A few months ago Ruby asked me to organise a reading event for Eroticon 2013. It was something a few of us sorely missed at Eroticon 2012 – since it seemed appropriate that a writers’ conference should showcase the writing of some delegates! – and since Eroticon 2013 was run over the course of two days, this afforded us the perfect opportunity to provide some evening’s entertainment. I was also thrilled to be asked to take on so much responsibility, to be trusted with the care of such great words, and to get to work with such wonderful people.
The evening itself was not without it’s hiccups, and I’ll admit that as the event went on and on, I did wonder if I had tried to pack just a little too much into one evening. But truth be told, I was very selective when I chose the readers, and I really feel that every one of them needed the space to voice their words, because they were all brilliant. Furthermore, whilst I have organised events before, I had never organised a reading night like this; so there was bound to be a little trial and error. Next time, I’m sure, I will pull it off with significantly more finesse.
Before I go onto the readers, I have to offer a huge thank you to our beautiful comperes, Miss Glory Pearl and Miss Maybe, from Wanton Words and Burlesque Bombshells, who, despite some technical difficulties and a few minor last minute changes, hosted the evening with incredible humour and showmanship. Having seen quite a lot of burlesque and cabaret over the past few years, I can attest to the fact that these two are amongst the best around; wickedly funny and unashamedly female, they really carried the night, and I am so glad we were able to have them. I strongly advise you all ‘like’ and ‘share’ their Facebook page; talent like this deserves to be known.
The readings were started off by Ruby Goodnight (@RubyGoodnight). Although I’ve never heard her read, I was confident that with her presence and her awareness she could easily handle this opening spot, and she did so magnificently.
Third up was Lesley Mitchell (@dkscully). Funnily enough, I know Lesley mostly from being horribly beaten by her at Words with Friends. But beyond her Scrabble skills, she also writes very interesting and finely structured stories.
Yours truly had to follow a fantastic sketch called ‘Fifty Shades of Beige’ performed by Miss Glory Pearl, Miss Maybe and one accommodating (and overenthusiastic) volunteer. Although I couldn’t comment on how my reading was received, I did get that slightly uncomfortable hush I so enjoy from an audience.
Coming back we were first treated to a brilliant control-underwear striptease from Miss Maybe, which I don’t think anyone will ever forget. Simply hilarious.
And then we were back to the readings, starting the second half with the gorgeous Molly Moore (@Mollysdailykiss), who read a piece of prose and a piece of poetry, both completely engrossing in their treatment of human nature and sexuality.
Molly was followed by the inimitable Ashley R. Lister (@ashleylister) with a couple of poems, including his wonderful piece Betty & I. I am so sorry that I missed his poetry writing session at the conference, as this is a man who truly knows his way around rhyme and structure. Staggeringly funny, and pleasingly poignant.
Rounding up the readings was KD Grace (@KD_Grace) with a passage from her novel The Initiation of Miss Holly. Having heard KD read several times before, I was confident that she could leave the evening on a strong and teasing note.
We finished the acts with another quirky and unusual burlesque piece from Miss Glory Pearl. Who would have thought watching an old lady strip and offer extremely conservative sex to her husband could be so amusing?
Over the course of the evening, Miss Glory Pearl and Miss Maybe also ran a limerick-writing competition, which was well received and yielded these two winners:
Winner (Ian Jade – @jadeserotica)
I’m never a fella to brag,
But I look fucking awesome in drag,
With a plug made of glass
Nestled snug up my arse,
I’m a glamorous, cross-dressing slag
Dirtiest (Ashley J. Lister)
There once was a woman named Anya
Whose cunt was like an aircraft hanger.
But do not dismay,
The ending’s okay,
‘Cause her man’s hung like Findus lasagna.
Thank you so much to everyone who entered the competition and I hope Ian and Ashley enjoyed their nipple tassels and cucumber (respectively). (If any of the other participants still have their limericks, feel free to post them in the comments below; I’d love to see the others!)
Despite a slightly late start and longer evening than I had planned, it was full of entertainment and I am infinitely pleased with the feedback I have received so far. It was not an easy night, but it yielded an awful lot of wonderful work.
I want to say a big thank you to all the readers, our comperes, and everyone who came out to see us. I also have to thank the wonderful Dom Signs who kept me sane, sorted out the music, and offered me some relief on the tube home. (No, not like that. Perverts.)