Suffolk Book League

General Enquiries: 07908 440653

Registered Charity Number: 296783
Honorary President: Margaret Drabble

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2016 Programme
  • Entrance fees for events (unless otherwise specified):
    • Members: £4
    • Non-Members: £8*
    • Students: Free (on production of a valid student card)
    * If you become a member at an event you will receive a refund of £4.
  • Tickets: Can be bought on the door. For advanced tickets send a cheque made payable to the Suffolk Book League and post it to 20 Lingfield Road, Ipswich, Suffolk IP1 6QS. Non-members can purchase tickets up to one calendar month before the event. Please email for further details. Advanced tickets guarantee a seat for the ticket holder until 7:25pm on the day of the event.
  • Time: Unless otherwise stated, all events begin at 7:30pm with doors open from 7:00pm - tea and coffee is available before the talk. Speaker events generally finish by approximately 9:00pm.
  • Location: The venue name is given in the details of each event below. Further details about each venue can be found at the bottom of this page.
  • Questions: After the speaker's talk people are invited to ask questions. Members are also able to submit questions in advance by emailing
  • Signed Copies: Speakers are usually willing to sign copies of their books, which can be purchased at the event from the Waterstones stand.
  • We're like a year-long literary festival: The SBL is a quite a unique organisation and we strive to ensure that everyone enjoys our events. If you like going to literary festivals, you'll love us! Most importantly, you don't need to have read anything by our speakers in order to attend their event.

Wednesday 24 February 2016
Sara Taylor
Ipswich Institute, Tavern Street

  Sara Taylor  


Sara Taylor is an American novelist now resident in England. The Shore was longlisted for the Women’s Prize and shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year.

  The Shore  

Wednesday 9 March 2016 
Nicci French
Ipswich Institute, Tavern Street

Nicci French Facebook Page

  Nicci French  


The highly-regarded Nicci French (husband-and-wife Nicci Gerrard and Sean French) write literate and perceptive crime novels. They will be talking about their series, beginning with Blue Monday, featuring psychotherapist Frieda Klein.

  Blue Monday  

AGM at 7pm (Doors open for members at 6:30pm)

Wednesday 13 April 2016
Margaret Drabble
Ipswich Institute, Tavern Street

  Margaret Drabble  


Margaret Drabble CBE, DBE, renowned novelist, biographer and critic, is also our Honorary President. In 2011, she was awarded the Golden PEN Award for “a Lifetime’s Distinguished Service to Literature”. With a new novel due out in 2016, she will be spending the evening sharing her favourite prose and poetry with us.

  Pure Gold Baby  

Wednesday 4 May 2016
Isabel Ashdown
Ipswich Institute, Tavern Street

  Isabel Ashdown  


Isabel Ashdown’s first novel Glasshopper was named among the Best Books of 2009 by both the Observer and the London Evening Standard. Her most recent novel is Flight. She will talk to us about getting published as well as about her own work.


Weekend of 25/26 June 2016
Felixstowe Book Festival
Venues throughout Felixstowe

SBL Members can contact for details of discounted tickets to these events

  Felixstowe Book Festival Logo  

25 June, 2pm, Felixstowe Library: Polly Ho-Yen will be talking about her debut novel, Boy in the Tower, which was
nominated for the Carnegie Medal and short-listed for the Blue Peter Book Award and Waterstones Children’s Book Prize.

25 June, 4pm, Elizabeth Suite Orwell Hotel: Top-selling Polish novelist Katarzyna Bonda is the queen of the genre and her novels featuring female criminal profiler Sasza Załuska are soon to be translated into English. Translator Antonia Lloyd-Jones has contributed to the rising success of Poland’s king of crime, Zygmunt Miłoszewski, who is rapidly gaining a worldwide audience.

  Felixstowe Book Festival  


Thursday 21 July 2016
Rosy Thornton
Woodbridge Library,
New Street

  Rosy Thornton  


Local author Rosy Thornton is a novelist and short story writer who will be launching her latest work Sandlands at an exclusive SBL event. The sixteen short stories in this collection are all set in and around the village of Blaxhall in coastal Suffolk. Through the landscape and its wildlife, through human and folk memory, the past is linked to the present and generations of lives are intertwined. Full event details available on Facebook


Wednesday 14 September 2016
Sam Jordison
Ipswich Institute, Tavern Street

  Sam Jordison  


Sam Jordison is a founder of Norwich-based Galley Beggar Press, specifically set up to sponsor struggling writers. They published the winner of the Baileys Women’s Prize in 2014, Irish author Eimear McBride with her astonishing debut, A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing.

  Galley Beggar Press  

Wednesday 19 October 2016
Julia Blackburn
Ipswich Institute, Tavern Street

  Julia Blackburn  


Julia Blackburn is a writer of novels, travel books, biography and memoir. Threads: the delicate life of John Craske is a “wonderfully eccentric biography” which “paints vivid pictures of both artist and biographer”.


Wednesday 9 November 2016
Alex Bellos
Ipswich Institute, Tavern Street

  Alex Bellos  


Alex Bellos writes about mathematics and Brazil. His popular maths books Alex’s Adventures in Numberland and Alex Through the Looking-Glass are both bestsellers and have been translated into more than 20 languages.

  Alex Through The Looking Glass  

Wednesday 7 December 2016
Janet Davey
Ipswich Institute, Tavern Street

  Janet Davey  


Janet Davey’s first novel English Correspondence, was longlisted for the Orange Prize and her latest, Another Mother’s Son, considers the challenges of modern day parenthood in close detail and has been described as “a mesmerising take on a mother’s dread of the empty nest”.

  Another Mother's Son  


You can also download a PDF version of our 2016 Programme here


Venue information

The nearest car parks for the Ipswich Institute are in Crown Street and William Street, which is approximately a 5-10 minute walk. The bus station in front of the Sailmakers shopping centre and Lloyds Avenue taxi ranks are also nearby. We encourage lift sharing, where possible.

Full details of the car parks in Ipswich can be found here

Ipswich Institute Reading Room and Library

15 Tavern Street, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP1 3AA [Click here for online map of location]

Woodbridge Library

New Street, Woodbridge, Suffolk IP12 1DT [Click here for online map of location]



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© Suffolk Book League 2016