A new literary initiative aimed at showcasing the very best of the North West’s writing talent is proving to be a real page-turner.
The Lancaster-based North West Literary Salon aims to bring established and emerging writers from the region together with the public for evenings of storytelling and conversation.
The launch event, which featured Lancaster authors Jenn Ashworth and Carys Bray, proved a sell-out success. And the Salon is now set to become a regular monthly feature in Lancaster.
The second evening will take place on Friday, June 5, at Waterstones in King Street and will feature two more promising North West-based writers.
The North West Literary Salon is the brainchild of Yvonne Battle-Felton, creative writing PhD Candidate and Associate Lecturer at Lancaster University, and Dr Naomi Kruger, who also teaches creative writing at the campus.
Yvonne said: “We are delighted with the response to the North West Literary Salon. The launch event was incredibly well-received and the feedback we have had has been tremendously positive. The audience was engaged, the writers were superb and the music, atmosphere and energy were delightful. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed it and they want to come back for more.
“What was also very pleasing was the wide diversity of people who came along to the evening.”
Dr Kruger added: “When we talk about a literary salon, most people have different ideas about what we mean. To some it is writers reading drafts of their own work, to others it is readers reading someone else’s work. To us, it’s neither.
“Instead it is living authors telling stories and dramatically reading their work to engage an audience, followed by a question and answer session. The aim is to showcase all the exciting writing talent that exists and is emerging from across the North West.”
The salon will take place on the first Friday of every month and the June event, which is free and runs from 7-8pm, will feature writers Carys Davies and Claire Dean.
Carys is the author of two collections of short stories, ‘Some New Ambush’ and ‘The Redemption of Galen Pike’. Her stories have been widely anthologised and broadcast on BBC Radio Four.
They have also won the Society of Authors’ Olive Cook Award, the Royal Society of Literature’s V S Pritchett Prize and a Northern Writers’ Award.
Her new collection, ‘The Redemption of Galen Pike’, was shortlisted for the 2015 Wales Book of the Year Fiction Prize and has been long-listed for the 2015 Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize.
Born in Wales, she grew up in the Midlands and now lives in Lancaster.
Claire Dean’s short stories have been widely published and are featured in a number of publications, including ‘The Best British Short Stories’.
‘The Museum of Shadows and Reflections’, an illustrated collection of Claire’s fairytales, will be published by Unsettling Wonder later this year.
To book tickets for the event, please visit www.eventbrite.co.uk