Saturday 15 June 2019

Worcestershire LitFest and Fringe 
Since 2014, I have been submitting to Worcestershire LitFest's Flash Fiction competition and each year I have been fortunate to have pieces published in the annual anthology launched every November. This year was the first time I'd been to the opening of the festival because one of my entries had been placed second. I was delighted and went along to read it out. The official launch took place in The Angel Centre in Worcester. The results of the Young Writers' competition were given first and it was lovely to hear three talented winners from each category stand on the stage to read out their stories. 

It was the turn of the flash fiction winners next. I went up to receive my cash prize and read out 'The Girl in the Looking Glass'. Although speaking in public and reading aloud had been a large part of my job, I always feel apprehensive when speaking into a mike. It was soon over and the audience was generous in its applause at the end.

At last I could relax and very much enjoyed the main part of the afternoon which was to find the 2019-20 Worcestershire Poet Laureate. We heard poems from the three finalists and then in turn they were asked what they would do over the coming year if chosen. The winner was Dr Charley Barnes. Her role will be to act as an ambassador for poetry in Worcestershire and promote poetry as an art form and genre of writing. She is quoted as saying she's "looking forward to working with schools and universities alike to see what exciting projects we can conjure up." Congratulations to her!

I've been following festival events taking place in Worcester throughout the week on social media and wish I lived closer to have been able to attend them. Does your area hold its own literary festival? I'd love to hear about the events you have attended. 

I shall be missing an event organised by Griffin Books as part of the Penarth Literature Festival. There is a Literary Lunch with Victoria Hislop who will be talking about her latest novel, 'Those Who are Loved' and as a fan of hers and of books set in Greece, I would definitely have booked to go. I'm off on holiday to Kefalonia on Tuesday and am looking forward to finding out more about the island where 'Captain Corelli's Mandolin' was set. I apologise in advance if I'm not able to respond to your comments as quickly as I'd like as I'm not sure what the wi-fi will be like.

Thank you for reading. You may also follow me on Twitter @JanBayLit and on my Jan Baynham Writer Facebook page.