It seems like a long time ago now, but last week I was performing and enjoying myself at the Edinburgh International Book Festival as part of their Story Shop program. Story Shop aims to provide a showcase for local emerging writers with free public readings every day of the festival, in the fabulous Spiegeltent. It was a gig I’d been excited about since I first got word, some months ago, that my submission to them had been successful.
The whole thing was organised and compered by the irrepressible Peggy Hughes from the UNESCO City of Literature organisation, and she really did work tirelessly in the build up to the event and on the day. I am immensely grateful for her support.
On a personal level, it was a nerve-racking gig to start with. Definitely the biggest audience I’ve read to; over 100 people were there, some to see me, others just hanging about. I had family coming through from both Glasgow and Fife. It was the first time my dad had seen me performing. There was even a delegation of teachers from my old school, Glenrothes High, there to cheer and heckle. Dotted around were various pals and writers from university, as well as some twitter chums. It was pretty cool to see so many friendly faces.
I managed to get through the reading without fainting or vomiting, which is always my first barometer of success. Afterwards, I made liberal use of my author’s pass to the yurt, with its free sandwiches, tea, noodles, whisky and wine. So much wine. And so many famous folk in there I didn’t know where to look sometimes. It was an absolute blast, and it’s only made me more determined to write more, write better, and get invited back to do something at the festival next year.