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Events & Diary
Thursday April 24th - 7.00pm
Short Story Book Group - Difficult Loves by Italo Calvino
Yes, it's true. 

The Short Story Book Group lives!
After the success of last month's meeting, we have chosen Italo Calvino's collection, Difficult Loves. 

here is the "blurb" (who invented the word "blurb", it's awful).

This dazzling collection of stories follows the individual adventures of a varied cast of characters and masterfully illustrates Calvino's unique perspective and narrative gifts. As well as the eleven tales from his "Difficult Loves" collection this volume also includes "Smog" and "A Plunge into Real Estate".

We're not focussing on any particular short story in the collection, we'll discuss each story. 
Even if you don't get a chance to read it, do feel free to come along.


Friday April 25th - 8.00pm
Working Title Comedy
Here are your comedy treats for April
As ever it's £5.00 BYOB. Tickets available here

Andrew O'Neill

I am a stand-up comedian, a metalhead, an amateur occultist and a musician. I've pretty

much been a show off since birth. I did comedy sketches in assemblies at school, and pissed away my A Levels making comedy films with my mates on my brothers camcorder. You will never get to see these, because my mates would fucking kill me if I put them on the net.

I've done a bit of telly, (including Never Mind The Buzzcocks, and Saxondale with Steve Coogan) and lots of radio (including BBC Radio 1, Radio 4, Radio 4 Extra, and 5live) but live is where the hidden mind-control signals planted in my work are most effective.

I'm a bit of a regular on the comedy stages

I'm vegan, as you can tell by the fact that I have a lithe, sinewy body. I'm a heterosexual transvestite, as you can tell by the fact that I wear female clothes and fancy girls. I'm not a goth. This is an understandable error, but there is a difference between a metaller who cross-dresses and a goth. And if need be I will fight you to demonstrate that difference. I've got nothing against goths. Some of my best friends are goths. Their food is lovely and they have natural rhythm.

I am in a steampunk band called The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing and I do walking tours of Jack The Ripper's murder sites.

Here are some of the things people have said about my comedy:

One of the funniest comedians on the circuit at the moment... hitting new heights of comedic brilliance.- TimeOut

He's got a natural optimism and love of silliness that leaves you feeling remarkably positive... a winning blend of polemic and off-beat whimsy. - The Guardian

So funny I put him in my new TV show. - Steve Coogan

Andrew O'Neill is like comedy ball-lightning. Fast, electrifying and even funnier than the misfortunes of others. -  Alan Moore


Chris Coltrane 

Since our regular MC, Chris Brosnahan, is elsewhere, we've replaced him with another, funnier Chris!

Chris Coltrane is a comedian, activist, writer, disco dancer and sweet romancer.

Chris has been doing stand-up for five years. He started off weird and surreal; nowadays he's weird and political. He tells tales of protests and mischief, and trying to smash the Tories with punchlines.

Recent gigs include the Alternative Comedy Memorial Society, Josie Long's LTOTBH, and for a change of pace, Bec Hill's Pun Run. In 2013 he did Glastonbury on Billy Bragg's Leftfield tent, as well as End Of The Road festival. He has taken two solo shows to the Edinburgh Festival.

He writes "funny" political columns on his personal blog, and is a regular columnist for the New Internationalist.

Mark Thomas: "One of a handful of comedians who are the future of British political comedy."

Chortle: ★★★★ for solo show Activism Is Fun. "Brilliantly entertaining… passion, humour and charismatic likeability… genuinely fun, establishing Coltrane as both a relevant and witty political voice on the comedy circuit." 

The Guardian: Likeably upbeat… an attractive cheekiness… By Coltrane's account, protest is getting funnier – which can only be good news for political comedy.

More acts to be announced

Tuesday April 29th - 7.00pm

In Conversation with Sarah Henshaw, owner of the Book Barge.

