Nenad Stojkovic/Wikimedia Commons

A selection of bookshop readings, performances, literary lunches, salons, festivals and other writerly goings-on are listed here and regularly updated. Please send details of any forthcoming events you’d like us to feature to events @ bookanista . com

While the Covid pandemic has decimated traditional book tours and public events, a wide range of bookshops, cultural organisations and publishers have stepped up to the plate with a series of virtual panels and discussions. Thankfully many theatres and exhibition venues are now opening up to limited visitor numbers. For your literary and wider cultural fix, check out the blogs, videos, podcasts and event listings at the British Library, the London Review Bookshop, Waterstones, English PEN, the Southbank Centre, publisher and author websites and social media streams, as well as those of your local organisations and venues.

Here are a few standout dates for your diary:


Illustration by Ivor Wood, c. 1973 © P&Co. Ltd 2021

to Sunday 31 October
Paddington: The Story of a Bear
British Library
Open daily
Full price £8/concessions available
All visits must be pre-booked

Paddington’s heart-warming exploits and kind and caring nature have made him one of the world’s most loved bears since his first appearance on the pages of A Bear Called Paddington. More than 60 years on, his stories still delight people of all ages around the world.

Now fans both big and small can join Paddington as he sets off on a new adventure at the British Library. Follow the trail of marmalade splats to explore his tales of muddles and mishaps from his arrival in London, to home life with the Browns.

For older fans, there’s a chance to rediscover the many faces of Paddington through the decades, from original illustrations featured in the very first books to clips from the recent hit films and animated series.

Uncover the real-life inspiration behind the bear – through author Michael Bond’s own notes, his trusty typewriter and photographs that offer a glimpse into his remarkable life.

With a summer of family activities and events there is plenty to keep little sticky paws busy.
More info and book



Arvon courses and retreats
Arvon’s Winter Season sees the return of Arvon mainstays as well as brand new voices across the Arvon at Home programme. New tutors include Will Harris, Nadine Aisha Jassat and Jessica J. Lee, along with returning writers Raymond AntrobusKirsty Logan and Clare Shaw, while Cathy Rentzenbrink hosts the Craft of Writing series, in discussion with Kit De WaalJulia Samuel and Francesca Main.
More info

Spread the Word’s summer season of workshops and events
Spread the Word’s rich programme of accessible activities for writers is made up of 12 different opportunities designed to support writers of all levels to learn, be part of a community, and create new work. Seven of the sessions are totally free, two have bursary places available, and others are low-cost.

Highlights include Fiction Surgery and Getting You To Where You Want To Be with Eva Lewin; Finding the Centre – A Life Writing Masterclass with Colin Grant; Write Together with Jessica J. Lee; Your Life as Art with Marta Bausells; Nature Poetry Without the Gannets with Helen Bowell; Plot Holes: What they are and how to fix them with Emma Grundy Haigh; Writing Fantasy for Children and YA with Davina Tijani; It’s Not Me, It’s You: How to write about complicated relationships with Maame Blue; and Writing Speculative Historical Fiction with Sharlene Teo.
More info and book


to Wednesday 20 October
Claire Fuller: Unsettled Ground virtual tour
Claire Fuller’s fourth novel, which is shortlisted for the 2021 Women’s Prize for Fiction, tells the story of 51-year-old twins Jeanie and Julius, who still live with their mother Dot in rural isolation. When Dot dies, they have to negotiate the outside world for the first time, only to find it cruel and unyielding. It’s an unconventional and captivating story of resilience and hope, homelessness and hardship, love and survival, in which two marginalised but remarkable people take centre stage.
Claire is doing online events with bookshops and organisations around the UK and the US with dates spreading through to Autumn.
Unsettled Ground is published by Fig Tree/Penguin in the UK, Tin House in the US, and House of Anansi in Canada.
More info and book