I spent Saturday afternoon compering the reading event at the Gladstone Museum in Longton, Stoke-on-Trent where a splendid array of writers were strutting their literary stuff, and a good time was had by all!
Our afternoon kicked off with Bev Adams and ‘Little Brown Jug’, a moving tale for Remembrance Day that highlighted the affects of war and its aftermath on service personnel and their families.
After which came ‘Rosie’ by Richard Ayres. A wryly amusing and bitter-sweet, tale on the wisdom of looking back at past events in life with expectations – and how to move on.
Judith Hollies read another tribute for Remembrance Day with an extract titled ‘Crocky’ed’ from her upcoming novel about Moorlands folk. The snippet portrayed the horror of the trenches on the remnants of an Old Pals regiment.
A change of pace and tone came with my own contribution called ‘Jack of Hearts’. Taken from my collection Fables & Fabrications in which a foxy gumshoe PI investigates the case of the Queen’s missing tarts.
Misha Herwin’s ‘Wormwood and Roses’ was a chilling take on Sleeping Beauty from the witch’s side… with a unexpected and chilling end. As Misha could not make it her story was very ably performed by Jem Shaw.
After a short break we started the second half with another Remembrance Day tribute by Sue Ecclestone aptly titled ‘Forgotten Soldier’.
‘By Numbers’ by Peter Coleborn was next up with some very spooky goings at a mass murder! A scene of crime officer notices something very odd about the mobiles phones found there.
Debbie Voisey regaled us with a fabulous, and in some cases prize winning, selection of five flash fictions that were both poignant and amusing by turns.
Andrew Roberts entertained us next with his rollicking, swashbuckling tale of pirates and robbery titled ‘A Good Deed for the Day’.
To be followed by June Palmer with her atmospheric tale ‘66 Degrees North’ in which a man wakes up from a party to the realisation that he is all alone with a volcano!
Lastly but by no means leastly ( 🙂 ) Jem Shaw gave us one of his hilarious tales from a Scottish crypt. In this episode the ghostly family need to persuade the Minister not to conduct the planned exorcism.
Thanks go to all of our readers for sharing their work, to the wonderful folks of the Gladstone Museum for hosting our annual autumn reading event there, to Peter Coleborn for manning the book sales and to Jem Shaw for providing us with splendid visual backdrops and sound engineering.
Finally I send huge thanks to the folks who turned out to listen to us all and making it all worth while.
If you enjoy a story reading evening then come to the 6X6 cafe at City Central Library, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent at 7pm on 12th December.