Saturday September 12th 2015

Children’s Book Festival 

11.30 am: All About Alice

AliceAlice in Wonderland Extravaganza to celebrate 150 years since the publication of this iconic children’s book with a fancy dress competition, craft activities and a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. (Illustration copyright: Macmillan 1995). Plus interactive storytelling with poet Oscar Kolkowski as the Mad Hatter

11.30        Welcome
11.40        The Mad Hatter – story 1
12.00        Crafts – creating bunting and clocks
12.20        The Mad Hatter – story 2
12.40        The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party (biscuit & drink)
12.55        Prize-giving – fancy dress competition

Children should be accompanied by an adult and are invited to come dressed up as an Alice in Wonderland creature or character.  And watch out for our ‘Alice’s Animals’ trail in Turnham Green Terrace!

Sponsored by Young Veterinary Partnership and Trotters.

St Michael & All Angels Church

For adults and over 5s (under-5s free)

1.00 pm: Prize giving for the Chiswick Book Festival Young People’s Poetry Competition

Now in its 5th year the Young People’s Poetry Competition attracts entries from young people from many local schools. 1.00 pm to 1.20pm approx. Supported by

James Priestman, chair of the judges, will comment on this year’s winning entries and Oscar Kolkowski will present the prizes, following the Alice session in the Church. Prizes provided by Disney and Hachette Children’s Books.

Festival Marquee


2.00 pm: Brett Bear and the Cheeky Chipmunks

Come and meet Brett Bear, the toy bear who comes to life when his owner Kyle and his family are not around to see, at the launch of his very first adventure. Authors Fran Clark and Gurpreet Sihat will entertain the audience with Brett Bear and the Cheeky Chipmunks in what promises to be an exciting and hilarious storytelling session. @GKSihat @TheBrettBear  Supported by Teddies Chiswick Park Day Nursery.

For children aged 3 and over. Children should be accompanied by a responsible adult. 2pm: arrivals.  2.10: reading.  2.35pm to 3.20pm: facepainting and activities – colouring pages, spot the differences, word searches, mazes etc.
And if you can’t wait, there’s lots to do and listen to on Brett Bear’s website!

Chiswick Library, Dukes Avenue, W4

Free but tickets required in advance – a few more are now available here or at Chiswick Library. Session open from 2.00 pm to 3.30 pm.


The Business of Books

Three sessions about the book trade:  the promotion and marketing of e-books, views from the inside of the world of publishing, and expert advice on writing.
Supported by Chiswick Auctions.

11.00 am: Getting the Word Out – how to reach your potential market

A self-publishing and e-book session with John Bond of White Fox – the largest curated network of book publishing services in the UK, authors Tasmina Perry (The Last Kiss Goodbye, The Proposal) and Nick Lloyd (Emergence). @wearewhitefox @tasminaperry @nick_m_lloyd 11.00 am to 12 noon.
Session supported by Fingertips.

Chaired by Jacquie Lawrence (Different for Girls@jac_lawrence

St Michael & All Angels Parish Hall

12.15 pm: The Insiders

Harriet Evans (former editor, Hachette, and author A Place for Us), Colin Field (reviewer and bookseller) and Cathy Rentzenbrink (reviewer, author and Project Director of Quick Reads) celebrate the book industry and try to unravel some of its mysteries for all those passionate about reading and writing. @HarrietEvans  @colinjfield @CathyReadsBooks 12.15 pm to 1.15pm.

Chaired by David Miller, RCW Literary Agency @drearyagent

St Michael & All Angels Parish Hall

1.30 pm: Creative Writing
 ‘How to’

Led by author and creative writing teacher Sarah Leipciger (The Mountain Can Wait) find out in this session how to start, how to improve and how to enjoy the craft of writing. @SarahLeipciger 1.30 pm to 2.30pm.

St Michael & All Angels Parish Hall



1.30 pm: The Last Act of Love: The Story of My Brother and His Sister

Cathy Rentzenbrink talks with Father Kevin Morris, Vicar of St Michael & All Angels, Bedford Park,  about her unflinching and powerfully told memoir of an unimaginably painful family tragedy. Her bestselling account is also a life-affirming meditation on a close sibling relationship, on growing up with grief, on life and on love. @CathyReadsBooks 1.30 pm to 2.30pm.

St Michael & All Angels Church

1.30 pm: Gimson’s Kings and Queens: Brief Lives of the 40 Monarchs since 1066

Writer and journalist Andrew Gimson whirls us through the lives of our monarchs – from 1066 and William the Conqueror right up to Queen Elizabeth II and the present-day – to tell a tale of bastardy, courage, conquest, brutality, vanity, vulgarity, corruption, anarchy, absenteeism, piety, nobility, divorce, execution, civil war, madness, magnificence, profligacy, frugality, philately, abdication, dutifulness, family breakdown and family recovery. @AndrewGimson

All captured with irreverence and acuity by renowned illustrator and cartoonist Martin Rowson@MartinRowson 1.30 pm to 2.30pm.

The Tabard Theatre
Events at The Tabard Theatre supported by Killik & Co Chiswick

2.45 pm: Reasons to Stay Alive: Matt Haig

At 24, Matt Haig‘s world caved in. Interviewed by Caroline Sanderson, Matt talks how he came through crisis, triumphed over an illness that almost destroyed him and learned to live again. Reasons to Stay Alive is a moving, funny and joyous exploration of how to live better, love better and feel more alive. A bestselling memoir, this is a book about making the most of your time on earth. @matthaig1 @CaroSanderson 2.45 pm to 3.45 pm.

