Sunday 5 July 2020

Anne Goodwin is Becoming Someone

Anne Goodwin reads from Becoming Someone
Mansfield author Anne Goodwin loves meeting readers at summer book fairs, book clubs and bookshop signing sessions, but this year’s pandemic has put live events on hold. So she turned to social media, posting readings on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, her website and blog. But she hadn’t considered virtual festivals until a fellow volunteer from the Peak District National Park got in touch. Before long, Anne had a slot in the prestigious Buxton Festival Fringe, one of the country’s largest open access arts festivals.

Anne’s drop-in online session is on the theme of identity and fiction and runs throughout the Festival from 1st to 19th July. It includes readings from her short story collection, Becoming Someone, and a literary quiz. “People can listen at their leisure,” said Anne, “or challenge friends and family to identify the quotations from classical and contemporary novels in my quiz. I’m particularly excited about the third strand of my event when I’m hosting my first ever live virtual book group on 16th July.”

But Anne didn’t stop there. “Planning my session for the Fringe changed my mind about the cancellation of large gatherings,” said Anne. “I realised it opened new doors as it closed others. Like many authors, I have a network of fellow writers from around the world I’m unlikely to ever meet face-to-face. Covid provided the opportunity to invite someone to work with me here in the East Midlands.”

With less than a week until the start of the Festival on 1st July, Anne contacted a colleague in Michigan USA. Charli Mills has built an international community of writers to craft weekly flash fiction in response to a prompt posted online. “As an experienced workshop leader and advocate for literary art, I knew Charli had the skills and can-do attitude to rise to the challenge,” said Anne. “But it’s uncharted territory for both of us. Although familiar with each other’s writing, we’ve never co-hosted a live event.”

Their event, The art of the 99-word story, consists of an online tutorial and an invitation to join a Zoom get-together to celebrate the results at 5pm on 17th July. It’s free to take part and suitable for both experienced writers and those who have never written creatively before. “Anyone can write 99-word stories,” says Charli. “Go where the prompt leads! You can write in any genre, any style. It can be funny, sad, romantic, or weird.”

Both of these events can be accessed online throughout the Fringe from 1st to 19th July 2020. The virtual book group takes place on 16th July and the flash fiction readings on 17th July. You can register for these sessions up to the day before.

Buxton Fringe

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