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!


A Cookery Author Supper with Camilla Stephens

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.

Book now

A Cookery Author Supper with Camilla Stephens

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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A Cookery Author Supper with Camilla Stephens

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!

Book now



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.

Book now

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.



Mary-Ann Ochota’s Hidden Histories

Saturday 22nd June, 3pm, The Gluck Studio. Talk with slideshow. Free tea & cake! 

Join anthropologist, TV presenter and writer Mary-Ann Ochota on a journey through Britain’s historic landscape.
Mary-Ann’s brilliant and essential book Hidden Histories; a Spotter’s Guide to the British Landscape is a real favourite at The Steyning Bookshop, and now we are lucky enough to have Mary-Ann in person to bring it all to life, with a fantastic talk and slideshow on Saturday, and a guided walk on Sunday!

What clues will tell you the origins of a village, or the age of a hedgerow? Why was this avenue of trees planted? How to tell a barrow from a mound? What, exactly is a tumulus and how can I spot one? Join Mary-Ann to find out all this, and more, as she shares the secrets of our countryside and helps us to identify the human activities that have shaped our green and pleasant land.

This book is perfect for anyone who’s travelled through the countryside, scratched their head, and thought, ‘what on earth is that thing?’”
Tony Robinson

Mary-Ann Ochota’s TV presenting credits include Mystic BritainBritain Afloat: Boats that made Britain (BBC2), Raised Wild/Feral Children (Discovery Networks), Britain’s Secret Treasures, Britain’s Secret Homes (ITV1), and Time Team (Channel 4). She is a presenter for BBC radio’s anthropology series, The Why Factor and a regular contributor to BBC Radio 4’s From Our Own Correspondent. Mary-Ann gained her MA in Anthropology from Emmanuel College, Cambridge and is a fellow of the Royal Geographic Society.

Tickets for Mary-Ann’s talk are £6, to include tea & home-made cake, and her book ‘Hidden Histories’ will be on sale at the Gluck Studio event.

For the more active, Mary is also leading a guided walk on Sunday, and we have a double deal with tickets for talk AND walk being only £15. (£3 saving)

Doodle-Fun with Guy Parker-Rees

Saturday 22nd June, 10.30am. The Steyning Bookshop (kitchen or garden marquee)

Popular illustrator of the classic picture book Giraffes Can’t Dance, the lovely Guy Parker-Rees, will be stopping by the bookshop on the morning of Saturday 22nd June to entertain children with drawing, dancing and general hilarity!

Guy’s joyous and exuberant picture book Giraffes Can’t Dance will celebrate 20 years of being in print this June! To celebrate, Hachette have released a snazzy gold-covered edition, and after his session with the children has ended Guy will create a marvellous window display in our children’s window! Feel free to hang around to watch him at work!

Tickets are £4 for children but if you buy one of Guy’s books to get signed you’ll get £4 off the book – so really they are free! Guy has illustrated LOADS of brilliant picture books so plenty to choose from!

Age guide: 3-7 year olds will enjoy this event the most.



A Cookery Author Supper with Camilla Stephens

An Evening with Jim Al-Khalili

Friday 21st June, 7pm at Wiston House. 

Join acclaimed theoretical physicist, author and broadcaster Jim Al-Khalili as he discusses his thrilling debut sci-fi novel Sunfall.

Set in a near-future of dazzling technologies and drawing on cutting-edge science, ‘Sunfall’ is a pacy and of course, brilliantly researched and seemingly plausible sci-fi thriller which explores what might happen if the magnetic field that protects life on Earth from deadly radiation from space was to fail.

Jim al-Khalili is a British theoretical physicist, author and broadcaster. He is Professor of Theoretical Physics and Chair in the Public Engagement in Science at the University of Surrey. He is a regular broadcaster and presenter of science programmes on radio and television, including BBC Radio 4’s ‘The Life Scientific’, and has published numerous books on physics, including Black Holes, Wormholes and Time Machines, Nucleus: A Trip into the Heart of Matter, Quantum: A Guide for the Perplexed, The House of Wisdom: How Arabic Science Saved Ancient Knowledge and Gave Us the Renaissance, and Paradox: The Nine Greatest Enigmas in Science. Sunfall is his first novel.

Jim will discuss his novel, its scientific inspiration, and his fascinating life in science with Richard Burge, former Director of Wilton Park.

This event is kindly supported by Wilton Park.

£25 including a Prosecco Reception and a complimentary copy of Sunfall in hardback.

