Suffolk Book League

General Enquiries: 07908 440653

Registered Charity Number: 296783
Honorary President: Margaret Drabble

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2017 Programme
  • Entrance fees for events (unless otherwise specified):
    • Members: £4
    • Non-Members: £8*
    • Students: Free (on production of a valid student card)
    * If you become a member at an event you will receive a refund of £4.
  • Tickets: Can be bought on the door at the event. To reserve tickets in advance, email and pay on arrival at the event. All reserved tickets need to be collected by 7:15pm. Non-members can purchase tickets up to one calendar month before the event. Members can reserve tickets for events at any time throughout the year.
  • Time: Unless otherwise stated, all events begin at 7:30pm with doors open from 7:00pm - tea and coffee is available before the talk. Speaker events generally finish by approximately 9:00pm.
  • Location: The venue name is given in the details of each event below. Further details about each venue can be found at the bottom of this page.
  • Questions: After the speaker's talk people are invited to ask questions. Members are also able to submit questions in advance by emailing
  • Signed Copies: Speakers are usually willing to sign copies of their books, which can be purchased at the event from the Waterstones stand.
  • We're like a year-long literary festival: The SBL is a quite a unique organisation and we strive to ensure that everyone enjoys our events. If you like going to literary festivals, you'll love us! Most importantly, you don't need to have read anything by our speakers in order to attend their event.

Wednesday 22 February 2017
Hollie McNish
Ipswich Institute, Tavern Street

  Hollie McNish  


Hollie McNish won the UK Slam Poetry Competition in 2009 and went on to finish 3rd in the global Slam Du Monde contest. She writes brilliantly about motherhood in Nobody Told Me.

  Hollie McNish Poster  

Wednesday 22 March 2017 
Ian Sinclair
Ipswich Institute, Tavern Street

  Iain Sinclair  


Iain Sinclair’s psycho-geographical books include Lights Out for the Territory, Downriver and Ghost Milk. His works are mostly set in London, a place that has been hugely influential on his themes of landscape, art and reflection.

  Iain Sinclair Book  

AGM at 7pm (Doors open for members at 6:30pm)

Thursday 13 April 2017
Hamish MacGibbon
Ipswich Institute, Tavern Street

  Hamish MacGibbon  


Hamish MacGibbon is a director of James & James publishers. His book Spy for Stalin tells the story of his parents, their interaction with the communist party and their flirtation with wartime espionage, and is due to be published this year.

  Hamish MacGibbon Book  

Thursday 11 May 2017
Claudia Myatt
Ipswich Institute, Tavern Street

  Claudia Myatt  


Claudia Myatt lives afloat an elderly tugboat near Woodbridge. Her portfolio consists of a monthly cartoon in Practical Boat Owner alongside numerous sailing-themed illustrated books.

  Claudia Myatt Illustration  

Wednesday 7 June 2017
Juliet Barker
Ipswich Institute, Tavern Street

  Juliet Barker  


Juliet Barker is a self-proclaimed outsider, historian and biographer from Yorkshire. She explores, among other greats, the Brontës and William Wordsworth, whom she warmed to over the course of her writing.

  Juliet Barker Book  

Thursday 15 June 2017
Sarah Armstrong & Stephen May
Woodbridge Library

Sarah Armstrong website

Stephen May website

  Devil in the Snow   FREE EVENT

Sarah lives in Essex with her husband and four children. Her short stories have been published in magazines and anthologies, and she teaches creative writing for the Open University.

Stephen May’s first novel TAG was longlisted for Wales Book of The Year and won the Media Wales Reader’s Prize. His second, Life! Death! Prizes! was shortlisted for the 2012 Costa Novel Award and The Guardian Not The Booker Prize. He also collaborates on performance pieces with theatre-makers, artists, film-makers, musicians and dancers.

