Historical fiction writer Cathy Hayward has bought Kemptown Bookshop. Cathy aims to further develop the shop into a community hub with events to engage new and established readers, celebrate local authors and support underrepresented writers. 

‘I want the bookshop to be at the heart of the community, to be a place where people of all ages and backgrounds can meet and enjoy the written word whether that’s through books, listening to authors, open mic nights or developing their own writing,’ she said. ‘My love of reading – and writing – has helped me through some difficult times, and I’m over the moon to be living out my childhood dream of owning my own bookshop.’ 

Darion Goodwin, who has owned the bookshop since 1996, decided to sell after the success of The Bookroom Art Press, his fine art prints business, meant he had less time to devote to the shop. He will continue to sell the popular prints through the bookshop. 

‘We had considerable interest in the bookshop when I put it up for sale. But I felt that Cathy, as a local author and keen reader, was the ideal person to take it forward. Her vision is an exciting one and I look forward to seeing her take the shop onto new levels of success as an integral part of our local community here in Kemptown.’ 

Cathy grew up in Worthing and has lived in Brighton since 2011. After a career in journalism and PR, she became a published author last year when her debut novel The Girl in the Maze was published by Agora Books. She has since written a second novel and is working on a third. All three are partly set in Brighton.