The Booksellers Association of the United Kingdom & Ireland Limited

Full line-up for Independent Bookshop Week 2023

07/06/2023
The line-up for Independent Bookshop Week (17-24 June 2023) has been announced today by the Booksellers Association (BA).
 
As well as events in bookshops up and down the country, the annual celebration of independent bookshops in the UK and Ireland, sponsored by Hachette, will see new bookshops opening, the return of the #IndieBookshopWeek #BookTok Tour, a special event organised by Bookshop.org and much more.
 
Independent Bookshop Week (IBW) celebrates independent booksellers and their shops by highlighting the essential role they play in their local communities and on our high streets. The aim of the week is to encourage book buyers to visit and support their local indies, while enjoying the hundreds of special activities that are taking place up and down the country.
 
Independent booksellers across the UK and Ireland have been busy organising a huge range of author events, partnerships and window displays to celebrate IBW – including thought-provoking talks, poetry open mic nights, family festivals, and events taking place in partnership with rugby clubs, spas and cathedrals among many more unique locations.
 
INDIE OPENINGS
In 2022 the number of UK and Ireland independent bookshops in BA membership grew to reach a 10-year high. A number of new independent bookshops are opening doors in time for Independent Bookshop Week, or are expanding their premises, including:
  • Bookish opened a second branch in Abergavenny at the beginning of May.
  • Rossiter Books opened its fifth branch in Malvern in May.
  • Press Books and Coffee in Birmingham opened its doors on 20th May.
  • Bow Books in Royston opens for the first time just before IBW on Thursday 15th June.
  • Booka Bookshop in Oswestry will be opening a new shop in June, just before IBW.
 
AUTHOR EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES
Confirmed author activities taking place during Independent Bookshop Week include:
 
North of England
  • Rebecca Smith will do an online event to discuss her new memoir Rural: The Lives of the Working Class Countryside. Rebecca will be in conversation with Will Smith, a bookseller at Sam Read (Grasmere), on Thursday 22nd June from 7:30-8:30pm. More info here. Katie Holten will be doing an online evening in conversation with Polly Atkin, poet and non-fiction writer, with guests of Sam Read to discuss The Language of Trees, an international collaboration between writers, ecologists, artists and activists writing on the wonders of trees, on Wednesday 21st June from 7:30-8:30pm. More info here.
  • Chris Butterfield will talk about his book Wainwright Memories at Westwood Books (Cumbria) on Saturday 17th June at 7:30pm, as part of Sedbergh Book Festival. Karen Lloyd will discuss her book Abundance Recovery in Nature on Monday 19th June at 7:30pm. More info here and here.
  • Three events will take place in Collected Books (Durham):
  • Noreen Masud on A Flat Place – in conversation with author and academic Naomi Booth on Sunday 18th June at 6:00pm.
  • Camilla Grudova on Children of Paradise – in conversation with Claire Malcolm, CEO of New Writing North on Thursday 22nd June at 6:30pm.
  • Naomi Kelsey on The Burnings – in conversation with Annie Garthwaite, author of Cecily on 23rd June at 6:30pm.
  • More info here.
  • The Great North Author Tour involving one minibus, six bookshops, eleven authors and thousands of children starts at 9:00 on Saturday 24th June in Whitley Bay at The Bound bookshop. A crew of eleven intrepid authors and one bookshop owner will travel over 200 miles across the northeast. Teessiders Lisette Auton, James Harris, Gabrielle Kent and Andy Ruffell along with Newcastle’s Dan Smith, Tom Vaughan, James Nicol, Lorraine Gregory, Cath Howe, Annaliese Avery and Bethany Walker will then head down the coast to Saltburn to The Book Corner (11:00); head inland to DRAKE at Stockton (12:15) and then foray to pastures new as Leyburn’s indie bookshop, The Wonky Tree (14:05) joins the fun and mayhem for the first time. 15:40 sees the tour hit James Harriot country and White Rose Book Café, with the day coming to its traditional end with the finish line being put out and an “all are welcome lock-in” at Ripon Bookshop at 16:55.
  • DRAKE has organised two meet the author events: on Tuesday 20th June, a meet the author with Mari Hannah and celebration of the launch of Black Fell will take place at the bookshop. On Wednesday 21st June, a meet the author event and launch celebration of The Chemical Code with Fiona Erskine will take place at Preston Park. More info here.
  • Rev Richard Coles will be visiting Plackitt & Booth (Lancashire) on Monday 19th June, doing a literary lunch at Fylde Rugby Club. More info here.
  • Forum Books in Northumberland will be hosting a launch event with Mari Hannah to mark the publication of her new book Black Fell on Wednesday 21st June. More info here. An event with Alison Weir will also take place on the same day at Gateshead Libraries. A further two events with Rose Wilding and Ann Cleeves will take place at Forum Books on Thursday 22nd June. More info here.
  • Rev Richard Coles will be visiting Lingham’s Bookshop on Monday 19th June with an evening event in conversation with Clare Mackintosh at Thornton Hall Hotel and Spa. More info here.
  • AJ Pearce will be in conversation with Sue Porter, followed by a book signing at Lingham’s on Thursday 22nd June, celebrating publication of Mrs Porter Calling. More info here.
  • WAVE of Nostalgia (Haworth) will host three events during the week including:
    • Celebrating the launch, and book signing, of Indiana Bones and the Invisible City by Harry Heape on Saturday 17th June at 2:00pm.
    • An evening with Charlotte Furness about her book Unmarried Women of the Country Estate on Wednesday 21st June at 7:00pm
    • Danielle Brown MBE, double Paralympic gold medallist and five-time World Champion in archery, will visit the bookshop for a meet and greet on Saturday 24th June.
    • More info here.
  • Poet Laureate Simon Armitage will read a selection of his work, including lyrics from the recently published Never Good with Horses, and new sonnets from LX, a limited-edition birthday pamphlet for independent bookshops on Tuesday 20th June from 7:00-8:30 pm at Wrecking Ball Music & Books (Hull). More info here.
  • Peter Woolrich, author of A Corroded Soul will take part in an evening event at The Grove Bookshop (Ilkley) on Monday 19th June from 7:00pm. Wednesday 21st June is their Crime Double-header – Leona Deakin & J.M. Hall will be in conversation about the nature of crime writing, from 7pm. On Thursday 22nd June, Liam Thomas will be talking to The Grove Bookshop about his book The Buyer. More info here.
  • Paul Dunn, wildlife photographer, tells his story of how he battled through depression and won thanks to the natural world and photography on Tuesday 20th June from 7:30pm to 8:30pm at Books on the Lane (Wakefield). On Thursday 22nd June at 7:30pm – 8:30pm, Walton/Wakefield-based live word poet and writer Jimmy Andrex joins the bookshop for a live hour of wordsmith skill, taking us through his unique window on Wakefield life in verse. On Saturday 24th June at 11:00am-12:00pm, Ed Parsons takes people on a walking tour of the trees, biodiversity and plant life at Walton Colliery Nature Park. More info here.
 