  Stronger Than Skin  

Sunday 2 July 2017
Louise Doughty
Elizabeth Suite, Orwell Hotel, Felixstowe

  Louis Doughty  


Louise Doughty presents her new novel, Black Water, recently published in paperback by Faber & Faber. She talks about that and the BBC adaptation of her previous book Apple Tree Yard, which was a Sunday Times top ten bestseller and translated into 28 languages.

To book tickets visit Felixstowe Book Festival

  Black Water  

Wednesday 28 June 2017
New Angle Prize for Literature Shortlist Showcase
Ipswich Institute, Tavern Street

Wednesday 6 September 2017
Awards Dinner
Hintlesham Hall Hotel, Ipswich

  New Angle Prize  


The New Angle Prize for Literature is a biennial award sponsored by Gotelee Solicitors for a book of literary merit set in or influenced by the region of East Anglia. The judges longlist of books for 2017 was announced on 13 February and the shortlist on the 13 March. Details of the nominees can be viewed here. Previous winners include She Rises by Kate Worsley (2015), This Luminous Coast by Jules Pretty (2013), Death Watch by Jim Kelly (2011), and Crow Country by Mark Cocker.

As part of the BooksEast Festival, a showcase evening of the shortlisted entries will be held at the Ipswich Institute on 28 June followed by the actual awards ceremony on 6 September. Tickets can be purchased directly from the Institute.

  Ipswich Institute  

Thursday 13 July 2017
Andrew Cowan
Ipswich Institute, Tavern Street

  Andrew Cowan  


Andrew Cowan is an award-winning novelist and academic. He is the author of five novels, the latest being Worthless Men, as well as a creative writing guidebook The Art of Writing Fiction.

  Andrew Cowan Book  

Wednesday 13 September 2017
Emma Healey
Ipswich Institute, Tavern Street

  Emma Healey  


Emma Healey grew up in London, where she completed her first degree in bookbinding, and graduated from the MA in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia in 2011. Her debut novel, Elizabeth is Missing, won Best First Novel at the Costa Book Awards.

  Elizabeth is Missing  

Wednesday 11 October 2017
Megan Bradbury
Ipswich Institute, Tavern Street

Twitter: @_meganbradbury

  Megan Bradbury  


Megan Bradbury was awarded the Charles Pick Fellowship at UEA and also won an Escalator Literature Award and a Grant for the Arts to help fund the completion of her first novel, Everyone is Watching, which tells the story of New York City through the geniuses who have inhabited it.

  Everyone is Watching  

Wednesday 1 November 2017
Wendy Cope
Ipswich Institute, Tavern Street

  Wendy Cope  


Wendy Cope OBE has won 3 significant poetry awards since her debut publication in 1980. Her latest anthology (and first in 10 years), Family Values, is rife with simplicity and bathos whose effect on her readers is not simple at all.

  Family Values  

Wednesday 6 December 2017
Robert Lloyd Parry
Ipswich Institute, Tavern Street

  Robert Lloyd Parry  


Robert Lloyd Parry is a freelance writer and actor who spends his time performing M.R. James’ ghost stories across the country. This will be a particularly festive candlelit event to end our 35th anniversary year on.

  Ghost Stories  



You can also download a PDF version of our 2017 Programme here


Venue information

The nearest car parks for the Ipswich Institute are in Crown Street and William Street, which is approximately a 5-10 minute walk. The bus station in front of the Sailmakers shopping centre and Lloyds Avenue taxi ranks are also nearby. We encourage lift sharing, where possible.

Full details of the car parks in Ipswich can be found here

Ipswich Institute Reading Room and Library

15 Tavern Street, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP1 3AA [Click here for online map of location]

Hintlesham Hall Hotel

Hintlesham, Ipswich, Suffolk IP8 3NS [Click here for online map of location]

Woodbridge Library

New Street, Woodbridge, Suffolk IP12 1DT [Click here for online map of location]

Orwell Hotel

Hamilton Road, Felixstowe, Suffolk IP11 7DX [Click here for online map of location]



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© Suffolk Book League 2016