“Matt Haig uses words like a tin-opener. We are the tin.” Jeanette Winterson

St Michael & All Angels Church

2.45 pm: Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Tell You Everything You Need to Know About Global Politics

Former diplomatic editor at Sky News and author Tim Marshall discusses the past, present and future of global events from a geographical perspective to offer insight into major factors that determine world history with David Shreeve, director of the Conservation Foundation. @Itwitius  2.45 pm to 3.45 pm.

St Michael & All Angels Parish Hall

2.45 pm: The Catalyst – Magic and Danger created in Chiswick

Helena Coggan wrote the first draft of her novel when she was 13. By the time she was 15 (earlier this year) The Catalyst was published to huge acclaim.  Living and going to school in Chiswick she is now writing the sequel. In conversation with Festival Director Torin Douglas, Helena will discuss her life, her work and her plans for the future as a writer. @TorinDouglas 2.45 pm to 3.45 pm. 

The Tabard Theatre
Events at The Tabard Theatre supported by Killik & Co Chiswick

4.00 pm: Extremes – testing the resilience of stories and characters in the wilderness

In The Mountain Can Wait by Sarah Leipciger, the author tells the haunting story of a family’s unravelling in the stunning and scarred landscape of Canadian forests, while in The Quality of Silence bestselling novelist Rosamund Lupton pitches her mother and deaf daughter characters into the extreme conditions of Alaska. @SarahLeipciger @Rosamundlupton @CathyReadsBooks

In conversation with Cathy Rentzenbrink both authors discuss their chosen settings which help create extraordinary, gripping and atmospheric stories. 4.00 pm to 5.00 pm.

St Michael & All Angels Parish Hall

4.00 pm: The Tears of the Rajas: Mutiny, Money and Marriage in India 1805-1905

Former columnist at The Spectator, Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Times, and editor of the Times Literary Supplement, author Ferdinand Mount now examines his own family history.  The Tears of the Rajas is a sweeping history of the British in India, detailing the real life experiences of the Lowe family who survived mutiny, siege, debt and disease everywhere from the heat of Madras to the Afghan snows. 4.00 pm to 5.00 pm.

Chaired by George Goodwin @GeorgeGoodwin1

St Michael & All Angels Church

4.00 pm: Anthony Burgess in Chiswick

From 1964 to 1968, Anthony Burgess lived at 24 Glebe Street in Chiswick. It was a prolific period. He published and promoted Nothing Like the Sun (his novel about Shakespeare’s life) to mark the Bard’s 400th anniversary, and wrote several novels as well as lots of criticism, poetry and music, including an unproduced musical about Shakespeare. The works will be analysed in talks by Andrew Biswell (The Real Life of Anthony Burgess), director of the International Anthony Burgess Foundation and Professor of Modern Literature at Manchester Metropolitan University, and by Professor Graham Holderness, author of Re-Writing Jesus: Christ in 20th Century Fiction and Film and Black and Deep Desires: William Shakespeare Vampire Hunter, a novel which draws inspiration from Burgess’s own novel, Enderby’s Dark Lady. @GramHolderness 4.00 pm to 5.00 pm.

The Tabard Theatre
Events at The Tabard Theatre supported by Killik & Co Chiswick

5.15 pm: Helen Lederer in conversation with ‘Mrs Trefusis’

Helen Lederer is a comedian, writer and actress who emerged as part of the alternative comedy boom at the beginning of the 1980s.  She discusses her novel Losing it, which was shortlisted for the PG Woodhouse Comedy Literary Prize and The Edinburgh First Book Award 2015. In conversation with the blogger ‘Mrs Trefusis‘, also known as Helen Brocklebank who runs the  successful literary salon The Books That Built Me. @HelenLederer @mrstrefusis 5.15 pm to 6.15 pm.

Helen Lederer is in the process of establishing her own prize for humorous writing – Comedy Women in Print, which seeks to celebrate the brightest, best and funniest of women writers.

St Michael & All Angels Parish Hall

5.30 pm (note time): The BBC at Bay – Again

An institution envied across the world yet criticised by many at home, the BBC faces an uncertain future. To discuss the past, present and future of our iconic ‘Auntie’, Chiswick Book Festival has invited a panel of experts and ex-insiders – three of whom have published books about the BBC this year – in what promises to be an informative and entertaining session.

Chair Will Wyatt (The Fun Factory: A Life at the BBC) will be joined by Charlotte Higgins (This New Noise: The Extraordinary Birth and Troubled Life of the BBC), Roger Mosey (Getting out Alive) and Professor Jean Seaton (Pinkoes and Traitors’ – The BBC and the Nation 1974 – 1987). @chiggi @rogermosey 5.30 pm to 6.30 pm.

St Michael & All Angels Church

6.15 pm: Festival Drinks in the Gabriel Room

All profits from the sale of drinks will go to our three reading-related charities. With canapés by Gillian Flower, author of Nibbles for Bubbles, which will be on sale. 6.15 pm – 7.30 pm.

7.30 pm: Shop Girl: A Memoir by Mary Portas

Mary Portas is the founder of the creative communications agency Portas, which creates award-winning campaigns for some of the world’s leading brands. Mary’s career in retail and on television has been stellar but in conversation about her memoir with Jane Garvey, presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, we’ll learn that growing up in Mary’s family in the 1970s involved hardship, love, delight and tragedy. @maryportas @janegarvey1 7.30 pm to 8.30 pm.

“Absolutely fabulous…colourful, camp and unexpectedly heart-rending” (Caroline Sanderson, The Bookseller)

St Michael & All Angels Church

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