Every March the women creatives of Northern Ireland band together and go on the rampage. I'm a member of a wonderful, empowering collective called Women Aloud NI (WANI), the brainchild of the talented and ceaselessly energetic Jane Talbot.
WANI organises events all year around, but in March, we really change gear. This year, we are holding four Writer's Fairs across Northern Ireland where budding writers can come to learn about the process of writing, try micro-workshops, listen to discussions and interviews and network with like-minded people.
We also organise readings in various venues, such as the Eastside Visitors' Centre, Waterstones, etc and these always attract good audiences. This year, I was the organiser of the Waterstones, Belfast event and had a ball introducing all the talented readers. The audience couldn't have been better, laughing and clapping in all the right places (that takes some serious training, let me tell you...).
The next day, we were all on a bus to the Irish Writers' Centre in Dublin to perform again, and to assist other readers from all over the island of Ireland. Great fun, but exhausting!
One of this month's highlights (and it's barely half way through!) was the launch of a new Flash Fiction anthology, The Bramley, which was held in the Palace Buildings, Armagh. We were guests of the Lord Mayor, who was wonderful and even gave us a full tour of the Palace!
In addition, I have started a new Writing Group in Ballynahinch Library which meets every 2 weeks. It feels good to put something back into the community that has supported me through my first steps as a writer.
Plenty more to come. Can't wait to see what the next months bring!