Beckenham siblings set up publishing company to nurture town talent

Leila and Ali Dewji have established Acorn Independent Press

Leila and Ali Dewji have established Acorn Independent Press


A brother and sister duo have set up a publishing company and are challenging budding authors to write their first novel within a year.

Ali and Leila Dewji, from Beckenham, established Acorn Independent Press, a self-publishing house, because they say they were “frustrated that it has become so hard” for new writers to get printed.

To celebrate their launch, the company has created the free online ‘Write Your Novel This Year’ scheme which began on Monday and comprises of monthly e-mails focusing on different aspects of the novel-writing process with tutorials, exercises, and advice.

Editorial director Ms Dewji, 27, said: “There is such a literary buzz in Bromley at the moment, our independent bookshops and festivals are thriving there is so much going on. We really want to be part of it and are fully embracing the local literary scene.

“It is so frustrating when you’ve worked hard on something, not to be able to get it out there and it is even more frustrating to stand back and watch wonderful authors fail to achieve their full potential.

Mr Dewji, 25, who worked for international publishers Emap and will focus on the sales and marketing side of the business, added: “Now is a really exciting time for authors. An author who believes in their work can have a slick professional paperback available on Amazon or an ebook on the iBookstore in a matter of weeks. People can be buying their book at a click of a button or downloading it on to their phone on the way to work.”

The company, based in Clockhouse Road, will be running free writers workshops and events. If you are interested in attending please email or see

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