It was Saturday 13 October. What a wordy day we had, what a wonderful day we had. Here are some of the highlights from our 26 event, Wordstock (in 62 words) with thanks to roving reporters Paul Murphy and Malcolm Blythe, Free the Word for curating 26 tips for healthy writing from the day, and Elise, Ezri and Sarah for organising a day of food for the soul and stomach.
How to hold the room?
Actor Sharon Duce on public speaking
Like many things – writing, cooking, sex, life – we learn a subtle mix of strategy and tactics:
Be aware of your body
Stand up straight
Props – both kinds – are useful
Pause. Breathe. You’ll know when it’s right
Use gesture. Involve your audience
Too clever: I look like a prick
Too lowbrow: I’m clearly a dunce
So mine’s in a paper bag
Literary scone fight
Rabble of writers squabbling for texts
Fourth Year disco
Poor Chris Cleave
Off the shelf, but on it
Someone should take him home
I can’t come to bed somebody is wrong on the Internet!
Livewire Nancy bounces in for masterclass in online networking and free news content: print journalist; teeth cut in London arts scene; nights spent monitoring online content for the Guardian; plugged 24/7 into the national culture zeitgeist; aggregates, curates, debates; looks beyond the fourth wall to real experts outside. Seeks quality culture blogging from 26ers. “World is suddener than we fancy it.*”
Chair Martin Lee. Panel: Gordon Kerr; Anne Aylor; Cassie Metcalf-Slovo; John Mitchinson
Publishing is a minefield: the masters know the game is up but the new rule book remains unwritten; digital = quality content; writer disdain flourishes still; going solo, crowd sourcing viable; design quality, craftsmanship non-negotiable. The printed book will live on as treasured objects. This writer, gasping for publication, remains short of breath and disorientated and will continue to tread carefully over the terrain.
And finally… a word from the organisers
Thanks to everyone who brought Wordstock into being. You created a feast, you got technical, you shepherded crowds. You prepared workshops and talks, you aired your ideas, you inspired. You turned up on a Saturday morning in autumn when you could have stayed in bed. You liked and you shared. Thank you from the organisers: Sarah McCartney, Ezri Carlebach and Elise Valmorbida.