Monday, 30 May 2016

Music and Poetry Palooza

Music and Poetry Palooza:
Cafe Buzz, 783 High Road, N12 8JY
Sunday 26th June 7.00 - 9.00pm

Join Anna Meryt and friends for an evening of performance poetry and music at Finchley's literary café. No need to book but come early if you want a seat!

Hilaire grew up in Melbourne but moved to London half a lifetime ago. Triptych Poets: Issue One (Blemish Books, Australia, 2010) features a selection of her poems, and her novel Hearts on Ice was published by Serpent's Tail in 2000. She is poet-in-residence at Thrive Battersea Herb Garden for this year’s Open Garden Squares weekend.

Arup Chowdhury is a singer/ musician who plays classical-based Bengali folk songs, some combined with English folk tunes. He may be joined by a female Bengali singer. He was born and raised in Bangladesh, played Harmonium when young but also learned guitar, keyboards, and harmonica. He has two master’s degrees from London Universities.

Shanta Acharya was born and educated in India and attended Worcester College, Oxford (one of the first women there) studying for a D.Phil.The author of ten books, her publications range from poetry, literary criticism and fiction to finance. Shanta founded Poetry in the House (1996) and hosted a series of monthly poetry readings at Lauderdale House, Highgate. Shanta has served twice on the board of trustees of the Poetry Society in the UK.  Her blog is at

Steve Turner was born and raised in the Midlands but has lived in London all his adult life. His poetry collections include Nice And Nasty and The King Of Twist. He has written five books of poems for children, one of which is the bestselling The Day I Fell DownThe Toilet. He is the author of biographies of Johnny Cash, Jack Kerouac, Van Morrison and Marvin Gaye among others. His next book, to be published later this year in America by HarperCollins, is Beatles ’66.

Anna Meryt has had numerous single poems published in anthologies and magazines. She’s part of Highgate Poets ( In 2011 she won first prize in the Lupus International poetry competition for her poem ‘Bulawayo’ about her birth place. She has written two poetry collections – Heartbroke (2013) and Dolly Mix (2014) and a memoir (set in South Africa in the 1970s) titled A Hippopotamus at The Table. Her blog is at

Greg Mayston sings and plays Folk, Blues and Americana on fine vintage and modern guitars of steel and wood, and is branching out into the five-string banjo. He regularly performs with his trio in and around Reading and joins us for a solo performance. He’s a virtuoso guitar player and has performed at the festival before.

No need to book but do RSVP and come early if you want a seat!


Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Orphans in Fiction

Literary Delights: Saturday 25th June - 1.30-5.30pm
Trinity Church Centre, 15 Nether Street, N12 7NN.

Antonia Honeywell, author of the highly reviewed novel The Ship, and Rosie Canning, whose doctoral research looks at the representation of orphans in fiction, will be discussing this subject with readings from classic and contemporary literary texts.

Antonia Honeywell is a teacher, writer and promiscuous reader. Antonia was named one of Amazon’s Rising Stars of 2015 and her debut novel, The Ship, was an Evening Standard bestseller in the week of publication. The Ship was chosen as one of The Independent’s best young-adult fiction books of 2015. featured in the March 2015 issue of Elle Magazine, and was selected as Prima Magazine’s Book Group Choice for February 2015. She lives in Buckinghamshire with her husband and four young children.

Read more about Antonia here.
You can follow Antonia on Twitter: @antonia_writes

Rosie Canning is doing a PhD in Creative Writing at the University of Southampton. The focus of her research is the representations of orphans and care leavers in fiction. Rosie is co-founder of Greenacre Writers and co-host of the Finchley Literary Festival. She has written several short stories and flash fiction pieces which have been long/short-listed in competitions.

Read more about Rosie here.
You can follow Rosie on Twitter: @rosie_canning

This event is one of four in the festival's Literary Delights afternoon.

Literary Delights is a free event but please book.

Friday, 20 May 2016

Beware! There may be an elephant nearby.

Literary Delights: Saturday 25th June - 1.30-5.30pm
Trinity Church Centre, 15 Nether Street, N12 7NN.

Vaseem Khan
A light-hearted reading and talk from Vaseem Khan rounds off our afternoon of Literary Delights.  Vaseem will be reading from his debut best-selling novel, The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra and talking about writing Book 2 in the Baby Ganesh Detective Agency series The Perplexing Theft of the Jewel in the Crown.

