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Barnet Libraries Literary Festival
Barnet Libraries Literary Festival

Sat, May 21



Barnet Libraries Literary Festival

There's something for everyone at the inaugural Barnet Libraries Literary Festival. We have a fantastic line up of inspirational authors talking about their books and writing.

Time & Location

May 21, 2022, 10:00 AM – May 22, 2022, 8:00 PM

London, 318-320, Gateway House, Regents Park Rd, London N3 2LN, UK


Programme Saturday 21 May A morning with Rob Biddulph and Draw with Rob 9.30am to 11am

Age guidance: 5 to 12 years

Author, illustrator and draw along genius Rob Biddulph is known across the world for his brilliant Draw with Rob videos. Find out about Rob's journey from budding artist to award-winning author and World Book Day illustrator, breaking a world record along the way. Everyone can 'Draw with Rob' in this interactive session! Materials will be provided.

More information and booking a morning with RobExternal link

A morning with Louise Hare and Luan Goldie in conversation with Patrice Lawrence discussing their most recent books 11.30am to 1pm

Age guidance: 18 and above

Louise Hare is the author of This Lovely City, a much-lauded debut novel from 2020, which is a gripping book club novel set in 1950s London amongst the Windrush community. It is a story of race, love and community which moves between the jazz clubs of Soho and the Windrush community of Brixton. Louise's second novel' Miss Aldridge Regrets', published in April, takes place aboard the Queen Mary in the 1930s. It is a murder mystery with shades of Agatha Christie, that continues Louise's sharp analysis of race and class in the interwar period.

Luan Goldie is a Costa Short Story Award winner and author of the Women's Prize for Fiction longlisted Nightingale Point, as well as Homecoming, her critically acclaimed follow-up which was published last year in paperback. Her new novel, These Streets, will be published in April 2022 and is a powerful story following a single mother in East London who is just about keeping things together for her and her teenage children, until her landlord asks her to move out.

Patrice Lawrence is a writer fuelled by anger to write stories that pick away at social injustice. She has been shortlisted for the Costa Children's Award and won several prizes for her young adult fiction including the YA Bookseller Prize, the Waterstone's Prize for Older Children's fiction and the inaugural Jhalak Children and Young People's Prize. She was awarded an MBE for Literature in the 2021 Queen's Birthday Honours.

More information and booking a morning with Louise and LuanExternal link

An afternoon with Mandy Morton and Nicola Upson in conversation with Natasha Boydell discussing their most recent books 2.30pm to 4pm

Age guidance: 16 and above

Mandy Morton began her professional life as a musician. She is the co-author of a non-fiction theatre book, In Good Company, and lives with her partner in Cambridge and Cornwall, where there is always a place for a long-haired tabby cat. 'The Cat and the Pendulum' is the tenth book in Morton's The No.2 Feline Detective Agency series featuring super sleuth cat Hettie Bagshot.

Nicola Upson was born in Suffolk and read English at Downing College, Cambridge. Her debut novel, An Expert in Murder, was the first in a series of crime novels to feature Josephine Tey, one of the leading authors of Britain's golden age of crime-writing. The book was dramatised by BBC Scotland for Woman's Hour and praised by P.D. James as marking the arrival of a new and assured talent. Nicola will be talking about her exciting new book Dear Little Corpses.

Natasha Boydell is an author and former journalist. Her debut novel, The Missing Husband, was an Amazon Kindle Top 100 bestseller. Her second, The Woman Next Door, was released in the autumn.

More information and booking an afternoon with Mandy and NicolaExternal link

An evening with Erin Kelly, Heidi Amsinck, Caz Frear, and C.J. Tudor discussing their most recent books 6.30pm to 8pm

Age guidance: 18 and above

Erin Kelly is one of the most well respected and critically acclaimed voices in the crime writing community. She is the Sunday Times bestselling author of 'The Poison Tree', 'The Sick Rose', 'The Burning Air', 'The Ties That Bind', 'He Said/She Said', 'Stone Mothers' and 'Broadchurch: the Novel', inspired by the mega-hit TV series. In 2013 'The Poison Tree' became a major ITV drama and was a Richard & Judy Summer Read in 2011. 'He Said/She Said' spent six weeks in the top ten in both hardback and paperback, was longlisted for the Theakson's Old Peculiar Crime Novel of the Year Award and selected for both the Simon Mayo Radio 2 and Richard & Judy Book Clubs.

Heidi Amsinck has written numerous short stories for radio, including the three story sets; 'Danish Noir', 'Copenhagen Confidential' and 'Copenhagen Curios', all produced by Sweet Talk for BBC Radio 4. She was previously shortlisted for the VS Pritchett Memorial Prize. 'Last Train to Helsingør' was her first published collection of stories. Her exciting crime novel 'My Name is Jensen', set in Copenhagen, was published in August 2021.

Caz Frear's first novel 'Sweet Little Lies' won the 2017 Richard & Judy Search for a Bestseller competition and reached number one on Amazon with almost 250,000 copies sold to date. She is the author of three Cat Kinsella novels; 'Sweet Little Lies', 'Stone Cold Heart', and 'Shed No Tears'.

