With the 5th Anniversary celebrations heading into view I was thinking about the thank you speech, and like the Oscars it is in danger of going on, and on. And on. So I thought I’d blog it instead, a section at a time.
What does a publisher need with musicians? Well, our regular events Solstice Shorts Festival (always), and The Story Sessions (usually), some of our launches and some of our writing workshops have included music – always acoustic, often folk, sometimes original, mostly but not exclusively songs, because we love the narrative power of a song.
And finally… Lester Simpson, who runs singing workshops for us once or twice a year and teaches us amazing songs that find their way into our events, and the repetoire of choirs all over London; and has become a friend along the way.
the final take on Bad Day, with a little music from Annalie to top and tail it.
These are the final posts, from the final Story Session of the season.
We’ve made the decision to retire the Story Sessions as a regular thing – and it will only stick its nose out into the light (and inevitable rain – have we EVER done a session when it didn’t rain?) as part of festivals and if asked for – it is regretably too much work for far too little return even when part-funded by those nice people at the Arts Council (Thank you ACE, really). There are other things to get busy with. So Festival organisers – if you ask us, we will put together more sessions, but if you don’t, this is your lot!
Thanks to The Brockley Deli for hosting this season.
There is something about The Story Sessions, and Brockley, that makes it rain, and it came down stair rods last night. Actors and authors arrived dripping. But that didn’t stop us having some fun. I’m going to post the videos in three segments, starting with three videos from a disparate group of writers:
The Cretan Labyrinth Series Three by Becky Pinder read by Annalie Wilson (Annalie started before I got the video turned on, but the audio recorder was running so I’ve recovered the beginning, just be patient with the lack of picture!)
In Those Days They Used Lined Paper by Donald Hiscock
More Bread by Sally Connors read by Annalie Wilson
Tomorrow I will post Math Jones’ Knotsman sequence, and on Saturday, the final outing from Liam Hogan, Happy Ending NOT Guaranteed tour.
We have stories from Liam Hogan headlining, with two different takes on the incredibly long-lived: Internet Dating for Immortals, and Time the Devourer which will be read by resident actor and musician, Annalie Wilson.
Supporting Liam we have Math Jones reading part (possibly all? Still to discuss) of his exquisite Knotsman sequence.
and Donald Hiscock, who is coming up from Portsmouth to read In Those Days They Used Lined Paper
Sally Connors (More Bread) and Becky Pinder (Cretan Labyrinth Series 3) will also be read Annalie.
We will, as usual, have music from Annalie, and of course, we have our Flash from the Floor – you join in with your own fantastical tale, in 100 words or less! No dragon stories yet, so something on those lines would be popular (with me!).
When you are touring a book of short stories, and it’s an anthology, it’s usually fairly simple – who can get there to read? and then a bit of tweaking, so that we don’t end up with wall-to wall-fantasy from a book that is less than 30% that genre.
When it is a single author collection however, with 27 stories to choose from, it is more complicated. The discussion goes something like this:
Author: these are my favourites. (list of 12 stories)
Publisher: Yes. This is my favourite, let’s have this one too.
Author: Or this one?
Publisher: It’s a bit long, what about an extract? No more than 10 minutes.
Author: So from here – until the cliff hanger?
Publisher: Yes, but leave out that paragraph, it doesn’t make sense without the beginning,
Author: I love this one too.
Publisher: It’s a first person narrative of the opposite gender. But I can get an actor.
(long conversation full of stereotypes about the people likely to come to each reading, which stories are most representative of the book, balancing light and dark, how often the author is willing to read the same story… leading to a long short list)
Publisher: OK, so which do we read where? I think this one is a shoo-in for Greenwich, it’s set there. And this one is about werewolves so the reading that’s up the road from Monster Supplies?
Author: Yes, and the Alice in Wonderland one for Oxford. Do you think the Art installation is too obvious for Hackney?
Of course, on the day, sometimes, we change our minds – but a lot of thought goes into preparing a reading, to make it a professional enjoyable evening out for the reading (listening) public.
So here is a little quizzette for you.
Which stories are Liam Hogan, Carrie Cohen, Lisa Rose and Annalie Wilson reading where?
Match the story to the venue!
Stars Temp To be a Hero Worming Advice For Werewolves Miscellaneous, Spooky, Weird Late Feathers Bring Rope The Burden Greenwich, Noon