WELCOME TO THE 2020/21 SEASON

Welcome back

We’re so pleased to be able to go ahead with this exciting season of events. To ensure everyone’s safety we’ve made some changes but the events will be as inspiring and fascinating as ever.

Places at events must be booked in advance and seating will be socially distanced. We’re also videoing our meetings, allowing you to catch up with them online if you aren’t able to attend in person.

As a special introduction to the new season we’ve shot a video with our patron Roger McGough.

Watch BLS Chair Jo Weinberger explaining how events will work this season, and enjoy her chat with our patron Roger McGough, who also reads some of his lockdown poems.

The BLS

Barnes Literary Society was founded in 2004 by a group of Barnes friends to provide a literary focus for members in the local area and beyond. The Society offers stimulating monthly evening events in a friendly atmosphere in the centre of Barnes, when there is an opportunity to hear published authors and other speakers give talks on a wide variety of literary topics. These range from novels to historical writing, drama, crime and contemporary issues. We also enjoy visits to places of interest once or twice a year.

BLS has proved to be increasingly popular over the years and now has a membership of over 400. On this website you can find out about our current programme, our previous distinguished speakers, and tour our gallery of posters and photographs. And, should you wish to join, just click on our Membership page. Membership entitles free entry to each of the six evening talks, capacity allowing.

Covid-19 regulations mean that pre-booking for all events is now required. You will need to leave your mobile number so that we can contact you in the unlikely event that an audience member becomes ill after the event.

There will be reduced capacity at all events to ensure social distancing. Our full Covid-19 risk assessment can be viewed below.

A film of each talk will be sent to all members after the event.

 

BLS BOOKING PRINCIPLES AND PROCESS – 2020/21 SEASON

 Covid restrictions:

  • As numbers at our meetings are restricted in the current circumstances, we ask for your understanding that it will not be possible for all BLS members to attend every event in the current season. Should the situation change, and restrictions on meetings be removed, then members will be notified of how such changes will affect BLS meetings.

Principles: 

  • We would like to give a fair opportunity for all our members, who would like to attend our monthly events and listen live to our visiting authors, to be able to do so in some manner.
  • In order to give all members the opportunity to see, listen and appreciate our guest authors and their personal stories, we have developed an exciting innovation. All members will be able to watch each event via a film recording, on the BLS website, which will be available soon after each meeting. We hope that this development will bring even broader access to our events, particularly for those members who may not be able to attend an event, as they will now be able to access the films online.

Note: This will not be available to non-members accessing the web-site.

Booking system:

  • All members have received the calendar of events for 2020-2021 which gives details of the dates of each meeting and the author concerned.
  • A booking system is currently in place allowing members to request places at two events during the season. This is with the intention of managing, in the fairest way, the demand for places against the number of places available. Those members who have already requested places for their two chosen events have been notified by Kathy Owles, Membership Secretary, and these places are confirmed. Anyone who had tickets for Toby Faber please write to Kathy and she will book you a place at one of the remaining talks.
  • From January 2021 there will be a revised booking system for all remaining places, in the light of the high demand for places.
  • For future bookings, places will be allocated two weeks before the event.

5 January for Professor Helen Taylor on 19 January 2021

2 February for Tom Bower on 16 February 2021

9 March for Nikita Lalwani and Harriet Gilbert on 23 March 2021

27 April for Mark Billingham on 11 May 2021

  • Members will be able to apply for places on the appropriate booking date by email to Kathy Owles, Membership Secretary at [email protected]. Please do not reply to information emails sent from the BLS. The existing allocation of places for two events over the course of the season remains for all future bookings. Members who have already booked their two events, and who would like to attend a further event, may apply to go on to a waiting list for any additional events. They will then be allocated a place should one become available. Waiting list bookings will only be taken during the two week booking period for each event.
  • No advance bookings will be taken ahead of the appropriate booking date.
  • To ensure a fair allocation of places to people wishing to attend an event, if the booking period is over-subscribed priority will be given to those who applied unsuccessfully for a place at a previous event.
  • Any member[s] allocated a place at an event that they cannot subsequently use are asked to advise Kathy Owles as soon as possible so that members on the waiting list can be given the opportunity to attend.

NEXT MEETING

Tuesday 19 January 2021

Professor Helen Taylor

Why Women Read Fiction: The Stories of Our Lives

 

 

Professor Helen Taylor says she always warms to men who read novels. ‘I love that they’re not reading to get facts…I think they’re reading fiction to try and understand the world from an oblique perspective.  Fiction takes you on indirect routes to truth.’ But sadly the idea that fiction is a purely female domain is taken for granted by most people involved in the world of books.

So why is it that far more women than men are readers of fiction, literary festival-goers, members of literary societies and book clubs? This is the question that Helen Taylor explores in her engaging study:  Why Women Read Fiction – The Stories of Our Lives.  

