An Evening with David Mitchell – not to be missed

BLACKWELL’S OXFORD PRESENTS: An Evening with David Mitchell

Saturday, November 28th at 19:00 – 20:00

We are delighted to be hosting an intimate in store event with author David Mitchell to talk about his latest novel, Slade House.Described as ‘A gem of a novel from one of the most brilliantly inventive writers of this, or any country’ (The Independent) Slade House was born out of the short story that David created on Twitter in 2014 and takes place in the same universe as his bestselling The Bone Clocks. Enter the magical surrounds of Slade House and you’ll be greeted by a stranger who invites you inside. At first, you won’t want to leave. Later, you’ll find that you can’t. This unnerving and intricate tale reaches it’s breathtaking conclusion on Hallowe’en 2015, as every nine years on the last Saturday in October a ‘guest’ is invited/summoned to Slade House but why and for what purpose?
This very special event takes place in the Norrington Room of the shop and includes a complimentary glass of wine upon arrival. Tickets cost just £5 and can be purchased from the customer service desk or by calling 01865 333623.

David Mitchell was one of the authors featured in our authors to read if you want to be a writer event, so don’t miss the chance to ask him questions.


The Bookseller’s Author Day

Publishers Pan Macmillan and HarperCollins, and the literary agency Peters, Fraser & Dunlop will provide authors with face-to-face advice and feedback as part of The Bookseller’s inaugural Author Day, taking place at 30 Euston Square on 30th November.

The three companies will run an open-submissions as part of the event. Authors will also be invited to submit unpublished manuscripts to editors and agents and spend 10 minutes each discussing the manuscript or publishing process.

Publishers and editors from Pan Macmillan and from HarperCollins’ divisions Harper Fiction, The Borough Press and Harlequin will be open for submissions during the day. PFD agents, including Robert Caskie, Adam Gauntlett, Rachel Mills, Nelle Andrew, Laura Williams, and Marilia Savvides, will take submissions as well as invite authors to discuss anything from their latest manuscript, successful e-book publishing, how to get an agent, or how to sell foreign rights.

Ahead of the event PFD will also run two Twitter sessions, asking authors to submit their questions via social media. These sessions will take place between 3pm and 5pm on the 12th and 13th November, using the hashtag #authorday, with three authors who pitch the best question invited to attend Author Day free of charge.

Booking for all of these sessions will open on Friday 6th November, with appointments made on a first come, first served basis. Only confirmed Author Day attendees may apply for a slot and must do so via Sandra Williamson (

Porter Anderson, associate editor of FutureBook and programme director for Author Day, said: “We are delighted to bring this additional strand to Author Day – it is an issues-driven event open to all authors wherever they are in the publishing process, and these sessions mean authors can now also receive hands-on advice from professionals about many aspects of the publishing process, including that most important of activities, the pitch.”

Emma Bravo, communications director, fiction and partnerships, at Pan Macmillan, said: “We are very much looking forward to being a part of this vital and vibrant conversation between publishers and authors of all kinds.” Lisa Milton, incoming managing director at Harlequin, said: “HarperCollins are constantly engaged in the hunt for great books for their readers. Events like Author Day help us to keep close to the author of that content and the challenges and issues they face.”

Author Day is The Bookseller’s first ever author-specific conference, and brings together speakers including Nicola Solomon, chief executive of the Society of Authors (SoA), Orna Ross, founder of the Alliance of Independent Authors, as well as authors and illustrators including Sarah McIntyre, Kate Pullinger, and Dave Morris.

Author Day is part of The Bookseller’s FutureBook Week, and leads up to the FutureBook Conference (4th December). For more on both these events and to book tickets, click here.

November with the Booksellers

Our next meeting will be on Wednesday 25th November 2015 at Blackwell’s Bookshop
Books We Love, Why We Love Them and How We Sell Them
Our panel for the evening consists of some of Blackwell’s finest booksellers. They will talk about the books they love, what qualities they look for in books and they’ll also demystify how books are selected for promotion and turned into bestsellers.

This promises to be a interesting and fun evening. If you are self publishing then it is even more important to find out what makes sellers tick as you will be selling your books to them.