Tickets on sale now!
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A Cookery Author Supper with Camilla Stephens

Chanctonbury Rings – Album Launch with Justin Hopper & Sharron Kraus

Thursday 20th June, 7.30pm Gluck Studio.
Steyning Bookshop presents Justin Hopper & Sharron Kraus performing their new album Chanctonbury Rings live at the Gluck Studio. Through spoken word and music, the piece tells of uncanny encounters with the mist-shrouded Sussex landmark. It is based on American writer Hopper’s book The Old Weird Albion, and in particular his childhood visits to Steyning, with new music composed by psych-folk artist Sharron Kraus, which she performs live on synths, strings, woodwinds and more.

This performance marks the world debut of the Chanctonbury Rings album. An early version, performed here in 2018, marked the album’s beginning. Now Hopper and Kraus come full circle, returning to launch vinyl and CD through Ghost Box Records.

The duo will perform Chanctonbury Rings in full, along with a short set of songs by Sharron Kraus.

Copies of the album and of Justin’s book The Old Weird Albion will be on sale. There will be a licensed bar selling beers, wine and soft drinks.

Tickets are £8 available via the Steyning Bookshop and direct from Ticketsource here.

Book now

A Cookery Author Supper with Camilla Stephens

DINA NAYERI ‘The Ungrateful Refugee’

Wednesday 19th June, 7.30pm. Steyning Centre, Saxon Room

At the age of eight, Iranian-born novelist Dina Nayeri fled Iran along with her mother and brother.  Eventually she was granted asylum in America, where she made her way to Princeton.

Nayeri will be discussing the refugee experience, and its public and political perception, which is the subject of her powerful new book The Ungrateful Refugee. Weaving her own moving story with the accounts of other refugees, bringing us inside their daily lives and taking us through the different stages of their journeys, this book should be compulsory reading for all policy-makers!

Among the vivid stories in the book we see a couple fall in love over the phone, women gathering to prepare noodles that remind them of home, a closeted queer man trying to make his case truthfully as he seeks asylum, and a translator attempting to help new arrivals present their stories to officials.

Here are the real human stories of what it is like to be forced to flee your home, and to journey across borders in the hope of starting afresh.

“Dina Nayeri has written a vital book for our times. The Ungrateful Refugee gives voice to those whose stories are too often lost or suppressed. Braiding memoir, reportage and essayism, Nayeri allows those fortunate enough never to have been stateless or displaced to glimpse something of the hardships and subtleties of refugee experience. Written with compassion, tenderness and a burning anger, her book appears at the end of a decade in which division and dislocation have risen to a terrible pitch. It speaks powerfully from – and to – the heart. Please read it.”
Robert MacfarlaneUnderland, Landmarks

Dina Nayeri’s debut novel, A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea (2013) was translated into 14 languages. Her second novel, Refuge (2017) was a New York Times editor’s choice. She holds a BA from Princeton, and an MBA from Harvard. Her article The Ungrateful Refugee: ‘We have no debt to repay’ in The Guardian has exceeded 80k shares.

Tickets are £10 to include a £5 voucher towards book purchase.

Tickets available from The Steyning Bookshop on 01903 812062 or direct from Ticketsource.

A licensed bar will serve wine, beer and soft drinks.

Book now


A Cookery Author Supper with Camilla Stephens

‘The Crossway’ An Evening with GUY STAGG

Tuesday 18th June at 7.30pm. The Gluck Studio

‘An extraordinary travelogue, strange and brilliant’

In 2013 Guy Stagg made a pilgrimage from Canterbury to Jerusalem. Though a non-believer, he began the journey after suffering several years of mental illness, hoping the ritual would heal him. For ten months he hiked alone on ancient paths, crossing ten countries and more than 5,500 kilometres.

The Crossway is Guy’s account of this extraordinary adventure. Having left home on New Year’s Day, Stagg climbed over the Alps in midwinter, spent Easter in Rome with a new pope, joined mass protests in Istanbul and survived a terrorist attack in Lebanon. Travelling without support, he had to rely each night on the generosity of strangers, staying with monks and nuns, priests and families.

As a result, he gained a unique insight into the lives of contemporary believers and learnt the fascinating stories of the soldiers and saints, missionaries and martyrs who had followed these paths before him. The Crossway is a book full of wonders, mixing travel and memoir, history and current affairs. At once intimate and epic, it charts the author’s struggle to walk towards recovery, and asks whether religion can still have meaning for those without faith.

We are really looking forward to hearing Guy Stagg discussing his journey, with photographic slides.
Beautifully written, filled with strange encounters and extraordinary language, The Crossway is a meditation, an escape, a confrontation, a losing and a finding. It is a timely antidote to our disconnected times.‘ Philip Hoare, author of Leviathan.