Come and listen to Helen discuss how women readers are preceived to form the life-support system for writers and publishers of fiction and why Ian McEwan once remarked ‘when women stop reading, the novel will be dead’. 

Booking opens 5 January 2021

To book a place at this event please email [email protected] St Mary’s is a COVID secure venue.

 

NEXT MEETING

Tuesday 19 January 2021

Professor Helen Taylor

Why Women Read Fiction: The Stories of Our Lives

 

Professor Helen Taylor says she always warms to men who read novels. ‘I love that they’re not reading to get facts…I think they’re reading fiction to try and understand the world from an oblique perspective.  Fiction takes you on indirect routes to truth.’ But sadly the idea that fiction is a purely female domain is taken for granted by most people involved in the world of books.

So why is it that far more women than men are readers of fiction, literary festival-goers, members of literary societies and book clubs? This is the question that Helen Taylor explores in her engaging study:  Why Women Read Fiction – The Stories of Our Lives.  And it is an important one to ask partly because women readers form the life-support system for writers and publishers of fiction. As Ian McEwan once remarked ‘when women stop reading, the novel will be dead’. 

Come and listen to Helen discuss how women readers are preceived to form the life-support system for writers and publishers of fiction and why Ian McEwan once remarked ‘when women stop reading, the novel will be dead’. 

Booking opens 5 January 2021

To book a place at this event please email [email protected] St Mary’s is a COVID secure venue.

 

 

The BLS

Barnes Literary Society was founded in 2004 by a group of Barnes friends to provide a literary focus for members in the local area and beyond. The Society offers stimulating monthly evening events in a friendly atmosphere in the centre of Barnes, when there is an opportunity to hear published authors and other speakers give talks on a wide variety of literary topics. These range from novels to historical writing, drama, crime and contemporary issues. We also enjoy visits to places of interest once or twice a year.

BLS has proved to be increasingly popular over the years and now has a membership of over 300. On this website you can find out about our current programme, our previous distinguished speakers, and tour our gallery of posters and photographs. And, should you wish to join, just click on our Membership page. Membership entitles free entry to each of the six evening talks.

Covid-19 regulations mean that pre-booking for all events is now required. You will need to leave your mobile number so that we can contact you in the unlikely event that an audience member becomes ill after the event.

There will be reduced capacity at all events to ensure social distancing. Our full Covid-19 risk assessment can be viewed below.

A film of each talk will be sent to members after each event.

 

BLS BOOKING PRINCIPLES AND PROCESS – 2020/21 SEASON

 Covid restrictions:

  • As numbers at our meetings are restricted in the current circumstances, we ask for your understanding that it will not be possible for all BLS members to attend every event in the current season. Should the situation change, and restrictions on meetings be removed, then members will be notified of how such changes will affect BLS meetings.

Principles: 

  • We would like to give a fair opportunity for all our members, who would like to attend our monthly events and listen live to our visiting authors, to be able to do so in some manner.
  • In order to give all members the opportunity to see, listen and appreciate our guest authors and their personal stories, we have developed an exciting innovation. All members will be able to watch each event via a film recording, on the BLS website, which will be available soon after each meeting. We hope that this development will bring even broader access to our events, particularly for those members who may not be able to attend an event, as they will now be able to access the films online.

Note: This will not be available to non-members accessing the web-site.

Booking system:

  • All members have received the calendar of events for 2020-2021 which gives details of the dates of each meeting and the author concerned.
  • A booking system is currently in place allowing members to request places at two events during the season. This is with the intention of managing, in the fairest way, the demand for places against the number of places available. Those members who have already requested places for their two chosen events have been notified by Kathy Owles, Membership Secretary, and these places are confirmed. Anyone who had tickets for Toby Faber please write to Kathy and she will book you a place at one of the remaining talks.
  • From January 2021 there will be a revised booking system for all remaining places, in the light of the high demand for places.
  • For future bookings, places will be allocated two weeks before the event.

5 January for Professor Helen Taylor on 19 January 2021

2 February for Tom Bower on 16 February 2021

9 March for Nikita Lalwani and Harriet Gilbert on 23 March 2021

27 April for Mark Billingham on 11 May 2021

  • Members will be able to apply for places on the appropriate booking date by email to Kathy Owles, Membership Secretary at [email protected]. Please do not reply to information emails sent from the BLS. The existing allocation of places for two events over the course of the season remains for all future bookings. Members who have already booked their two events, and who would like to attend a further event, may apply to go on to a waiting list for any additional events. They will then be allocated a place should one become available. Waiting list bookings will only be taken during the two week booking period for each event.
  • No advance bookings will be taken ahead of the appropriate booking date.
  • To ensure a fair allocation of places to people wishing to attend an event, if the booking period is over-subscribed priority will be given to those who applied unsuccessfully for a place at a previous event.
  • Any member[s] allocated a place at an event that they cannot subsequently use are asked to advise Kathy Owles as soon as possible so that members on the waiting list can be given the opportunity to attend.