Chester Lit Fest – Zoo
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.