Ten years ago, a new Nottingham author got in touch to say she’d like to do a reading/signing at Waterstones; could we help her make it happen?
A decade later, we’re still doing those author readings/signings. It grew from that one weeknight that had been shifted at the last minute and included three authors, to last year, where we had 30 authors in attendence and were worried about the room’s capacity because the audience was so big.
Keeping an event going year after year is tough; how do you reach new people? Will people come back? How do you keep it interesting and fun?
You lean on the authors, that’s how.
You ask about their new books. You send them copious amounts of emails asking them to share the event everywhere they can. You bully them into blogging, into giving you more words, and you remind them that this is fun.
And it is.
There’s something magical about looking back over the last decade and knowing how many readers we’ve met. How many books have been signed, how many readings have been read. How many people have come to us and said how important the event is to them, to know there’s a fun, friendly space where Queer characters are the focus, not the sideline. There’s been so much laughter, so many hugs, so many people who come year after year and have become part of the family. We’ve had the Saturday after party at various locations, but the Sunday has always been at the New Foresters, the oldest and only lesbian owned pub in Nottingham. And she does great barbeque as we sit around laughing and relaxing at the end of a wonderful weekend.
Thirteen authors join us this year, and it might be a little more low key than last year. But there will be words, and laughter, and hugs, and the knowledge that our lives, our loves, our families, our worlds, are being created on the page. This beautiful literary community is here; join us, and know you’re not alone.