An evening at Wimbledon Bookfest

October 18, 2012

WSM sponsored an evening at the Wimbledon Book Festival last week hosting a ‘Ladies night out’ with authors Penny Vincenzi and Shirley Conran at Wimbledon’s elegant Cannizaro House Hotel. At the same time labour grandee Jack Straw was interviewed at Kings College School on his new autobiography ‘Last Man Standing’.


The evening kicked off with canapés and champagne whilst the guests waited in anticipation to hear from two founding figures of British ‘Chick lit’. Penny and Shirley were full of laughs and happy to share their personal life experiences. They spoke about writing their novels and the boom of women’s power and liberation in the 1970s and 80s. Both ladies were true story tellers and very inspirational. 

                                                                                                               Annie Lee with Shirley Conran

In contrast the man possessed of "guile and low cunning", was sharing his surprising childhood experiences as well as his outstanding political career.  As a formidable minister in top cabinet posts throughout Labour's 13 years in government – home secretary, foreign secretary, leader of the Commons and lord chancellor – Jack Straw was well placed to give his take on the dominant issues of the day and the audience dug deep into the intriguing facts surrounding the invasion of Iraq as well as the frustrated plots of colleagues and the demise of Gordon Brown.

        Paul windsor with MP Jack Straw

Our guests convened after the events for a night cap and the chance to, mingle, discuss the evening’s presentations and obtain signed copies of the author’s books.

WSM are proud to be the main sponsors of this 10 day literary festival which this year included some household names including James Naughtie, Will Young, Sebastian Faulks and Sir John Major. It also included for the first time a short film festival incorporating Odeon, HMC Curzon and Wimbledon Film Studios. For more information go to


Penny and Shirley