Vaseem first saw an elephant lumbering down the road when he arrived in Mumbai, India, in 1997 to work as a management consultant. This surreal sight later inspired his Baby Ganesh Detective Agency series of light-hearted crime novels. 

Born in London, he studied at the London School of Economics, then spent a decade on the subcontinent before joining University College London’s Department of Security and Crime Science.

Vaseem says that elephants are third on his list of passions, first and second being great literature and cricket, not always in that order. We know that there will be great literature in Finchley, we know there are cricket pitches nearby, but we aren't too sure about the elephants. There may one or two hanging around, so please be on your guard.

See Vaseem's website here.

This event is the finale of the Literary Delights event. It is free but please

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Joanna Campbell discusses short stories

Literary Delights: Saturday 25th June - 1.30-5.30pm
Trinity Church Centre, 15 Nether Street, N12 7NN.

We are thrilled that Joanna Campbell, author and winner of this year's London Short Story Prize, is the festival's short story competition judge. The competition was jointly launched by Greenacre Writers and Finchley Literary Festival. The winners will be announced at Trinity Church Centre, Saturday 25th June at 1.30pm. 

Joanna will also be discussing her short story collection When Planets Slip their Tracks and her novel, Tying Down the Lion, as well as her writing practice.

Joanna is a full-time writer from the Cotswolds whose short stories have been published in literary magazines such as The New WriterWriters' ForumThe Yellow Room and The Lampeter Review, and in anthologies from Cinnamon Press, Spilling Ink, Earlyworks Press, Unbound Press and Biscuit Publishing, as well as The Salt Anthology of New Writing 2013, both the 2013 and 2014 Rubery Book Award anthologies and the 2010 and 2013 Bristol Short Story Prize anthologies.
Shortlisted five times for the Bridport Prize and three times for the Fish Prize, she also came second in the 2011 Scottish Writers Association’s contest. In 2012 she was shortlisted in Mitchelstown Literary Society’s William Trevor/Elizabeth Bowen competition and runner-up in 2013. Her stories have won the 2011 Exeter Writers competition, the 2013 Bath Short Story Award Local Prize and the 2015 London Short Story Prize.

As a student, Joanna lived in Germany for a year during the time of its division and was moved by the sorrow underlying the stoicism of the people she met there. The construction of literal and figurative walls, and specifically how the Berlin Wall altered the concept of home overnight, sowed the first seed for her debut novel. Reflecting both the suffering and the irrepressible spirit of ordinary people living in a country frozen by the Cold War, it began as a short story and grew into Tying Down The Lion, published by Brick Lane in 2015.

Ink Tears Press published her first short story collection, When Planets Slip Their Tracks, in January 2016.

Her second novel, Estuary Road, which is about the way our lives can unravel in a split second, is currently with her agent, Elise Dillsworth.

Read more about Joanna here.

Literary Delights is a free event but please book.

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Dragon's Pen

Dragon's Pen: Saturday 25th June 11.30-12.45
Trinity Church Centre, 15 Nether Street, N12 7NN.

With Gillian Stern, Antonia Honeywell and Cari Rosen

An opportunity to pitch your ideas for a short story, novel or memoir to Finchley’s own Literary Dragons.
Read us a short extract or synopsis and we will ask you some questions and give you instant, constructive feedback. Writers will have 4 minutes to present their writing.
The dragons will then choose a *winner* and two runner-ups.

The Literary Dragons:

Gillian Stern is an editor of literary and commercial fiction, who after 15 years of commissioning books in the social sciences, championed a debut novel that went on to win the Whitbread First Novel Award and the Richard & Judy Summer Reads of Summer Reads. Passionate about fiction and experienced in spotting and editing bestsellers, Gillian is also a successful ghostwriter, having ghosted eight memoirs to dates. She works on a freelance basis as a structural editor for several publishers including Bloomsbury, Orion and Penguin and critiques and edits for many leading literary agencies including Curtis Brown, Conville & Walsh, PFD, RCW, Furniss Lawton, Aitken Alexander and A M Heath. She also works with The Writer’s Workshop, The Literary Consultancy and mentors writers sent to her by agents, publishers and word of mouth recommendations. Several of the authors she has mentored have gone on to be signed by agents and publishers, their novels now being enjoyed by a wide readership.

See more about Gillian here
Twitter: @gillybethstern

Cari Rosen is editor of Gransnet, sister (mother?) site of Mumsnet and the author of The Secret Diary of a New Mum (Aged 43 1/4), The New Granny’s Survival Guide and Northern and Proud of It. She appears regularly on television and radio and writes for a number of national newspapers. Away from work Cari spends far too much time in Tesco. And on Twitter. And eating chocolate. She can often be found walking long distances around London and usually has her nose in a book.

