kindly agreed to talk to us about her new novel The Lantern Men – the 12th installment in her hugely popular Ruth Galloway series.

The Lantern Men sees our favorite forensic archaelogist Ruth Galloway, who has a new job, home and partner, and is no longer working for North Norfolk police, lured back to the Fens by by convicted murderer Ivor March. Ivor has offered the police a deal – he will reveal the location of 4 more bodies – but only if Ruth does the digging. The bodies are buried near a village bordering the fens, said to be haunted by the Lantern Men, mysterious figures holding lights that lure travellers to their deaths. Is Ivor March himself a lantern man, luring Ruth back to Norfolk? What is his plan, and why is she so crucial to it? And are the killings really over?

We can’t wait to find out more about the background to this chilling story!

Tickets are £8, ticket price includes wine & nibbles, and entitle the ticket bearer to money off a signed hardback copy of The Lantern Men.

To book, either pop into the shop, call us on 01903 812062, or book online here:
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‘TickBox’ with David Boyle

‘TickBox’ with David Boyle

Steyning resident, historian, and writer David Boyle is the author of numerous books on a huge range of subjects – from history and economics, through alternative currencies, grass-roots politics and parenting in the computer age, to allotments and fairies!

We are thrilled that David has agreed to introduce his latest book, TickBox, at an evening event at the lovely Gluck Studio on Thursday 30th January. 7.30pm.

Tickbox is a powerful expose of modern ‘Tickbox’ culture – that is; official or corporate incompetence, whereby a company / organisation will ‘tick the box’ but fail to act. It is increasingly used to describe the gap between official spin and reality.

In the book, David uncovers the insidious philosophy of automation and the misuse of data which lies behind this tickbox culture. It makes our public services less effective – and makes them soar in costs – it lies behind so many stark injustices and disasters, from Grenfell Tower to the deportation of the Windrush generation. It vacuums up the resources of the NHS pursuing pointless targets, badgers us to evaluate every purchase or experience, and consumes vast swathes of TIME!

Always arguing for the human spirit against technocratic reductionism, David suggests a series of ways out – starting with recognising the danger and calling it out for what it is – a massive system failure, corroding our lives and our ability, as human beings, to act on the world!

Come and hear all about ‘TickBox’ distilled into an hour-long talk, with free wine & refreshments.

Ticket Price £5. Ticket bearers entitled to £5 off book.
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An Evening with Novelist Jess Kidd

An Evening with Novelist Jess Kidd

We are delighted to welcome novelist Jess Kidd to Steyning, on Thursday 23rd January 2020, for a literary evening at the Gluck Studio.

Jess will be discussing her latest novel Things in Jars, alongside her previous novels, The Hoarder and Himself. 

Jess Kidd has been praised for her unique fictional voice. She was brought up in London as part of a large family from County Mayo, and her work has been described as ‘Gabriel García Márquez meets The Pogues.’ Her debut, Himself, was shortlisted for the Irish Book Awards in 2016. She won the Costa Short Story Award the same year. Her second novel, The Hoarder (published as Mr. Flood’s Last Resort in the U.S.), was shortlisted for the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year 2019. Both books were BBC Radio 2 Book Club Picks. She is published by Canongate.

Jess is currently working on her fourth novel and first children’s book. She is also developing her own original TV projects with leading U.K. and international TV producers.

This is an event in conjunction with our bookshop bookgroups, which is also open to the public. ALL WELCOME

Public tickets are £10 this includes a paperback copy of Things in Jars (or another of Jess’s books) plus wine and nibbles.

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Late Night Shopping with Julia Donaldson Book-Signing

On Wednesday 4th December from 6-9pm Steyning High Street becomes a winter wonderland! With street entertainers, live music, a candle-lit procession, Father Christmas in his vintage transport, and a host of wondrous stalls selling all manner of artisan gifts, plus delicious, tempting food stalls, and, of course, most of the high street shops open for business.
As always, at the bookshop we will be dispensing Rob’s legendary home-made mulled wine, to accompany Sara’s famously melt-in-the-mouth mince pies, and this year our guest author is Julia Donaldson!
Although the shop is open all evening from 6pm-9pm, Julia will only be signing at the shop from 7.45-9pm, we calculate this is enough time for about 30 families to meet her, so, if you want to be SURE you’ll get a chance to buy a book and get it signed & dedicated in person, we recommend you give us a ring on 01903 812062 to book your place.

Julia’s latest book is The Smeds & the Smoos (£12.99 hardback), a hilarious and heart-warming inter-galactic love story – she’ll be signing this and all her previous books.


