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Places to enjoy literature in Sussex

PUBLISHED: 10:13 27 October 2014 | UPDATED: 10:13 27 October 2014

Much Ado Books - © Alexander O'Neal

Much Ado Books - © Alexander O'Neal

Alexander O'Neal

From the poetry of Tennyson to the novels of Woolf, some wonderful words have been penned in these parts. Today, Sussex is still a heartland of literature – Hazel Sillver finds some of the best places to enjoy the written word


Writing Workshops, Hove

Evolution Arts offers several interesting opportunities to explore the art of the written word. Choose from workshops on Writing with Mindfulness (2 November), Screenwriting (22 November), Memoir Writing (23 November) and Writing for Winter (7 December), a course on Myths and Fairy Tales (starting 4 November) and a Writing Club (from 4 November)., 01273 204204

Book Binding, Midhurst

Step away from modern life to learn the ancient art of bookbinding. Marysa de Veer is passionate about this literary craft and will show you the basics at her Bindery workshop in Midhurst. She and visiting experts also offer teaching for those with some binding experience., 01730 352042

Creative Writing, Brighton

The Creative Writing Programme offers in-depth and practical one to two year courses in poetry (from 8 October), dramatic writing (from 6 or 9 October) and creative writing (from 6 October) for those unable to spend time and money attending university. They also offer a monthly Advanced Writing group., 01273 735353



Much Ado About Books, Alfriston

Arguably the best bookshop in Sussex, the two-storey Much Ado shop offers a great selection of new and secondhand titles in a delightful setting., 01323 871222

City Books, Hove

This quiet treasure trove of books on Western Road has a nice range of fiction, children’s, art, cookery, travel and local books. They also host literary events, the next being a talk and signing by author Bernard Cornwell on 28 October., 01273 725306

The Book Ferret, Arundel

This friendly, independent bookshop offers a nice range of books for adults and children, as well as cards, calendars and journals. Staff (and resident whippet Ivy) are on-hand to help., 01903 885727

Kemptown Bookshop, Brighton

A good independent shop with a wide range of adult and children’s titles, but specialising in literary fiction. Home to the Bookroom Art Press, which produces limited edition prints., 01273 682110



Books for Amnesty, Brighton

This two-storey shop on Sydney Street in the Brighton Lanes offers a great range of fiction titles, as well as factual books., 01273 688983

Tiny Book Store, Rye

An independent bookshop in Church Square, near St Mary’s Church. A diverse selection of used titles and a great poetry section.

Find Tinybookstore Rye on Facebook, 07784 942047

Wheeler’s Bookshop, Midhurst

You will find a wide range of second-hand and antiquarian books, as well as many children’s and local history titles in this 16th century bookshop., 01730 817666

Wise Books, Seaford

Run by the Family Support Work charity, this shop has a nice selection of children’s books and hosts regular arts, craft and book readings for children.

Find Wise Books on Facebook, 01273 425699



Vintage Rose, Storrington

This is a colourful café and children’s bookshop in one. Enjoy light lunches, gorge on delicious brownies and cupcakes and browse the shelves for storytime treats., 01903 744100

Boulevard Bookshop and Thai Café, Hastings

During the day Boulevard is a regular bookshop, but at nightfall it magically turns into a bookshop that serves Thai food. Tables are set up amongst the shelves and guests can browse for books, whilst their food is prepared., 01424 436521



Bags of Books, Lewes

This independent children’s bookshop has over 8,000 titles in stock, the majority of which have been read by shop assistant Karen!, 01273 479320

Book Nook, Hove

Every day is a story day at this children’s bookshop and café in Hove. Pop in any week day at 4pm (and 11am or 3pm on Saturdays) for story time., 01273 911988



Weekly reading for children under 5:

• Lewes – 2pm Monday

• Eastbourne – 2pm Monday

• Crowborough – 2.30pm Tuesday

• Hailsham – 11am Tuesday

• Peacehaven – 10.30am Wednesday

• Uckfield – 2.15pm Tuesday

• Bognor Regis – 11am Saturday

• Chichester – 10am Saturday

• Brighton – 10.15am Wednesday

• Hove – 10.15am Friday

• Crawley – 9.45am term-time Saturdays

• Lancing – 11am Wednesday

• Littlehampton – 11am Saturday

• Shoreham – 2.10pm Friday

• Worthing – 11am Saturday



The Bookish Supper Society, Brighton

This supper club for bookworms meets every six weeks. Guests enjoy a meal whilst two bestselling authors are interviewed – on 29 October, it will be Lesley Thomson (Ghost Girl) and Olivia Williams (Gin, Glorious Gin).

West Sussex Writers, Worthing

This mix of scriptwriters, novelists, journalists, poets and biographers share a love of the written word and meet once a month to support one another. Talks, workshops and competitions feature in the meetings, which non-members are welcome to attend., 01903 867412

Kent & Sussex Poetry Society

The society has been going strong for 67 years and has a great calendar of poetry workshops and open poetry readings in various locations around Sussex and Kent. Membership is only £15 per annum, but non-members are welcome to attend the monthly poetry readings.



West Sussex Literary Trail

Explore local literary history on foot by walking this 55-mile trail from Horsham to Chichester. You will pass landmarks linked with Shelley, Blake, Keats, Wells, Wilde and Tennyson.

Bateman’s, Burwash

This gorgeous 17th century house and garden was the home of writer Rudyard Kipling for 34 years until his death in 1936. It was here that he penned If and 
Puck of Pook’s Hill.

Monk’s House, nr Lewes

Few writers capture the beauty of the Sussex landscape as well as Virginia Woolf, who lived amidst it in the village of Rodmell. Explore her small but beautifully decorated house, garden and writing lodge, where she wrote some of her greatest works, including The Waves.


Read on

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