Midlands
Birmingham is hosting the first ever Independent Bookshop Week festival and there is a lot to look forward to! The festival is a collaboration between five bookshops: The Heath Bookshop, Bear Bookshop, The Bookshop on the Green, How Brave is the Wren and Voce Books. More info on all events below and here.
  • The Heath Bookshop (Birmingham) will be having their third fashion talk on Saturday 17th June, curated by the brilliant local art and fashion historian, Sally Chidlow. Sally will be talking about the late Mary Quant, Singer/songwriter and guitarist Call Me Unique, and will be back at The Heath Bookshop at 8pm on Monday 20th June. The bookshop will also welcome Costa-Winning, Women’s Prize shortlisted author of Unsettled Ground, Claire Fuller to Kings Heath on Saturday 24th June from 6:00-7:30pm.
  • Bear Bookshop (Birmingham) will be running a prize draw for all their customers during IBW – a bag of books for one lucky winner! At 11:00am on Thursday 22nd June they are hosting acclaimed actor and author Clive Mantle for an informal Q&A session on everything from Casualty to Game of Thrones, Vicar of Dibley to Thomas the Tank Engine! He will also be reading from his fabulous series of children’s books The Adventures of Freddie Malone and signing copies.
  • The Bookshop on the Green (Birmingham) is hosting a very special outdoor Story Time on Bournville Village Green with local storyteller Anna O’Brien and The Gruffalo from 10:00-10:45am on Friday 16th June, just before IBW. Bournville Hub are running a free book swap at the shop on Saturday 17th June from 9:00-11:00am, and you can discover the rich history of two of Birmingham’s oldest buildings in a fun-packed event at Selly Manor Museum on the same day – with something for the whole family, you can get to grips with hands-on history, with trails, crafts and exploration. There will be performances, costumes, music, dance and so much more. The bookmark trail will end at the bookshop where there will be further creative activities for children. Award-winning writer and head gardener Ben Dark will be in conversation with Sarah Mullen on Sunday 18th June. A talk by Winterbourne curator Henrietta Lockhart will take place at Selly Manor Museum on Monday 19th June from 7:30-8:30pm. The Bookshop on the Green, Chapter Restaurant and Lux Art Gallery jointly host a delicious Literary Lunch on Wednesday 21st June with bestselling authors Jo Browning-Wroe, who wrote A Terrible Kindness, and Ned Palmer, cheesemonger and author of A Cheesemonger’s History of the British Isles and A Cheesemonger’s Compendium of British & Irish Cheese. Natalie Haynes will be in conversation with Robert Douglas-Fairhurst on Thursday 22nd June from 7:30-9:00pm. The bookshop is hosting an Afternoon Tea on Friday 23rd June at 3:00pm with bestselling author and all-round great guy Mike Gayle as they celebrate 25 years of Mike publishing wonderful books.
  • How Brave is the Wren (Birmingham) will host campfire stories with Ian Douglas on Saturday 17th June. How Brave is the Wren will hold their weekly Friday morning story time session on Friday 23rd June at 10:15 am. This session is aimed at 1–4-year-olds but all ages are welcome. They read three books per week and are always happy to take requests!
  • Author Ben Waddington and co-owner of Voce Books (Birmingham) Clive Judd will delve deeper into the selection process for the book 111 Places in Birmingham That You Shouldn’t Miss, the recurring motives and motifs in Ben’s work, and the greater story of the great city: Birmingham on Saturday 17th June. Voce Books has also organised an evening with Jeremy Cooper – author of the heartachingly moving part-Sparkhillset novel Bolt from the Blue – as he talks to writer and film-maker Adam Scovell about his new paean to art and film ‘Brian’ on Wednesday 21st June at 7:00-8:30pm. Celebrating their 15th year of publishing some of the most exciting new and emerging poets, the wonderful Midlands-based Nine Arches Press has organised an evening of poetry at Voce Books exploring all the kaleidoscopic ways human life collides with the natural world.
  • Dormouse Books (Belper) will host comedian, actor and writer, Robin Ince at Reunion Belper on Monday 19th June.
  • Poetry Pharmacy (Bishop's Castle) to host a Queer Reading Group on Saturday 24th June and are part of the social prescribing network. They have been collaborating with Lush, putting poetry into their branches and spas and bath bombs! More info here.
  • BUK (Nottingham) will be hosting an Indie BUK Fest to celebrate all things indie with lots of brilliant indie authors along with the legendary Robert Ince on Tuesday 20th June at 7:30pm at the Bonington Theatre & Cinema. More info here.
  • Five Leaves Bookshop (Nottingham) to host an afternoon tea with Cathi Unsworth on Sunday 18th June at 4:30pm-6:00pm. An event with poet Roy Marshall, supported by Tony Challis, will take place on Monday 19th June at 7:00pm-8:30pm. Brendan Woodhouse and Ďoro Ģoumãňęh will be launching their book Doro on Thursday 22nd June at 7:00pm. Polly Toynbee to hold an event on Saturday 24th June at 2:00pm-4:00pm at Squire Performing Arts Centre. More info here.
  • The Book Case have organised the Lowdham Book Festival, with events including:
    • Join the delightful Matson Taylor to talk about his debut novel and his writing life, and then discuss the book over coffee and cake in smaller groups. Followed by a Q&A, signing, and the chance to buy the sequel, All About Evie, at The Bookcase on Monday 19th June from 10:00am to 12:00pm.
    • In an exclusive panel, Dr Joanna Cannon and fellow contributing author Dr Kathryn Mannix will share how they came to be involved in Will You Read This, Please? which brings together real life stories of NHS mental health service users, as well as the challenges and privileges of helping someone else to share a story that was previously unheard on Tuesday 20th June from 7:00-8:30pm at the Southwell Library.
    • Afternoon Tea with bestselling authors Cathy Bramley, Isabelle Broom and Milly Johnson on Wednesday 21st June from 2:00-3:30pm in Woodborough Hall.
    • Polly Toynbee talks about An Uneasy Inheritance – My Family and Other Radicals at St Mary’s Church on Wednesday 21st June from 7:00-8:30pm.
    • Two fantastic crime writers will talk about their latest novels, the importance of location, and why islands in particular make such a great setting on Thursday 22nd June from 7:00-8:30pm in the Southwell Library (Nottingham). Kate Rhodes’ Isles of Scilly series is totally addictive, and Chris Ewan is the master of suspense and tension.
    • More info on all events here.
  • Booka Bookshop (Oswestry) have several events in store during IBW:
    • They regularly fundraise for a local food charity 'OsNosh', a community kitchen using surplus food to create delicious, nutritious meals for the local community.  As part of IBW they will be hosting a 'Booka Social' to raise money for OsNosh. Their resident artist, Martha will be creating a window during IBW and running a free workshop with children to make a piece of artwork for the window. It will be based on the design of the Booksellers Association Summer Books catalogue.
    • AJ Pearce will host an in-conversation event with Carrie Morris at The Holroyd Theatre on Friday 23rd June, celebrating the publication of Mrs Porter Calling.
    • Carrie and Tim from Booka Bookshop will host an in-conversation event with Caroline Lang to share ‘The Story of Booka’ on Tuesday 20th June, 7:30pm.
    • Booka Bookshop will host an evening with Pat Nevin, discussing the book Football and How To Survive It, on Thursday 22nd June, 7:30pm, at The Holroyd Theatre.
    • More info here.
  • Lindum Books (Lincoln) will host an event for Ben Kane on Thursday 22nd June at 7pm in the auditorium of Lincoln Museum. Ben will be talking about his new historical fiction title Napoleon's Spy. Tickets will be on sale from £7, book & ticket deals available, from the shop and online here.
 
