Preview: Nottingham Authors to Guest at Central Library

Words: Ian C Douglas
Friday 01 March 2024
reading time: min, words

The Society of Authors launch a seven-month programme of events for Nottingham’s readers and writers…


Hardly has the paint dried at our lovely new central library, than it is rolling out a smorgasbord of new activities and courses. This includes a collaboration with the Society of Authors, the UK trade union for writers and illustrators. Starting in March and going through to autumn, the Society’s East Midlands branch is presenting a series of talks and workshops at the library for both readers and writers. And our local literati are turning out to support the programme with names like John Holmes, Julie Malone (author name, Jae Malone), Moira Hodgkinson and Ian C Douglas in the mix.

It is no surprise to see Julie Malone’s name on that list. Julie has been running creative writing contests and festivals in Nottinghamshire for some considerable time. She has now kindly taken a breather from her busy schedule of writing YA fantasy to give Left Lion the lowdown.

Julie tells us, “The Society of Authors has some fabulous authors locally, and it was time for the expertise and experience they have acquired through the years to be made available to aspiring writers.”

Sounds good, but what is new about these events?

“It’s the length of the programme - seven months - and the number of authors and genres involved, and that we are providing such a wide variety of workshops, talks, readings and courses, which will pretty much cover all age groups and interests. As far as I am aware, there is nothing quite like this anywhere within the region. And we hope that participants will take away more understanding of the topics they are interested in, and aspiring writers will find the knowledge and experience of our authors inspiring.”

Julie added, ‘We want people to enjoy the events, and to leave with their heads full of what they have heard and learned. Plus, they may well find new local authors to follow.”

everything from working on The Archers, popstar interviews, to political panel shows and meeting celebrities

Talks will include John Holmes’ reflections of his career at the BBC, everything from working on The Archers, popstar interviews, to political panel shows and meeting celebrities. Other topics include Living Witchcraft, Crime Thrillers, Poetry, Wellbeing, American poet Laura Ridings and Who’d be a Copper. Of course, a library would not be a library without readings. Fiona Linday will be reading picture books for the wee ones over the summer holiday.

Then there are the creative writing workshops. Julie, as Jae Malone, will be shining a light on the spooky world of writing ghost stories, plus workshops on fantasy and actions and consequences. Ian C Douglas will be offering his popular two-hour course on creating imaginary worlds.

“Ideal,” Ian says, “for anyone who writes fantasy or sci-fi. Come along for dos and don’ts, tips and tools. It’s a chance to practice your world-building skills and develop your imaginary world further. The workshops are fun and relaxed.”

So why is the new library kindly offering the space? Events Lead at the library, Georgina Dane-Wilding, explains that, “the Society of Authors is a prestigious organisation that provides great support and education for writers. It can be difficult to access such education without large fees or university enrolment, and for many writers that’s just not possible. Partnering with SOA to host these workshops means providing a space for writers to gain invaluable tips and tricks that they can apply to their own work, not to mention access to insights by published writers within the industry. I hope that participants come away with new tools to apply to their own practise, and feel emboldened to continue their careers towards success.”

Julie (Jae) Malone 1

Julie (Jae) Malone

And the library is keen to be at the forefront of local creativity. Georgina Dane-Wilding says, “Naturally our bookshelves are full of arts and culture, so our events program aims to bring that culture out of the page and into real life. We’re keen to stand as a cultural venue that performers and artists can utilise to bring their work to the public via an accessible space.” As well at the Society of Authors programme, the library hosts a wide range of events and classes, everything from gaming to knitting. To find out more about this new jewel in Nottingham’s crown please follow the Nottingham Central Library on Facebook, Instagram or at the Library's web site.

Among other authors appearing at the Society of Authors events are Mark Jacobs, Mark Eklid, Jonathan Nicholas, Frances Thimann, Giselle Leeb, Dr Gary Burn, Lynne McEwan, Rosanna McGlone, and Carol Thompson. 

So, there are talks and workshops for all ages and for an astonishing range of interests. But perhaps the most astonishing thing is the affordability. The Society of Authors has kept the cost of tickets firmly at £5.50. Tickets will available on the door but you can book places now online here.



The Society of Authors events run at the Nottingham Central Library from March until September. For more information please visit the events page.

We have a favour to ask

LeftLion is Nottingham’s meeting point for information about what’s going on in our city, from the established organisations to the grassroots. We want to keep what we do free to all to access, but increasingly we are relying on revenue from our readers to continue. Can you spare a few quid each month to support us?

Support LeftLion

Please note, we migrated all recently used accounts to the new site, but you will need to request a password reset

Sign in using

Or using your

Forgot password?

Register an account

Password must be at least 8 characters long, have 1 uppercase, 1 lowercase, 1 number and 1 special character.

Forgotten your password?

Reset your password?

Password must be at least 8 characters long, have 1 uppercase, 1 lowercase, 1 number and 1 special character.