Christmas Fun with Sue Hendra

On Saturday 14th December at 11am we are delighted to welcome author/illustrator Sue Hendra back to the Steyning Bookshop for a fun morning of stories and simple crafting with a Christmassy theme.

Sue Hendra is a firm Steyning Bookshop favourite, having visited us with her partner, Paul Linnet, many times over the years sharing their hilarious and best-selling Supertato books. This time, she will read her festively funny new picture book Oh, Christmas Tree and help children make some Christmassy crafts.

It’s Christmas time and every tree on Sidney Street is beautifully decorated – except for one! This rebellious tree would rather sit at the table and pull crackers on Christmas day than stand in a corner wearing glittery decorations! Bauble, Belle and the Tinsel Snake need the tree to behave, so they can fulfil their decorating destinies, but the argumentative tree just won’t stand still and be decorated….

Tickets are £4 per child, which can be redeemed against the purchase of one of Sue’s books.

Free refreshments will be served – please let us know in advance if your child has any food allergies.

Call 01903 812062 or pop into the bookshop to book your place, or book online here.


Christmas Lino-Cut Workshop

On Thursday November 14th  from 7pm until 9pm we are really delighted to offer a Christmas Card lino-cut workshop led by Sarah Burns and Alice Garner.

Sarah Burns is a textile designer and woodblock printer who creates beautiful hand printed textiles, runs natural-dye / print-making workshops and has teamed up with Alice Garner as Steyning Imprint, producing delightful lino-cut tea-towels, hand-made notebooks, and other items – you may have seen their lovely Steyning tea-towels on sale in the bookshop. Both of them moonlight from their creative endeavours as part-time Steyning Bookshop staff!

Sarah and Alice will teach participants how to use lino-cut to produce lovely Christmas card designs. No experience is necessary, all levels from beginners up are welcome, and all materials are provided.

Wine / tea / coffee and nibbles will be served to help the creative juices flow.

Places are strictly limited to 14 participants, so please book your place asap. This event is for adults.

£20 per person.

Call 01903 812062 to book, pop into the shop, or book online here .




An Evening with Novelist Jess Kidd

Single Mums’ Mansion: An Evening with JANET HOGGARTH

On Tuesday 8th October, join us for an evening of confessional girly fun with added gin as we welcome novelist Jane Hoggarth to talk about her ‘Single Mum’ novels.

After her husband walked out on her, leaving her with three young children, Janet Hoggarth teamed up with two single mum friends and formed a ‘mommune’. Three women, six children, in one South London house, living, laughing and sharing together – “Like a marriage, but better”. Sounds like a dream!

Janet turned her memories of this time into a funny, fresh and warm-hearted novel, ‘The Single Mums’ Mansion’, and has now published the follow-up – ‘The Single Mums Move On’.

Janet will share her memories of what led to her forming the ‘mommune’ and what followed, as well as talking about the novels and her literary life.

Tickets are £5 to include a complimentary glass of gin and tonic and a voucher towards book purchase!

Janet HoggarthJanet Hoggarth has worked on a chicken farm, as a bookseller, children’s book editor, and as a DJ (with her best friend, under the name of Whitney and Britney!). She has published several children’s books, the most recent ones written under the pseudonym of Jess Bright. Her first adult novel, The Single Mums’ Mansion is based on her experiences of living communally as a single parent.




National Poetry Day with Spoken Steyning

Thursday 3rd October at 7.30pm.

Come celebrate National Poetry Day with us and the good folks of ‘Spoken Steyning’ at the lovely Gluck Studio.

An evening of poetry, wine and music, with local poets including Simon Zec sharing their work, also featuring a poetry ‘free for all’ where anyone can share a favourite poem, whether it be self-penned or written by a pro!  Special (non-local?) guest poet to be announced nearer the time! Pleasing folky live music will add to the ambience, and wine will flow.






Very last minute but Julia has just kindly agreed to come for a signing for her brilliant new book The Smeds and the Smoos!

This will take place on Saturday 7th September here at the Steyning Bookshop, from 10.30 am till 12.30 pm. If you wish to attend, you must pre-order and pay for your copy of The Smeds and the Smoos (£12.99) by phoning us on 01903 812062 or popping into the shop. For queue management, we will divide the 2 hour period into 30 minute time slots, and let you know your time slot when you pre-order. As always, all Julia’s other books will be on sale and available for signing, you can shop for these when you arrive. We must ask that you do not bring books purchased elsewhere, or books from home to be signed. If the weather is warm the signing will be in the garden. Free activities and refreshments for children will be provided.

