Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Reading Out and World Book Night 2011

I read at the "Next Up Showcase" at the Bluecoat last Thursday. I was chosen as one of three from my University. There were others from Manchester, Chester, and Edge Hill Universities reading. There were 12 in total and I was seventh. I knew the man who was before me and that was when I got nervous because I knew I was up next. I'm usually very nervous (and this was only my second reading) but I was unusually calm. I drank half a pint of beer and tried to stay focused (I met the third guy from my uni and he was up first).

It came my turn and the woman who was hosting gave me quite a good introduction, although (and we joked about this afterwards) when she quoted a line from my work, which she's meant to do, she read out my opening line. My tutor said it was one of my best lines, and she almost ruined it by quoting it like that. The line was: "A black hole opened up in my living room."

I read it well. Though I didn't look away from the page on the lecturn, I didn't want to lose my place. I got some laughs at the funny parts and held their attention at the evocative parts. Later on in the pub someone thought I was reading from an actual novel, and I had to say No it was mine. I was surprised at how many liked it, and some said I was one of the best. A man stopped me and I thought he was giving me his card, like an agent or something. He was a photographer, and showed me a picture on his camera of me reading. I wrote my email address down for him to send me the photo. (Haven't got it yet).

I was a volunteer for the first World Book Night. I was given 48 copies of Seamus Heaney's poetry to give away for free. I left copies on the train, in the train station, in a bus stop, in a phone box, on benches, with a message inside saying things like "You've found me!" and "Have you thought about reading poetry?" The rest I gave to my friends and family.

It was a good thing to do, though I should have chosen a novel to give out. It was out of 25 titles.

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