What a fun evening! After some serious planning, we finally premiered The Working Title Six fiction showcase at our favorite local bookstore, Watchung Booksellers. It was a chance for everyone in my writing group to share what they’ve been working on, not just with each other, but with a broader audience — something that means a lot to all of us. We had food, fun, and fiction on the agenda — certainly an appealing brew!
Mystery solved: we had no idea who would show up beyond our families and friends, but we had a healthy turnout for a balmy spring evening, which certainly gave us all a boost and ramped up our performances.
It was great to have Alex, David, and my sister Steph in the audience smiling at me. And it was also wonderful to meet some of the friends and family of my writing buddies, since we’ve all become so close.
Thinking about the event, I realized that one of the things I love most about my group is the commitment everyone shows, both to improving their own craft and to supporting each other. Once we all agreed to a public group reading, everyone took it seriously. We promoted it, made our selections carefully, met to rehearse, and all pitched in to make it run smoothly.
Here are a few lessons learned that might be helpful for anyone considering an evening of readings: 1) Get the word out: let people know via local news outlets about what you’re doing; 2) Spice it up with diverse selections that showcase the different voices in your group; 3) Stage your speakers so that you pace the evening with your audience’s enjoyment in mind; 4) Add personal notes to each speaker’s intro; and 5) Choose a great MC who can ad lib and weave the whole evening together. And write on!