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Short story busking - The Book Busk

I love a challenge and I want to push boundaries.

So, when the chance to busk short-stories was introduced as part of the Bristol Festival of Literature, I was so up for it I was suffering from vertigo.

With fellow Stokes Croft Writer, short-story ace and writing resource guru Mr Christopher Fielden, we shared a busking hour in Millennium Square in Bristol’s Harbourside. As you can see, we shared with Cary Grant too.

It was a sunny and warm October morning – made all the more sunny and warm for hearing the combined poetic talents of Chloe Jacquet, Sven Stears and Rowena Knight before us and Ana Salote and Melanie Branton to follow.

In our hour, Chris and I told about a dozen stories and one poem. We had the awesome sound of Chris saying ‘tickly wickly woo’ and telling his brilliant stories as brilliantly as ever. We had our Stokes Croft banner and I had brought a few props to help me be an Alien and be heart-broken and to be Charlie, communicating through his kazoo!

It was liberating and exciting and brilliantly transmitted across the square by a magic amp. It was, to be honest, short of people stopping to listen but in that, it was instructive (for the future) and liberating. Imagine telling your most heartfelt stories to a whole city – it was like broadcasting to Bristol and it was a buzz. A huge buzz.

What did we learn? You need footfall and even with that, you need to give the passing public of innocent bystanders a reason to stop and listen.

And it’s a buzz. A huge buzz. And I love a challenge…so I want to do it again!!!

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