Since it’s officially all over social media now, I’m beyond chuffed to announce that I’ve been chosen as one of 17 emerging writers for Story Shop at the 2016 Edinburgh International Book Festival. My response to the email, after a long socially draining day dispensing justice for jury service, was of course totally professional.
*calms down again* So, what’s Story Shop? The lovely ladies of City of Literature have the lowdown here, but it’s basically a showcase of local literary talent that’s free for the public to attend, and a great chance for writers to gain wider exposure by reading short fiction at, like, only the biggest literary festival in the world. My previous readings have been smaller affairs – reading my Stories of Home piece to sweet old folk and my sestude Diablada at the 26 Children’s Winters launch – but this is like nothing I’ve ever done before.
Historically, Story Shop has led to great things for many participants. I met Angela Jackson at 2015’s New Writers Reception, who read an excerpt from her novel at her first Story Shop appearance. The Emergence of Judy Taylor is now published and Angela has an agent. Roy Gill, author of the excellent Edinburgh urban fantasies Daemon Parallel and Werewolf Parallel, had a Story Shop slot back in 2011. And you know the other good thing? This year’s lineup is really skewed towards women, which just goes to show that Edinburgh is chock-full of awesome literary ladies. (And because the bookish world is this small, I know two of them. Yay, writing buddies.)
I’m currently crafting my biography to go alongside a mugshot on the website and an audio clip that will be recorded sometime soon, and I promise it won’t just say ‘Laura wishes she’d be bitten by a radioactive Anthony Horowitz‘ or ‘Laura is a small mad kelpie lady who likes ruining young adults’ lives’. Speaking of kelpies, they may well feature in my piece, but that’s all I’m saying for now. Watch this space for more Story Shop updates, and in the meantime newcomers can check out my existing bio and list of works. I can’t wait to meet everyone else next week. I still can’t quite believe this is happening to lil’ ol’ me. Eek.