In an age when even best-selling authors are rarely given any tangible reward for turning out to big festivals, however distant or inconvenient, needless to say lesser mortals only ever do these things only for fun and for the love of what they do (which in itself gives smaller events the special atmosphere remarked on here by Joanna Penn).
Which is why amongst all the other delights of the Hawkesbury Upton Litfest it was a lovely surprise to discover my author’s badge didn’t just bring interesting talks, discussions, readings and yes, some modest book sales, but also the right to free food and drink in the festival tea-room (soup! coffee! scones!)
Not a huge perk you might think, and I don’t begrudge the odd expense on a nice day out, but how refreshing to have our own efforts acknowledged in this way.
So thanks, Debbie Young, for that thoughtfulness as well as all the other planning (no stone was left unturned) that went into the occasion. Deeper reflections on what took place may take a little longer. But my mushroom soup was awesome.
As for the rest, here are a few photos of the sessions
And then there was Stroud, where I’ve read before and knew there would be a warm welcome and plenty of time to settle in with personal photos and sound-checks all done before the show began.
These small but important things make you feel like you are the star of the show instead of a mere scribbler with some crazy desire to be heard. And as a result of this thoughtfulness and immaculate organisation (well Mr SSS was a librarian, you know!) everyone gave of their best.
And my reward was not just a great round of applause and some lovely comments but also a nice photo now tucked in my ‘author’ folder. Blessed indeed.
I’m sure all of this will give rise to further ruminations and reflections down the line but for now it’s just thanks to those who took the trouble to make us needy authors feel like we had made it – just for a little while, anyway!
Here’s a great review of the whole evening by Leah Grant of Good on Paper which really captures the atmosphere – and reveals some enticing news for Stroud Short Stories fans.
P.S. I heard another writer describe Stroud as ‘funky as hell’. If you want to test this theory, you could do worse than read this anthology.
I’m in it too.