Reading and writing

imageI was reading at the Evesham Festival of Words last night – lots of fun. What’s an Evesham I hear you ask? It’s a small town in Worcestershire, semi near to where I live in the UK.

I enjoyed it. The whole thing it was delightful. It was held at a wonderful museum in a 14th century building called the Almonry in the town, which is one of those places which we tend to overlook in the UK but are genuinely ancient and overflowing with stories. These are buildings with low beams because people used to be shorter. Listen, I’m going to say, without bothering to check on Google, that this building is older than America. (White people America). It was doing its thing before McDonalds, imagine that.

I have got used to doing readings now. Reading from my books. Reading from my oeuvre. But it took me a while. Now I just get up and do it, don’t worry about the crowd – just plough on, couple of jokes, couple of pages, Evesham, thank you, thank you, you’ve been amazing.

Almonry-FrontLook. Reading aloud is a talent you are taught at infants school. So why is it so tough to do? There is no right way to do it – it all depends on whether the people like you.

At this event there were about seven or eight authors reading. There were various styles. Everyone was a winner I would say. There’s a way to win by being nervous or shy when you read. To admit it up front, then do well anyway. Or you could just read, slowly, calmly, and kind of get through it – that’s still good, hoping the listener focuses on the words, not the tone of voice.

Only a couple of us attempted to put any kind of effort into the performance – but, let’s face it, we are always going to come a poor second to people who actually specialise in acting, or politics or any of those front of house professions. Just as those guys come a poor second to writers when it comes to eloquence –  which is why we write their stuff for them.

So it was an evening of  good readings rather than good performances – that’s what we do.

By the way, if you’re in the area, I’m giving a talk at the festival on July 1 on writing for short story competitions – come along! Click here to see the festival website where you can find out more and get tickets.

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6 thoughts on “Reading and writing”

  1. Oh good for you, Chris. I loved reading aloud too! I wish I could come to your talk, though. Ah well, good luck with it! I might just still be on my boat in France then!

    1. I’m sure we will meet up sooner of later Val – even though we are in different countries! One of the joys of these events is that, with pretty much everyone you meet at them you say – ‘I know you through social media!’

  2. Great post, Chris! Like you, I really enjoy doing readings from my books now, and that’s probably the most interesting and historic spot in which I’ve ever done one! Really looking forward to seeing you again soon at the Festival itself.

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