Had a bit of a Victor Meldrew moment this week. (Script-wise not in sentiment, that is.)
Me: “I don’t believe it.”
“I don’t believe it!”
“Er; You’ve said that….”
In my hand a brown envelope containing not a bill, not a tax form, not a pack of complex paperwork relevant to recent family traumas ( very sadly we get a lot of those) but a wonderful, delicious and completely unexpected surprise.
“We got the Arts Council Grant!”
*dances around room very, very unlike Victor Meldrew much to the amusement of the Husband*
Oh lovely blog followers, I cannot tell you how happy I am.
Last year I piloted a new Creative Writing Workshop for aspiring short story writers. Having had dozens of short stories published over the last decade, I wanted to share all that I had learned along the way. I get a bit soap boxy about short stories as regular readers will know. Whether you are writing commercial stories for the magazine market as I do regularly or stunning vignettes a la Paul Lasdun ( a favourite contemporary short story writer of mine), I consider them the most wonderful platform for both inspiration and experimentation.
As I tell all my students, there are so many superb opportunities. Competitions to enter such as The Bridport Prize and The National Short Story Award. And even if publication or competitions are not your motivation – there is the tremendous sense of achievement along with inevitable growth as a writer.
Anyway; I’m wittering. Sorry.
The fact is the new workshop went down a storm and me, being me, I got a bit ambitious. Why not try to take this same workshop on a tour, I thought? To reach more people? Help grow their confidence? And hang on a minute, Teresa. Why not line it up alongside my other soap box….helping to promote libraries which we all know are having such a very tricky time in this difficult financial landscape. Yes. Why not try to make this a Writers’ Workshop tour of libraries and to ensure fairness and open accessibility, find a way to make the workshop places FREE.
I put my thinking cap on. I did some research. I decided that with my TV and writing profile, I just might stand a chance for a small grant from Arts Council England to make all this happen. And so to my delight, the brown envelope arrived, confirming a "YES" – which means we can offer 100 FREE places at 10 workshops across Devon during September and October 2014.
We are just working out the final timetable at the moment. As soon as that’s agreed, I will post how aspiring writers can apply for a place.
And the lovely little PS is it just might be possible to do the same for libraries in Cornwall for 2015. Crossed fingers…and watch this space.
For now – here are the details on the Devon library tour .
Thank you, thank you - Arts council England. A distinct hop and a skip in my step today.
Teresa Driscoll - journalist, author, mother of two and lover of great coffee.