Prize-winning authors James Herbert, Lucy Caldwell and Andrew Simms are amongst a cast of high-profile writers, poets and journalists who will be lighting up Hendon at the North London Literary Festival this month.

Held at Middlesex University, the two-day festival will feature readings, publishing workshops and a multitude of writing competitions for everyone to join in. Embracing new technologies will be a focus for the festival, as the publishing industry begins its radical shift towards the online market and away from 400 years of print tradition. Faber, one of London’s leading publishing houses, will be chairing a discussion group on the direction in which the industry is heading.

Keynote speaker James Herbert (see main interview below) will be joined by Andrew Simms and Lucy Caldwell, whose book All the Beggars Riding has been chosen for the Belfast One Book One City campaign, which aims to get everyone in Belfast reading and talking about the same book for a month.

Simms is the author of such noted works as Ecological Debt: Global Warming and the Wealth of Nations and Tescopoly: How One Shop Came Out on Top and Why it Matters. He has been described as a ‘master of progressive thinking’ and will be offering his expertise on such issues as the Green Belt, global warming and poverty reduction.

Josie Barnard, who will be speaking about her novel The Book of Friendship, says: “This is going to be one of the most exciting literary events in London this year. The festival is making full use of its position in the community to create a modern and inspiring programme.”

Other highlights include Chibundu Onuzo, the Nigerian author of The Spider King’s Daughter; psychotherapist and cultural commentator Philippa Perry on how she used her experience and expertise to produce her best-selling book How to Stay Sane; Rowan Coleman, best-selling romance author, reading from her latest novel and revealing how she sets about romancing her readers; a flash fiction event; a poetry slam; speed-pitching (like speed-dating but with literary agents); and writers Laura Hird, Abimbola Dare, Elizabeth Buchan, John Lucas and Matt Haig.

  • The North London Literary Festival takes place at Middlesex Univeristy, Hendon Campus, The Burroughs, Hendon on Tuesday, March 26 and Wednesday, March 27. Details: