London's literary hotspots are Bloomsbury, London Fields and... Battersea. Just how literary this particular part of town tucked away in the shadows of Clapham Junction is shown off to full effect in the SW11 Literary Festival.
Starting on 11 September and ending 2 October, big names will flood the area for readings, book signings, workshops, literary lunches, quizzes and... stuff. This festival is described as an "opportunity to meet people who write books, who love words, and who love to use them well," and among the line-up are folks such as PD James, Alain de Botton and Mark Haddon, Chris Patten, Mark Thomas and Ralph Steadman strutting their writerly stuff - and it's easier to get to than Hay-on-Wye.
Rather than concentrating all this bookish goodness in Battersea Arts Centre, which has a certain logic and practical edge, the festival events will take place in various venues across SW11, in particular Ottakar's Bookshop on St John's Road. Early booking is advisable as capacity varies from place to place and though there are entry fees for each event, they're not extortionate, with money back on your ticket price if you purchase the relevant books at certain signings.
The SW11 Literary Festival, 11 September to 2 October, various venues in Battersea. For a full programme and booking information, go to the festival website here.