I’ve been running various Greenacre Writers Workshops (with fellow coordinator Lindsay Bamfield). The recent ‘Get Yourself a Reputation’, and ‘Ways into Creative Writing’, were very popular. And these do take some organising. Lindsay and I always get together at least a couple of weeks in advance of workshops where we tend to brainstorm ideas. Unfortuntely our brainstorms always seem to end up giving us more work to do. At one of the sessions, a couple of years ago, I came up with the idea of running a short story competition. This was a huge amount of work albeit enjoyable. From the initial design of the poster, to the list of rules (much brainstorming), the launching in local Finchley Waterstones, the sending out of flyers, advertising on the Internet, plus the many miles walked distributing, to the reading and shortlisting (plus of course friendly arguing) and finally the publishing online of winners. Then there was more designing, this time of the anthology, collating and editing, ordering ISBN’s, and finally sending off to the publishers. And we still weren’t finished, then began another round of posting, this time the anthology, to writers, friends and family who had pre-ordered copies. We are just about to re-launch the second one at the Greenacre Writers Mini Literary Festival which incidentally was another offshoot from one of our brainstorms. This time it was Lindsay, who had been muttering for some time, words like festival, open mike, authors, which I kept pretending not to hear. It would just be a small get-together, she said. A tiny, mini event. The Greenacre Writers (not so mini) Mini Literary Festival, was born. And then more work, the coaxing and persuading of authors to read their writing. One famous author was offered chocolate as a bribe and although he thought we were ’…very funny, and all your inducements very generous. But I'm afraid, despite the temptation, I'm going to have to decline your kind offer…I wish you all the best for the Festival.’ I won’t say who this tempted author was, just that he was well-mannered and delightful, in a Mr Darcy sort of way. And so the work began, the design of the poster, the design of the tickets, checking out the venue…and so on. And now it’s just a few more weeks to go before we get to meet our superstar writers.