Top authors reveal the secrets of their trade at Hampstead and Highgate Literary Festival

Famous authors including Esther Freud, Sarah Brown and Nicholas Parsons are appearing at the Hampstead and Highgate Literary Festival next month.

More than 70 events are planned for the three-day festival at the London Jewish Cultural Centre from September 11 to 13.

The mouth-watering line up of 100 writers includes celebrity chef Raymond Blanc, journalists Peter Snow and Peter Sissons, and award-winning writers Alan Hollinghurst and Barbara Taylor Bradford.

Workshops for aspiring authors in areas such as creative writing, genealogy, poetry and getting published are also scheduled.

Carolyn Black, co-ordinator of the festival now in its third year, said: “With so much happening on their doorstep, we hope that Londoners will take full advantage of the opportunity to immerse themselves in workshops, readings, talks and discussions.”


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Novelist, television presenter and Sunday Times columnist Daisy Waugh has penned a book about 1920s heart throb Rudolph Valentino after 14 years of researching the Hollywood actor.

Along with fellow wordsmiths Anna Sebba, Justin Picardie and Christopher Stevens, she will be discussing heroes and villains, based on their experiences of studying well-known media personalities.

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Mrs Waugh said: “Valentino was the first international male sex symbol, but he grew horrified by his razzmatazz and fame.

“He was a delicate, gentle and, of course, very handsome man. When I start talking about him it is hard for me to stop, as I am sure it is for other authors who have obsessed over someone. This will be infectious to watch. Justin is talking about Kenneth Williams!”

Andrew Morton, who wrote the famous biography of Diana, Princess of Wales, will be looking at his career as a leading authority on the Royal Family.

Mr Morton, whose latest work covered the wedding of William and Kate, said: “It should be fun. Thirty years ago when Diana and Charles married there was a riot. Now, when Willam and Kate marry there’s another riot. I think they should ban Royal Weddings.”

The Hampstead and Highgate Literary Festival is held at the London Jewish Cultural Centre in Ivy House, North End Road, Golders Green.

To find out more visit www.hamhighlitfest.com for full details.

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