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Chester Lit Fest – Zoo

October 27, 2010

Yesterday myself and three other contributors to last year’s Cheshire Prize for Literature anthology, “Zoo”, performed readings of our anthology stories at the Chester Forum Theatre.

This lunchtime event was hosted by Emma Rees of Chester University, who gave a lovely introductory talk which was followed by the stories and some brief question and answer sessions with Emma allowing the authors to elaborate a bit more on their stories and the inspiration behind them. For my part, I got to incriminate my mum with the tale of how, as a small child, she once though that seahorses were mythical creatures like unicorns.

First reading was Catherine Marseille with her evocative tale of student life, “Y+Y”. Second was Alison Leonard reading the gently sad and haunting “The Bonesetter’s Nephew”. I read my story of suburban menace “The Audsley Chimera” and up fourth was Jan Bengree reading “Welly Boots”, an alternately poignant and funny tale of discreet love.

I hope that the audience enjoyed hearing these stories read aloud by their respective authors as much as I did – it’s wonderful to read them in print, but you can’t beat the experience of good, old-fashioned storytelling. Also, as Emma pointed out in closing, writing can be a long, isolating process so it’s real payoff for a writer to be allowed the opportunity to read their work and see a live audience react to it.

I talked to some lovely people afterwards and it was great to know that people are out there enjoying my work. Thanks again to everyone who came! You can buy Zoo from the Chester University website or from Amazon.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Emma permalink
    October 27, 2010 4:09 pm

    Glad you enjoyed the experience, Die! I hadn’t known in advance exactly who would turn up so it was such a bonus when I realised 3 of my favourite ‘Zoo’ contributors were there (and even better when Alison stepped up as a fourth!).

    • November 2, 2010 7:35 pm

      It was brilliant as always – it’s always so good to feel like someone’s actually reading (well, listening) to your stuff, having an audience is the best thing ever despite my stupid nerves..!

  2. October 27, 2010 4:31 pm

    Great review, Die…it was a lovely friendly laidback session…and yes, “grownups” ( for want of a better word) enjoy the hearing of stories as much as any child does..all my family liked being read to for years…listening to stories is tugging a blanket round yourself/closing your eyes/drifting off to some one else’s other world…
    I think it’s fantastic that you’re giving yourself more time to write. Seize all the days.. murky ones as much as sultry. Chester Writers are very glad you joined up!

    • November 2, 2010 7:37 pm

      Ah, thank you. I’m trying to keep a record of stuff that’s happened more than anything, otherwise I’ll lose track of what we’ve all done! But yeah, you’re right, listening to stories is wonderful, it should happen more often.
      I’m very glad I joined up to Chester Writers, it’s brilliant having actual face to face conversations with other writers instead of just online all the time.

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