Literary Events

Bernstein in Chichester Exhibition


West Sussex Record Office, 3 Orchard Street, Chichester

Monday-Monday August 13-24, Tuesday-Friday 9.15am-4.45pm and Saturdays 9.15am-12.30pm and 1.30pm-4.30pm


As part of the Bernstein In Chichester Festival marking the centenary of the birth of the West Side Story composer Leonard Bernstein, this is an exhibition of a series of compelling documents from the archives at West Sussex Record Office recording his time in Chichester and the first performance of his composition the Chichester Psalms at Chichester Cathedral in 1965. The exhibition includes the cathedral archives and the papers of Dean Walter Hussey, who commissioned the original work. It will transfer to Chichester Cathedral North Transept in October. Pictures: West Sussex Record Office/Dean Hussey Archive.

Read our feature on the Bernstein In Chichester Festival.

Phone 01243 753602 or visit

Hastings Litfest

Opus Theatre, 24-25 Cambridge Road, Hastings

Friday August 31-Saturday September 1


This festival about writing is for writers of all abilities and has been set up by writers. It will feature workshops, talks by prominent authors, live performances, panellists, speakers and competitions.

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An Evening with Patrick Gale

Waterstones, 71-74 North Street, Brighton

Tuesday September 4, 7.30pm

Tickets £3, including a glass of wine

Bestselling author Patrick Gale, the author of new BBC drama Man in an Orange Shirt, talks about Take Nothing With You, his new novel of boyhood, coming of age and the confusions of desire and reality. Fifty-something Eustace, a gay Londoner of leisure, realises in the same week that he has fallen hopelessly in love with a man he has yet to meet in the flesh, and that he has cancer of the thyroid. While being given radioactive iodine therapy, which involves spending a little over 24 hours in a lead-lined hospital suite wearing only disposable clothes and with no possessions he doesn’t mind leaving behind, he listens to hour on hour of cello music recorded for him by his best mate, Naomi. This sets his memories circling back to the 1970s and his eccentric boyhood and adolescence in his parents’ old people’s home in Weston-Super-Mare, and how his life was transfigured, and his family’s stability shattered, by the decision to attend a recital by the glamorous cellist Carla Gold. Picture: Alex Efimoff.

Phone 01273 206017 or visit

An Evening with Lucy Watson

Waterstones, 71-74 North Street, Brighton

Thursday September 6, 7.30pm

Tickets £3

In her bestselling award-winning cookery debut Feed Me Vegan, Lucy Watson brought simple, straightforward vegan comfort food to legions of vegans – both new adopters and plant-based veterans. Now she’s back with a book of all-new vegan recipes to suit every mealtime, celebration, and your Instagram feed. She discusses her new book of easy recipes for everyday veganism, Feed Me Vegan: For All Occasions, and then a book signing follows.

Phone 01273 206017 or visit

An Evening with Sali Hughes and Caitlin Moran

Waterstones, 71-74 North Street, Brighton

Thursday September 13, 7.30pm

Tickets £3, including a glass of wine (sold out)

Brighton-based beauty writer Sali Hughes is in conversation with Caitlin Moran for an evening of lively discussion on the beauty products that changed the world. Sali Hughes is a journalist, broadcaster, and a columnist for Guardian Weekend, The Pool and Empire. The Times journalist and novelist Caitlin Moran, who was born in Brighton, is the author of How To Be A Woman and her most recent book How To Be Famous, published this year, about a young woman making it in a world where men hold all the power.

Phone 01273 206017 or visit

The Guilty Feminist in Brighton

Sallis Benney Theatre, 58-67 Grand Parade, Brighton

Thursday September 13, 7.30pm

Tickets £20, including a copy of The Guilty Feminist

Stand-up comedian, corporate speaker, screenwriter and executive coach Deborah Frances-White has turned her hit comedy podcast The Guilty Feminist into a funny, frank and inspiring book about embracing both our feminism and our imperfections. Tonight, she explores what it means to be a 21st century feminist. Picture: Linda Kupo.


Blakefest 2018

Alexandra Theatre, Regis Centre, Belmont Street, Bognor Regis

Saturday September 15, various times

Tickets £15.50/theatre ticket £12.50 or NUS £5.50/studio ticket £8.50 or NUS £5.50

This quirky music festival, now in its fourth year, celebrates William Blake and his impact on the 60s. Headlined by Lene Lovich, the singer-songwriter who had a hit in 1979 with Lucky Number and who is a leading and iconic figure in the New Wave Scene., it also includes the music of George Harrison from the 10-piece All Things Must Pass Orchestra and jazz from Emily Dankworth with the Jamie Lemming Trio. Also part of the festival is this year’s Southdown’s poetry featuring Sasha Dugdale and On The Streets art exhibition with the English and Creative Writing Department of Chichester.

Phone 01243 861010 or visit

Shirley Collins

Ropetackle Arts Centre, Little High Street, Shoreham-by-Sea

Tuesday September 18, 7pm

Tickets £8

In her new memoir, All In The Downs, Sussex-born singer, folklorist and music historian Shirley Collins tells the story of her lifelong relationship with English folk song and the dedication to artistic integrity that has guided her through the triumphs and tragedies of her life. In 2016, she released her album Lodestar, her return to performance after a 30-year absence. Shirley, the president of the English Folk Dance and Song Society, grew up near Hastings.

Phone 01273 464440 or visit; or phone 01273 725306 or visit

Meet The Author: Anna Hope

Hurstpierpoint Library, Trinity Road, Hurstpierpoint

Tuesday September 18, 7.30pm

Tickets £4

Join bestselling author Anna Hope as she discusses her novels The Ballroom and Wake. Their settings bookend the Great War and offer an insight into an era that left no lives in Britain unchanged. A Richard and Judy Book Club choice in 2016, The Ballroom is set over the heatwave summer of 1911 at the end of the Edwardian era and is a tale of unlikely love and dangerous obsession of madness and sanity, and of who gets to decide which is which. On Remembrance Day 1920, a wartime secret connects three women’s lives: Hettie, whose brother won’t speak; Evelyn, who still grieves for her lost lover; Ada, who still believes her son will come home. Wake explores the mystery that binds them together.


Susie Dent – The Secret Lives of Words

The Capitol Horsham, North Street, Horsham

Tuesday September 25, 7.30pm

Tickets £19.50

Lexicographer Susie Dent, the queen of Dictionary Corner on TV’s Countdown, is on her first UK tour when she explores the curious, unexpected, and downright surreal origins of the words we use every day. Susie will retell the adventures that lie hidden within such words as lasagne (involving a chamber pot) and bugbear (a terrorising monster), and explain such oddities as the silent h in ghost and the mysterious disappearance of kempt, gormful, and ruly (and yes, you really can be gruntled). She will look to the lexicon of the past to fill some of today’s linguistic gaps – such as the frenzied fit of tidying we all do just as guests are about to descend (that’s a scurryfunge). She will also ask the audience for local words to explore.

Phone 01403 750220 or visit

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