Regreturature: an evening of readings that probably shouldn’t see the light of day
Went to a literary event last night at the Swedish American Hall sponsored by the SF Grotto with proceeds benefiting the Litquake festival. 14 successful, accomplished writers took to the stage to read past work that makes them cringe. Some of it was pretty funny. A handful brought short stories they’d written in elementary or high school. The opening line of James Nestor’s childhood story was, “I am the bastard child of a harlot rape.” I think that got the most laughs.
Several talked about letters to literary agents or magazine editors. One writer started out in advertising; he walked us through the catchy and hilarious ads he’d written for a pornography site. Another writer brought her screenplay to the stage. And the final writer read classroom critiques of her work versus her work itself—which was strange.
I enjoyed the event and came away with the following take-aways:
- Some of the writers were quite nervous. Even successful people have stage fright!
- Some of these writers were very talented even at a young age—obviously destined to make writing their career.
- There are writers who appeal to you and others who don’t. For every writer out there who isn’t published, you shouldn’t lose faith because there’s an audience out there that will enjoy what you have to say.