Monday, July 17, 2017

Dear Diary, a Week in Words

Dear Diary, 

A few months ago, I completed my Creative Writing PhD. During my PhD I researched and applied for jobs. When I graduated, I researched and applied for jobs. Post-PhD doesn’t look quite how I planned. In some ways it’s better, in others it’s not.

The Good News
I’m launching a literary arts organization. During my degree my friend Naomi and I created live literature events where we built communities around stories. Stories at the Storey is a true story open mic night where people share their true stories around a theme. Each month people share pieces of their lives and it’s pretty close to magical. We also created North West Literary Salon, a monthly event where writers read to us. The readings are followed by music, questions, food and really good conversations. Then, because we needed even more stories, we created a writers’ development tool where actors bring new writing to life. Now, with Naomi’s help and with a growing board of influencers, I am launching an arts organization. I want to provide platforms for diversity. I want to champion stories from all corners of the world, ethnicities, religions, classes and experience. Mostly, I want to hear well-told stories.

Today, we are launching a Patreon fundraising campaign. I’ll admit I am late to the idea of receiving though not to the process of giving. I donate time and money to causes I believe in. I’m just not used to asking for support in return. But if I can ask the Arts Council for money, I should be able to ask my supporters as well. So, we’re giving it a try. If you can contribute to our fundraising, please do. We have lots of rewards planned.

Writing News
The last few weeks have been a writing whirlwind. I won a Northern Writers’ Award for fiction (2017) to continue work on my historically influenced novel Remembered. The ceremony was lovely. It was a great opportunity to meet amazing writers and hear a bit about their work. I was also commended for the Faber Andlyn BAME (FAB) Prize (2017).  For this prize I submitted, So Your Mom is a Superhero, a short story that I plan to craft into a graphic novel. I wasn’t able to make it to the award ceremony. I hope to make it to the next one.

In other writing news, I will be working with The Elise Dillsworth Agency. In Elise I have found the supportive writer/agent relationship that I hoped to find. She is enthusiastic, supportive, and proactive. I’m looking forward to a rewarding experience for both of us.

So What’s Next?
Well, I’m still writing. This weekend I finished and submitted a short story and wrote two scenes of two separate dramas I would like to see performed. I will be editing my novel this week. I will also be looking for collaborations and writing opportunities, writing funding applications, and creating and pursuing dreams. Have an opportunity to share? Let me know.

I’m looking forward to a great week!

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