Did you know that November is ‘History Month’ in the UK?

UK-wide programme of historical fiction events launches new partnership


National charity The Reading Agency is joining forces with the Historical Writers Association in an exciting new partnership that has already brokered over 100 events, involving over 70 authors.


The initiative coincides with Historical Writing Month in November, with events held in public libraries and other venues around the UK during the Month and beyond, featuring historical authors such as Michael Ridpath, Karen Maitland, Ben Kane, Ruth Downie, Robyn Young, Rory Clements, William Ryan and Manda Scott.


The new partnership will take a coordinated approach to programming events covering a diverse range of historical time periods and themes, offering innovative approaches to bring readers, writers and libraries closer together.


The extensive programme for readers yielded by this new partnership is still growing, but begins with an historical crime panel evening at Bedford Library on 17 October featuring Rory Clements and Ruth Downie,and continues with Essie Fox, D E Meredith and Lynn Shepherd discussing their Victorian novels at Crowthorne Library, while Roman-era authors Anthony Riches, Henry Venmore-Rowland and Harry Sidebottom will travel to Norwich library to complement a new exhibition at the city’s museum.


Other event themes include Medieval, Espionage, Historical London, The Blitz, Warriors Through History, and Victorian Crime . There will be a ‘Sex and Scandal’ discussion at Pimlico Library in  central London featuring Gabrielle Kimm, Linda Stratmann and Hallie Rubenhold on 22 November, while Tudor period authors Vanora Bennett and Elizabeth Fremantle will travel to Peterborough in the new year to mark the anniversary of the death of Katherine of Aragon, who is buried in Peterborough Cathedral. Further events have been organised as far forward as September 2014 when Michael Ridpath, Stav Sherez and William Ryan will be at London’s Chiswick Library, discussing the challenges of setting novels in totalitarian regimes. 2014 will also feature a range of events marking the centenary of the start of World War One.


·         Readers can find event listings at: http://hwa-galleria.co.uk/events/


“We’ve been overwhelmed by the positive response from libraries and readers,” says William Ryan of the Historical Writers Association. “We’ve organised many more events than we thought we might and we’re arranging new ones every week. It’s a fantastic opportunity for libraries and authors to reach out to readers and, thanks to our partnership with The Reading Agency and the support of libraries in almost every part of the country, we’re hoping this is just the beginning.”


The new partnership is part of The Reading Agency’s work to bring together its partners from the publishing world and the whole of the UK public library network to create successful and exciting events and activities for readers of all ages. The publishers who – via The Reading Agency’s Reading Partners consortium of libraries and publishers – have contributed to making author events happen in libraries for Historical Writers Month and beyond include Transworld; Hodder/Headline; Penguin; Constable & Robinson; Little, Brown; Bloomsbury; HarperCollins; Faber and Macmillan.


“We’re passionate about connecting readers to writers, and libraries are brilliant at reaching and engaging audiences who share the Historical Writers Association’s fascination with all things historical,” says Sandeep Mahal of The Reading Agency. “Amid all the news about library cuts and closures, an important beacon of light is the huge growth in popularity of library author events, so we’re really pleased to be partnering with the Historical Writers Association to broker events in library venues across the UK.”


For more media information please contact Deborah Hyde on debbie.hyde@oasismedia.co.uk or 07956 320 486


Notes to editors:


  • The Reading Agency is an independent charity whose mission is to give everyone an equal chance in life, by helping people become confident and enthusiastic readers. We are funded by Arts Council England (readingagency.org.uk).


  • The Historical Writers Association’s (HWA) comprises authors, publishers and agents of historical writing – both fiction and non-fiction – who are passionate about history. The HWA and its website, forum and various literary events and dinners provide professional and social support to its members, creating opportunities online and in person for them to meet with readers, re-enactors and historians of all ages and eras who share their fascination with, and absorption in, all things historical. (www.thehwa.co.uk)



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One Comment

  1. John Salter
    Posted 23 October 2013 at 09:09 | Permalink

    Good stuff Ben.

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