South of England
  • Topping & Company Bath events include:
    • Matthew Rice gives a guide to the glories of Rome, conveyed by means of an artist's sketchbook, Rome: A Sketchbook, on Monday 19th June at 7:30pm.
    • Join Florence Given to talk about her debut novel, Girlcrush  a dark feminist retelling of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde. There will be a chance to ask questions and get a book signed at the end at 7:30pm on Tuesday 20th June  illustrator, 
    • An evening with master storyteller Antoine Laurain on Wednesday 21st June where he talks about An Astronomer in Love, an enchanting tale of adventure, destiny and the power of love, starting 7:30pm.
    • Some flavour fun with Niki Segnet's witty, erudite tasting notes and stories on Thursday 22nd June at 7:30 pm as she talks about her new book, The Flavour Thesaurus: More Flavours. There will be some complex flavour pairing plates to hand round and taste.
    • Indian chef Maunika Gowardhan will treat guests to a demo with tastings from her new cookbook, Tandoori Home Cooking – an approachable, vibrant and flavourful celebration of Indian tandoori cooking on Friday 23rd June at 7:00pm.
    • More info on all events here.
  • Rev Richard Coles will be visiting Jarrolds Bookshop on the evening of Tuesday 20th June at Norwich Cathedral (Norfolk). More info here.
  • AJ Pearce is in-conversation with Emma Milne-White at Hungerford Bookshop (Hungerford) on Saturday 24th June from 3:00-5:00pm, celebrating the publication of Mrs Porter Calling. More info here.
  • On Thursday 22nd June at 5:00pm, Iranian writer and food photographer Saghar Setareh is coming to Cookbookbake to cook up some recipes from her new cookbook Pomegranates & Artichokes, sign some books and chat. More info here.
  • Afrori Books and The Feminist Bookshop are bringing back their Brighton Book Festival (Tuesday 20th – Sunday 25th June), with several events during IBW including:
    • The event Resistance is Futile? will take place online on Tuesday 20th June at 5:30-7:00pm, featuring Kajal Odedra, author of Do Something: Activism for Everyone; comedian, podcaster and author of Main Character EnergyFats Timbo; and Vicky Spratt, journalist, documentary maker and author of Tenants: The People on the Frontline of Britain's Housing Emergency.
    • Supper Club will take place on Tuesday 20th June, 7:00-10:00pm, at Afrori Books featuring Lerato sharing her cookbook Africana. Tickets can be purchased here.
    • Performing Our Stories will take place on Wednesday 21st June, 7:30-10:00pm, at Brighton Centre for Contemporary Arts, featuring Irenosen Okojie, Laura Bates and Helen Trevorrow. Tickets can be purchased here.
    • Real Life Dystopia will take place online on Thursday 22nd June at 5:30-7:00pm. Tickets can be purchased here.
    • Windrush 75th Anniversary Celebration will take place on Thursday 22nd June, 7:30-10:00pm, at Brighton Centre for Contemporary Arts, featuring Louise Hare, Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff, Colin Grant and Roy McFarlane. Tickets can be purchased here.
    • Poetry Workshop will take place on Friday 23rd June, 5:00-7:00pm, at Brighton Centre for Contemporary Arts, hosted by Roy McFarlane and AFLO. Tickets can be purchased here.
    • Poetry Café will take place on Friday 23rd June, 7:30-9:30, at Brighton Centre for Contemporary Arts, hosted by Roy McFarlane and joined by Salena Godden, Nii Ayikwei Parkes and Ty’rone Haughton. Tickets can be purchased here.
    • Family Festival will take place on Saturday 24th June, 10:00-12:30pm, at Brighton Centre for Contemporary Arts, joined in the Afrori Books Craft team, Marvyn Harrison, Joelle Avelino, Greg Stobbs, Patrice Lawrence and Venessa Taylor. Tickets can be purchased here.
    • Emerging Authors Showcase will take place on Saturday 24th June, 1:30-3:30pm, at Brighton CCA, with debut authors across different genres. Tickets can be purchased here.
    • Who Cares About Education? will take place on Saturday 24th June, 1:30-3:00pm, at Brighton CCA, with speakers including Sarah Wordlaw Natalie, Naomi Evans and Abha Aggarwal. Tickets can be purchased here.
    • Help Yourself will take place on Saturday 24th June, 3:30-5:00pm, at Brighton CCA, with speakers including Indie Foolheea, Maxine Mei-Fung Chung, Donna Noble and Ione Gamble. Tickets can be purchased here.
    • You Cannot Be Serious will take place on Saturday 24th June, 5:30-7:00pm, at Brighton CCA, with speakers including Ore Agbaje-Williams, Maame Blue and Talia Hibbert. Tickets can be purchased here.
    • Boyz 2 Men will take place on Saturday 24th June, 8:00-10:00pm, at Brighton CCA, with speakers including Iggy London, Okechukwu Nzelu, Yomi Sode and Stephen Buoro. Tickets can be purchased here.
  • An interactive and creative workshop based on Jen Reid’s Indie Book Award nominated A Hero Like Me for children and adults of all ages to mark the launch of the picture book. It’s inspired by the toppling of the Colston statue on Saturday 17th June at 11:00am at The Small City Bookshop (Bristol). More info here. In partnership with Scratch Books, there will be an interactive workshop for writers of short stories, covering everything from the creative process to getting published in The Small City Bookshop on Tuesday 20th June at 6:00pm. Also, meet two emerging short story writers for an interactive panel discussing their work, their process, and their journeys to publication at 7:00pm on the same day. More info here.
  • Gloucester Road Books is running a Fitzcarraldo Editions promotion with free proof copies, tote bags, bookmarks , and a focus on Fitzcarraldo titles in the shop. They also have an event with sports journalist, Matt Majendie, for his new, enthralling book – Nazare: Life and Death with the Big Wave Surfers published by Wellbeck on Wednesday 21st June. More info here.
