It ain’t Chicago but it’s ‘My kind of town’
A new town, a new writing competition, a new event, a new venue, a new format and a new champion of the world. All on a Friday night...in January…in Swindon. Yes Swindon, I tell you.
The Squat Pen Rests Writing Competition came to a lovely conclusion with the final on Friday 26th January. Safely ensconced in The Wyvern Theatre, what looked like around a hundred people braved Winter’s chill and tropical temperatures to be welcomed by Squat Pen supremo Stephen Tuffin and his team of organising people, sound people, film people and family.
I was one of the six finalists who got to share their stories to a warm and appreciative audience – life doesn’t get any better than that. I read The Diary, which was fun and nostalgic as it was the first story I ever read to an audience (in January 2014). I was nervous in the minutes beforehand, but pleased with the performance – Cornish female lilt and all!
Fellow finalists were of the highest quality – in content and delivery:
Christopher Fielden – The Keith of Death
Pippa Gladhill – In Between Dog
Jacci Gooding – The Raven
Nicolas Ridley – Always
Elaine Miles – The Last Hurrah
We were all delighted to come away with Squat Pen Rests mugs (I must tell you about the ribbon) and to applaud Nicolas as the worthy-winner and ‘champion of the world’. The decision was made via audience vote no less – a format I’d not come across before and a master-stroke of cleverness.
It was a super night – brilliantly organised, well run and a huge amount of fun. If you get the chance to submit in future or to attend – go along. I’ll be there, whether a finalist or not. It’s my kind of night...in my kind of town.
What? The ribbon?
No, I won’t tell you. I might yet wear them in my hair.