I love the Book Barge. Who wouldn't?
Here's their story in a nutshell.
With extraordinary willpower and huge positive attitude and very little help from the bank, Sarah Henshaw opened the Book Barge (a bookshop on a barge!) in 2009.  
As happens to all the best bookshops, money got a bit tight and so in 2011 Sarah decided to travel the canals of the UK for 6 months to raise the profile of the barge, sell some books and essentially survive.
Sarah wrote a journal throughout this time, which has now been published. So now you can read this uplifting, funny inspiring story in her new book "The Bookshop that Floated Away".
Sarah will be at the bookshop on Tuesday April 29th to talk about her adventures, sharing some great stories and generally bigging up books, bookshops and a free spirited attitude to life.
IT'S FREE to come along and there will be gin (Sarah's favourite tipple) and also less alcoholic beverages.   
Wednesday April 30th - 7.30pm
The Big Green Bookswap, with Mike Carey and Joel Meadows 
 A glorious evening of entertainment and literary chat at the Great Northern Railway Tavern on Hornsey High Street (N8 7QB).
This is a different kind of book event, so expect the unexpected. Here are the rules.
1. Bring along with you a book which you’re prepared to swap for another. 
2. Have a drink.
3. Prepare to be entertained.
Those are the rules.
This month’s special guests.
Mike Carey.
Mike Carey got into writing through comic books, where his horror/fantasy series Lucifer garnered numerous international awards and was nominated for five Eisners. From there he moved into novels and screenplays, while still maintaining a presence in the comics world.
His brilliant Felix Castor books are a consistently bestselling series in the shop.
Imagine the Raymond Chandler novels if L.A. was London and Marlowe was an exorcist. Castor is a flawed but mostly likeable man who’s trying to do the right thing in a world that often makes the right thing more or less impossible. He makes his living as an exorcist, but from as early as the first book he starts to have doubts about what he’s doing and to shift his sympathies from the living to the dead. It’s not easy being an exorcist with those sort of scruples.
All of this is against the backdrop of a world where the dead have started to rise in serious numbers. There are ghosts, zombies, even were-creatures, so there’s a big demand for exorcists, and there ‘s money to be made if you know what you’re doing....
His new novel is The Girl With All the Gifts. 
Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class.
When they come for her, Sergeant Parks keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don't like her. She jokes that she won't bite. But they don't laugh.
Melanie is a very special girl."
Joel Meadows.
In 1992, Joel and his neighbour Simon Teff launched the first issue of TRIPWIRE. It went on to become the UK’s best-loved comics and genre magazine.
Featuring interviews and articles by such luminaries as Bryan Moore, Terry Gilliam, Matt Groening and Will Eisner, the magazine has garnished heaps of praise from everyone in the business.
“Still the coolest magazine on the planet..” – IAN RANKIN  
“Amazing, gratifying. A pleasure to look at, a pleasure to read..” – MICHAEL MOORCOCK
“The touchstone of comic book culture in the UK” – GUILLERMO DEL TORO
As well as being editor-in-chief of TRIPWIRE, is also a very experienced journalist, writing about film, TV, books and genre for publications like The Times, Time Magazine, Independent on Sunday, The Guardian, Time Magazine and Big Issue In the North. He also has a blog, Walls and Bridges, where he reviews film and talks about whatever else takes his fancy. Additionally, he is also a photographer, shooting portraits of creative people and landscapes and architecture.
Mike and Joel will be joining to discuss…well anything you want them to. That's the nature of the Big Green Bookswap. 
Tickets, priced at just £3, are now available. HERE. 
We hope you can make it
Saturday May 24th - 5pm - 8pm
The Great Literary Talent Hunt - Hellie Ogden & Jessie Botterill
Following on from the huge success of our last couple of pitching events, we delighted to offer budding authors another chance for a proifessinal one on one consultation with a top literary agent. This time we’re thrilled to have Hellie Ogden and Jessie Botterill from the Janklow & Nesbit Agency.
How to take part:
1) To book a 10 minute slot you must purchase a ticket.
Tickets cost just £10 available HERE, or by contacting the Big Green Bookshop in person or via the phone (020 8881 6767).
2) Once you’ve purchased  a ticket, you will need to prepare a 1,500 word extract of your work and a one page synopsis of the novel by the May 9th AT THE LATEST, which will be read by the agents in advance of the session. Details of where to send this will be passed to you once you've bought a ticket.
Also, once your ticket is purchased you will be allocated a slot with either Hellie or Jessie. They will go through an extract of your work (max 1,500 words) beforehand so that on the day you meet them they’ll be able to offer advice and guidance on what steps you should take in order to turn your writing dream into a reality.
Here’s a little more about Hellie and Jessie
Before joining Janklow & Nesbit in 2013, Hellie spent three years at Greene & Heaton Literary Agency where she built up her list of clients and managed the translation rights.
She is looking for series crime, psychological thrillers, commercial women’s fiction, young adult and children’s debuts and accessible, charming literary fiction. She enjoys novels with exotic settings, bold twists and enticing protagonists.
In non-fiction she is looking for unique personal stories and work that has a large social following with cross-media potential. She represents cook books from aspiring foodies, as well as popular culture projects, helping to build her clients’ profiles across different platforms.
Hellie featured in The Bookseller Rising Stars list 2013 and has been shortlisted for The Kim Scott Walwyn Prize 2014
Jessie joined Janklow & Nesbit in 2010, shortly after graduating from Leeds University. As well as handling the sale of foreign and audio rights, she is building up her own list of fiction and non-fiction authors.
In particular, she is looking for commercial fiction with strong, original storylines, with a focus on women’s, book club and gritty psychological thrillers. Intelligent and inspiring non-fiction is also welcome, and YA of all kinds.
Understandably , these events sell out REALLY quickly, so get in quick.