Evesham Festival of Words – Day One
So, the Evesham Festival of Words, which I’ve mentioned on the blog before, came and went in a three-day blur of wonderful events, and brief pauses for sleep and sustenance! I think I can definitely say it was a triumph. This is my story of the weekend, or at least day one..
Day One: I was at the Evesham Hotel, the venue for three of the day’s events, by 10.15. I was introducing the first two events and taking part in the third. The speaker for the first session, Chris Hill, on ‘How to Win a Bridport Prize’ (and yes, he has!) arrived soon after, and then the people attending started to appear. I had tickets to collect, names to check, pieces of paper to shuffle – always guaranteed to get me into trouble.
Chris read us some of his winning story, and then gave five key points for success in short story competitions – all valuable stuff. There was only one surprise for me. He suggested you have more chance of success if your story corresponds with the maximum word count. I had always assumed if the story was complete at 3,000 words, you could still enter for a 5,000 maximum competition, but Chris said with more words, you can create a richer, stronger world. Still pondering this one.
The first workshop in the afternoon was Debbie Young, who did a whistle-stop tour of self-publishing. All the participants said how useful it was.
Here are the three of us studying the programme. Posed? Of course not!
Just time for a quick break and then it was my event: ‘Inside the minds of three authors’. This was a discussion between three of us – Janice Preston who writes regency romance for Mills and Boon, Alison May who writes romantic comedy, and me who writes about love and pain and dysfunctional families! We discussed why we write what we write, how and when. It was a lovely audience, and we had lots of fun.
Then it was time for the evening event, the official launch of the festival with Katie Fforde and the announcement of the winners of the short story competition. This was a fantastic way to end the day. Katie is warm and witty, and the 120-strong audience loved her interview.
It was great to meet some of the shortlisted authors for the competition, as I’d edited the anthology and pored over it for so long, I almost knew some of their stories by heart.
On behalf of the festival steering group, I presented Sue Ablett, the dynamic chair of the festival, with a wonderful basket of flowers,
and then we all chatted and laughed, drank some wine; Katie Fforde signed books – lots of adoring fans!; and we all went home, more than happy with the first day.Tags: Evesham Festival of Words, Katie Fforde