Chiswick is home to many a writer and its literary reputation is set to be confirmed thanks to the inaugural Chiswick Book Festival, which takes place next weekend, writes Will Gore.

Running from Friday, September 25, to Sunday, September 27, the festival will welcome internationally renowned authors, including Anthony Horowitz, Jacqueline Wilson and Michael Frayn, who will be taking part in events in various Chiswick venues including the Tabard pub and Waterstone’s.

One of the festival organisers, Torin Douglas, is delighted that the festival has got off the ground.

“A book festival in Chiswick is long overdue,” he says.

“Nearly 200 years ago, Thackeray was at school here, famously using it as a setting in Vanity Fair. It has inspired writers such as Yeats, Chesterton and Betjeman and, more recently, Celia Brayfield and Mavis Cheek. Now it’s home to dozens of people in the publishing world.”

The festival opens with a special event at St Michael’s and All Angels Church, with Antonia Fraser celebrating the 40th anniversary of the original publication of her book, Mary Queen of Scots.

She will be giving a talk and doing a book signing at the event, which starts at 7pm.

Other highlights include former Children’s Laureate Jacqueline Wilson discussing her work (2.30pm, September 27, St Michael’s), a literary themed comedy night at the Tabard pub (7.30pm, September 27) and a talk by Christina Odone about her new novel (3.30pm, September 26, St Michael’s).

There will also be discussions on historical fiction, chick-lit and crime writing, as well as a number of events for children.

Douglas, who is the BBC’s media correspondent, says it was important to attract local authors to take part in the festival, and is pleased so many are taking part, including pop artist Sir Peter Blake, who will be doing a book signing at a drinks reception at St Michael’s on September 26 at 6pm, and the new editor of Heat, Sam Delaney, who will be talking about his book Night of the Living Dad, a memoir about growing up in the area and becoming a father (4pm, September 27, St Michael’s).

“It was always meant to be for local authors as well as big names,” adds Douglas.

“It’s really nice that, now it has started, local writers are coming to us and asking to be involved.”

The Chiswick Book Festival has also done what its Richmond counterpart, the Book Now Festival, failed to do in securing an appearance by the Observer journalist Lynn Barber (noon, September 26, St Michael’s), who withdrew from the Richmond’s Book Now festival after organisers refused to use a photo of her smoking in their brochure.

Admission to most events is by day pass at a cost of £5, although some events, including Anthony Horowitz and Jacqueline Wilson, will require individual tickets. Tickets are available from Waterstone's on Chiswick High Road.

For more information and for a full line-up, visit