Monday 4 June 2012

Reflections on The Greenacre Mini Literary Festival

Andrew Bradford discussing his book
Live Eels and Grand Pianos
The first Greenacre Writers Mini Literary Festival on 26th May 2012, was a great success. We were treated to a mix of literary styles which entertained and educated us. The talks and readings from five authors, Paolo Hewitt, Alex Wheatle, Andrew Bradford, Emily Benet and Lane Ashfeldt, along with a selection of nine readings from members of Greenacre Writers varied from serious to light-hearted, raising tears and smiles along the way. We had planned a varied programme but found that themes of belonging, difference and change linked the readings strengthening my core belief that whatever our age, race, culture, religion, social class, ability - whatever demographic one chooses - we all have far more similarities than differences.

Paolo Hewitt relaxing after his opening talk
listening to fellow guests.

Each writer brings unique life experiences and ideals to their writing and whether writing directly from life, as several of us did, or simply using fleeting experiences and observations on which to base a story, we all write about what matters to us. Writing can reach readers of differing attitudes and beliefs, and in so doing can help break down the barriers than often divide society. Some of the readings we heard may well have made us question our own attitudes. Writing should make us think but it should also entertain and I believe our afternoon of readings succeeded on both counts. The comments below say it all.


Alex Wheatle at the book signing session.
‘Many thanks for the mini-lit festival …I think it was very successful. I particularly enjoyed the readings from Alex Wheatle.’ Ruth

‘I was most impressed with Paolo Hewitt - that's writing! And Emily Benet's other name should be Miss Fizzy - great fun. And I liked Anna Meryt’s poems, ‘Shoes’ and ‘Bulawayo‘. I'd never attended that type of event before, but can see the attraction. Roll on your second event!’ Lynn

‘The readers from Greenacre were full of surprises… both Judith and I were really interested in the work we heard and talked about it. The guest authors were amazing, the Brixton Bard (Alex Wheatle) had me on the edge of my seat.’ Josie

Here's to next year! For both of us, the mix of readings was stimulating and entertaining. Now looking forward to reading the books I was tempted to buy. . .’ June

Emily Benet signs her book.
‘Thank you so much for organising an excellent event. I loved the format, loved the readings and wouldn't change a thing.’ Wendy

‘What a pleasure to hear all (and I mean ALL) the writers reading their short stories, flash fiction, poetry and excerpts. Well done organisers and roll on the next Greenacres Literary Festival (forget the mini bit) - let it grow big. I thoroughly enjoyed it - thank you.’ Liz

‘Indeed it was an inspiring afternoon. Feedback from my friends confirms their enjoyment and appreciation of a professionally run event.’ Keith

We would like to extend our thanks to our brilliant authors, the members of Greenacre Writers and, of course, our audience for making the day one to remember. What a foundation on which to build next year's event.