Thursday, 15 December 2011

Launch of Hot Key, and Notting Hill Editions

A brace of bumptious literary parties last night: the first, in Clerkenwell, for a new children's imprint that will publish books for children and young adults. It is helmed by Sarah Odedina (who was my first editor at Bloomsbury), and looks set to publish its first book later next year, which I look forward to very much indeed. Lots of little mince pies and bucketfulls of champagne made a  merry evening in their snazzy, white-painted and wood-floored offices. I spotted The Fool's Girl author Celia Rees, who's got a new, modern-day novel coming out soon, as well as I, Coriander writer Sally Gardner. The place was thrumming with agents and authors as I left, so it all looks set for a rocket-fuelled lift off - very best of luck to Hot Key.

Then onto the Hammersmith and City line (not one of my favourite lines, I must admit, although it was behaving properly last night) to the other end of town, for a party celebrating Notting Hill Editions' new series of essays. It took place in the Idler Academy, which was packed to the brim with literary types and lots of cakes (including a rather delicious ginger biscuit) and, of course, champagne. Latinist Harry Mount (who teaches at the Academy) was there; as was the author of The Kit-Kat Club, Ophelia Field, and erstwhile Cheap Date editor, Kira Jolliffe, as well as bags more. NHE's new selection of handsomely bound essays includes Adam Mars-Jones, neuroscientist Susan Greenfield, and Simon Heffer, as well as Osip Mandelstam and Stanley and Munro Price. They combine intellectual curiosity and power with - well, looking nice on your coffee table. And there aren't many things that can do that. The box set makes a lovely present, too.

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