Open Book - Literary Festival

Books, Beers & Banter

Saturday 29th July
12pm - 6pm 
Tickets £4 Under 16's FREE
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A one-day literary extravaganza featuring top names from the world of words including:

  • London Literary Agent Ella Kahn “How to hook an agent”
  • Best-selling Author Allan Esler Smith “Can you retire early, rich and happy?”
  • Renowned Speaker Terry Gillen “Unlock the more confident you”

Plus historical talks from Dr J D Davies, Hugh Bicheno and royals expert Jane Dismore, creative writing workshops, publishing advice, interactive poetry readings, cake icing demonstrations, fascinating family research tips and Murder - how one man made his living from it!

Come and join our writers share their passion on books!  On-site beer and wine tent, BBQ, book signings and banter with the authors!

Find out more about the writers and which zone they will be in on the day. 

Lifestyle Zone

Creative Zone

History Zone

Banter Zone

At a glance:

ZoneAuthor TopicBlurb
HistoryJane DismoreRoyals, Rebels and Aristocrats  The pleasure and pain of writing about Britain's 'blue-blooded' families of today and yesterday
HistoryHugh BichenoHertfordshire – Battleground of
the Wars of the Roses
The vital crossroads of three highways and the site of two crucial battles
HistoryDr J D DaviesDon’t Mention Jack Sparrow: the Best (and Worst) Sea StoriesWhat’s the appeal of nautical historical fiction? Which sea stories float our boats, and why?
LifestyleElla Kahn (agent)How to Hook an AgentDiscover the dark art of writing a stand-out submission, with tips on cover letters & pitching.
LifestyleSimon Michael“Murder.  It's a living.”Fact and fiction: the Krays, police corruption and my life at the Bar
CreativeJ.S. WattsWriting With Your Senses: Creative WorkshopLearn how to make your writing come to life by using all your senses
LifestyleAllan Esler SmithCan you retire early, rich and happy?Invaluable for those who want to take their retirement planning seriously and a mine of useful information
LifestyleDavid ListerDr Johnson’s blockheadsWhat is the point of writing books, if not for money?
LifestyleNeville DavisThe Dangers,
Limitations and Fascinations
of Family History Research 
Family History research is a fascinating topic, but it's a journey fraught with danger as secrets are revealed.
CreativeRowena M LoveSchool Days: Poetry WorkshopA special 'British Schools' themed multimedia poetry workshop suitable for all levels of writer
BanterCarol DeaconCake Characters: Demonstrating the 'icer' things in lifeCarol will be on her stand all day with her books, cakes, enthusiasm, ideas and a lot of icing if you want to have a go !
LifestyleWendy BerlinerGreat minds and how to grow themBrains are malleable and IQ is not fixed, parents are essential for academic success
CreativeOwen KnightYoung Adult Fiction: Writing, Getting Published and BeyondThe challenges of writing for Young Adults, finding a publisher and building a market
LifestyleTerry GillenYou Can Do It: 7 Ways to Unlock The More Confident YouSeven ways to improve your confidence quickly and easily
HistoryJon BeattieyThe hidden depths - behind the bookshelfHow stories began; the origins, romance, art and presentation of the written word.
HistoryAllan Smith & Hugh BichenoThe battle of Arnhem and conflict on filmHow a veteran of Gallipoli directed a film about the Battle of Arnhem - the biggest grossing war film in the UK for a decade 
CreativeRowena M Love    & J.S. WattsChalk and Cheese: A fun interative poetry readingA fun interactive poetry reading where you get to pick the poems.
CreativeD A AdamsonThe Joys and Sorrows of Self-PublishingExplores the routes and platforms for self-publishing with some simple guidance for wannabe authors
CreativeAndrea ShavickGrandma Was Eaten By A Shark!Funny, Silly (and a few Gruesome) poems for kids of all ages.
CreativeJulie Stock‘My Journey from Complete Beginner to Self-Published Author.'  How and why I self-publish my contemporary romance novels.

All day tickets £4
Under 16's: FREE. 

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