Literary Events

Isabel Ashdown

Waterstones, The Dolphin & Anchor, West Street, Chichester

Thursday June 28, 7pm

Free but places must be reserved

This is an interview with bestselling local author Isabel Ashdown as she celebrates the release of her latest book Beautiful Liars. Martha is a TV celebrity, preparing to host a new cold case crime show… and the first investigation will be that of missing student Juliet Sherman. Nearly two decades later, Martha must reach out to old friends and try to piece together the final moments of Juliet’s life. But what happens when your perfect friends turn out to be perfect strangers…? Picture: West Dean College.

Phone 01243 773030 or visit

Summer Reads: An Evening with Elizabeth Enfield and Araminta Hall


Waterstones, 71-74 North Street, Brighton

Thursday June 28, 7.30pm

Tickets £3 including a glass of wine on arrival

Two Brighton writers discuss their two very different approaches to relationships in their two big summer reads. Araminta Hall’s Our Kind of Cruelty is  described by Gillian Flynn as “the most addictive psychological thriller of 2018” while Elizabeth Enfield’s Ivy & Abe “the most romantic book of this year.” Both novelists  mine family and relationships  and, while their books fall into very different categories,  they both cover a lot of common ground. Picture of Elizabeth Enfield, above: Sarah Ketelaars. Picture of Araminta Hall, below: Silas Craig Hall.

Phone 01273 206017 or visit

Ndaba Mandela

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

Tuesday July 3, 7pm

Tickets £8

Ndaba Mandela is the grandson of Nelson Mandela, anti-apartheid revolutionary and president of South Africa from 1994-1999, and has written Going to the Mountain, a book about how his grandfather steered him from his reckless youth to his maturation into a fully realised and principled adulthood. The book details the gripping arc of Ndaba’s extraordinary journey, from the segregated Soweto ghettos into which he was born, to the presidential mansion in which he grew up, and the challenged times in which he lives now. HIs book coincides with what would have been Nelson Mandela’s 100th birthday in July. Picture above: Liz Beddall/Toronto Mail Star.

Phone 01273 464440 or visit

Untold Stories Two: New Writing from West Dean College of Arts & Conservation

Waterstones, 71-74 North Street, Brighton

Thursday July 5, 7.30pm

Tickets £3 including a glass of wine on arrival

Untold Stories Two is an anthology of first chapters from the novels-in-progress by graduating students on the MA Creative Writing & Publishing at West Dean College of Arts and Conservation in West Sussex. Contributing authors Anne Ekin, Beth Carr, Garry Brooking, Hillary Christie, Elizabeth Stafford-Smith and Hilary Scudder will each read a short excerpt from their work, and will be joined by 2017 graduates Mark Peter Howe, Nicola Herring and Louise Bradford to discuss their experience of writing a first novel. The anthology is edited by Martine McDonagh, author of Narcissism for Beginners and MA Programme Leader at West Dean, who hosts this event. 

Phone 01273 206017 or visit

Matt Haig


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

Tuesday July 10, 7pm

Tickets £8

Novelist and journalist Matt Haig, who lives in Brighton, talks about his new book Notes From A Nervous Planet, a personal look at how to feel happy, human and whole in the 21st century. After years of experiencing anxiety and panic attacks, the author of Reasons To Stay Alive began to look for the link between what he felt and the world around him.

Phone 01273 464440 or visit or visit

The Power of Dog: An Evening with Andrew Marshall


Waterstones, 71-74 North Street, Brighton

Tuesday July 17, 7.30pm

Tickets £3 including a glass of wine on arrival

Bestselling author Andrew Marshall is in conversation with author and journalist Simon Crompton to celebrate the launch of his new memoir The Power Of DogIn his previous book, My Mourning Year, Andrew described the intense grief he experienced after the death of his beloved much beloved partner. In The Power Of Dog, he relates  the healing power of a collie cross puppy called Flash, chronicling not only the ups and downs of training an excitable puppy but how Flash brings back his childhood fear of wolves and the unresolved issues with his parents. Slowly but surely, by looking though Flash’s eyes, Andrew starts to laugh again, fall in love with the Sussex countryside and heal old wounds with his mother. At the climax of Flash’s puppy years, he gives him enough confidence to take a real-life wolf for a walk.

Phone 01273 206017 or visit

John Nichol

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

Wednesday July 18, 7pm

Tickets £8

John Nichol is the RAF flight lieutenant, who with fellow flight lieutenant John Peters, was shot down over enemy territory on their first airborne mission of the Gulf War. Their capture in the desert, half a mile from their blazing Tornado bomber, began a nightmare seven-week ordeal of torture and interrogation which brought both men close to death. They told their story in the book Tornado Down. Tonight, John Peters also talks about his new book, Spitfire: A Very British Love Story, which tells edge-of-the-seat stories and heart-stopping first-hand accounts of battling pilots, some forced to bail out over occupied territory; of sacrifice and wartime love; of aristocratic female flyers, and of the mechanics who braved the Nazi onslaught to keep the aircraft in battle-ready condition. 

Phone 01273 464440 or visit


Nature & Nurture – Writing for Wellbeing with Ann O’Keife

Sussex Prairie Garden, Morlands Farm, Wheatsheaf Road, near Henfield

Friday August 3, 10am-2pm


Ann O’Keife, a creative writing tutor, person-centred therapist and laughter teacher based in West Sussex, leads this inspirational Writing for Wellbeing workshop. Enjoy easy and fun writing exercises to stimulate your imagination and encourage flow writing. The workshop is suitable for all levels. Bring a pen, notebook and packed lunch.

Phone 01273 495902 or visit

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

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

Literary Events Calendar

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