Literary Fiction in a digital age

Tickets are now sold out for our event in aid of Cricklewood Library “Free to Read, Free to Write: Zadie Smith in Conversation With Orna Ross”.

But you can still join in.

We will be recording the event and it will be available on the Cricklewood Library website, and various social media. In the meantime, we are looking for donations to the literary auction we’ll be holding on the night… and also online, once the event is over.

And we’ll be running a draw for a Free Manuscript Evaluation and Publishing Plan.


Zadie Smith in Conversation With Orna Ross: The Cause

For Cricklewood, the diverse NW London neighborhood where I live, the library was the only cultural space and the only “indoor public space in which you do not have to buy anything in order to stay.” But Brent Council allowed it to be demolished in favor of putting up an apartment block.

Through a stubborn refusal to give up, the support of the local community, and a crowdfunding campaign, Friends of Cricklewood Library (FOCL) has secured the use of the ground floor of the new apartment block for a community library.

The closure of the old Cricklewood Library is a morality tale around all that is broken in local councils in the UK, but like a phoenix, it’s is bringing the local community together to create a vibrant social hub around  books and big ideas.

Now we need to kit it out and get it up and running.

In the essay Zadie will read from at the event, “The North West London Blues”, she says: “British libraries received over 300 million visits last year and this despite the common neglect of the various councils that oversee them. In North West London people are even willing to form human chains in front of them…saying the same thing over and over again. Defend our libraries. We like libraries. Can we keep our libraries? We need to talk about libraries.

“Pleading, like children.

“Is that really where we are?”

Zadie has said she owes her “whole life to books and libraries”, and she’s returning to NW2, where she grew up, from New York where she now lives, to support FOCL’s efforts.


The Event: Zadie Smith in Conversation With Orna Ross: June 25th 2018

Zadie’s most recent book is Feel Free and we’ve planned a discussion that covers the gift economy for writers and libraries, digital piracy, the effect of social media on free thought — and most of all what it means to write and read freely in a digital age.

Zadie will read from “The North West London Blues,” her essay about libraries and about why libraries are about so much more than free books.

The event will be recorded and widely available afterwards. It will include:

– Reading from “The North West London Blues”

– Discussion about reading and writing in a digital age with local author Orna Ross

– Audience Q&A

– Book signing.

We also have two ways you can join in online if you are a writer or run a writing or publishing service.

Zadie Smith in Conversation With Orna Ross. Literary Auction & Literary Lottery.

1. Literary Auction: How To Enter

We will be doing a literary auction on the night while the book signing is going on and online afterwards, where books and book related products will be auctioned to the highest bidder. This is an opportunity to get your book or book related product in front of an audience of avid readers, while also supporting the crusading work of Friends of Cricklewood library.

If you have anything you would like to donate to our auction, please let Sarah know:

2. Literary Lottery: How To Enter

Win a free manuscript evaluation and publishing plan: £15
1. Go here. Click the blue button  “Buy Tickets”. Scroll down to last category: “Literary Lottery only – no admission to event” (the  others are sold out)

2. When you have your ticket reference number submit it, along with the first chapter of your novel, to