  • David Walliams will be doing signings of his latest book Robodog on Saturday 17th June at 11:00am, paired with opening the refurbished Gerrards Cross Bookshop. More info here.
  • The Bookery (Crediton) is celebrating its 10th anniversary during IBW. They've extended their building this year to include a room for outreach projects, wellbeing activities and book groups. They will be celebrating throughout the year and with a few key dates, the first one being Saturday 17th June, the first day of Independent Bookshop Week. They will officially open the bookshop extension as well as host authors including Patrons Michael Morpurgo, Philip Reeve & Sarah McIntyre, and a party full of book-related activities and events with cake and fizz. More info here.
  • Liznojan Books and Coffee are hosting A Night of Crime on Friday 23rd June with Holly Watt and Lucy V Hay from 7:00-8:00pm. More info here.
  • Katie Holten will visit FOLDE at Grosvenor Arms on Thursday 22nd June at 6:30pm to discuss The Language of Trees. More info here.
  • Tim Burrows and Gillian Darley will talk all things Essex at Maldon Books on Thursday 15th June starting 7:00pm. More info here. They’ll host their first open mic night on Thursday 22nd June at Ginny’s Cocktail Lounge. More info here. A late-night shopping event with live music from Rhiannon Clayton, drinks and 10% off all purchases in the bookshop on Friday 23rd June from 6:00-8:00pm. More info here.
  • The Imaginarium will host several events including: story time with Simon Chadwick on Saturday 17th June at 10:00am-10:45am; an open-mic poetry night on Monday 19th June at 6:30pm-7:30pm; an evening with TikTok sensations Matthew and Ryan coming in to celebrate their new book Love is Love on Tuesday 20th June from 6:30pm; and a book club on Thursday 22nd June at 7:00pm-9:00pm. More info here.
  • October Books is hosting its first open mic event on Friday 23rd June at 6:30pm. They are also offering 10% off all new books during IBW. More info here.
  • John Patrick Green, creator of the brilliant comic book series InvestiGators, is hosting a school event with Book Nook in Ware and Our Bookshop in Tring on Tuesday 20th June at 1:30pm. More info here. John will also be spending a day with Mostly Books in Abingdon doing school visits and a special in-store signing after school on Monday 19th June.
  • Suzie Fletcher, leather expert on BBC One’s The Repair Shop, will be joining Mostly Books on Saturday 24th June to round off their Independent Bookshop Week celebrations. More info here.
  • Hannah Rothschild will be visiting Tring Book Festival, organised by Our Bookshop on Monday 19th June at 7:30pm. More info here. Antoine Laurain will be visiting Tring Book Festival on Tuesday 20th June at 7:30pm as part of a tour to launch his latest book. More info here.
  • Royston’s new independent bookshop, Bow Books, officially opens on Thursday 15th June with a signing session by Jeffrey Archer taking place on Saturday 24th June at 12:00pm. More info here
  • Join Chorleywood Bookshop for their next Boutique Book Club when Sean Lusk will be chatting about his excellent novel, The Second Sight of Zachary Cloudesley, on Tuesday 20th June at 7:00pm-8:00pm. More info here. Leading historian and best-selling author Tracy Borman will be at the Chorleywood Library on Thursday 22nd June from 7:00-8:00pm to discuss her fascinating royal biography Anne Boleyn & Elizabeth I, The Mother and Daughter Who Changed History. More info here.
  • Sevenoaks Bookshop is hosting an evening with award-winning authors Meg Mason and Esther Freud in conversation about the thirtieth anniversary of Esther's novel Hideous Kinky on Monday 19th June at 7:00pm. More info here.
  • AJ Pearce will visit The Bell Bookshop in Henley-On-Thames on Saturday 17th June to ‘work’ at the shop for the day, with some additional activities planned to celebrate the publication of Mrs Porter Calling. More info about the bookshop here.
  • Come and meet Julia Donaldson at The Steyning Bookshop’s fun book-signing event, as she celebrates her new title Book Of Names on Saturday 24th June at 2:00pm. More info here.
  • Helen Peters will be running a writing workshop and talking about her new book Friends and Traitors, followed by a signing on Saturday 17th June at 2:00pm in Bags of Books. Julia Donaldson will also be doing an author signing on Wednesday 21st June at 4:00pm. More info here.
  • The literary genius behind the Thursday Next series as well as The Constant Rabbit, Early Riser, Jasper Fforde will talk about his books at Bert’s Books on Monday 19th June at 7:00pm. More info here. Bestselling nature writer Lev Parikian to also visit Bert’s Books for an in-conversation event about his new book Taking Flight on Thursday 22nd June at 7:00pm. More info here.
  • The Rocketship Bookshop is hosting a marathon storytelling event all day on Saturday 17th June, where Jo will attempt to read 50 picture books aloud starting at 9:30am. More info here.
  • Rev Richard Coles will be visiting Browsers Bookshop on Wednesday 21st June at 12:00pm, in a lunchtime event in conversation with Catherine Larner. More info here
  • Chicken and Frog are hosting an event with Owlet author Barbara Slade (Cinder and Ella) – an evening sharing stories. They are also hosting a book signing with a local author, Hema Macherla on Saturday 24th June. More info here.
  • Blue Bear Bookshop (Farnham) will host an evening with TikTok sensation, Louise Boyce on her debut book Mama Still Got It on Friday 23rd June at 7:00pm-9:00pm. More info here.
 
