May 13, 2017

Litfest 2017: Friday - Ric’s perspective (part 2)

On Friday afternoon at Les Cotils, I spent a couple of hours with a group of writers as the author Sarah Moss taught us to think like detectives by examining in depth found objects we had brought along to the workshop.  This process of approaching objects - some of them seemingly mundane - from a new angle prompted us to consider them from a fresh perspective and once we had explored these thoughts, we used them to sketch out some pieces of fiction.

Sarah did a great job of guding us through the process and imparting her knowledge and it was also great to share some writing time with a group of enthusiastic writers.

On Friday evening, the Lion's Den (upstairs at the Golden Lion) hosted an evening with football writer Jonathan Wilson (above), whose encyclopaedic knowledge and skill for telling some of the less well-known stories about the game made him a must-see for any fans of the game, a fact proven by the packed audience who asked so many questions that the event finished at 9:45 instead of 9.

After confessing to a childhood spent inventing his own teams and filling exercise books with their results (I think we're all fans of Hedgehog City now), he told us about his realisation that he was better at writing about football than playing it.  From a start writing for fanzines, he made his way in to the world of journalism, and shared stories about his favourite interviewees and the perils of having to rewrite match reports when the game takes a late twist.

Jonathan's books have covered the development of football in Eastern Europe and in Argentina, in addition to his tactical opus 'Inverting The Pyramid' and his study of the goalkeeper.  He discussed the motivation behind writing each of his books, demonstrating in person what comes across on the page - a knack for unearthing interesting stories that go beyond the pitch and telling them with intelligence and humour.