Monday 21 September 2015

These Seven - book launch

These Seven - and Sheelagh Gallagher
On Saturday evening, Nottingham Waterstones was the scene for a rather unusual book launch - with SIX authors coming together to help promote the short-story collection These Seven.

The stories were commissioned by Nottingham City of Literature, as part of its bid to become a UNESCO city of literature. It's very much a 'home-grown' product; the six new stories are from authors living and writing in the city today, all members of Nottingham Writers Studio, the seventh from the late Alan Sillitoe, probably Nottingham's most famous writer, and the collection is published by Nottingham publisher Five Leaves

David Belbin
After complimentary drinks and nibbles, and a chance to chat to authors we knew and some of the other guests, the evening quickly got down to the serious stuff - readings from the stories.
John Harvey
Megan Taylor

Paula Rawsthorne
First up was David Belbin reading from Alan Sillitoe's story A Time to Keep, followed by Megan Taylor with Here We Are Again set in Nottingham's Old Market Square, John Harvey with Ask Me Now, a crime story, and Paula Rawsthorne with A Foreign Land, a topical tale about refugees - all read just enough to tempt me to read more. The next author up, Brick, faced a problem - his contribution, Simone the Stylite, is a graphic novel, so not the easiest of forms to read aloud, but he managed well. Alison Moore's Hardanger took us on a dysfunctional family holiday and in Shreya Sen Handley's Nimmi's Wall, a family find something odd at the bottom of their garden.
Afterwards, Sheelagh Gallagher from Bromley House Library in Nottingham talked about how the bid for City of Literature had come about, and of projects for extending reading and writing into all areas of the community from schools and libraries to women's groups, public spaces and prisons.

Shreya Sen Handley
Coming from Nottinghamshire, but having lived in Derby for over 30 years, we're always a little torn between the two cities. This time though, they aren't competing against each other so we're happy to back Nottingham.

Alison Moore

There was time afterwards to buy a copy of the book  - and, of course, get it signed by all six authors while further nibbles and drinks were available. 

Click on the links to read more about the bid for Nottingham to become a UNESCO city of literature, more about the authors themselves, Bromley House Library

Waterstones are very active in promoting authors and their books throughout the country and you can very easily search for what's happening near you through their website.

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