Phil Earle: The Power of the Scribblers Tour
If I’ve learnt anything about being published, it’s this.
Events get me buzzing like nothing else.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the act of writing: of sitting on the bus with the sketchiest idea and watching it go places I’d never dreamt of.
But writing is, however you look at it, an isolating experience.
Just me and my laptop.
For weeks on end.
That’s why Scribblers events are such a joy. Because finally, after the months of typing and re-typing, the audience are there in front of you, and they want to be entertained.
It should probably have been daunting to walk into Cardiff University last week and see the auditorium filling to it’s four hundred capacity, but it wasn’t.
Because there’s something very special about a Scribblers crowd.
I learnt that last year in Swansea, where I spoke to three hundred students over three sessions.
What struck me in Swansea was the focus of the audience, their willingness to not only listen, but also to engage in the writing exercises we dangled in front of them.
It’s not easy to ask year nines to drop their inhibitions and ‘create’ in front of their friends. But what I saw, both in Swansea and Cardiff was a creativity and a playfulness that sums up the success of the Scribblers tours.
It didn’t matter that there were four hundred of them packed into the theatre, the questions the students dared to ask were insightful and considered, their creative ideas for hot-seating a character strong enough for me to pinch and adopt. It made my job both very easy and incredibly gratifying.
The signing session was equally enthusiastic. It felt like I signed forever. Books, postcards, bookmarks, though I couldn’t bring myself to sign arms, despite a few being offered. I left Cardiff a very happy man, but the Scribblers experience wasn’t over, as every day since I’ve had tweets, Facebook messages and emails from the brilliant students present.
Such is the power of the Scribblers Tour, such is the joy of being involved.