I don’t often go to festivals, let alone literary ones. I don’t know about many, and the few I do know of are really far off into the future. However this past weekend saw Ali and I, along with our friend travel down from Surrey into the heart of the east end for the Write Ideas Festival.
It was an afternoon jam packed with lectures, talks and Q/As. We each had our notepads ready, which were put to good use writing down notes from each session and also from the creative writing sessions we had briefly. The festival location which appeared to be a giant library in the middle of Whitechapel, still grey and dark we headed in.
Our first session of the afternoon was with Melanie Whipman, who was a published author and a lecturer at a University. The first 10-15 minutes was her narrating a chapter out of her recent book the Llama Sutra, while I didn’t get a good look at the book, it was meant to be a anthology of stories. The piece she narrated was a poignant piece, very character driven and a nice contrast to the types of stories i write which are generally plot driven. It was interesting narration, filled with ups and downs, the demons that plague the human physique and the trials a person goes through.
The next part of the session, perhaps 30 minutes was about how to create a character that was interesting. Slowly over the next 30 minutes with questions the Melanie asked we built up a character profile, by creating something they liked, placing them in a situation that negatively affected them to see how they would react. It was all an interesting experience, a new way to write and create a character, a useful exercise. Usually my process of finding out about my characters are usually a by product of my actually writing the characters and they grow to life before me organically. This new method was interesting, and goes along with my motive of this years NaNo, which is to try and plot as much as I can.
The last 10 minutes was filled with a Q/A, which would be one of the common things between all the sessions. Found a few things interesting about Melanie, her writing process, routine on writing and how she got ideas. Lots of brilliant questions from the audience, we were all scribbling away when Melanie offered words of wisdom.
The session ended, we filled in some forms, each session would have these and the attendants stated they received funding from the local authority to do the festival because of our feedback.
After we left we went to the cafe before our next session, the cafe wasn’t anything great. The line was long, few staff members. The milkshake I bought was nice, allowed me to recharge going into our next session.
It was the one I was most interested about. Social Media,Blogging and Vlogging by Simon Savidge. He is a very popular WordPress blogger and vlogger on YouTube., I didn’t know much about him before signing up for his session, he is a book blogger. I didn’t know what to expect coming into the session, however Simon was a wealth of information. The entire session comprised of a massive Q/A session, Simon was taking and answering lots of complicated questions on Social Media.
Now I am a relatively new blogger, I created my account in January 2016 but it wasn’t until September that I am actively blogging. I am still trying to find my feet, my website will like morph as I learn more about WordPress and how to use it properly. I have watched YouTube videos on how to work with WordPress, and read articles. However sometimes that is just not enough, so I was looking forward to seeing what type of information Simon had to offer.
My main issue with blogging is about Copyright, how does it work with us bloggers. Can we use copyright images or not. I have seen many blogs that use images, and I don’t feel like they may have asked permission to use them, the question I asked Simon was about and he answered it fully. We bloggers live in the gray area, we can get sued for using copyright images. However as Simon expertise laid within he book industry he did state we could use book covers, perhaps taking our own photo of the cover and uploading it onto WordPress. This is the gray area, however I may be wrong in what I have heard so I will be doing more research on the subject.
Going forward the rest of the session was a straight up Q/A, many people asked great questions which Simon answers. He provided insight into his own history, how he got started and helpful tips he could offer us. I have felt I have more of a grounding for my Blog now, I will of course endeavor to increase my knowledge of the platform. After the session was over we did ask Simon a few more questions about blogging numbers, when to move onto different platforms.
Onto our next session was with Roddy Slorach, and his session on A Very Capitalist Condition: A History and Politic of Disability. This session was very interesting, while I didn’t take many notes. I was happy to listen to Roddy talk about the situation in our modern world in regards to people with disabilities and what we as a society are doing to combat it. Some of our techniques are not affective, as highlighted by Roddy when he discusses what the UN decreed about the UK in regards to people with disabilities. Now I do not know much about the current situation, however it had given food for thought, I will try to learn more about the current situation.
Our last session of the day was with Sarah Wise and the The Fairyland of Horror: A Shoreditch slum, and the lies that were told about it. A very striking title, I guess that was why we picked it. I initially thought the session would be about the history of the Shoreditch area, and its change into a very gentrified area. She was a very studied person, spending many hours and years looking at various pieces of history. Her presentation was on how the old Shoreditch “Nickle” was transformed from one of the worst slums in London to a more respectable area around the 1900s. It feels like Shoreditch has gone through many regeneration’s, currently it is a very up market area with lots of bars and clubs.
Overall the day was very fun, interesting and informative. While it was a rainy day it was still a good day out, learning a lot more about obscure and not so obscure subjects, buying books and other items. The day was general wet, however heading was a less wet experience on the Underground. Literary Festivals are always very fun, bringing out people from all walks of life.
Anyway I think I will end it here, I look forward to going to many other festivals in the future. 🙂