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Reading aloud...for an audience

Last weekend I was invited to be the guest reader at the Katherine Susannah Prichard Speculative fiction awards. The Katherine Susannah Prichard Writers’ Center (or KSP) is the oldest writers center of its kind in Australia and is set in the hills (we only have one lot of hills in Perth).

It is a lovely old house with accommodation for the writer in residence. The idea of a 4 week funded writing retreat is so tempting, but I can’t see hubby or the kids letting me go for that long…maybe when they are older.

While it was a thrill to be invited to read at the awards, it was followed by what will I read!

These people aren’t romance lovers, and yet everything I write is either romance or has romantic elements.

My next thought was, arg! My first solo reading and my longest. And they are going to be a tougher crowd than the kids at bed time. I’ve had lots of practice reading aloud every night for the past…well enough years that the kids appreciate story and comment if nothing happens in the first page except description.

Reading for an audience is also different to me muttering in front of the computer as I read through looking for clunky sentences. So I found a scene with action, and not too much romance, practiced, made notes in the margins and set off for the hills (about 1hr away).

It was a delightful afternoon and I got to listen to some of the award winning stories. My reading went really well, and best of all the books I donated to KSP were taken to new and loving homes.


  1. I've had to do this before and made the mistake of choosing a kind of sexy scene. You should have seen my face flame!

  2. It sounds like you had a delightful afternoon, Shona! Good for you! I was asked to speak to a Christian writer's group and I was like--me??? Do you know what I write? They still wanted me. Begged me.

    Well, I couldn't hide the fact I wrote about werewolf love, and so I talked about it, about promoting your work, about writing with your heart, and they said I was the most interesting and informative speaker they'd had all week! I had tons of thank yous and questions afterward and I was shocked! So you never know when your talk might end up being a real success!

  3. What a fabulous opportunity, but it must have been a bit daunting. So glad it went well, Shona:)

  4. What fun! I would have loved to have been there to hear you!

  5. I salute you, I hate getting up in front of a crowd and speaking so it is very impressive that you were able to do so. A great way to stretch your boundaries, congratulations!

  6. Shana, eek. There is no way I’d be brave enough to ready a sexy scene—well not yet anyway ;)

  7. Terry,it was lovely. It’s so nice to meet other people who write spec fic, even if it’s not romance, as no one bats an eye about talking aliens or shapeshifters.

  8. CH, it's getting easier to get up and talk.

  9. Elf2060, it’s always good to stretch a little as it does get easier.


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