I believe writing is the act of perpetual giving. As an author, a great deal of my life experiences have been shared with my readers, in one form or another.
2017 saw me look towards initiating a couple of projects locally that both highlight and inspire the authors and poets at work in Stoke on Trent, today.
The Arnold Bennett Literary Award was proposed by myself last year, and September saw the presentation of the first said award. This will be an annual event that hopefully continues for many years to come.
October saw the launch of the search for Stoke on Trent’s first Poet Laureatte. I approached the then Lord Mayor, Anthony Munday, and noted historian Fred Hughes, to explain my reasons as to why the area needs a locally recognised poet to present, contribute and inspire the poetry scene. The idea was met with approval from the council, and SOT Libraries were tasked with its implementation.
My thanks to the Arnold Bennett Society, SOT City Council (especially Councillors Abi Brown and Anthony Munday), SOT Libraries and Emma George.
I believe that if either (or both) of these projects inspire one person to take up the craft of writing, then all of our hard work will have been worth it.
Details regarding the Poet Laureate postion can be found at https://librariesonline.stoke.gov.uk/iguana/www.main.cls?p=7d3d1c0a-3760-11e5-bfe1-03ba06ef7900&v=46b38eb0-fe1c-4d3e-95c2-b3107baf697c