Hastings Literary Festival to produce and launch a book in just two days

A new book –put together in less than two days – will be launched at Hastings Literary Festival.

Friday, 24th September 2021, 6:05 am
David Hare
David Hare

As spokeswoman Alison Steel explains: “Many writers wait years to see their work in print, but 12 authors and poets will have a book in their hands less than two days after finishing it at a special workshop in Hastings on September 23.

“The event, Dateline Hastings: 23-09-21, will bring together 12 Hastings Literary Festival competition winners to polish their stories and poems with the help of experienced editors.

“The resulting anthology will go off to the printers on Thursday evening and copies of the book will be launched by leading playwright and Hastings Literary Festival patron Sir David Hare at a literary festival event on Saturday, September 25, less than two days later.

“Inspired by topical writing such as Ali Smith’s seasonal quartet and Olivia Laing’s Crudo, festival organisers ran a competition to find poetry, short stories and life writing based on current events from April 2021 onwards. Entries came in from throughout the UK as well as Europe and China.”

The writers of the 12 most promising pieces, including one travelling from Germany, attended Thursday’s workshop at St Mary in the Castle, Hastings, working with editors Christine Harmar-Brown, Antony Mair and Andrea Samuelson to get their work ready for print.

Organiser Wayne Herbert says: “Our writers will undoubtedly have to put in a hard day’s work and it may get a little nail-biting at times, but we know they’re excited about taking part in a unique project that reflects what they see around them right now. The time pressure adds an urgency to the work which is pertinent. They’ll have their own book to hold less than two days later!”

Christine Harmar-Brown is a writer and director and was head of development at La Plante Productions and script editor on Casualty.

Antony Mair is the founder of Hastings Stanza group and has published three collections of poetry. He was longlisted for the Poetry Book Awards 2020.

Andrea Samuelson’s short fiction and poetry has been published in literary magazines and she has won national competitions, most notably the Peterloo Prize.

Hastings Literary Festival runs from September 23-25 and features author talks, expert panels, readings, film and a Saturday night finale with comedy and music, Bedtime Stories. For information and tickets: www.hastingslitfest.org