Five years ago I first dipped my toe publicly into writing and began this blog. The following year I decided to go to my first ever writing festival, Wexford Literary Festival. With trepidation I walked in its doors that first day convinced others could spot I was not a writer. After all, what exactly had I written? Who did I think I was, mixing with writers who had actually been published? So I sat quietly and listened and I admit hid a little, but loved every minute. I was hooked and Wexford became an annual fixture in my diary.
How different it was walking in this year. Even though I’ve still not finished my book, I know I’m a writer. In a way it was this very festival which has helped me understand and believe that.
From that very first year the many amazing authors I’ve listened to have inspired me and instead of thinking ‘not me’ I now think ‘why not me?’
This year the lineup of speakers included authors of short stories, crime and science fiction. What better way to spend a day than to sit listening as they spoke of their writing journey or gave us insights into how they write. In between sessions we had plenty time for chats or to sit and listen to new authors reading extracts from their books.
However, something else was going on in the background. If you looked carefully you might have noticed some of those present clutching small folders. If you’d taken the time to eavesdrop beside the tea’s and coffees you’d have heard those folder clutcher’s whisper to each other,
“Are you meeting someone today?”
They were the lucky ones. Those who had been selected to ‘meet the professionals’ one of whom was Nicola Barr from the Bent Agency, the other Paula Campbell from Poolbeg Press, two professionals you’d very much wish to meet.
I may or may not have been one of the chosen few who put their dreams on the table last Saturday. I may now know that Nicola Barr is a wonderful listener and I may well have left a very pleasant meeting with a better understanding of the words of W.B Yeats poem ‘Aedh Wishes For The Cloths Of Heaven,
I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
Thank you to Wexford Literary Festival and in particular an amazing lady, Carmel Harrington. It wasn’t enough that she was chairing this festival, or that she has a new book freshly launched called ‘A Thousand Roads Home,’ (her eighth book and I’m sure another best seller). She also had time to welcome those attending and give words of encouragement and kindness to those of us watching the clock tick towards their meeting. The day was amazing and I never wanted it to end.
And it didn’t. Come 5pm we only had time for a quick change and it was off to a ginterview with Liz Nugent. For those of you not living in Ireland she’s a very successful author of gripping reads such as ‘Unraveling Oliver,’ and her latest, ‘Skin Deep’. What’s a ginterview I hear you ask? It’s an interview with a side of gin in a tea cup. If I ever become famous I will insist on all my interviews being ginterviews.
The ginterview took place in a room in Enniscorthy castle. What a venue! With hundreds of tea lights flickering in the dim light and the assurance the castle has it’s very own poltergeist the scene was set. Carmel’s questions were far from typical and Liz Nugent’s responses most enjoyable. It was a very special finale to a lovely day.
The following morning I set off for home with a fire in my belly to remind me of the inspiring day I’d had and a splitting headache to remind me of the great night.
Well done to all who made the weekend happen. I’m looking forward to next year already.
And just a reminder…
Carmel Harringtons latest book is, ‘A Thousand Roads Home.’
Liz Nugent’s latest book is, ‘Skin Deep’
And my great buddy who kept me company on Saturday night, Andrea Mara’s latest book is, ‘One click’.
All of which I can highly recommend.
(This is not a sponsored post. I just really like their books and think many of you will too.)