Alliance of Literary Societies

The Society is now a member of the Alliance of Literary Societies (ALS).  ALS promotes the activities of literary societies like ours and also invites interaction between groups.  There is an annual get-together hosted by a member society.

More information can be found here at the ALS website.

Members of DLSS can also read a copy of the latest ALS newsletter


Bloomsbury Walk

Members gathered at Persephone Books      in Lamb's Conduit Street, Bloomsbury, on 17 June, 2018 for a walk around the area led by Geraldine Perriam, BJ Rahn and Francesca Wade.  We looked at places in Bloomsbury where DLS lived and places mentioned in DLS's short stories and novels.  We looked at 12 Great Ormond Street - or 12A, as it is known in the books - home of Charles Parker and the blue plaque in Great James Street, where DLS lived.  Mecklenburgh Square resident and member, BJ Rahn, led us into the Square's Garden.  DLS lived in Mecklenburgh Square, as did her fictional character, Harriet Vane.  Francesca Wade spoke to us about other women writers of Mecklenburgh Square such as Virginia Woolf. 

Further details of the walk are available in the members' Bulletin for July, 2018.


Annual Convention, University of Lancaster, 3-6 August, 2018

The Annual Convention for members this year will be held at the University of Lancaster.  Members who have already paid a deposit are now being asked to pay the next instalment by 16 April.  Further details and the form to send to Simon Medd, our Conference Organiser, can be found here.

Our Convention this year is situated near Barrow-in-Furness, home of DLS' most famous fictional police officer, Charles Parker. We will be celebrating him and other characters over the weekend with a range of talks by people from various walks of life as well as members of the Society.

Dorothy L. Sayers Lecture, Witham. Essex Book Festival, 26th March

The Annual Lecture, given this year by Tony Medawar, took place at Witham Library, just down the road from the former home of DLS.  The event, part of the Essex Book Festival, was sold out.  Tony's expertise in Golden Age Crime Fiction was amply demonstrated during the lecture.  Those of you who are familiar with CADS (Crime and Detection Stories), a serial publication superbly edited by Geoff Bradley, will be familiar with Tony's work.

The lecture ranged over the work of well-known writers such as DLS, Margery Allingham and Agatha Christie and those who are perhaps less  generally well-known today. A detailed report of the lecture will be available in the May issue of the members' Bulletin.

Prior to the lecture, some of those attending gathered at Gimsons (home of Seona Ford, Chair of the DLS Society and the Essex Book Festival) for supper with Tony.

Special thanks to the staff at Witham Library for their work in preparing the library for the lecture and for their warm welcome.

Witham Library, prepared for the DLS Annual Lecture

Golden Age of Crime Weekend, Southend 10th & 11th March, 2018

An enjoyable weekend was had at the Park Inn, attending the Essex Book Festival's Golden Age of Crime Weekend. Many of you will know that our Chair, Seona Ford, is also Chair of the Essex Book Festival.  

The weekend offered a celebration of Edmund Crispin, a talk by author Guy Bolton, a crime writing masterclass by author Nicola Upson and a session with writing duo Nicci Gerard and Sean French aka Nicci French.

Henry Hemming gave a riveting talk on his book M: Maxwell Knight: MI5's Greatest Spymaster.

Author, member and friend of the Society, Martin Edwards, chaired a Crime Writers' Association (CWA) panel of Christine Poulson, JM Hewitt and Paul Gitsham where the authors discussed their work, getting published, staying published and the benefits of belonging to the CWA community.

'A Criminally Good Afternoon Tea' was had by those attending the session with Nicola Upson, who talked about her latest book, Nine Lessons, set in Cambridge and featuring Josephine Tey.

It was good to catch up with members attending this event.  We look forward to returning to Southend next year.



Commemorative Plaque, Service at St Anne's, Soho and Quarter Peal at St Nicholas, Witham

A service celebrating the life and work of Dorothy L. Sayers was held at St Anne’s Church, Soho on 16 December.  Our Patron, Bishop Richard, Baron Chartres, presided, supported by the Rev’d Simon Buckley, Rector of St Anne’s and member Rev’d Alan Jesson, who prepared the service. DLS was a Church warden at St Anne’s.

Readings, music and prayers, as well as an address by our Patron, were followed by the dedication of the plaque and tea. Pippa Westoby was commissioned by the Society to carve the plaque.

The plaque is now installed in the garden at St. Anne’s (see below) where all can see it.

On Sunday, 17 December, a Quarter Peal was rung at St Nicolas Church, Witham, the town in which DLS lived for many years. Details as follows:

Ladies Guild

Witham, Essex

St Nicolas

Sunday, 17 December 2017 (15–3–12 in E)

1260 St Nicholas Bob Doubles

1        Sue Stephens

2        Wendy Godden

3        Valerie Banwell

4        Helen Webb

5        Janet Garnett (C)

6        Vanessa E Webster

Rung by members of the Ladies Guild on the 60th anniversary of the death of Dorothy L Sayers, at Witham where she lived from 1929 - 1957, in celebration of her life. Also in memory of Bernard Palmer of Witham, an enthusiastic supporter of the Dorothy L Sayers Society.

Plaque with green small.png