Had Lewis Carroll and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn been partners in building design they might well have come up with Canada Water Library. In fact it was designed by Piers Gough, and opened in November 2011. It's said to have solved the problem of how to build a library on too small a site, as if the fact of a new library were not miracle enough in a time of widespread closures. Inside, it was warm and cosy; not at all like the set for a Murnau film.
National Adviser for Creative Writing, Maggie Smith, whose creative writing classes I was once lucky enough to attend, facilitated. Gwen Wright, U3A London Regional Chair, welcomed guest speakers Ian Skillicorn, Director of National Short Story Week, and Catherine King, author of popular fiction novels. There was an opportunity over a buffet lunch for members to buy books and CDs as well as chat informally with speakers and fellow writers.
Ian Skillicorn's past was in non-fiction writing and translating. He returned from Italy to found Short Story Radio.com in 2006, a project that attracted Arts Council funding and content development in 2009. In 2010 he conceived the idea for National Short Story Week. The third annual events will take place in on November 12th-18th 2012 and will be celebrated in about 25% of UK libraries. In addition to adult entries, this year 250 schools will be invited to submit entries. More about this, plus downloadable podcasts, can be found at http://thewritelines.co.uk/blog/
The development of eBooks was was a marvellous marketing outlet for writers at a time when publishers are economising on paper publications.
Her inspirational attitude, as someone remarked, could be summed up as’ If I can do it, anybody can’. There are two things publishers want, she was told: a good page-turning story, and a voice, which could be summed up as the writers ‘take’ on life.