World Book Auction for Ukraine Offers Over 350 Lots | Books

An auction book signings, experiences and mentoring sessions from the UK literary community to raise funds for Ukraine raised £37,000 in its first week.

Lots include lunch at the Ritz with Pillars of the Earth author Ken Follett, the chance to name characters in new books from a crime writer Peter James and actor Lenny Henrya sign, limited edition memoirs of Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl and a [1945firstedition[1945premièreédition from Nancy Mitford’s novel The Pursuit of Love. Douglas Stuart is offering two tickets at the launch event in April for her new novel, Young Mungo, as well as an autographed and signed first edition of the novel, her highly anticipated sequel to her 2020 Booker Prize-winning debut, Shuggie Bain.

With nearly 350 lots, Book Aid For Ukraine auction still has a week to go and hopes to raise tens of thousands more for refugees fleeing the Russian invasion.

Literary agents offer hopeful authors the opportunity to have their manuscripts read, authors like Erin Kelly, Charlotte Levin and Sarah Hilary provide mentoring sessions, and there is a lunch date and signed book proposed by Jeremy Bowen, BBC’s Middle East editor.

The auction was organized by Hayley Steed, literary agent at the Madeleine Milburn agency, who was inspired by the auction organized by publisher Phoebe Morgan last year to raise funds to send Covid vaccines in India.

Steed said, “I watched the news about Ukraine and felt helpless, and wondered what we could do as a book industry and community. Phoebe’s auction was a huge success and I thought we could do something similar for Ukraine.

“So many people feel the same way and it felt like the perfect opportunity to direct that energy into something positive.”

She took to social media and was amazed by the response, receiving more than 200 emails overnight offering lots for the auction. The Pan Macmillan publishing house also said it would match any bids made on lots involving its authors.

Steed said: “It’s going incredibly well, much better than I expected. When we started, I hoped we could raise five figures, but it far exceeded my expectations. It would be fabulous to reach £50,000 now, or even more.

Among the currently hottest lots are a written review of the first 25 pages of a novel by literary agent Juliet Mushens, (current bid £540), 10 signed copies of the latest annual Viz comicand one autographed book and 45-minute tarot reading by astrologer Jessica Adams, for which bids topped £2,000.

The money raised will go to Anglo-Ukrainian aidwhich “provides assistance to vulnerable people who have been physically, mentally or socially disadvantaged, including the wounded and injured, orphaned children, the elderly, internally displaced persons, refugees and families who have lost their main support”.

The auction runs until Monday, March 20 at noon.

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