As you all MUST know by now the ‘Bold Types: Creative Writing Showcase’ is creeping up on us, and we’re so excited to see the amazing work which has been put forward this year. For those who, like me, are new to the showcase, it allows 8 talented individuals who have been shortlisted to read their stories in front of supporters and an encouraging panel of judges. This includes four creative short stories and four poems, before announcing the overall winner at the end of the night. Yes, that’s correct, the winner is announced on the night. How exciting?
This week I had the privilege of talking with Donna, another superstar employee for the Glasgow Women’s Library who was able to fill me in on all things showcase. This year the theme for the showcase has followed Scotland’s book week theme of ‘rebel’. This is simply BOUND to bring together amazing women who have been eager to share their rebel themed stories. In the past themes have always allowed for inspirational, talented, creative writing, this year is clearly no exception.
But what if you have no confidence in writing because, like me, no amount of reading can make you an ace speller and grammar wiz? What if you don’t feel confident submitting and reading your work aloud. Don’t worry, GWL has you covered! The library is always putting on creative writing workshops to allow women from all over to attend and build up confidence in their writing skills. Donna herself helps to lead some of these workshops which are empowering and inspirational for many reasons. Not only do you learn new skills, but you meet new people who are eager to see you accomplish your creative writing dreams! It almost sounds too good to be true though, doesn’t it? You’re thinking ‘yeah, but I still struggle to put my ideas down on paper in a cohesive way’. Well, if the workshops don’t give you the confidence you need then take it from me, I heard it right from the horse’s mouth, it’s the idea that’s important! Not only does your spelling and grammar not have to meet Virginia Woolf standard, as long as your idea and creativity is on that paper, you will be given the exact same attention and consideration as all other applicants. Furthermore, if you’re one of the lucky ones who is shortlisted and you still don’t feel confident reading out your work – you don’t have to. Either you can choose someone to read out your work on the night, or the amazing people at the library will do this for you. What I can say with absolute certainty is that the library creates a safe space to allow you to share your work, and you will be supported.
I had to much fun speaking with Donna about the showcase I almost combusted when she told me the winners prize! The winner receives book themed prizes (of course), entry to crime fest, and mentoring sessions. But let me go one better: in the past, winners of the showcase have even gone on to have their work published! It is absolutely amazing that the library puts on a showcase of this bold type. I can’t wait to attend.
What’s important in this showcase is the idea behind the work, as Donna says, ‘that can’t be taught’.