So no one turned up to my creative writing event for the Everybody’s Reading festival. Bummer! I think those are quite hard words to write; to admit that your event did not happen because no one appeared, but it is the undeniable truth. I arrived slightly early and waited a full half hour to see if anyone would appear. I think I gave people enough time to turn up.

Like I said, no one appeared while I was there; maybe a hoard of writers turned up fifteen minutes after I left and demanded the Kick School of Creative Writing. It is a nice thought, but I doubt that it reflects reality.

I could spend some time discussion the many possible reasons why no one appeared. I have my suspicions that Leicester, unlike some other cities which host similar creative writing events, just does not have the number of interested people required to support such events.

(Please note the apparent irony of this realization taking place during a reading festival.)

There is also an issue with the venue, Fabrika, being out of the way, hard to find, and having a funny vibe to it. But that feels like an excuse and not a very good one at that.

No, I think it is best to accept for the sake of my sanity that a tautological explanation should be used: no one turned up because no one turned up. It happens to all events in their infancy, so I am not going to take it too hard. There is only one question that I am interested in drawing from today’s failure and that is do I keep trying to run events like this in Leicester? It feels pretty futile, but do you run these events for the sake of your ego or do you run them for purely altruistic purposes?


  1. Bram October 2, 2010

    Chin up Will! If there’s one thing I’ve learned doing events of all kinds, its that sometimes no-one turns up, even to the most awesome of things. Don’t let it slow your roll bro, Kick is a great idea. I think more than likely the other events in the Festival meant yours got a bit lost in the shuffle. Certianly what happens usually to local poetry events during the EdFringe. Keep on keepin on man. :)

  2. Robert Whitfield October 2, 2010

    I think you also need to look at how past events have gone, for example have attendances been declining, do people regularly turn up or do they come on a whim?

    Perhaps you just need to find a way to increase the awareness. This is a student city after all and both Universities are only just starting back after the Summer, this may be something worth considering when trying to advertise the events.

    Finally, my own apologies for not attending.

  3. Will Ellwood October 2, 2010

    @Bram – Cheers.

    @Rob – Yeah, those are good points. I’m going to talk to a few people who’ve ran more successful events of this ilk and see what steps they took that I can imitate.

  4. Magnus October 2, 2010

    Running an event like this, or doing anything else that is “for other people” ALWAYS has an Ego Side. We do these things as much for ourselves as for whatever other reasons we have. That isn’t to say that’s a BAD thing, just that it’s a thing, and this makes it very difficult when people don’t show up. You’ve spent a lot of time and energy planning and preparing, so it’s only natural.

    I honestly think the Kick school is a great concept, and I hope you’ll be able to get people to join in on it. Perhaps there is some way to do it as an online event? That way, you wouldn’t have to rely on Leicester.

  5. Ruzkin October 3, 2010

    Oh man, I know how awful that feels at the time. I’ve done a few writing classes in my time, and only one has ended up as a full classroom – most end up as 2-3 student affairs, and I’ve been left talking to an empty room twice. I try to look on the positive side – if nobody turned up, it means I can use my lecture notes again next year and nobody will be the wiser.
    Good luck with the Afghan lit panel tonight!

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