Our very own Nathan Festus was instrumental in organising a Readathon at Exclusive Books in Claremont, held on Sunday 4th of August. We’re indebted to Linda McCullogh of Exclusive’s who was wonderfully supportive, set up a great reading space and provided refreshments, and a display table. We sold a total of 19 copies of the anthology, contributing to our sponsorship funds. Here follows Nathan’s report:
“So when I was confronted with the invitation of creating a greater awareness for the Life Righting Collective, I thought READATHON! Instead of running tirelessly along a never-ending stretch of road, panting and puffing, conquering the tarred road with blistered aching feet, why not do it from the page, allowing your tongue to do the leaping and lapping, conquering pages of writing whilst imparting life stories to eagerly listening ears, pierced attentively to hear the next twist in the tale, and so, the READATHON was born.
I had initially envisaged it as non-stop reading with participants passing the book onto each other, a sweaty baton marking the end of each distance as the tick-tocking of the tired wall clock signaled the start of a new participant, anxiously waiting and ready to enter the race. Refreshingly, this was not so, though we did meet the objective of keeping ears pierced waiting intently for the next twist in the tale.
Hosted at the up-market Claremont, Cavendish Square book store, Exclusive Books, the event drew a range of inquisitive onlookers and folk with long-desired dreams of penning their own life journey to paper.
Participating authors of stories published on the LRC website www.liferighting.com and in the LRC anthology, This Is How It Is, read their own stories and those of others to an audience of both elderly and young, the curious and yet others just eager to sip the free wine and eat the biscuits on offer.
Overall, the debut five hour event was a standing ovation success. The objective of creating the awareness that writing is a healing and therapeutic expression was echoed by the inspired folk I chatted to afterwards. Some who were eager to begin the journey of exploring their own creativity, left names and email addresses. I was moved by a particular Gogo who sat frowning and smiling as she intently took in the reading from various stories and could not help wondering how many experiences she could share.
I am excited, the starting gun has been fired, marking the beginning of what I envisage to be a yearly event, the Life Righting Collective Readathon and fundraiser.
I have a dream that at the next LRC Readathon aspiring writers and poets from every race, colour, creed and age will be invited to share their own short prose and poetry in an open mic session as we continue to encourage creative writing and the learning of other life-journeys in our quest to bring about greater healing, restoration and reconciliation both to the individual and a nation still reeling from its traumatic past.”