Sunday, 25 May 2014

SUNDAY NIGHT NEWS - She Grrrowls and Ideastap at the Roundhouse

This week, I had some time off to go visit the Big Smoke and I had a marvellous time! London has such a vibrant Spoken Word Community, and after spending a few days down there and soaking it all up, I'm more eager than ever to get involved with poetry in the Capital!

That being said, I could do without the awful traffic jams on the M25!

Still - despite being over forty minutes late to the party - I managed to find my way to the The Gallery Café in Bethnal Green to guest host She Grrrowls: Lost and Found on Monday night. It was a great show, with poetry provided by Lateisha Davine Lovelace-Hanson and Sabrina Mahfouz, comedy from Mia Lane, and music courtesy of Mama Tokus. 

And it was really good to see so many talented women on stage in a single evening. I had such a cool night! Thanks to Carmina Masoliver and the She Grrrowls team for inviting me, and for making me feel so welcome! 

You can check out my full review here.

Then, on Wednesday I was invited down to the Roundhouse in Camden to take part in a performance poetry networking and development day, hosted by awesome poet and writer Debris Stevenson

The event, organised by the wonderful people at IdeasTap, gave forty competition winners the chance to participate in a programme of workshops, panel discussions and networking opportunities. We were also invited to the launch of Debris Stevenson's first collection, Pigeon Party.   

It was a really fantastic day, and I was really pleased to be able to meet and chat with so many interesting and enthusiastic emerging poets - all gathered together under one roof!

During the day, we were given a tour around the facilities at the Roundhouse (It's pretty state-of-the-art, you guys!) and we all took part in a really useful writing workshop, hosted by Debris herself. It was a great class, and the prompts we were given totally lifted me out of my comfort zone. Debris has a really warm and inclusive teaching style, and the advice she gave during our Question and Answer session was incredibly useful too. 

There was also a panel discussion, featuring Bohdan Piasecki, Margaret Meyer, Joshua Idehen, and Niall O'Sullivan, which focused on the different career paths available for writers.

Sneaky photo of the panel discussion

There was some lively debate about the merits of conventional page publishing versus newer methods of exposure - like youtube videos, audio upload websites and webzines. But ultimately, the panel seemed to agree that a published collection gives legitimacy to a writer's career. It was all pretty interesting stuff.

Although I wasn't able to stay for the performances, I did manage to pick up a copy of Pigeon Party, and I can confirm that it contains some absolutely beautiful poetry! You should definitely get yourself a copy - and you can do so via the Waterstone's website

We also received a lovely goody bag, filled with exciting spoken word goodies!

Hashtag Swag

I really enjoyed the day and I hope to be able to keep in touch with the people I met. Maybe we'll be able to foster some new and exciting collaborations too! Watch this space! 

Also this week, the fantastic people at Mardibooks published my short story, Frank Smith and the Embarrassing Mix-Up, in their latest collection for YA Readers. The collection is called Hide It! and it features funny, fiery and fearless tales by loads of talented writers.

And at only £4.12 for the ebook, you'd be silly not to get yourself a copy! You can download it here. If you do get yourself a copy, please let me know what you think! 

Finally, I'll be heading up to Norfolk next week to review some theatre, with my favourite amateur dramatics society! The Watlington Players are performing Oh What a Lovely War and I can't wait to check it out! 

Tickets are still available but demand is high so, if you want to come along, take a look at their facebook page for booking details. See you there!

The Watlington Players ready to perform next week!

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