A few weeks ago I heard about the Southam Book Festival, which was to be held on 30th September. It was not far away, so I made enquiries. It looked interesting and the cost of a table was very reasonable.
Now, I only have one book to sell – at the moment. Perhaps another writer might like to join me. I asked around, several people expressed an interest, perhaps two tables would be better.
Lift off came when I attended a meeting of the Cafe Writers. This is a group who meets at the Cafe in St Andrews Parish Church in Rugby, on alternate Fridays. All writers are welcome; fiction, non-fiction, poetry, screenplays. Experts, beginners or just anyone interested in books. We drink coffee, eat cake and talk about books.
Everyone who had published a book was interested, we had a total of eight authors altogether – I booked two tables.
I turned up in plenty of time with my bag of books and two tablecloths. The festival started at 2pm, but I wanted to get there before the other writers. I soon realised that two tables would not be enough. I had thought to bring a tape measure in case of boundary disputes. We would only have one foot of table each. I stood there, shaking my head and the organisers offered me another table. We now had 18 inches each! Luckily the table cloths were big enough to cover all three. I measured off my territory and arranged my books.
To my complete amazement, everyone had arrived and was set up in time for the opening. All around us, there were other book sellers. Example of writing from a flash fiction competition were pinned on the wall and an temping array of cakes was set up at the counter opposite us.
The festival only lasted three hours but I think all of us sold some books – I sold two. It was great fun, if a little crowded. With such a range of genres, there was something for everyone. If a customer wasn’t interested in my Anglo-Saxon historical fiction, I could send them down the line to the Victorian period. There were thrillers and romance, fantasy and family sagas.
Elsewhere in the building workshops and talks were going on, by authors (and dogs). There was a literary quiz sheet and a raffle. It also included a writing competition for children, which produced an international response.
The event was held at The Graham Adams Centre in Southam, a community centre run by a local charity. The proceeds of the event will go to the charity. This was the first time this event has been held and I hope it continues in future years. I’m sure the Rugby Cafe Writers will be back next year.