A signed paperback copy of The Crossway is included in the ticket price of £12.

Tickets are available via Ticketsource or direct from The Steyning Bookshop on 01903 812062.

Book now




A Cookery Author Supper with Camilla Stephens


Tuesday 18th June, 2-4pm. The Gluck Studio

Novelist and creative writing coach Beth Miller will lead aspiring writers in a 2 hour workshop focussing on story and character development.

With lashings of tea and home-made cake to keep the creative juices flowing!

Beth Miller has published 5 books – 3 novels; The Good Neighbour, When We Were Sisters, and The Two Hearts of Eliza Bloom, and 2 non fiction books; For the Love of the Archers and For the Love of Shakespeare. She also teaches on the Creative Writing Programme based at New Writing South, and works as a ‘book coach’, helping writers at all stages of their careers in one-on-one sessions.

Beth helped me find the confidence and clarity in my writing to spur me on to complete my novel.” Martin Nathan, author of the novel A Place of Safety, published by Salt, June 2018.

Places on the workshop are limited to 15 participants, so do book early to avoid disappointment! Book here with Ticketsource or by phone / in person at The Steyning Bookshop.

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A Cookery Author Supper with Camilla Stephens

An Evening with Lucy Foley

Monday 17th June at 7.30pm. The Gluck Studio.

Author Lucy Foley will discuss her latest novel The Hunting Party, a fiendishly twisty murder mystery set in a remote Scottish hunting lodge. Bringing all of the appeal of an Agatha Christie-style house-party whodunit to a thoroughly modern thriller, it is a riveting read which will keep you turning the pages long after lights out!

A group of thirty-something friends from Oxford meet to welcome in the New Year together, a tradition they began as students ten years ago. For this vacation, they’ve chosen an idyllic and isolated estate in the Scottish Highlands – the perfect place to get away and unwind by themselves. They arrive on December 30th, just before a historic blizzard seals the lodge off from the outside world. Two days later, on New Year’s Day, one of them is dead…..

Lucy Foley studied English Literature at Durham and UCL universities and worked for several years as a fiction editor in the publishing industry, before leaving to write full-time. The Hunting Party is her debut crime novel, inspired by a particularly remote spot in Scotland that fired her imagination. Lucy is also the author of three historical novels; The Book of Lost and Found, The Invitation, and Last Letter from Istanbul. Her journalism has appeared in ES Magazine, Sunday Times Style, Grazia and more.

‘Chilling. You won’t sleep.’ – Adele Parks

`Foley builds the tension cleverly and creepily, underlining the point that old friends aren’t always the best’ – The Observer

Tickets available at The Steyning Bookshop or online via Ticketsource.

Book now

A Cookery Author Supper with Camilla Stephens


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Nick Sharratt’s Big Draw-Along.

Sunday 16th June. Doors open at 10.30 for bacon butties and coffee. Big Draw-along starts at 11am. 

After the fabulous fun we had at last year’s Steyning Festival event, our favourite illustrator / writer, Nick Sharratt, is back for a Fantastic Father’s Day Family-Friendly-Fun-Filled hour of drawing.

Bring your favourite pens. Paper will be provided.

Free coffee and bacon butties for dads!

Adults £7 Children £5.


Tickets are available from the Steyning Bookshop or online this link to Ticketsource

Book now

A Cookery Author Supper with Camilla Stephens


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THE GRUFFALO & FRIENDS with JULIA DONALDSON & COMPANY. Saturday 15th June at 2.30pm

Come and celebrate the Gruffalo’s 20th birthday with Julia Donaldson and friends – including the Gruffalo himself! Join them for a fun-packed show of dramatised stories, songs and audience participation!

The show will be followed by the opportunity to purchase Julia’s books and get them personally signed and dedicated.

AGE GUIDE: The show is ideally suited for ages 4+. All children will need to have a ticket.
Tickets available from the Steyning Booksshop or via this link to Ticketsource

Book now

A Cookery Author Supper with Camilla Stephens

Children’s Creative Writing Workshop with Vashti Hardy

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‘Mapping Imaginary Worlds’ SATURDAY  15th JUNE 10.30am

A creative writing workshop for budding writers aged 7-12, with children’s writer Vashti Hardy. 

Vashti is the author of two novels for children, Brightstorm and Wildspark, both published by Scholastic. The lovely Vashti will guide children to create and map their imaginary worlds.

Before becoming a full-time writer, Vashti was a primary school teacher, and she has an MA in creative writing from Chichester University.

All equipment and free refreshments are provided.

