Sunday, 22 November 2015

The Writeidea Festival 2015

Whitechapel Idea Store

I went to the Writeidea Festival 2015 last weekend, 13th-15th November 2015. Victor Rikowski told me about it; he works for the Idea Store in Chrisp Street in Tower Hamlets. But he was luckily enough this year to get the opportunity to work for and be part of the Festival, held at the Whitechapel Idea Store!

It was truly wonderful; I was very surprised about just how good it was. It ran over 3 days and there were a wide range of authors, both fiction and non-fiction, talking about and signing copies of their books. I saw David Rosenberg, for example, talking about his new book 'London's Rebel Footprints' (which I also bought), who has been leading walks on London's radical history since 2007.

Then there was James Dawson and Non Pratt, 2 writers of Young Adult (YA) fiction, who spoke about their books, including their latest books, and other YA authors (particularly the ones that they liked). Furthermore, they did it all in a really refreshing and upbeat way. I can certainly see why they are so popular with teenagers. They really related to people; to something basic in the human condition. A great way of introducing teenagers to the adult world and sex and love and all that.

Then I heard Derek Morris speak about the East End of London and about the variety of writers, artists, scientists and prosperous merchants that have arisen from it. He has written books on all of this.

Next there was Rosie Wilby, a comedian, a feminist and a lesbian talking about how she helped to run a feminist newspaper, Matrix, whilst she was at university. She used video clips, music and photo archives and she did it all with a great sense of humour, as well as with great style. It was truly delightful. And she was just so much her own person (as were James Dawson and Non Pratt).

Finally, we had Nicci Gerrard and Sean French, known as 'Nicci French' who write psychological thrillers together. What they had to say was also really fascinating.

And that was just what I saw on one day!

Altogether, it was a packed programme. There were also author such as Michael Rosen, Kate Thompson, Holly Bourne and Viv Albertine, to name but a few!

In addition, there was a Writeidea Hub with open mic slots, book signings and other special events.

The whole festival was free and there was also free tea and coffee and even some free food towards the end of the evening.

It was a truly wonderful event, I felt that I had a lot of affinity with the people at it, and I certainly intend to go again next year, all being well!

So, thanks very much Victor for telling me about it!

Here is another short write-up on the web about it all:

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