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Book lovers show support for Ealing Book Festival

More than 1,300 people have attended the first ever Ealing Book Festival which took place over four days earlier this month at Pitzhanger Manor & Gallery.

Among the authors taking part were former children’s laureates Dame Jacqueline Wilson and Lauren Child; internationally renowned authors Sathnam Sanghera and John Boyne and Booker Prize-winner Eleanor Catton.

The Festival programme also included a local authors showcase; writing and poetry workshops; walking tours; poetry recitals and a young poets competition.

The programme started on 11 April 2024 with a look at how great artists see the world in a conversation between Clare Gough, director of Pitzhanger Manor & Gallery and former BBC journalist and director of the Soane Museum Will Gompertz. The event concluded on 14 April 2024 when Phil Manzanera of Roxy Music played out the Festival with his electric guitar.

One of the highlights of the Festival came on 12 April 2024 when a number of local authors took to the stage in a high-speed pitching event.

The Local Authors Showcase, in Soane’s Kitchen at Pitzhanger Manor, saw 18 writers from all genres given two minutes to ‘pitch’ their book to a capacity crowd, and hopefully persuade audience members to add a copy to their bookshelves.

Catherine Jaquiss, chair, Ealing Book Festival said: “The response to the very first Ealing Book Festival from the local community exceeded all of our expectations. Pulling it together has been a huge team effort, be it from our dedicated organising team and local volunteers who helped us over the Festival weekend; the team at Pitzhanger Manor & Gallery, which provided such a beautiful venue for our events; and our other partners and sponsors whose support has been so invaluable.”

Ms Jaquiss added: “We are proud to have brought together such a wide range of authors, readers, and cultural enthusiasts from West London and beyond to celebrate the written word in all its forms. Now we’ve established Ealing on the literary map we look forward to building on this year’s success when the Festival returns in 2025.”

Clare Gough, director, Pitzhanger Manor & Gallery added: “All of us at Pitzhanger were delighted to play our part in making the 2024 Festival an unequivocal success. Witnessing the convergence of literature enthusiasts, authors and our staff and volunteers during this extraordinary event was a true testament to the power of storytelling and community.”

Ms Gough added: “Our mission at Pitzhanger is to make it a hub of inspiration, dialogue, and imagination – building on the legacy of architect Sir John Soane – and it was a joy to see West London’s book-loving community come together over the four days of the Festival to forge new connections and share their passion for books, literature and debate. We look forward to continuing this energy over Pitzhanger’s full programme of talks and events across the summer and we’re already excited for what next year’s book festival will bring.”

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