Thursday, 6 October 2011

Writer in the Window

Saturday saw the beginning of the second Everybody’s Reading Festival in Leicester, a celebration of books, reading and live performances that aim to get the people of Leicester reading.  Over nine days there is much going on, and ‘Writer in the Window’ is one of many events taking place all over the city.

So what’s it all about? On Saturday I caught up with talented Leicestershire Playwright, Keith Large, the first of several writers to sit in Waterstones window, penning prose for two hours over lunch time each day. I asked him what on earth he was doing wearing a kilt, sporran and t-shirt emblazoned with ‘Laughs from Leicestershire’ here is his response.

‘I was invited to launch the festival ‘Writer in the Window’ in Waterstones Highcross shopping centre, and thought I’d better dress up!’

‘Why a kilt though?’

‘I bought the kilt in Edinburgh earlier this year, when my play, ‘Everything But an   Astronaut’ ran for eight shows and performed to a full house, it brought me great success. I wanted to write a new play, and thought I’d sit here in style.’

 ‘Were you given any prompts on what to write?’

‘Only a single word - I wanted my session to be live and spontaneous, hence why I started with a fresh new writing pad, a stack of pens, and a decent supply of chocolate to keep me motivated.’

‘I imagine you attracted a lot of attention?’

‘Yes it was fantastic, a lot of people wanted to talk about books, but also about writing.’

‘Do you think you got a new play out of it?’

‘Very much so, I soon got into the zone, and the words flowed.’

‘And will it lead onto anything?

‘Possibly a return to the Edinburgh Festival, we'll have to see.'

‘I must ask, what was the word?’

‘The word was ‘Road’ inspired by a famous actor I worked with a couple of years ago. He informed the cast and myself in a rehearsal, ‘what happens on the road, stays on the road’ I thought, I can’t guarantee that, but it had to be the title for today’s two hours ‘Writer in the Window’ slot.’

‘Finally Keith, have you got any words of wisdom for writers out there?’

 ‘I was given the following advice by Bead Roberts, my favourite writing tutor. I’ve never forgotten. ‘To make it in writing you need the three ‘T’s’ Timing, Talent, and Tenacity.’

‘Thank you Keith.’

Everybody’s Reading Festival continues for the rest of this week in Leicester. Details of the events can be found here.

For more information about Keith and his many successes go here.

Maybe you’ve written in unusual situations, or perhaps ‘Writer in the Window’ has inspired you to try something different, please let us know by leaving a comment or a question.


  1. Ah - chocolate! I reckon that's the key to success.

  2. Totally agree with you Patsy!

  3. Girls, I've just eaten 5 Cadbury's Cinder Toffee Cake Bars and now I want to write,write,write!

  4. Very good post on a great start to the Festival last Saturday with 'The Road'. Well written Keith!...I'll see that Sandra later!

    I did the Wednesday stint in 'The Window'. Excellent experience. 2 large cafe Americanos and an extra strong mint = 8 full pages of A4, and a Flash fiction. The less said about the latter the better but if you haven't written in 'The Window' before - go for it next year, its an inspiration!
    Half way through my stint, a girl walked in, took a photo of me then walked out. Maybe its a stalker. Fame at last!


  5. Think the fantastic hard work and innovative ideas the organisers have put into Everybody's Reading has made it such a success. Damien Walter and Lydia Towsey have done a brilliant job. Writer in the window was a genius idea. How about next year we go on the move with writer on the bus, writer on the train or writer on the boat?

  6. Writer on a rollercoaster?!?!

    Brilliant work, Keith. Did you keep you're chocolate in your sporen?

  7. Mfrom5 - I've searched the red tops this morning but can find no trace of your escapade there.

    Seriously though, well done!

    Keith - I agree, the organisers deserve a pat on the back, these things are never as easy as they make them look...

    I love the idea of writing on a train, I could get used to the bus I suppose, but I was thinking of a 'Write Around the City' I'm sure I could think of several interesting places.

    Perhaps an idea for my next workshop...

    James - A Rollercoaster? I might have to pass on that one, after eating chocolate. :-)

  8. Great interview Maria. Kieth is certainly on a roll.

  9. What a great idea - congrats to all involved! I'm certain already that Keith's latest work-in-progress will be a huge success. Can't wait to hear more about it!

  10. Nicola. You'd love doing writer in the window. Surrounded by books, then add the chocolate. It's a winning recipe to get the creative juices flowing.

  11. Great stuff, brilliant to see you in action Keith having only seen your finished scripts, hope to see another event like this soon!

  12. Jonny, Many thanks. We're trying to talk the organisers into letting us do writers on the bus. Believe me that would be fun too!

  13. Keith,

    How about 'Poet on the Park and Ride'
    the audience might enjoy a little rhyme or story telling even?

    Might even bring some more passengers onto the buses... ;-)

  14. I admire anyone who can write in public like that. I'm in awe of anyone who can do it in a kilt but the thought of chocolate being stored in his sporran...!

  15. Rest assured Rosalind it is not my chocolate I keep in my sporran. Thanks for your kind words, Keith.

  16. Great interview Maria, well done. I always knew chocolate was good for the literary flow!

    (I've awarded you a Friendly Blogger Award, which you can cut and paste from my post.)

    Happy Writing. Love Ange xx

  17. Hi Ange,

    Thank you...x

    I'm a bit behind, with everything!


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