Scotland
  • Night Owl Books (East Linton) will be organising a special fundraising event in support of Edinburgh Dog & Cat Home. They’ll be joined at East Linton's Community Hall by author Alex Howard for a Q&A about his new novel The Ghost Cat, followed by a book signing. Night Owl are also hosting a French language book club on Thursday 22nd June at 8:00pm to discuss Petit Pays by Gaël Faye. More info here.
  • Edinburgh Bookshop will host an evening of historical thrillers with D.V. Bishop and Kate Foster on Wednesday 21st June at 7:00pm-8:30pm at Christ Church Centre. Cindy L. Otis and Sheila M. Averbuch will launch their thriller At The Speed Of Lies in the same venue on Thursday 22nd June at 6:30-8:30pm. More info on both events here.
  • The Book Nook Mini Book Festival will have a packed programme of events for adults and children featuring some great authors, such as:
    • A really inspirational event with David McLaughlin aka Francis Gay, who pens the Sunday Post column which has been a joy for so many years, on Sunday 18th June at 2:30pm.
    • A children’s event with popular author Lindsay Littleson featuring her latest book Euro Spies on Monday 19th June at 3:30pm.
    • Inga Vesper will talk about her mid-century crime novels set in America on Tuesday 20th June at 7:00pm.
    • Alex Gray will attend on Wednesday 21st June at 7:00pm.
    • On Thursday 22nd June at 7:00pm, best-selling author Lin Anderson, will talk about her hugely successful crime series featuring forensic scientist Rhona McLeod and her latest stand-alone novel The Party House, a deeply atmospheric psychological thriller set in the Scottish Highlands.
    • Another lovely event for primary school age children with author Greta Yorke at 3:30pm on Friday 23rd June.
    • The Book Nook Festival Summer Party will take place on Saturday 24th June at 7:00pm as a celebration for all the lovely customers, authors and friends of The Book Nook. Lots of music, fun, chat and refreshments to say thank you to everyone for their support.
    • More info for all events here.
  • Extra Teeth are back with a brand new issue packed full of brilliant writing from some of Scotland's finest writers, both emerging and established, and The Portobello Bookshop are hosting the launch event! Join them for an evening of readings from contributors on Thursday 22nd June from 7:00-8:00pm. On Wednesday 21st June from 3:30-4:30pm you’ll have the chance to meet bestselling author Jenny Colgan when she visits the bookshop to sign copies of her new novel, The Summer Skies. More info here.
  • Heron & Willow have free story time sessions at 10:00am and 1:00pm on Saturday 17th June aimed at children up to five years of age. Jedburgh-born master of historical fiction, Douglas Jackson, will launch his new book at the bookshop in the evening of the same day at 7:00pm. There will be an interview, a Q&A and readings. Author and historian Mary W Craig will be in conversation about her best-selling books on Thursday 22nd June staring 7:00pm. More info here.
  • The Orcadian Bookshop’s Sallianne will do a free story time reading on Saturday 17th June from 10:15am to 12pm. More info about the bookshop here.
  • International bestselling author C.J. Cooke will be at The Ginger Cat Bookshop on Saturday 17th June at 7:00pm. More info here.
 
