Sunday 7 December 2014

In Celebration of Short Stories (Bridge House and CafeLit)

They say writing can be a lonely journey, and certainly one often paved with rejections and hardship. So when you do have successes then you must celebrate.

And when groups of writers come together it's a wonderful thing.

Before I ever worked alongside Gill at Bridge House, my first publishing success came in 2008 when my story Jigsaw was published in the first Bridge House collection Making Changes and so began my personal journey. And the journeys of many now successful writers.

The first reading I gave was with the other writers celebrating its launch in London and all those years and successes later (for us all, not just myself) we were back at the same venue on Saturday, the Theodore Bullfrog Pub, celebrating the publication of the latest anthology Light in the Dark, a return to the advent idea of 24 stories, one a day in the countdown to Christmas; as well as the latest CafeLit title -- both projects being founded by Gill James.

We tried to make the event as informal as possible this time with a meet 'n' greet by our lovely intern Amelia, free drink and mingle that turned into an exchange of marketing ideas/writing tips speed date session to ensure that everyone mingled.

Gill and I then said a few words while we waited for our buffet lunch to be served; explaining how Bridge House was born and our intentions. We did get a little overzealous with the number of titles when we first started out and hence lost money! Now we are on one title a year and hope to repeat the event like this for all Bridge House, CafeLit and short story writers to come together.

After lunch we had readings from some of the authors, proving just how much talent there is to celebrate and we ended with a short Q & A.

We also asked people to bring along books they were published in for the table and at the end of the evening we all took a different one home!

For me the event was special because it was a chance to all be together, to finally put faces to many names I have known only as virtual people, Twitter, Facebook etc. Nice to talk to the person behind the avatar!

Gill and I ended our day with our Christmas meal. The only form of wage we ever take for all our work is just that one meal a year as we toast another title and that we're still here. Since I have now moved, instead of Chester, we had it in London -- this is when we got to digest the lovely day and plan the direction for next year, do we want a theme this time, or open again. But one thing's for certain, no competition with fees that pay for the books. We think too many do that and it's just a way of making money. So there might only be one book a year and we might just about break even in sales, but you get published and we get to celebrate and no one is ripped off!

So thanks so much to all those who came to the party and we hope to see some of you there again next year!

I will leave you with the photo gallery!

Dr Gill James (Founder of Bridge House and CafeLit)

Fabian Acker reading

Sarah Evans reading

Sarah Hegarty (Bridge House Winner 2013, Something Hidden)

Catrin Kean reading

Paula Readman reading

Helen Shay with her performance poetry

David Wilson reading

Sorry if some of the photos are a little blurred, me and my iPhone! Doing my best!

I had a wonderful time and I hope everyone else did too!

Roll on 2015!


Anonymous said...

Thank you to Gill and Debz for a wonderful day. Russell, Ana, Joan and I had a wonderful time. Ana said she thought she might feel a little left out of it all because she wasn't a writer and was delighted when so many people came over to speak to her. I said even though she isn't a writer she's an avid reader and can still talk about book. Looks like I shall be sending in more submissions because Ana is looking forward to coming to the next book launch already. Thank you once again!

Debz Hobbs-Wyatt said...

Thanks Paula and so glad you all enjoyed it!

Ana Coelho said...

Lol was only cheking if the photo I took of you was ok. :-(

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