Post(card) from Devon
The Thirty Thousand Doldrums

Writers Question Time at Frome, and other stories

Just a quick post - because I'm not here, I'm still in Devon - to say that the two events I took part in at the Frome Festival were recorded by Frome's very own Internet readio station, Frome FM, and can be listened to here. Click on Programmes, and they both appear in the list of New Stuff. (If you're reading this after they've dropped off, just click on Programme > Frome Festival > Frome Festival 2011 Live Recordings) . Scroll down the list of programmes a little, then click on the one you want. I will blog at some point about the experience of judging a competition, but meanwhile these are straight from the authors' mouths...

Frome Festival Writers Question Time brought together scriptwriter Matt Graham, performance poet Rosemary Dun, novelist Debbie Holt and me together. Children's writer Steve Voake was that gift of a chairman, making the most of some excellent questions to get the best and most interesting stuff out of all of us.

There was some really interesting stuff about an excellent group of stories, in the session announcing the winners of the two Frome Festival Short Story competitions. It's introduced by Alison Clink, who organises the literary events. It's a constant surprise to me that anyone who organises things is still capable of interesting and coherent speech by the time the weekend actually arrives. After she announced the winners, at around 8 minutes, Jonathan Lee, who judged the Local prize, has some interesting things to say about the stories he saw. Jonathan's debut Who is Mr Satoshi? is just out in paperback. And at around 25 minutes it's my turn to talk about the stories I read for the main prize, and a little about my own writing life, which you can safely ignore, since most of it's turned up on the blog at one time or another. But if you keep going to the end you'll hear the whole of the winning story, Wake, by Jacqueline Molloy, rea beautifully by a local actress.

I travelled to Frome on a golden Sunday morning, from Newport. I spent Saturday at the Romantic Novelists Association Conference, at which I gave a workshop on how to write across the literary-commercial divide (a taster here); met lots of friends old and new; drank a good deal (though not as much as some - the RNA notoriously has the best parties in the writerly world); and all on a beautiful hilltop in one of the prettiest parts of Wales. No doubt the photos will be up soon, and when they are, names are not changed, since the RNA isn't willing to admit that there's anything one should be guilty about...