*Local customers who are not able to attend the signing but wish to obtain a signed and dedicated book can pre-order a book to be picked up at a later date*

The Smeds and the Smoos is an out of this world intergalactic love story from Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler.
In a distant galaxy, far far away…The Smeds (who are red) never mix with the Smoos (who are blue), so when a young Smed and Smoo fall in love, their families strongly disapprove. The star-struck lovers elope on a cosmic rocket trip around the universe, meeting all manner of curious extra-terrestrials. Eventually, a bouncing purple baby brings the two tribes together, and love and unity prevail!
This wonderful picture book is a joyous celebration of inclusivity and diversity, with Julia Donaldson’s humorous rhymes exuberantly brought to life by Axel’s colourfully hilarious illustrations. A real treat for bedtimes!


An Evening with Novelist Jess Kidd

A Cookery Author Supper with Camilla Stephens

We are really pleased to welcome the marvellous Camilla Stephens to the Steyning & District Food & Drink Festival. Camilla is the founder of the acclaimed locally based success story Higgidy Pies. She trained as a cook at Leith’s School of Food and Wine and worked for a time as head of food development for Starbucks UK before leaving to follow her dreams and start her own business – Higgidy.

In her first cookery book, Higgidy:The Cookbook, Camilla introduced excitingly delicious recipes for much more than just pies, and now she has produced  Higgidy – The Veggie Cookbook: 120 glorious recipes for Vegetarians and Vegans, a mouth-watering and inspiring collection of recipes very definitely not just for vegetarians, but for anyone who enjoys fresh flavours!

This will be a great evening, with scrumptious food cooked by the Sussex Produce Chef followed by an fascinating interview with Camilla, who’ll share anecdotes, tips and stories from her inspirational career.

£30 ticket includes delicious freshly-cooked 3 course meal, author interview, and a book voucher towards purchase of Higgidy – The Veggie Cookbook. 

Here is the menu for the evening:


Selection plates of: Higgidy Feta & Red Pepper Veggie Rolls, Higgidy Cheddar & Onion Chutney Veggie Rolls, Higgidy Sun lBush Tomato & Cheddar Swirls, Higgidy Mature Cheddar & Pesto Swirls, All served with Beetroot Muhammar, REd Pepper Romesco, and Broad Bean and Mint dip.

MAINS  (please make your choice after booking and email / phone / pop in to let us know your choices) 

Local Broad Bean & Chives Gnocchi served with shaved parmesan and local pea cress.


Local Smoked Cheddar Tart with Walnut Crumb served with local beetroot quinoa and a salad of local apples, celery and dill.


Buffalo Mozzarella Salad, mixed Nutbourne Tomato and Green Olive Focaccia Salad.

DESSERTS (please make your choice after booking and email / phone / pop in to let us know your choices) 

Local Greengage Fool served with fresh berries & homemade shortbread


Local Plum Cobbler served with creme anglaise


Fig & Almond Frangipane Tart served with fresh berries & whipped mascarpone.

Doors open at 7pm, meal begins at 7.30pm. Tickets must be booked in advance and menu choices must be submitted in advance.

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An Evening with Novelist Jess Kidd

Summer Holiday Kids Event: ‘Super Duper You’ with Sophy Henn

We are so pleased to welcome the wonderful writer/illustrator Sophy Henn to our bookshop garden tent for a fun kids event!
Sophy will get busy with stories plus drawing, cutting, sticking and making activities based around her lovely picture book Super Duper You, a gorgeous rhyming picture book which celebrates the difference and uniqueness of what makes you YOU!

This event is perfect for children aged 4-8. All materials will be provided, free refreshments will be served, and the £4 ticket price is redeemable against a purchase of one of Sophy’s books.

Sophy Henn is a Sussex-based writer/illustrator who is a real rising star! Where Bear?, her first picture book, was shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize in 2015, and she was selected as the official World Book Day Illustrator for 2015 and 2016. Her jolly, bright and charming picture books which include Pass it On, Edie and Almost Anything have earned her widespread acclaim, and now she has branched out into chapter books with her hilarious Bad Nana series!

Wednesday 14th August starting at 10.30am.

