Books Born in Hastings
Hastings Council Chamber, Saturday 8th October: the mayor and her entourage emerge from the Town Hall into Queens Road,
the piper strikes up a tune, a cadet steps out onto the Town Hall balcony
to raise the Gonfalon, indicating the opening of Hastings Week, a
week-long celebration of all the things Hastings likes about Hastings.
First off the starting blocks, opening even before
the cadet is back from the balcony, is 'Books Born in Hastings', an
exhibition of writing, illustrating and the many and various forms of
reading, writing and publishing that go on in the town, including the
prize-giving for Earlyworks Press's annual Hastings-themed competition.
This year's competition was called
Stories of St Leonards
The £100 first prize went to
The runners up were
all of whom received bags of books, donated by
Waterstone's and Earlyworks Press. The top twenty entrants will be invited
to submit work for Earlyworks Press's next Hastings anthology.
The event included the launch of Hastings Writers'
Group's new anthology, 'Ghostwriters'; a new novel by local author Monica
Tracey, 'Left of the Moon'; a representative from Hastings branch of
Waterstone's, come to talk
about new ideas for 2011/12 for local booklovers; illustrators Ian Ellery
and Cathy Simpson; artists Katherine Reekie and Laetitia Yhap, whose work
features in the new Hastings Modern Art Beach Book, to be launched at
Waterstone's in November; the Old Hastings Preservation Society, with a
selection of local information and history books; Tales of a Wealden Childhood by Dr
children's books by Kate O'Hearn, Christine Cox and Charlie Menzinger;
artist Ron Nicola's 'Millennium Chronicle of Hastings'; plays by Tom
O'Brien; an invitation to a series of writers' workshops from poet and f-ish
tales leader Joe Fearn, and an exhibition of live portrait-painting by
Juliette Dodd, whose subject this year was local social historian,
You can see the portrait developing
in the pictures below...
And last - and first, and most of the way through
the middle - an opportunity for the various readers' and writers' groups in
Hastings to get together over tea and cakes, get talking and cook up some
ideas for new books and new projects. It was a great day. A warm thank you
from Earlyworks Press to all who helped, all who joined in the competition
and all who came along to join the browsing and the conversation.
... see you next year!