6th May 2023


Local author Lis McDermott and Dan Fishlock, Community Engagement Officer for the Mechanics’ Institution Trust are organising the first book fair for the Railway Village. It’s happening later this month (May 20).

Railway Village Book Fair- Lis McDermott
Railway Village Book Fair- Lis McDermott

A group of eleven authors, all based in Swindon, Wiltshire or the South West, are getting together to share their books. They are:

  1. Angela Atkinson, (ME!) of Swindon author of ‘Swindon in 50 Buildings’ and ‘Secret Swindon’ – also a Swindon guide book and the story of Ken White, Swindon born artist.

  2. Hannah Dosanjh, of Swindon, author of children’s book ‘A Railway Town called Swindon’.

  3. Nikki Copleston, of Wells, author of DI Jeff Lincoln thriller.

  4. Judith Cranswick, Swindon author of The Fiona Mason Mysteries and The Aunt Jessica Mysteries.

  5. Belle Henderson, Swindon author of five romantic comedies.

  6. Matt Jeffrey, Swindon author of the first in a series of children’s books. ‘Adventures with Ollie; The Lost Hat’.

  7. Jane Lark of Devizes author of romantic historical fiction and romantic thrillers.

  8. Lis McDermott herself, of Royal Wootton Bassett, author of eight books including her first novel published a year ago.

  9. Helen Michaelsen of Dorset, author of children’s’ audio book The Call of Mektoub.’

  10. Zozo Thomas of Swindon, author of children’s’ series ‘Tales from Mulberry Garden.’

  11. Amelia Watchman of Swindon author of a children’s book and four romantic comedy novels.

When and where and why

The fair takes place on Saturday 20th May 2023, from 11am – 3pm at The Central Community Centre, Emlyn Square, Swindon SN1 5BP.

Lis said: ‘I’ve organised this event because I feel there are very few opportunities for people to:

  • Meet
  • Talk with and …
  • … find inspiration from authors living on their own doorsteps.

    Books are for everyone and every community will have several authors inspired by stories, or by their hobby or some other passion. I wanted to give a platform to some of those writers and creatives within my own community.’

Dan said: ‘When Lis approached the Mechanics’ Institution Trust with the idea for the book fair, we wanted to do everything we could to help support and promote local authors within our community. Our aims aren’t limited to building preservation. It’s also to deliver and promote community benefit through the use of our heritage buildings. Emlyn Square is a central location with strong transport links and plenty of parking. Thus it’s an ideal place for an event of this kind.’

Entry to the book fair itself is free. But after the fair there’ll be a low cost ‘Meet the Authors’ event, with live interviews. Local journalist and PR expert, Fiona Scott, of Scott Media, will be leading this event alongside Lis McDermott.

This event costs a mere £3 for non-members of the Mechanics’ Institution Trust. Members can access this event at a fifty per cent discount.

You can become a member of the Mechanics’ Institution Trust for as little as £1 per year +donation by filling out this form. This session is suitable for older primary children, upwards.

Due to space, there’s a limit on ticket numbers.

How to book

To book for the Meet the Authors’ event visit https://mechanics-trust.org.uk/Events/

During the day The Bakers Café, also managed by the Mechanics’ Institution Trust, will be open for refreshments. That’s including between the Book Fair and Meet the Authors event.

Parking is available at Bristol Street Car Park. Due to its central location, this event is accessible at a walking distance from the town centre and with frequent local bus routes.

For info on all my publications go here:

And here’s a fab explainer video about my books:

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