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An Evening with Novelist Jess Kidd

Partners in Crime: An Evening with Simon Brett & Caro Ramsey

On Tuesday 16th July, at 7.30 pm we are delighted to celebrate the launch of a new crime imprint from the acclaimed independent publishing house Canongate; Black Thorn, which will be dedicated to publishing compulsive, high quality crime fiction. We are thrilled that Simon Brett and Caro Ramsey, two veteran crime authors from the new Blackthorn imprint, will be joining us at the Gluck Studio to discuss their craft.
Simon Brett author photoSussex resident Simon Brett is a very well-loved crime writer, who was awarded an OBE for ‘services to literature’ in 2016. In 2014 he won the CWA’s prestigious Diamond Dagger for an outstanding body of work. Simon has written over 100 books and plays, with the Fethering Mysteries series being one of his most popular and enduring creations, so fans will be delighted to learn that now Blackthorn are publishing The Liar in the Library, the most recent instalment of the Fethering series. Filled with eccentric suspects, red-herrings and twists at every turn, and starring much-loved, eccentric, amateur detectives Jude Nichol and Carole Seldon, Simon Brett proves once again that he is the master of the modern who-dunnit.

Caro Ramsey Meanwhile, Glaswegian author Caro Ramsay is also a seasoned professional – The Suffering of Strangers is the ninth book in her critically acclaimed DI Anderson and DS Costello series. Never fearful of facing sensitive or serious issues head on, Caro tackles topics ranging from violent child abuse and sexual assault to child trafficking. Her novels are informed by her diploma in Forensic Medical Science from Glasgow University and from her own involvement in healthcare as a successful osteopath.  The Suffering of Strangers is a tautly plotted and compellingly gritty drama centring around a child abduction case, set amidst the seedy back streets of Glasgow.

We are really looking forward to hearing Simon and Caro discuss the nitty-gritty of crime writing, it promises to be a fascinating evening for curious crime fans!

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An Author Supper with Mike Gayle & Ruth Hogan

An Author Supper with Mike Gayle & Ruth Hogan

On Wednesday July 10th we are thrilled to announce a very special Double Author Supper at the Sussex Produce Company Cafe, welcoming novelists Mike Gayle and Ruth Hogan to Steyning for the first time. A perfect pairing of two very popular novelists known for their heartfelt, moving and uplifting stories.

Mike Gayle was born and raised in Birmingham. After graduating from university with a degree in Sociology, he moved to London to pursue a career as a journalist, features editor and agony uncle. The success of his first novel, My Legendary Girlfriend, meant he could turn to writing full-time, and he has now published 16 novels! Mike’s bestselling novels have taken his millions of readers through every significant occasion for the modern man – friendship, courtship, stag weekends, marriage, work, holidays, infidelity, mid-life crises….all tackled with his trademark wit, warmth and wisdom – supremely readable and more-ish!  His latest novel Half a World Away follows single mum Kerry as she begins to search for the sibling who was torn away from her when she was taken into care as a child…a heart-breaking mission which will turn lives upside down and have far-reaching consequences.

Ruth Hogan’s first novel The Keeper of Lost Things was published in 2017, to huge acclaim. Winner of the Richard & Judy Reader’s Award, a Sunday Times best-seller, and one of the Mail on Sundays ‘Best books to read on the beach this summer’, it is a poignant story with vivid and lovable characters. Ruth’s second novel, The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes was a Prima Best Book of 2018, and continued to show Ruth’s gift for creating eccentric characters amidst a heart-rending story. Ruth will discuss her new novel, Queenie Malone’s Paradise Hotel – a colourful exploration of mother-daughter relationships, set partly in Brighton. Ruth has had a rocky journey to writing; a car accident and a brush with cancer caused her to give up her day job in local government but allowed her to devote more time to the writing she had always loved.

We can’t wait to meet Mike and Ruth and hear more about their writing lives!

Doors open at 7pm for a 7.30 start. Tickets priced £30 include a delicious 2 course hot meal and a signed copy of either Mike’s new novel Half a World Away or Ruth’s latest: Queenie Malone’s Paradise Hotel.

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Guided Walk with Mary-Ann Ochota

Sunday 23rd June at 10.30am. Meet at Chanctonbury Ring Car Park. 

Join anthropologist and presenter Mary-Ann Ochota for a 2 hour guided circular walk around Chanctonbury Ring. Mary-Ann will share her knowledge of the man-made landscape features we encounter along the way, and will tell us about all the particular features unique to this fascinating Weald & Downland area, which has a wealth of history.

2 hour walk, not suitable for push-chairs or wheel-chairs. Sensible footwear and clothing advised. The route will follow public footpaths and may include some fairly steep ascents. Well-behaved dogs on leads are welcome. Start and end point will be the Chanctonbury Ring car park, opposite the Wiston turning on the A283.