This year’s Margate Bookie has been something I have been looking forward to and preparing for since the last Bookie drew to a close. Having already come along leaps and bounds since the one before, last year’s Bookie expanded and grew beyond all expectations, emerging from the couple of sessions in a studio in 2015, to having a great many sessions in the Turner Gallery and the Sands Hotel, hosted by some of the most outstanding writers of the local area and preeminent authors in the publishing world.
From having just experienced Day One of the event, I can already tell that my eagerness and anticipation to assist and attend this year has not been in vain. From the first session of the day, a children’s workshop with local author Sam Gayton, the response from those attending has been amazing. His hands on session and exuberant approach to the creation of fanzines for the youngsters evoked many responses of praise from parents as they emerged. Their prideful insistence at showing him the creations of their children was a sight amazing to behold, with many of those present remaining behind in the session room long after it had finished, in order to complete their works. It was also good to see many of the parents getting involved with their children in the task, giving encouragement and assistance where needed.
Although there weren’t all that many sessions planned for today, the attendance from those whom had booked, and even from those whom turned up today in the hopes of spaces being available, has been a good benchmark to which the rest of the Bookie can be marked against. Throughout the many tweets and Facebook posts made over the past few weeks and months by the organisers, mostly those of Andreas Loizou and Gemma Pettman, 1000 tickets have been booked and sold for the events, with many more being sold every passing moment; and judging by today’s response to the activities and session, many more arrivals on the door are to be expected. A full itinerary of the weekends events can be found at http://www.margatebookie.com, which promises many more exciting and adventurous sessions in the days to come.
The event, as ever, holds a strong emphasis about involving local authors and inspiring the next generation of up-and-coming writers looking to become immersed in the craft. An unscheduled, but successful, session held last year was a critique session set up to hear the works of students from Canterbury Christ Church University, more specifically those enrolled in the Creative and Professional Writing course. I found myself lucky enough to be involved in this session and all of the readers emerged from the session with feedback of their work from seasoned and experienced authors. This prompted my continued support for the Bookie, and thus the involvement of the Creative Writing Society at Christ Church University.
To this end, another impromptu critique session occurred this afternoon, with members of the Society attending to read out works they are currently involved in. The readings allowed us to present our forthcoming projects, gain valuable feedback from those assembled, which included authors Simon Wroe and Adrian Cross, and exhibit our own self-published books, Senses – An Anthology ( http://amzn.eu/8lFxqJX ), Letters of Objection ( http://amzn.eu/ddqXJzA ) and my own Angles of Reflection ( amzn.eu/8M0SwgI ). Once again, the feedback received from the readers and those attending to show their support for us, was glowing with positivity, and we have come away, once more, with the amazing experience of presenting our work and gaining valuable insights from more experienced writers about our wares.
I shall close for now, as that sense of fulfilled exhaustion begins to overcome me, but I go to rest with the knowledge that the next few days can only be as action packed and thought provoking as the one that has just passed.