WARNING: This is not supposed to be a brag or name dropping, I just want to share my love for my live world of words.
Last month I talked about coming out of the writer closet, and the authors I'd heard (and bought) at great events.
And the hits just keep on coming.
At Clapham Books last week, Tom Canty read from his debut novel, Clapham Lights. The thing that really struck me was how well a young writer could stand in front of a crowded room and read his work aloud. He was funny, in the characters, and confident in what he was saying.
If I were his publisher I'd be getting Tom straight into a studio to record his novel. Apparently his girlfriend thinks his female voice is, well, pants I think he said. Maybe she could help him out there, but otherwise his delivery was brilliant.
Yesterday I went to the Spread The Word event at Woolfson and Tay. The afternoon was informal, for writers to write about 'things that happen in a bookshop'. I met a Shakespearian scholar, got talking to Paul Sherreard (who gave me a fantastic business idea - cheers) and had plot inspiration from the crazy (Shaun Levin's word, not mine) Devawn Wilkinson.
Most of us bought the Write Around the Bookshop map and used a prompt from that, along with the setting (surrounded by books, opposite a pub) to come up with a new piece of work.
After a break a selection of young writers who have been involved in various Spread the Word schemes read, either from anthologies and/or the exercises they'd done in the afternoon.
Again, I was so impressed with how well young writers can deliver their work. You'd think they've been doing it for years, and they're definitely ready for being on bigger stages.
A few open mic slots were taken with, let's just call them (myself included), less published and slightly more mature writers, who also read their output from the afternoon.
It was a great opportunity to write, mix, listen, and of course eat. The red velvet cake was a big hit, and next week I want to go back for the Savoury Asian Pulled Pork - sounds amazing.
And next Saturday I'm back at The Society Club for July's Word Factory event.
I'd really love to hear what events others have been to, and how it's helped their writing. And hopefully anyone who hasn't been taking advantage of local events might think about getting along to one soon.