I didn't start going to literary events until I moved to Lancaster eight years ago. My first one was probably a small reading not too far from home. I didn't know what to expect. Or, I had some ideas: dark lighting, somber reading, and a community of readers laughing over inside jokes and shared memories.
I went by myself, so I didn't expect to know anyone. I also didn't expect to feel so alone. No one spoke to me. They didn't seem to speak to one another either. As soon as the lights came on, the reminder to buy books was announced, the author said their thanks, the audience scattered.
Since then, I've created events that embrace the feeling I want: warm, inviting, engaging. Whether the events are in person literary events with readings, music, food, and chat, or online with readings, music, and chat, I aim to make everyone feel like someone knows they were there.
So, if you're at one of my events, please say hello, sit back, join me for a drink (virtual for now), and a chat.
What do you need from a literary event?