A week ago, on the 12th November, the Huddersfield Literature Festival – of which I am a committee member – had a preview event with author Joanne Harris. During the evening activity, Joanne started off one of her #StoryTime narratives that she often posts on Twitter. This #HLFStoryTime was then continued by participants attending the event, with small groups crafting each line and posting them on Twitter.
Unfortunately, I was sick and couldn’t attend the actual event. However, because it was also taking place live on social media I could still take part and follow the story. If you happen to follow me on Twitter you may very well have seen my re-tweeting of said #HLFStoryTime feed.
[If you want to read the full #HLFStoryTime, I’ve put together all the relevant tweets here: HLF2013 Twitter Story.]
What I loved about the event was both the participatory atmosphere and the immediacy of the creation. It wasn’t just an author sharing a technique or an experience, it was an event that inspired people to get involved, to write themselves and create a new form of literature using experimental media. While I wasn’t physically there, I could still enjoy the key activity and for an hour and a half I was merrily reading and re-tweeting a story that was taking shape live on the internet.
It marked the start of the publicity for the Huddersfield Literature Festival that is taking place between 6th and 16th March 2014. The day after the preview event we were excited to announce that the Festival will be host to the first ever Polari Literary Salon event held north of Watford. We also confirmed that Kate Adie will be attending as one of our ‘In Conversation With…’ events.
[For more information or to book tickets for events, check out the website: http://www.litfest.org.uk/]
I’m really pleased I’m offering my time and expertise to support the Literature Festival because I feel like I’m a part of it; even though I haven’t directly organised any of the events myself, being on the committee, lending advice and ideas where possible, is a fascinating and rewarding experience. I’ve met some really great people who are passionate about expanding the influence of literature and encouraging as many people as possible – from a variety of backgrounds – to get involved and appreciate the wealth of literature and the positive effects reading can have on the individual. And, while it may take some time away from my actual novel-writing pursuits, it has a real, physical output that I can stand up and say – I was a part of that.