Whats On: coming up

Learn how to write an erotic novel in London’s most offbeat literary festival.

London’s offbeat literary festival has announced its new programme for 2018 which includes a session on toilet books and how to write your own pornographic novel.

The Croydon Literary Festival takes place on Saturday, October 27 with a bigger and wider ranging programme of sessions across three central venues. Tickets are already selling fast for the festival.

The festival, now in its second year, follows a day to night theme for 2018 with sessions for all ages and appetites.

Highlights include a tour of toilet books by journalist and author Louis Barfe (pictured above), a video games session exploring consoles from the ages, a visit from bestselling children’s author of Murder Most Unladylike novels, Robin Stevens, and journalist Lesley Ann Jones lifting the lid on the lives of David Bowie, Marc Bolan and more.

The over-18s will learn how to write an erotic novel in a special session led by local author Zak Jane Keir.

Cassie Whittell head of the festival said: “We’ve had to go much bigger this year to meet the growing demand from Londoners who recognise Croydon is the new cultural hot spot.

“The programme is interactive, challenging and experimental and tells its own story about the amazing talent in this town.

Croydon has gone from being misunderstood to London’s coolest hood so this is one event not to be missed.”

A wider range of genres will be explored in the festival including food director for Sainsbury’s Magazine Leah Hyslop and award-winning author of Empire of Booze, Henry Jeffreys, coming together to unpick our obsession with eating, drinking and reading.

Bestselling author of 15 novels, Mike Gayle and acclaimed blogger the Guyliner will be discussing men who write romance and why it is so rare.

There’ll also be lots of opportunity to get involved with shared reading sessions for young and older book lovers and a session where the audience will swap tips on the best places to go in Croydon led by travel writer John Carter.

The session will lead to the first people’s tourist guide to Croydon. Finally, Brain of Britain Croydonian Tim Footman will finish the day leading the ultimate pub quiz challenge with a literary twist.

Literary sessions start from 9.50am on Saturday with events continuing throughout the day in Braithwaite Hall, David Lean Cinema, Croydon Central Library and the Spread Eagle pub.

Tickets start from £1.50 with early booking advised.

To book your ticket, visit https://croydonlitfest.com/.


The night sky will be alight with fireworks on November 5 and now’s the time to bag tickets to view the pyrotechnic extravaganza.

Tickets will be free for people who live in Southwark, but because of the night’s huge popularity, those from outside the borough will have to pay a small fee.

Everyone will have to book tickets online and they sold out last year, so people are advised to snap them up quickly.

Gates at Southwark Park open at 5pm and final entry to the park is at 6.30pm.

Food, drink and entertainment are available until 8pm and ticket holders are strongly advised to arrive as early as possible, to avoid disappointment.

Councillor Rebecca Lury, cabinet member for culture, leisure, equalities and communities, said: “Fireworks night is my favourite night of the year so I am delighted that we are able to, once again, provide a free fireworks event for the people of Southwark.

This year promises to be spectacular and I hope to see as many local people and families taking advantage of their free tickets and enjoying this year’s wonderful community event.”

Tickets will be available on a first come first served basis from 22 September 22, so residents are encouraged to sign up early at: www.2.southwark.gov.uk/fireworks.

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