October Meeting: Writing for Children

Writing for Children

Wednesday, October 28th at 19:00 – 21:00 At Blackwell’s Bookshop

An evening discussion exploring the diverse and competitive industry of the Children’s Book Trade, with panel experts Julia Churchill, Charlotte Guillain and Abbie Rushton.
The panel will be discussing all aspects of writing and publishing for children of all ages, sharing their tips, stories and advice. Julia Churchill is Children’s Agent at one of the UK’s leading literary agencies, A M Heath. With over ten years experience of working as a literary agent in Children’s publications, Julia Churchill represents some of the finest children’s writing talent in the world. Authors represented include Sarah Crossan, Cat Clarke, Noel Streatfield and Holly Webb.
Charlotte Gullain is a prolific author of children’s fiction, non-fiction and picture books. Her latest series of books feature a boy called George and his adventures, with the latest in the series ‘Socks for Santa’ out now. Charlotte also worked for years within the children’s publishing industry as a commissioning editor.
Abbie Rushton is a teen fiction writer, her debut novel ‘Unspeakable’ was published by Little Brown in February this year with her second novel ‘Consumed’ due for publication April 2016. In her daytime job Abbie works as an editor in Primary School Education books, offering editorial knowledge in the children’s non-fiction market.

Self publish and be damned? A panel discussion

I thought some of Group might be interested to come along to this at The Wantage Betjeman Literary Festival.

Self publish and be damned? A panel discussion

Friday, October 30, Wildwood Kitchen, 7.30pm: Is self-published still a dirty word or the sign of a new breed of author – the autonomous entrepreneur writer? And is traditional publishing no longer still the thing to aim for?

With the publishing industry rapidly changing and opportunities to self-publish now available to new and established authors alike, what is the future of publishing? We’re delighted to have a panel of experts to debate the issue and talk about the latest innovations in publishing and how they see it’s future. This event is a must for any new or established author!

Our panel is chaired by Culture Minister and Wantage MP Ed Vaizey.

The panel includes

Norah Perkins

Cherry Mosteshar

A J Grainger

Eliza Graham

After a 50 minute discussion, there will be an interval for a spot of networking followed by a chance for members of the audience to pitch their idea/book directly to the panel for feedback (5 minutes maximum per pitch including feedback). We will have approximately eight slots available for people to publicly pitch, so book your ticket fast to guarantee your place! Please email with your booking confirmation number to request a pitch slot. First come, first served!

Friday, October 30. 7.30pm. Wildwood Kitchen Cinema, Wantage. Tickets: £6

We regret there is no wheelchair access for this event.

Click here to book online via Tickets Oxford.

Online booking sales close on October 22.

As a special bonus:

Anyone buying a ticket to the event who is also a self-published author* there is the option to bring a selection of their books to the event and the literary festival will undertake to have them on sale to the general public (on a manned table) at the Beacon, Wantage over the rest of the weekend – and the weekend includes one of the festival’s headliner events too; Fay Weldon, speaking on Sunday afternoon. There are also a host of other events and talks to draw great footfall past their books, so what a fantastic way to put the indie author under the general public’s nose, and with the endorsement of a literary festival!

Lucy Atkins at Blackwell’s – don’t miss a great event

BLACKWELL’S OXFORD PRESENTS: Licensed to Thrill : Novelists Lucy Atkins, Clare Mackintosh and Renee Knight discuss writing psychological suspense

Friday, September 11th at 19:30 – 20:30

Joining us for a discussion based around the psychological thriller genre will be authors Lucy Atkins, Clare Mackintosh and Renee Knight.Lucy is an award winning journalist and author. Her latest novel ‘The Other Child’ follows 2014’s ‘The Missing One’.Buy the bookClare is an author, feature writer and columnist. Her debut novel ‘I let you go’ was published by Little, Brown this year. She is currently writing her second book.Buy the bookRenee is the author of last year’s brilliant, ‘Disclaimer’.Buy the bookThe evenings talk will be chaired by award winning radio presenter and thriller writer, David Prever.Tickets cost £3 and wine will be available to purchase on the evening. Tel: 01865 333623

Reminder of Rebecca Wait talk this Wednesday

Wednesday 26th August 2015 at Blackwell’s Bookshop
Rebecca Wait
Our guest is Rebecca Wait, author of the novels The Followers and The View on the Way Down. She’ll be talking us through her experiences as a novelist, the creative process, how to (try to) make a living from being a writer, the author’s relationship with their editor and agent, and other aspects of being a published writer.

Wednesday 30th September 2015 at Friends Meeting House
Feedback session
This will be a feedback session so please bring something to share if you wish, or just come and offer your feedback. We will try and have two authors there so we can divide into groups to ensure everyone has a nice long time to read and talk.