In my last post, I hinted at the reading format but then never really expounded on it. I decided to take things in stages; call it taking pity on our readership.
So here’s the thing: the reading will be more along the lines of bringing our current “online” format outside of the digital world and into the real one. To that effect, it’ll be more of a writer’s forum where readings will just be one part of the overall experience.
The program for the reading in general stands thus: not only will writers be allowed to present their work, but also receive feedback on it (much along the lines of what we do now. However, they’re also free to just read their stuff. To just be heard, so to speak. We like to think we cater for everyone). The audience will then participate in a Q & A session with the writer, asking questions about his/her work to get an idea of where the writer was coming from. We will ask all readers to send in their material beforehand, so we can make copies of their work and distribute it to the audience ahead of their reading, most particularly useful to those who want to receive critique on their work; it’s always easier to comment on something that’s in your hands.
Unlike most readings with people standing before a microphone, looking down at the audience’s uplifted faces, we’ll retain the atmosphere of the ‘Lounge with people sitting informally in a circle. A nice, laid back environment. Peers getting together in an attempt to improve and encourage each other. Writers will be encouraged to introduce themselves before beginning, on three principal points: who they are, what kind of stuff they write and how they seek inspiration, and specifically, how they sought inspiration for this particular work. They will be told to expound on these points in advance.
At the end of the event, we’ll introduce a group activity which could take place as writers interpreting each others’ work (we all know how everyone interprets a work in different and varying ways, often insightful and helpful to the author in question), or dissecting an all time favorite (poem, short story, book, etc). These are just some examples. We will also present them with a sign up form, for the next event, to gauge who will be participating the next time around. Of course we’ll give out the dates and venues of the next reading.
Another thing we’re aiming at is to have the reading at a different venue each time (book store, cafes, any outdoor location, etc) and depending on how successful we are, bring in a few local (literary) celebrities now and again.
So what do you think? Do you agree or disagree with the plan we’ve chalked out?