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I’m thrilled to announce that I have been asked to speak at the inaugural NIBFEST event next weekend. NIBFEST is a social enterprise dedicated to supporting Notting Hill’s literary venues and communities, and inspiring and engaging new audiences in the world of books.

Our talk at 1830hrs next Friday, the 12th April, is entitled Books and Blogs: Writers in the Digital Age, and I have asked Sam Baker, novelist and award-winning magazine editor, and Tim Hayward, equally award-winning food writer and broadcaster to join me to discuss how writers exist in a multi-platform world.

TICKETS AVAILABLE AT for £6/£10 for the evening. Other writers speaking over the weekend include: Thomasina Miers, Sabine Durrant, Evie Wyld, Alex Marwood, Shane & Timothy Spall, Frances Barber and the legend that is Rastamouse.

In our panel discussion, we’ll be covering topics including;

How important is a digital platform for a writer? Do follower numbers mean anything more than an ego boost?

What is the best way for a writer – or aspiring writer – to use social media? Is a blog a place to sell a book, write a book or learn how to write? Is it a personal marketing tool?

How does one go about getting an agent, and, ultimately, a book deal?

The importance of editing: How does one self-edit in the digital space? Do user comments qualify as useful feedback? ’ll also discuss how to deal with trolls and negative feedback in the public arena.

And they’ll be discussing how their careers have mixed digital with traditional writing, and how they got to that point.  Did they go from blog to book or book to blog?

And we’ll be taking questions from the audience too…


Born in Hampshire, award-winning editor Sam Baker studied politics at Birmingham University. Sam has edited some of the UK’s biggest magazines. After successfully re-launching teenage magazine Just Seventeen as J-17, she edited Minx then spent five years as editor of Company. She was editor of Cosmopolitan UK and most recently editor-in-chief of Red. She has a grown-up stepson and lives between Winchester, Hampshire and central London with her husband, the award-winning novelist Jon Courtenay Grimwood.

Tim Hayward is a Cambridge-based writer and food expert. He writes a column in The Financial Times and his features have appeared in The Guardian, Observer Food Monthly, Waitrose Food Illustrated, Saveur and a variety of on and offline publications. He is also a regular presenter on BBC Radio 4’s Food Programme and a panellist on The Kitchen Cabinet. He currently holds the Guild of Food Writers Food Journalist of the Year award and has also held their award for Best Food Broadcast.

Tim publishes Gin & It quarterly and edits Fire & Knives magazine, which holds the 2012 GFW award for Best Food Magazine. Tim’s first book, ’Food DIY’ is a handbook of smoking, curing, preserving, baking and other manly pursuits. It’s published by Fig Tree and will be available from July 2013

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Sounds very interesting. Think I might be popping along to this if I can make it in time after work!


Just booked my ticket, see you there!

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