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Local authors take centre stage at first Ealing Book Festival

One of the highlights of the first ever Ealing Book Festival came on Friday (12 April 2024) night 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.

The evening, hosted by Capital Xtra’s early breakfast presenter Jojo Silva – who is a huge advocate for reading, especially among younger age groups – included pitches for children’s books, literary fiction, crime fiction, romantic comedy and poetry, with all the books available to buy during the event.

Among those taking part in the event were author Caroline Lamond, whose book Well Behaved Women is based on the life of Alla Nazimova, the highest-paid silent movie actress of 1917. Meanwhile writer Chris Smith, former manager of 80s dance troupe Pan’s People, offered his pitch for Three Wives And The Truth, inspired by his love of country music.

We also heard from children’s authors Lucy Noguera and Zoe Antoniades, while local writer Mark Eccleston pitched us his crime novel The Trust, and romcom was represented by Emma Hughes with It’s Complicated, about two friends with no romantic connection who decide to have a child together. Meanwhile, first-time author Toby Lloyd pitched his recently-released debut Fervour, the story of a devout Jewish family who begin to suspect their daughter might be a witch.

The line-up was completed with poetry, short stories and non-fiction – with the latter including pitches from BBC journalist Richard Hamilton and his book Tangier: From The Romans To The Rolling Stones, and Joy James, whose children’s book Marvellous Black Inventors focuses on black innovators and role models for younger readers.

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