Posted by Guy Pringle, 20th July 2010

I get loads of press releases by email these days, most of which are rapidly deleted but every so often one comes along that catches my imagination. Below is one such from an enterprising lady called Dawn Barnes. Although I've never met her I suspect I very soon will but for the moment I offer news of Dawn and Paul's forthcoming event in the hope you're able to attend.



I don't know if the below will be of interest to your readers but we're trialling an event in London which may appeal to other avid readers and reading group members. Last year we entered but, sadly, didn't win the Penguin Orange Prize for a reading group and lost to some social network groups instead - bah humbug! We did win the Orange Prize shortlist though and hungrily devoured and shared them among the groups we had then. Anyway, we're branching out into an event and wondered if there may be any chance of your running a short piece on it or even attending and reviewing it after.


The North London Reading Group, a finalist in last the Penguin Orange Readers’ Group Prize in 2009, is running an event showcasing new and little-known talent in central London.
At the end of July a line up of published authors*, mainly from north London (Willesden Green, Hampstead, Highgate, Waltham Cross), will talk about and read from their books; all hosted by Edinburgh Fringe, London-based comedian and comedy award winner and finalist, Tony Dunn, a self-confessed book lover.
“The idea came from the number of books I was receiving from publishers pushing their writers,” said Paul Drinkwater, founder of the North London Reading Group. “There was obviously a demand for a platform for lesser-known writers and publishers to promote their work and we wondered if we could provide one.
“So much of the space in shops is given to publishers who can pay to get a good position or well-known and popular writers that many books are written, published and disappear without trace; leaving readers none the wiser but potentially missing out on new favourites. We want to see if we can introduce writers to readers in a more interactive and personal way,” he concluded.
The event is the first that the group has organised to be open to a wider audience than reading group members.
“It’s quite an experiment,” said Dawn Barnes, co-founder of the group. “We’re hopeful people will come and take this opportunity to meet writers in person. It will be interesting to see what comes out of this and whether we can start to create a more direct relationship between readers and writers. If not, then we know it will just be a good evening with some books, comedy and new friends made.”
The group, founded by Paul Drinkwater and Dawn Barnes of Enfield in 2007, has now extended to have over 10 groups with a constant flow of people contacting them seeking to join. Two new groups are planned over the summer and more will be created throughout the year.

Venue: The Blue Posts, 81 Newman Street, London, W1; 31 July, 7.30pm

For tickets to the event or to register your interest in joining a reading group go to

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