C.J. Tudor's first novel, 'The Chalk Man', was a Sunday Times bestseller. It also won the ITW Award, The Strand Award, and the Barry Award for best debut thriller. All three of her subsequent novels, 'The Taking of Annie Thorne', 'The Other People', and 'The Burning Girls', have been bestsellers. She's keeping her fingers crossed for book number five, 'The Drift'.

More information and booking an evening with Erin, Heidi, Caz and CJExternal link

Sunday 22 May A morning with Michael Rosen in conversation with writer Miriam Halahmy 9.30am to 11am

Age guidance: children aged 9 and above, teenagers and adults

Michael Rosen is one of Britain's best loved writers and performance poets for children and adults. He was the Children's Laureate from 2007 to 2009 and has published over 200 books for children and adults, including the recent bestseller 'Many Different Kinds of Love' and 'On the Move', which won the Clippa Poetry Award.

Miriam Halahmy writes books and short stories for children, teenagers and adults. Her current book is 'Saving Hanno', in which nine-year-old Rudi has a chance to leave the dangers of Nazi Germany on a Kindertransport to England. However, he cannot bring Hanno, his wonderful dachshund. Luckily, his family find a way to smuggle Hanno to London. But with England on the brink of war, Hanno is still not safe.

More information and booking a morning with MichaelExternal link

A morning with Pam Fox in conversation with Francine Wolfisz discussing Jews by the Seaside 11.30am to 1pm

Age guidance: 14 and above

Pam Fox published 'Israel Isidor Mattuck: Architect of Liberal Judaism', which was nominated for an award by the Jewish Book Council in the US. Her book, ‘The History of the Jewish Community of Golders Green’, was published by the History Press in November 2016. In 2019 her book on the hundred-year history of the Rinkoff Jewish bakery in London’s East End, ‘History in the Baking: The Rinkoff Story’ was published. Pam’s latest book, ‘Jews by the Seaside: The Jewish Hotels and Guest Houses in Bournemouth’ was published in October 2021.

Francine Wolfisz is a former features editor of ‘Jewish News’, Britain’s biggest Jewish newspaper, and a former assistant group editor of Newsquest’s Times & Independent series. She graduated from Stanford University with an MA in Journalism.

More information and booking a morning with PamExternal link

An afternoon with Helen Fry and Charlotte Philby in conversation with Michael Newman, CEO of The Association of Jewish Refugees, discussing their most recent books 2.30pm to 4pm

Age guidance: 18 and above

Historian Dr Helen Fry has written extensively on the Second World War with reference to British intelligence, espionage, prisoners of war and the secret war. Her acclaimed book, ‘The Walls Have Ears: The Greatest Intelligence Operation of World War II’, has become a bestseller and was in the Daily Mail’s Top 8 Books of the Year on War. She has written over twenty-five books including 'MI9: a History of the Secret Service for Escape and Evasion in World War Two' and ‘The London Cage’ about Britain’s secret interrogation center in Kensington. Her latest book, 'Spymaster: The Man who Saved MI6', is about the extraordinary life of Thomas Kendrick. Helen has appeared in numerous TV documentaries.

Charlotte Philby worked for the Independent for eight years as a columnist, editor, and reporter, and was shortlisted for the Cudlipp Prize for her investigative journalism at the 2013 Press Awards. Charlotte is the granddaughter of Kim Philby, Britain’s most infamous communist double-agent, the elusive ‘third man’ in the notorious Cambridge spy ring. ‘Edith And Kim’ is her fourth novel.

Michael Newman is Chief Executive of the Association of Jewish Refugees (AJR), which represents and supports Holocaust refugees and survivors in Great Britain. He was awarded on OBE in Her Majesty The Queen’s Birthday Honours list 2021.

More information and booking an afternoon with Helen and CharlotteExternal link

An evening with Debra Barnes, Ariana Neumann and Meriel Schindler in conversation with David Herman, chief fiction reviewer for The Jewish Chronicle, discussing their latest books 6.30pm and 8pm

Age guidance: 18 and above

Debra Barnes is the author of ‘The Young Survivors’. The book was inspired by her mother, Paulette, who was born in France in 1938 and lost her parents and two siblings in the gas chambers of Auschwitz, including her twin sister at just six years old. Debra joined The Association of Jewish Refugees (AJR) in 2017 to run their ‘My Story’ project. This initiative produces individual life-story books for Holocaust survivors and refugees with the participation of volunteers as interviewers.

Ariana Neumann is from Venezuela. She was previously involved in publishing, worked as a foreign correspondent for Venezuela’s The Daily Journal and her writing has appeared in a variety of publications including The European, the Jewish Book Council, and The New York Times. ‘When Time Stopped’ is her first book.

Meriel Schindler spent the first fifteen years of her life growing up in central London before suddenly being moved to a convent school in provincial Austria. Five years later she moved back to the UK to study French and German at university and is now an employment lawyer, partner, and head of a team at Withers, a law firm. Meriel is also a trustee of the writing charity Arvon.

Daivid Herman is chief fiction reviewer for the Jewish Chronicle and contributing editor for the Journal of The Association of Jewish Refugees. He has written on Holocaust literature for The Guardian, The Independent, and elsewhere, and has produced TV programmes on related subjects for BBC2 and Channel 4.

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