Tickets can be purchased at the bookshop or online via this Ticketsource link

Book now


Make sure you’re free on Monday 27th May for the Steyning Country Fair, when the High St will be a bustle with street entertainers, music, craft stalls, rare breed farm animals, and delicious produce.

True to time-honoured tradition, we will have free activities for children in our garden marquee, led by picture book writer / illustrator Bryony Thomson. Bryony’s delightful book ‘The Wardrobe Monster’, published by local press Old Barn Books, is a beautifully illustrated, humorous and reassuring story for any child who has ever though there might be monsters lurking in the dark.

Bryony will be leading a fun ‘MONSTER MASH’ drawing session, helping children to create their own ‘wardrobe monsters’. There’ll also be stories, crafts and free refreshments for children, and grown-ups can take the weight off their feet and relax in our lovely bookshop garden marquee.

There will be 2 sessions: From 11am till noon, then again from 2pm until 3pm. Just come along, it’s free, no need to book! Suitable for ages 3-9. 

Bryony Thomson is a writer and illustrator based in Surrey. She graduated with a distinction from the MA Children’s Book Illustration Course at Cambridge School of Art, and also received a ‘Highly Commended’ in the Macmillan Prize. ‘The Wardrobe Monster’ is her first published book. Do check out her website, she has some gorgeous screen-printed tea towels and framed prints for sale there!


The Vinyl Frontier Book Launch

We are very excited to be hosting a launch party for local writer Jonathan Scott’s new book ‘The Vinyl Frontier’, which tells the fascinating story of the Golden Record – an inter-stellar mix-tape sent into space with the Voyager Missions in 1977. Curated by Carl Sagan, the 90 minute disc contained music by JS Bach and Chuck Berry, ethnographic field recordings, and a message of peace by President Jimmy Carter – a field guide to Earthlings for the Cosmos. ‘The Vinyl Frontier’  follows the project from first phone call to final launch, and it is a truly fascinating story of an optimistic project with a cosmic vision of peace and unity.

Jonathan Scott has been fascinated by the Voyager Golden Record project ever since he first heard of it, and the book grew out of a magazine article on the subject that he penned for Record Collector Magazine. Formerly a contributing editor to Record Collector magazine, Jonathan has edited books about Prince, Cher and the San Francisco psych explosion, and written about Nirvana, the Pogues, the Venga Boys, Sir Patrick Moore and Sir Isaac Newton in a variety of magazines. He is a self-confessed astronomy geek who received his first telescope at the age of eight!

The launch party will start at 7.30pm with wine kindly provided by Bloomsbury Publishing, there will be delicious home-made canapes to nibble, and Jonathan will share a few stories from his research before signing copies of his book.



An Evening with Michelle Paver

We are very excited to unveil our April author event! Celebrated novelist Michelle Paver will be at the Gluck Studio on Wednesday 24th April, discussing her latest novel, ‘Wakenhyrst‘, a spell-binding masterpiece of Gothic fiction which enthralls and chills in equal measure.

The book is set deep in the Suffolk Fens, and follows the story of Maud, a lonely, motherless child who takes solace in the dank beauty of the Fen against the religious, repressive will of her historian father. When her father finds a medieval ‘Doom’ painting in a graveyard, unhallowed forces and a murderous obsession are awakened. Maud must hold strong in the face of the age-old legends of her beloved fen – and the even more nightmarish demons of her father’s past, as he becomes increasingly unravelled. Imbued with dark menace, the story maintains a tense ambiguity between the supernatural and the psychological. I cannot wait to hear Michelle tell us more about her research in the Suffolk Fens and the real-life ‘Doom’ which sparked the idea for the novel!

Michelle Paver is also the author of ‘Dark Matter’, a terrifying ghost story set in the haunting wilderness of the far north in the 1930’s, and ‘Thin Air’, the chilling story of a mountaineering expedition in the Himalayas which ends in disaster, but is perhaps best known for the compelling ‘Wolf Brother’ series of historical fantasy novels for children, which have achieved ‘classic’ status on school bookshelves across the world.

Tickets are £15 which includes a hot-off-the-press signed hardback copy of ‘Wakenhyrst’ and complimentary wine and canapes!

Tickets are available via Ticketsource or by calling / coming into the shop. tel 01903 812062.


