Right now I do not claim to be a writer, but then once upon a time I also did not claim to be an artist (even though I had made art for years!). I have though always loved words and playfulness in language. Words and perhaps poems have cropped up over the years in art projects and on the pages of sketch books. I revelled in essays at school, loved writing letters when it was a thing.
The Stroud Book Festival is held in November each year, it has an amazing literary offering for a small town with talks, poems, stories, interviews and book launches; it is a five day event! After a difficult year I decided I ought to join in with one thing at the festival and realised, as I noticed in the line up an affordable workshop, that words may be the thing to do. This workshop may have come to my notice since I had been writing meaningfully on my phone during the year as my Mother became ill and after some time passed away.
The workshop felt good, I liked the focus of being asked to write something in relation to a prompt in a very limited amount of time. Poet and writer JLM Morton (who incidentally won the inaugural Laurie Lee Prize for Writing this year) runs these workshops as part of a project called Dialect an inclusive literary development platform for rural writers.
This was a deliberate act on my part to get out of my comfort zone. I do not mind being someone who doesn’t know a thing, and has to learn and ask questions. I do not mind reading out loud, what I do not like is speaking to a group of people when the words have to be formed as sentences in my head!
Dialect had a deadline a few weeks after the workshop, and it was possible for me submit a piece for their anthology. Since I had nothing to lose I did so, and was included! Which tbh feels a bit weird. Do I have the courage to let you read my piece? I am not sure yet, but this book is in fact at the printers right now eeek!