Tomorrow on the 1st of October the Leicester reading festival, Everybody’s Reading, starts. Throughout the festival there will be events dedicated to poetry, children’s literature, African literature from across the continent, and all sorts of things. This year a sci-fi day on the 7th with an discussion between Peter F. Hamilton and Professor George Fraser, Director of the Space research Centre at the University of Leicester, taking place in the evening. There’s hopefully something for everyone. It’s a good festival.
As well as all that, each day of the festival there will be a different writer sitting in the window of the Highcross branch of Waterstones from 12pm until 2pm. They will be there writing. Some of the writers will be poets, some playwrights and others novelists and short story writers.
I will be sitting in that window on Thursday 6th.
I have no idea what I’ll write.
Alt Fiction is the cutest SF convention that I’ve visited in the country. (Mind you, I wasn’t at the Sonic event this weekend. A friend was. His write up made that fandom sound fun.) It’s a less shabby event than the two other SF conventions I’ve been to. Both Novacon and Eastercon borrow their atmosphere from an air raid shelter.
Unlike those other two conventions, Alt Fiction has natural light, fresh air and the outside world is easily accessible. It also felt like I was allowed to be a guest there instead of an unwanted hairy young invader smuggling in illicit literary fiction inside my satchel past fandom’s griffins.
Can’t remember much of the weekend. Did I end up on a podcast? No idea. Did I go to some actual panels? I think so. Was I irritated by them? Not really. I remember talking to a lot of friendly people as well.
The only source of hate this weekend was Derby’s illogical road network. And I can’t really count that against Alt. Fiction, can I?
It is the day before I run the first Kick School of Creative writing, and right now I have the fear. Not the fear just the fear; if you get what I mean. I’m apprehensive and excited. I have a plan, and I’m hoping that enough people turn up to make this a fun event for loads of people.
I’ve got a friend coming along to take photographs. To capture the general spirit of the event and to capture inaction shots of writers writing. I asked her along because I do want this to be a success and I do want to run events in other places. Part of what I’m going to be doing after this is dissecting the event in detail after and writing a proper template document so other people can take my idea and run with it.
Kick it out of the stadium if you like.
But regardless of if this is a success this is a real leap in the dark for me. I’ve never organized anything like this before. I’ve ran never ran an event for groups larger than half a dozen people before. I’ve also had no formal training in teaching or in creative writing. So I’m a bit worried about being asked any technical questions on writing, but I do have answers to most questions that I think are reasonably sane.
So this should be a real test of my confidence which is something that seems to rise and fall pretty much at random. But this is doing something. Which is a good thing.
But there’s a plan. Tomorrow at 11 AM I’ll be busing it into Leicester, and at 1 PM I’m going to be shitting bricks with a cup of coffee in my grubby mitts.
This is going to be a three hour nervous breakdown filled with stories; followed by a trip to the pub for a well deserved lunch.
The only question I’ve not yet solved is where I’m going to watch Doctor Who tomorrow evening.
The Kick School of Creative Writing takes places at Fabrika, Humberstone Gate, Leicester on the 17th of April 2010. It starts at 1 PM and ends at 4 PM.