Short story day yesterday at the Friends' Meeting House in Manchester, run by Manchester Libraries and the National Short Story Campaign.
It was a lovely day: a great atmosphere of enthusiasm for the short story, which is always something to warm one's heart. We kicked off with a panel discussion which Sophie from the National Story Campaign opened with a rousing speech and a brief history of the Campaign, and then Frank Cottrell Boyce, David Constantine, Comma publisher Ra Page and I were given the privilege of telling a roomful of people about our favourite short stories. Then we broke up into workshops. The day was intended for readers and writers, but as it happened everyone in both my workshops turned out to be a writer, and in my second workshop two people were teachers of creative writing, so people had plenty to say and ask. Adele Geras was, as usual, a wonderful contributor to my first workshop and David Constantine came to my second and sparked things up by adding his thought-provoking take on the question of new writers' fixation with publication over commitment to the work.
And in the break, when we were treated to chocolate buns (there went my new resolution over cake!), some lovely people bought copies of my book - thank you to them, and I hope you enjoy it!
Afterwards, Adele, Salt poet Steve Waling, writer and Art of Fiction blogger Adrian Slatcher and I repaired to Starbucks across the road and continued the discussions...
Adrian posts his impressions of the afternoon here.