I couldn't be more excited than;
a child on Christmas morning getting a bicycle, someone passing their driving test for the first time, finding a small grey kitten in need of love on the doorstep, or a goose laying a proverbial golden egg in my laundry basket. (Feel free to add to the list by commenting below)
With the backing and support from a very forward-thinking, proactive Westwood Cross Management, who identifies that improving literacy is a priority goal in Thanet, I am about to step into the unknown with Westwords 2019. This WILL be the first of an annual event Westwords, hopefully enticing and attracting more authors year on year.
We will have humble beginnings, but I'm expecting us to grow with time. I've just watched Stormzy headlining at Glastonbury - brilliant by the way. His honesty and awe at being someone somewhere so huge is something he never imagined. He describes it as the highest point in his life. A humble underground rapper from South East London, he obtained the first ever number one by a British rap artist in the UK charts and from there, as they say, the rest is history.
Now I'm not comparing Westwords to Glastonbury (the hell I am), but everything starts somewhere. Glastonbury in a muddy field, which is still muddy on occasion, and Westwords 2019 with a handful or so authors, but who knows where it could go? Both require support and commitment at the outset, plus a willingness on the part of the public, to invest in an event that has huge future potential. Like the poster says, you could be meeting the future English Poet Laurate or global award-winning novelist.
Having had the opportunity and honour to meet Terry Pratchett at Fantasycon in Brighton a few years ago, plus a couple of my other idols in the Sci-Fi world, Brian Aldiss and Robyn Hobb, just like Stormzy on the pyramid stage, I can honestly say I never expected to meet the authors whose books I handled with respect and affection.
Who can say whose authors you meet at Westwords 2019 might not be your future literary heroes? MIMO