The title of a great event at Sturminster Newton Exchange last Saturday (10th). Author talks by Robert Goddard, Sophie Hannah and Lindsey Davis; two workshops from a choice of five and all for the princely sum of £16.
I chose Supporting Reading Groups with Tracey Guiry for the morning session. Tracey is CEO of Cyprus Well, the literature development agency for the South West of England. She not only directed us to available support for readers but also for writers. It’s worth signing up to the site newsletter if you live across the South West. Her remit extends from Gloucestershire to Cornwall and all across the south coast to Bournemouth and Poole. So if you’re planning an event or looking to attend one the Cyprus Well website is a good place to start.
The afternoon session was An Audience with Patrick Gale. Patrick is this years Short Story and Flash Fiction judge of the Bridport Prize. He gave a succinct summing up of the term Flash Fiction (a micro narrative) and led an exercise into creating one. He then spoke of his own writing methods and, as with the other authors, had plenty of time left over for an open Q & A session.
Other workshops available on the day were Celebrate Fiction with Bob Sharpe, Meet Local Author Natasha Solomons and Writing Poetry with Rosie Jackson. It was a shame there wasn’t the time to attend all three as I heard from other attendees what super workshops they were.
The day was also an opportunity to catch up with writing friends from the SWWJ, Society of Authors and Gwen and Dorothy of Hilary’s Writers. Sue Ashby from the Dorset Writers’ Network was also there along with many faces I recognised from local libraries – from both in front of and behind the counter. Although I was feeling rough with the onset of a cold I’m so glad I made the effort. It was excellent value for money. If I had one niggle it would be that name badges would have been an asset. I’ve since learnt from other blogs and sources that other people I know of were there and it would have been good to say hello.
It’s often difficult to find out about these events but from now on I will endeavour to spread the word. If you know of any events in the South West area let me know. I’ve had great feedback from those who did attend the event and as member of a few writing organisations and all round busybody will post anything I find of interest.