EDitorial ± 9-Jul-2012

Writers' Cafe 2012

Before the clocks sprung forward, a postcard -- an actual card with an arty picture -- appeared on the mat. Dear Ed, it began, would you be interested in co-hosting this summer's Ip-art writers' cafe? Moi? Heck, why not.

Course, I've been along to these events before. I hereby claim to be the first reader at the first such event fully five years ago. I'm pretty much the Armstrong of these affairs. That'd be Neil, not Stretch or Lance.

My co-host will be one Ruth Dugdall. Ruth is a proper writer from that Felixstowe. Ruth has not only written three novels but had them published too. Ruth's stuff is available on Amazon or for the Kindle. If this was pro celebrity golf from the late 1970s, Ruth would be Lee Trevino to my Ronnie Corbett.

All too soon the event comes around. Not the greatest of starts when I meet Ruth at UCS but neither of us knows exactly where we're going nor which building we're in. We amble over by the Question Mark and finally meet people (hi, Sara) we know. It's agreed that we'll both read from our work -- Ruth from her paperbacks, me from my, er, website -- and we propose to say a few well chosen words after each reading. Usually someone comes up, does their stuff, sits down. This will be better, wethinks.

Folk start to turn up and off we go. Ruth goes first. She's very good. I suspect she may have stood up in front of people before. She's equally smart at saying something constructive per reader. My turn after the break, next name comes out of the hat, and it's concentration levels up to 11 as each person reads. I like that phrase, that ending's good, etc. I get through it without falling over. And there's some genuinely good writing IMHO. Name checks and pats on the back for:

  • first group: Sam, Sally, Paul, Kate and David
  • second group: Anoup, Clive, John, Gerry and Mai
  • third group: Una, Jean, Huw and Ric Hardacre, Ip-art 2012 short story winner!

Everyone's very positive afterwards. It's gone OK. Tell you what, though: it's an awful lot easier sitting at the back.