the writer is a lonely hunter

writing by Gail Aldwin and other authors

A splendid story slam in Shaftesbury

on July 24, 2012

I wrote an earlier post promoting the story slam in Shaftesbury here and I’m now delighted to share with you details of this great event.  Organised by  Jennifer Oliver and Jennifer Bell who run Storyslingers a creative writing group held at the Shaftesbury Arts Centre, the story slam offered the chance for writers to read their work to an audience and gain feedback.  Five writers put their names forward for the competitive element of the evening, and five others took the microphone to showcase their work.

The judging panel comprised Allie Spencer author of romantic comedy novels including Summer Loving and Summer Nights and myself (recently awarded first prize in the Winchester Writers’ Conference ‘Slim Volume, Small Edition’ competition).

Allie Spencer (left) and Gail Aldwin (right)

I was thrilled to be invited to judge the event and I’d love to see more story slams taking place across the county. Allie was a great person to deliberate with in finding the winner and runner-up, particularly as the standard of all the stories was very high. We finally agreed that James Broomfield’s story should win due to its extraordinary content (about a man trying to find his brotherhood in North Devon by experimenting with smoking beard trimmings).  Technically the writing was superb with a strong and unique voice.  Runner up came Andy Hamilton’s ‘Stage Fright’ a classic ugly duckling scenario told in a fresh way.

All the stories were read beautifully and there’s something very special about a writer reading their own work that brings a great intensity to the experience. General feedback noted the strong narrative voices, powerful imagery, brilliant endings (some with very clever twists) and the interesting journeys presented through all five stories.  Well done to all contestants:

  • James Broomfield
  • Robin Daglish
  • Mike Joslin
  • Beth Stewart
  • Keith Hart
  • Andy Hamilton

I should also mention the great job done by compere Dan Frisby and the musical interlude offered by The Wrongo Bongo Band.

The story slam was superbly organised, at a great venue and I very much hope that further story slams will follow this first open mic event.

4 responses to “A splendid story slam in Shaftesbury

  1. Sounds like it was fun.

  2. Thanks very much, Gail! Everyone I’ve spoken to has been really impressed and excited by the slam. You and Allie were fantastic judges, we really appreciate your input into making the evening so good. I’m sure more slams will follow, and it sounds like there might be other slams popping up around the West Country; excellent!
    (Haha, that man pulling a silly face behind Allie is my boyfriend. He’s always pulling silly faces. I didn’t notice him there when taking photos!)

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