See more about Cari here 
Twitter: @cazroz

Antonia Honeywell is a teacher, writer and promiscuous reader. Antonia was named one of Amazon’s Rising Stars of 2015 and her debut novel, The Ship, was an Evening Standard bestseller in the week of publication. Antonia has four small children, and although she tends to keep them out of her writing life, they’ll inevitably creep in somewhere – usually in the form of tips about writing in spite of them. Though she means that in the nicest possible way. She blogs about the family's reading habits and lives with them and her husband in Buckinghamshire. 

See more about Antonia here

Twitter: @antonia_writes

The event is free but booking is essential. 


Saturday, 7 May 2016

An Interview with Katharine Norbury at Waterstones, Finchley N12.

An Interview with Katharine Norbury.
Sunday 26th June, 11.00-12.00 noon.
Waterstones, 782 High Road, N12 9QR

We are very pleased to be welcoming the acclaimed author Katharine Norbury to our festival. 

Katharine's book, The Fish Ladder: A Journey Upstream, was the choice of many critics as one of the best books of 2015, and one of the best nature books published in recent years.

Part travelogue, part memoir, Katharine's moving and lyrical story of self-discovery – told through journeys on foot along the glittering rivers of Britain – is nature writing at its finest. For fans of Helen Macdonald’s H is for Hawk and Cheryl Strayed’s Wild, this memoir is a powerful tale of grief and redemption.

The book explores and follows the course of rivers and time, relationships and the inescapable attraction of family, meaning, and landscape.

Katherine will be interviewed by Mike Gee. He is a founder member of the Greenacre Project and was a regular contributor to The Greenacre Times writing the popular Mr Greenacres column as well as articles under his own name. Mike has charted and photographed every green space in the Finchley area and gives regular talks and slides shows as well as leading walks, including the one following this event.

Katharine Norbury trained as a film editor with the BBC and has worked extensively in film and television drama. She is a graduate of the Creative Writing MA programme at UEA. The Fish Ladder is her first book. It was longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award, the 2016 Wainwright Prize and was aTelegraph Best Book of the Year, 2015. Katharine was chosen as one the Observer’s Rising Stars in non-fiction, 2015. She lives in London with her family.
The event is free but please book.

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Sunny Singh in interview

Literary Delights: Saturday 25th June - 1.30-5.30pm
Trinity Church Centre, 15 Nether Street, N12 7NN.

Sunny Singh
We are delighted that Sunny Singh will be joining us on Saturday afternoon to discuss her writing and its influences.

Sunny's debut novel, Nani’s Book Of Suicides, published in 2000, was described as a “first novel of rare scope and power.” The Spanish translation of the novel won the inaugural Mar de Letras prize in 2003. 

Her second book, a work of non-fiction titled Single In The City: The Independent Woman’s Handbook (2001), was a first-of-its-kind exploration of single women in contemporary India and was described as “witty and insightful.” 

Her second novel, With Krishna’s Eyes (2006), has been commended for its “profound insight” and described as “memorable”.

Her latest novel, Hotel Arcadia, is published by Quartet Books and is available from bookshops and e-retailers across UK. 
Hotel Arcadia has been described as a literary thriller, but Sunny says the inspiration came from the love story of characters in Dante's Inferno. Lindsay Bamfield will be asking Sunny about the novel's journey from inspiration to publication as well as exploring the influences and issues that inform her writing.

Sunny Singh was born in Varanasi, India, and brought up in various Indian cantonment towns, Islamabad in Pakistan and New York City. She studied at Brandeis University (USA), Jawaharlal Nehru University (India), and University of Barcelona (Spain).

She has worked as a journalist and management executive in Mexico, Chile, and South Africa. Currently, she teaches Creative Writing at the London Metropolitan University. She maintains two widely read blogs, one on her personal ruminations on politics, culture and literature, and another on the Arthashastra, the classical Sanskrit political treatise by Chanakya.

Her short stories have been published by prestigious international literary journals including The Drawbridge and World Literature Today.

Her creative non-fiction and academic writing has been published across the world in key journals and anthologies. She also writes for newspapers and magazines, in Spanish and English, across the globe.

This event is one of four in the festival's Literary Delights afternoon.

Literary Delights is a free event but please book.