Wales
  • Griffin Books (Penarth) have a whole set of events to mark IBW:
    • Night of the Animal Wall, by illustrator and author Jack Skivens, follows the creatures of Cardiff's famous Animal Wall as they magically come to life to explore the city after dark. In a hands-on workshop in Makerspace at Penarth Library, children will be able to create their own enchanted animal characters and learn how to produce artwork that can tell a story on Saturday 17th June from 12:30pm to 1:30pm. More info here.
    • Lizzie Huxley-Jones guides children through their Welsh-myth inspired adventure story and shows them how one can put their own twist on ancient tales at Penarth Library on Saturday 17th June at 2:00pm. More info here.
    • Penarth-based scholar and lecturer Vicki Joule will present a special one-off seminar about the conception of the 'novel' as we know it today at Griffin Books on Sunday 18th June from 10:00am to 12:30pm. More info here.
    • In his ground-breaking new book, leading historian and foreign correspondent Paul Moorcraft uncovers the elite refugee troops who took the war to Hitler. Paul will be in conversation with fellow author and historian Phil Carradice at All Saints Lesser Hall on Sunday 18th June at 3:00pm. More info here.
    • Author and "rock star mythologist" Natalie Haynes, who also presents Natalie Haynes Stands Up for the Classics on BBC Radio 4, joins Griffin Books on Zoom to celebrate the paperback release of her Women's Prize longlisted novel Stone Blind on Monday 19th June at 7:30pm. More info here.
    • Diana Evans, author of Ordinary People, talks about her new book, A House for Alice, on Tuesday 20th June at Penarth Pier Pavilion from 7:30pm. More info here.
    • Jon Gower and Mike Parker take us on a journey right around the country's edge, from the shifting line that has for two thousand years defined our eastern limits to our watery, western border, the Irish Sea on Thursday 22nd June at 7:30pm at the Penarth Yacht Club. More info here.
    • Spend the perfect bookish afternoon in the company of rising historical fiction star Laura Shepherd-Robinson, as Griffin Books delves into Georgian high society to explore her dazzling new novel – a story filled with mystery, intrigue, heartbreak, and audacious twists on Saturday 24th June at All Saints Church from 3:00pm. More info here.
    • Their popular Quiz Night is back, but this year there's an added twist! Each team will be captained by a local author who’ll guide you through the rounds with their superior literary knowledge on Saturday 24th June from 7:30pm at St Augustine’s Parish Hall. More info here.
    • Join them for a lively evening of poetry and music as they close the Penarth Literary Festival in suitably poetic style, hosted as in previous years by Penarth-based poet Stephen Payne on Sunday 25th June at All Saints Lesser Hall from 7:30pm. More info here.
    • More info for all events here.
  • Acclaimed author David M Barnett joins The Berwyn Bookshop to discuss his new book on Sunday 18th June at 1:30pm. There is a Light That Never Goes Out is a contemporary romance set off the coast of North Wales. More info here.
 
