What’s your connection with Nottingham and its written and spoken words?
Words have welded me to Nottingham since I arrived here in my old red Peugeot in 1997. I came to Nottingham after getting a copywriter job in advertising, so it’s likely you might have heard some of my writing without knowing it! After a few years of doing that, I had a story that kept coming back to haunt me, so I took a deep breath, left my old job and began writing fiction. Shortly after that, I heard about Nottingham Writers Studio, and sent off my application – one of my smarter decisions. Through meeting other writers at the Studio and events members were involved in, I’ve met, talked to and been inspired by brilliant Nottingham writers who’ve been kind enough to support and encourage me to keep doing the work of telling my story. Without them, I’d still be trying to get chapter one right of that first book, rather than working to finish my third.
What do you love about Nottingham and its creative scene right now?
I love the sheer variety of talent and passion for supporting creativity we have in Nottingham at the moment. Wherever you look in the city there are people sharing that enthusiasm week in week out, from The Mouthy Poets, to Broadway Book Club, to emerging comic, music and book stores like Five Leaves, to the programmes celebrating Nottingham’s creativity on Notts TV – I can only see it growing. I joined over a hundred readers in the Dawn of the Unread mass read recently – it was fantastic to see how many people were willing to say how important stories were to them and how important it is to share that passion. I was involved in promoting last year’s Nottingham Festival of Words, and was amazed by how much talent is here in the city, working away to bring amazing new things for Nottingham audiences to experience. I’m looking forward to seeing more of that when the festival launches later this year.
How would you describe Nottingham to a visitor coming to the Festival of Words?
Nottingham is born from stories of rebellion, beginning with Robin Hood’s literary legacy, and continuing through rebel writers, rebel printers, rebel booksellers, and since Dawn of the Unread’s flashmob event, rebel readers! If you want more from your words, so do we - we’re a city made of stories. All you have to do is come, look, listen and get involved- you won’t regret it.