We are passionate about supporting local authors, encouraging aspiring writers and generating debate about all things books. We welcome everyone, no matter how you identify or how others perceive you. Most of our events are free to make them as inclusive as possible.

As the bookseller to the Brighton Festival and other events, we can also supply books to larger literary events across the city. Just get in touch to discuss how we can support you.

10.30am every Saturday

Children’s storytelling

Every Saturday we run a free storytelling session for children up to around the age of eight every Saturday at 10.30am for an hour on our children’s floor. Our storytellers will read from some of the latest children’s books together with old favourites.

Just drop in from 10.15am onwards. There’s no need to book. You can either stay with your child, pop upstairs for a break in the Bookroom Cafe, have a browse around the bookshop or shop locally in Kemptown.

Please share with anyone who might be interested. We’re keen to get as many children into reading as we can.

10.30am every Friday

Children’s craft session

Every Friday morning we run a children’s craft session in our cafe. Paint, make and create using a range of materials. Our drop-in sessions are aimed at pre-schoolers during term-time and children up the age of eight in school holidays.

We ask for a contribution of £3 (payable on the day) which includes all materials and a free babyccino.Just drop in from 10.15am onwards. There’s no need to book.

Last Wednesday of the month and second Thursday of the month

Book groups

Our book groups meet on the last Wednesday of every month from 7.30-9pm, and the second Thursday of every month from 7-8.30pm upstairs at the bookshop. It’s a chance for local people to get together and discuss new and classic fiction. The book club has four membership options:

• A basic subscription to be part of the group with no obligation to buy the book from us: £5
• A subscription which includes the book group monthly membership and the book: £14
• A premium subscription which includes the book group monthly membership, the book and a drink in the Bookroom Café: £16 (not available for the Thursday book group)
• A subsidised place where you can buy/ borrow the book yourself: free

Email cathy@kemptownbookshop.co.uk for more information.

First Wednesday of the month

Twenty-somethings book group

The Twenty-somethings book club meets on the first Wednesday of every month from 7-9pm in The Bookroom Café, upstairs at the bookshop.

It’s a chance for like-minded people to get together, talk about everything from contemporary to queer fiction and to read outside of our typical reading lists and genres. We agree together the books we’ll discuss so there’s also the opportunity to share your favourite books with others.

The book club has four membership options:

o A basic subscription of £5 per month to be part of the book group with no obligation to buy the book from us
o A subscription fee of £14 which includes the book group monthly membership and the book itself
o A premium subscription fee of £16 which includes the book group monthly membership, the book itself and a hot or cold drink in the Bookroom Café at the start of the session
o A free subsidised place where you can buy or borrow the book yourself (please explain briefly why)

The book group is currently closed to new members but email remony@kemptownbookshop.co.uk to be added to the waiting list.

We welcome everyone no matter how you identify or how others perceive you.

First Wednesday of the month

Monthly 5am Writing Club

Where better to write than a bookshop with a cafe? When better than at 5am? Join other local writers from 5am on the first Wednesday of every month to work on your work in progress.

Coffee, tea and pastries available to kickstart your writing morning.
We’ll open the shop at 5am and you’re welcome to join us then, or at anytime after that – and leave whenever you need to. The shop opens to the general public at 9am but if you’re in full flow, you’re free to stay as long as you like.

Tickets are limited to 12 as we only have so many chairs and table space. They cost £5 and include a hot or cold drink. You can buy other drinks to keep you going during the morning. The local bakery usually delivers our pastries at about 7am.

Book your ticket on our Eventbrite page.

Creative writing courses

The Creative Writing Programme holds their daytime and evening courses at the bookshop as well as offering a blended and an online option. Enrolment is now open for courses in creative writing, life writing and poetry starting in October 2024. To find out more and sign up, contact The Creative Writing Programme directly.

Other shorter courses are also based at the shop. Look our for leaflets in the shop or check the news page of the website.

7pm on 6th June

Brighton Stories: Working Lives

As part of our partnership with local history book publisher QueenSpark, Brighton Stories features readings from their books. In June, you’ll hear tales from the fishing community, working children, bar staff, and the West Pier, alongside a focus on women in the workplace. Join us to find out more about the history of our fantastic city.

Book your free ticket on our Eventbrite page.

7pm on 2nd July

Book Launch and Q&A with Jane Crittenden

Join us for a Q&A and signing for the launch of Jane’s second novel Summer Ever After. Can love bloom again under the heat of the Spanish sun?

Book your free ticket on our Eventbrite page.

7pm on 4th July

Funny Bones – crime fiction and dark humour

We’re in conversation with two authors who both shine a light on the dark side of women’s lives with a trademark comic twist. Join best-selling crime writers Joanna Wallace and Jo Furniss to ask, what’s so amusing about murder?

Book your free ticket on our Eventbrite page.

7.30pm on 4th July

Book Launch: Jenny Lecoat talks with John McCarthy

Former stand-up Jenny Lecoat is now an internationally-published author whose debut novel in 2020 was a New York Times bestseller. For the launch of her second novel Beyond Summerland, set in the aftermath of Jersey’s Occupation, she speaks with celebrated journalist and broadcaster John McCarthy in the stylish Nightingale Room over Grand Central, Brighton.

Book your free ticket on our Eventbrite page.

7pm on 25th July

Brighton Stories

As part of our partnership with local history book publisher QueenSpark, Brighton Stories features readings from their books. Join us to find out more about the history of our fantastic city.

Book your free ticket on our Eventbrite page.

7pm on 22nd August

Brighton Stories

As part of our partnership with local history book publisher QueenSpark, Brighton Stories features readings from their books. Join us to find out more about the history of our fantastic city.

Book your free ticket on our Eventbrite page.

7pm on 19th September

Brighton Stories

As part of our partnership with local history book publisher QueenSpark, Brighton Stories features readings from their books. Join us to find out more about the history of our fantastic city.

Book your free ticket on our Eventbrite page.