Over the last few weeks, I’ve become increasingly conscious of how much I miss reading my stories aloud. It’s been more than two years since I’ve performed at an open mic; back in 2011, I read for Words Per Minute in Glasgow, for Gutter magazine at the National Library of Scotland, and at my local open mic night in the Brewery.

It’s an excruciating experience to expose my stories for strangers, but incredibly rewarding, and I believe firmly that stories should be read aloud as much as read on the page. Each time, I was riven with nerves before the reading… but each time, once I’d finished, I wanted to get back onstage and tell another story.

Well, be careful what you wish for. The good news that I’ve made the shortlist for the Manchester Flashtag writing competition also means that I’ll be performing live rather sooner than I’d thought: I’ll be reading my story at the awards event in Chorlton on 22nd May. I’m already nervous, not least as the story is an internal, claustrophobic piece with a polyphony of tense and voice, and it’s a bugger for reading aloud. I’d better start rehearsing.

Any tips appreciated….

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