Ireland
  • The Secret Bookshelf is celebrating How to Train your Dragon Day on Saturday 17th June from 11:00am – 2:00pm with stories, crafts and fun. They are hosting Poetry in the Garden on Monday 19th June with Rosemary Tumelty and a book club from 6:30-7:30pm on Tuesday 20th June with author David M Barnett and his new book One Puzzling Afternoon. On Friday 23rd June at 6:30pm, the bookshop will end their celebrations with a summer book and wine night. More info here.
 
INDIE TWINNING
Building on the success of 2020, the Indie Twinning strand of IBW is coming back for a third year, with independent publishers and independent bookshops teaming up to develop bespoke programmes of activity across the country. Confirmed activity includes:
 
  • Brixton Bookshop Round Table Books will be twinning with Arachne Press, independent publisher. They’ll be hosting four free events at the bookshop during IBW:
    • Nikita Chadha, Farhana Khalique, Lesley Kerr, Emily Abdeni-Holman, L Kiew and Mallika Khan will host a panel event where they will read their own and other’s work on Sunday 18th June.
    • Poet Jeremy Dixon will do a short poetry reading followed by a workshop on writing Queer Joy at Round Table Books on Monday 19th June from 6:30pm.
    • Join A J Akoto to celebrate the launch of her debut poetry collection, Unmothered, with a reading and Q&A session at Round Table Books from 6:30-8:30pm on Tuesday 20th June.
    • Rhiya Pau reads from Routes: her debut poetry collection exploring the routes taken by Rhiya's family and community across three continents to arrive in the UK on Thursday 22nd June at Round Table Books, starting 8:00pm.
    • More info here.
  • Norfolk Children’s Book Centre will be twinning with David Fickling Books for a visual comic book takeover of the store featuring display materials, treasure hunt, colouring activities, competitions and the launch of a ‘Design your own comic.’
  • And Other Stories are joining forces with a number of indie bookshops, for a wide range of IBW activities, including:
    • On Saturday 17th June, join them at Dormouse Books, Belper for an AOS themed ice cream cart, exclusive bundle prices and offers on AOS titles.
    • Juno Books in Sheffield will have queer titles published by And Other Stories on special offers throughout the week.
    • They’re teaming up with Phlox Books, London to set up a collection of their ‘past’, ‘present’, ‘future’ titles.
    • More info here.
 
