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Virtual Book Clubs and Your Fortnightly Events Round-Up

Book Clubs

Virtual Book Club Extravaganza

Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon and Emma Watson have now been joined by many others with the rise of virtual book clubs in the last few months. The urgency of the pandemic meant that since last March, many book-clubbers had to switch to Zoom to talk about their favourite books. In times where social distancing was at the forefront of all our lives, many used their time to catch up on increasingly heavy to be read piles. Led by influential writers, or with an aim to address international and social movements, the following book clubs have their doors wide open for you.

The Guardian Live Book Club with Matt Haig

When? 13 August — 7pm

Where? BlueJeans Video Conferencing

Join the hugely successful author, Matt Haig, and The Guardian Chief Book Reviewer, Lisa Allardice, for this online book club event to discuss his latest book, The Midnight Library. You can purchase a ticket and copy a of the book for £20.

The Pursuit of Joy Book Club: The Vanishing Half

When? 16 August — 7pm

Where? Eventbrite

Join in with The Pursuit of Joy discussion for their July book club pick, The Vanishing Half, the stunning second book from author Brit Bennett. Registration is free via Eventbrite.

The Matriarchive Book Club

When? Every second and last Tuesday of the month — 6pm

Where? Eventbrite

An online multimedia book club focusing on women’s literature from page to screen. Run by Cardiff Women’s Aid, a specialist agency working to end violence against women, the sessions are intended to be open and accessible to all women wanting to join. They meet every second and last Tuesday of the month at 6pm, you can sign up here.

Anti-racism Book Club hosted by JCI Manchester

When? 4 August —18:00-19:00

Where? Eventbrite

JCI Manchester’s book club seeks to provide an opportunity to continue the discussion about anti-racism, through members coming together to share their reflections and thoughts on books including: Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race, Me and White Supremacy and BRIT(ish). Tickets are available here.

Events Round-Up

Love and Other Complications

When? 5 August — 7:00 pm

Where? BookGig

Join authors Maame Blue and Sareeta Domingo in conversation about their new novels and modern love in all of its complexities. Both authors are part of the groundbreaking #Twentyin2020 initiative by Jacaranda Books, the first UK publisher to publish twenty Black British writers in one year.

Myth-busting STM Publishing

When? 11 August — 6pm


Join the SYP and ECPC for a myth-busting evening of STM Publishing. The panel will be sharing information to better understand this sometimes-overlooked side of the industry. From journals, Open Access to business models, they will answer the questions of those keen to kick-start their career in this sector.

Book Production Masterclass

When? 8 August — 10am-4:30pm

Where? Eventbrite

Attend this event if you would like an introduction to book production which is being hosted by Bluebird Works Ltd. It will look at the different types of production roles and the skills required to do them. This event gives you a whole overview of working within the publishing industry. Tickets can be purchased here.

Book Publishing Power Hour in August

When? 10 August — 2pm

Where? Eventbrite

CEO of Publish Your Purpose Press, Jenn T. Grace, will be answering any book-related questions live on Zoom. Discussions will include writing, editing, marketing and anything else to help get you on your publishing journey. Join the conversation for free and book here.

Culture in a pandemic: What is the future of the arts in Britain?

When? 11 August — 7pm

Where? BlueJeans Video Conferencing

Hosted by The Guardian Live, join a panel of experts chaired by The Guardian chief culture writer, Charlotte Higgins, as they discuss the impact of COVID-19 on the arts industry.

Such A Fun Age by Harrietts Bookshop

When? 11 August — 5pm

Where? Eventbrite

The Intercultural Book Circle is joined by Harrietts Bookshop owner and bestselling author, Kiley Reid, to discuss her debut novel, Such A Fun Age. Tickets are $33 (roughly £25.99) and can be bought on Eventbrite.

SYP Publishing Career Café: Design

When? 6 August — 6pm


Be Zoom-ready for a dive into Design where the panel will cover everything from essential skills and software, daily challenges, collaborating with other departments to working outside of London. Email or tweet your questions ahead at or @SYP_LDN.

Ali Smith - ‘Summer’ is here

When? 13 August — 7pm

Where? Eventbrite

Join author Ali Smith as she discusses the final instalment of her seasonal quartet, Summer, in conversation with Alex Clark. The event hosted by Cambridge Literary Festival will include images specially curated by Ali Smith and artist Sarah Wood. Tickets available here.

An Introduction to Editorial for Publishing

When? 14 August — 9:30am-4:40pm


This one-day course is ideal for anyone wanting to get into the publishing industry. This event will discuss proof-reading, copy-editing, interview skills and will divulge into what a day in the life of an editorial assistant looks like. Tickets can be purchased here

The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators

When? 31 July

Where? The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators website

Join for a series of spectacular zoom events with some of the biggest and brightest stars of children’s literature. Available online throughout August, the festival is kicking off Friday 31 July with a talk with Phillip Pullman and Arthur Levine. You can register for the event here.

Edinburgh 2020 Book Festival

When? 15 — 31 August

The programme, made up of over 100 events for adults, families and children, will offer both live and pre-recorded conversations featuring leading writers, poets and participants from around the world. Events will be free to view and the website also has recorded events from previous Festivals which are also available to view for free.

Edinburgh International Book Festival

Nick Barley, who is the Director of this Festival, said:

“we are very excited to be presenting live events for the first time… We are in a position to experiment, to bring the essence of our wonderful festival to our loyal supporters -- and new audiences -- in a series of ambitious, innovative and exciting online conversations.”

The full programme and details of participating authors, and information on how to access the free events, will be announced at the end of July.



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