An Evening with William Shaw and Nuala Ellwood

An Evening with William Shaw and Nuala Ellwood

We are thrilled to present a double whammy author event for March, a real treat for thriller and crime fans!
On Tuesday March 26th, 7.30pm at the lovely Gluck Studio, best-selling writers William Shaw and Nuala Ellwood will discuss their latest novels.
William Shaw is a firm favourite with local readers now, having interviewed Peter May at our author supper last year, and appeared at our crime-writers night during the Steyning Festival.
Hailed by fellow writer Val McDermid as “Taut, terrifying and timely”, William’s latest novel Salt Lane is the first in a new series, introducing DS Alexandra Cupidi, reluctantly booted out of the London Met to the bleak salt marsh landscapes of Southern Kent. Faced with the murder of a migrant labourer, she must gain the suspicious locals’ trust if she is to uncover the dark conspiracy behind the murder. Shaw’s trademark flair for lively characterisation and sharp, sensitive, social commentary makes this a gripping and intelligent read, and its atmospheric setting takes a central role. See here for William’s YouTube video filmed in Dungeness (with kind words about us!)

William Shaw will be in conversation with up-and-coming thriller writer Nuala Ellwood about her second novel, Day of the Accident , a dark, twisty and multi-layered psychological thriller which is already gathering ecstatic reviews. Nuala’s first novel My Sister’s Bones, also published by Penguin, saw her being featured as one of The Observer’s ‘New Faces of Fiction 2017’. Day of the Accident follows wife and mother Maggie, who awakes from a coma after her car plunges into a river to be informed that her daughter is dead, drowned during the accident, and her husband, Sean, has disappeared. But she can’t shake the feeling that somewhere, somehow, her daughter is alive and that there is more to the accident than meets the eye.

We can’t wait to hear more!

The event price of £10 includes a paperback book by one of the writers –  how will you choose? Plus wine and nibbles.

Advance booking is advised.


Stories and Crafts from Under the Sea

Stories and Crafts from Under the Sea

Half term dragging on? Raining? Want some off-screen time? Bring your little people along to our February half term kids event!
We don’t have an author this time, but will have entertaining stories, crafts, and things to nibble with an Under-the-Sea theme.
If you come dressed for the theme you’ll get a special prize!
£4 per child.
Age Guide – your little one needs to be able to use scissors and sit still, and not too old for picture books, so .. 4-8 years?
Book in advance by calling the bookshop on 01903 812062. Let us know of any dietary requirements eg dairy / gluten free as we will be serving biscuits/ cakes.
2.30pm on Thursday 21st February.

World Book Day Book Signing with Julia Donaldson

World Book Day Book Signing with Julia Donaldson

What better way to celebrate World Book Day than with the nation’s favourite children’s author, Julia Donaldson?
Julia’s new book ‘The Go Away Bird’ is released on …Thursday March 7th, which just happens to be World Book Day.
Julia will be at the shop for an after-school book signing, with 3 signing sessions starting at 4pm. There is no charge, but you MUST book a place in advance by paying for at least 1 book, and stating your timing of choice: 4pm, 4.30pm, or 5pm. You can book by calling the bookshop on 01903 812062.
‘The Go Away Bird’ is a funny and charming story about the power of friendship, inspired by the birds Julia encountered during her safari trip to Kenya. It marks an exciting new creative partnership for Julia, as the stunning illustrations are provided by the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal-winning Catherine Rayner (already an acclaimed name in illustration for her wonderful books ‘Augustus and his Smile’, ‘Solomon Crocodile’, ‘Ernest’, ‘Smelly Louie’)
‘The Go Away Bird’ will be available in hardback for £11.99, and we will have all Julia’s other books on sale and available for signing, too.

The Unexpected Genius of Pigs with Matt Whyman

The Unexpected Genius of Pigs with Matt Whyman

Join us on Tuesday 5th February for our first event of 2019, when we welcome Sussex based writer Matt Whyman, who’ll be sharing insights from his wonderful book ‘The Unexpected Genius of Pigs’.
Blending research from an expert in pig psychology, and first-hand observations from vets and farmers with his own recollections from his days as an amateur pig-keeper, Matt’s book is an absolutely charming and illuminating study of our unfairly-maligned porcine friends. We look forward to hearing more ‘behind the scenes’ stories from Matt in person!
Perfect for fans of ‘The Secret Lives of Cows’.
A copy of “The Unexpected Genius of Pigs” is included in the ticket price of £10 for the event.
Venue: TBC – Either The Gluck Studio or The Steyning Bookshop.

Matt Whyman has written widely for all ages across a range of subjects in fiction and non-fiction. Notable books amongst the 18 books published to his name are ‘Walking with Sausage Dogs’, his best-selling comic memoir, and ‘The Savages’, a very unusual YA novel featuring a family of cannibals! Matt also lectures in creative writing, was 19 Magazine‘s first ever male ‘Agony Uncle’, and is an established ghostwriter and collaborative author.