BOOKTOK TOUR
The #IndieBookshopWeek #BookTok Tour returns to Independent Bookshop Week 2023 for the second time, with BookTokers joining the celebrations from Coventry, Manchester, Kirkcaldy, Prudhoe, Lincoln, Bridgend, Watford and Norwich. They’ll be visiting their local indies and sharing content about the Indie Book Awards.
 
Participating BookTokers include: whatbritreads (54.2K followers), readwithhayls (33.5K followers), anya.reads (73.9K followers), exlibrisjessica (37.7K followers), tiggysbooks (7695 followers), erinsandrews (60.1K followers), emilymiahreads (65K followers), readwithmeg (24.2K followers) and joe.reads (25.3K followers).
 
BOOKSHOP.ORG GRAND FINALE
Bookshop.org, the online bookstore on a mission to celebrate independent bookshops in the UK, will host a virtual event on the last weekend of IBW: on Sunday 25th June Robin Ince, who is shortlisted in the Indie Book Awards for The Importance of Being Interested, will be in conversation with bookseller Jo Coldwell of Red Lion Books (Colchester) at 7pm.
 
Tickets are available to any customer who has bought at least one book from Bookshop.org during IBW, up until midnight on Saturday 24th June, and indie booksellers will also have the event link to allow them to invite their customers. The event will be a discussion about Robin’s experiences of visiting indie bookshops and why they are important, as well as a Q&A session at the end.
 
In addition, Bookshop.org will be offering free shipping on any purchases made on the website the last weekend of IBW, Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th June 2023.
 
EXCLUSIVE POEM
Dean Atta, poet and the award-winning author of The Black Flamingo, has created a bespoke Independent Bookshop Week poem to support the campaign, titled Thank You to the Independent Booksellers. The poem was filmed in Dean’s local indie bookshop Gay’s the Word (London) and will be shared on Books Are My Bag’s social media at 6pm on Wednesday 21st June, during IBW.
 
HIGH FIVE FOR BOOKSOHPS
High Five for Bookshops from National Book Tokens is back for a fifth year, having enabled indies across the UK and Ireland to give away more than £130,000 to their loyal, local customers since 2019.
 
The mechanic is simple – each participating shop receives 100 flyers bearing unique codes, which customers receiving them enter online to claim a free £5/€5 National Book Tokens e-Gift card to bring back and spend instore.
 
Since it launched, High Five has become a valuable, footfall-driving asset to the annual Independent Bookshop Week celebrations. This year, they will be printing 92,000 vouchers, which represents up to £460,000 being invested in independent bookshops.


INDEPENDENT BOOKSHOP WEEK CHILDREN’S BAG
Cressida Cowell artwork features on this year’s Independent Bookshop Week children’s bag to mark 20 years of How to Train Your Dragon, which will be available exclusively from indie bookshops during Independent Bookshop Week.
 
Jamie Smart, author of Max and Chaffy, said: “I hope everyone really enjoys looking for chaffies, and furthering the adventure in the brand new Max And Chaffy books! Chaffies can be very hard to find, so it’s always a special day if you can spot one. I’ve heard they particularly like to hide inside independent bookshops, which are always super fun places to go anyway, so this would be a great place to start looking!”
 
Catherine Gale & Claire Dawes, The Heath Bookshop, commented: "We have always loved independent bookshops and we were so excited to join the community of lovely indie booksellers! We opened in September 2022 and have had so much help from other indie's as well as the Booksellers Association, we love speaking to our customers every day about what they're enjoying and talking to them about new titles as well as older ones that we love. We're looking forward to our very first Independent Bookshop Week!"
 
Mel Griffin, Griffin Books, commented: “Indie bookshops have a very special place in their communities - there is huge diversity within the sector with every bookshop's personality and range of stock unique.  We do so much more than simply selling books - indies know and support their customers, provide a safe and welcoming space for all, and love the challenge of finding the perfect book for each person.

At Griffin Books we also love partnering with our local schools, fellow businesses and organisations - we aren't limited by our four walls but are very much out there as an active part of the community.
  We can't wait to get started with the programme of events and activities we have planned for this Independent Bookshop Week!" 

Carolynn Bain, Afrori Books, commented: “Independent bookshops are unlike any other business group I have ever come across. They are rarely in competition with each other, instead they are a family spread across the country. They are so often more than bookshops and see themselves as vital spaces for their communities. Most importantly they are the spaces where the people who have become my dearest friends work and where I find my network of support that gives me advice, tips, funny stories, and helps me keep going.”

Emma Bradshaw, Head of Campaigns at the BA, said: ““We’re delighted to have so many incredible events confirmed for Independent Bookshop Week 2023, with many more in the pipeline. With the number of UK independent bookshops at a ten-year high, we are looking forward to celebrating this milestone, and no doubt independent booksellers will know how to make the week extra special. There will be something for everyone, so we encourage all book-lovers to make the most of this week that brings the wonderful indies together”.
 
Follow the latest developments via social media: #IndieBookshopWeek @BooksAreMyBag