Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Short Story Celebrations – Sevenoaks, Ipswich and Bridport Literary Festivals

It is very nice to see how the short story seems to be creeping up in the visibility stakes in literary festivals. In the last week or so, I have received three invitations to three different lit fests, all of them asking me to do workshops on short fiction and/or read/talk/discuss/answer questions on them.

A very nice invitation came today, to participate in Sevenoaks Literary Celebration in September, with fellow Salt writer Carys Davies.
The event is the Book Groups Tea, a gathering of book groups from the area. Last year Nicola Beauman of Persephone Books drew a crowd of 100 people – so Carys and I have a lot to live up to.
It will be a brilliant afternoon if we have anything to do with it- of readings, questions and answers, discussion and debate about one of the best things in my life- so how can it be anything but terrific?.

This year’s programme is not yet announced, but Sevenoaks Literary Celebration 2008 can be found HERE.

I am running two flash fiction workshops for Ipswich Arts Festival, in July. And, lovely people, they are also putting on an evening event at which I will be reading from Words from a Glass Bubble and being interviewed about the short story among other things.
The flash workshops will be running back to back on the same day – one before and one after lunch.
I visited Ipswich last week, prior to running a schools workshop for Ip Art. The town is terrific – I have only bypassed it before. The centre, with wonderful new state-of –the-art architecture, a new university building (which will be at the centre of Ip Art) all round the old harbour, with yachts bobbing, restaurants and bars… fab!

And lastly but by no means least – the Bridport Literary Festival, in November. I met the organiser in a moment of utter synchronicity, at Oxford Lit Fest. The coffee tent was chocca, no tables were free, so I joined a pleasant looking lady at her table. I had just said goodbye to Elaine Chiew, who of course won last year’s Bridport Prize.

To cut a long story short, the pleasant lady was the organiser of Bridport Literary Festival. We had a great natter about all sorts, and swapped cards.

And a few weeks later, I am asked to run a workshop for them, invited to attend the prize-winners lunch (lovely! It’s such fun!) and another thing, which had better be under wraps at the moment, but is very VERY exciting!!!

(hint- I will be able to talk about the text book, which only has FIVE chapters by FIVE Bridport winners writing about writing the short story… nothing exciting in that, is there???!)

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