Philip Pullman fans are eagerly awaiting an add-on to his award- winning His Dark Materials trilogy, to be called The Book of Dust, which he has been working on for some years.

In the meantime, we must content ourselves with his new version of Grimm’s fairytales (Grimm Tales, Penguin Classics, £20), which he is signing at several local events. He is pictured right on Saturday at the 20th birthday party of Writers in Oxford, whose early members were lucky enough to hear him read from the first in the trilogy, Northern Lights, before it was published.

He is pictured in conversation with Writers in Oxford member Janie Hampton, author of The Austerity Olympics and How the Girl Guides Won the War, who lives in Cowley.

He will also be at the 25th birthday party of Waterstones Oxford branch next Thursday, joined by chef Antonio Carluccio and other bestselling authors. The Waterstones event, which is open to the public, will include signings by local writers such as romantic novelist LIz Harris, who has had success with her latest book The Road Back. The OxPens writers’ group will also have a stand promoting their latest short story collection, The Bodleian Murders and Other Stories.

Philip Pullman will also be at a book signing on December 1 at Flash In the Pan, a Christmas pop-up shop at 9 South Parade, Summertown. Joining him in the shop will be the BBC’s Will Gompertz, of North Oxford, promoting his book on modern art, What Are You Looking At?