Today (Thursday 25 August 2016) in the Edinburgh Book Festival’s Spiegeltent, Anniken Blomberg read her short story ‘The Optimism of Clocks’ in the 150th performance of Story Shop. She read to a charming audience that helped the City of Literature Trust celebrate the 10th anniversary of Story Shop.
Starting in 2007, Story Shop introduced live storytelling from celebrated Edinburgh authors to audiences in the Edinburgh International Book Festival Bookshop initially featuring published authors including Lin Anderson, Gavin Inglis and former Edinburgh Makar, Ron Butlin.
Story Shop graduated to the Book Festival’s Spiegeltent in 2009 and applications opened up to new and emerging writers living or working in Edinburgh. The opportunity to read new work at the largest celebration of the written word became one of the most sought after writing opportunities in the literary calendar and a regular storytelling fix in Book Festival afternoons.
The 2016 programme of Story Shop is well under-way, with thirteen of the seventeen writers having read their stories to the Spiegeltent audience. The Trust has been filming and documenting the Story Shop performances on YouTube and the website, so be sure to take a look if you haven’t already.
Nick Barley, director of the Edinburgh International Book Festival, came along to the Spiegeltent after Anniken’s reading, and shared a few words on Story Shop’s role in the Edinburgh International Book Festival.
“Story Shop means a huge amount to the Book Festival. It’s an amazing collaboration between the Book Festival and Edinburgh City of Literature…our passion here at the Book Festival is to support writers all the way through their career, from the very beginning, right the way to the end….Story Shop is about the experiences authors can have when they put on that lanyard, meeting editors, meeting publishers, meeting agents, and being part of the literary scene – that is what Story Shop offers.”
There was a crowd of Story Shop writers in the audience who assembled for a photograph after Nick Barley’s speech, including writers performing at this year’s Edinburgh International Book Festival alongside Story Shop writers from years past Angela Jackson, Shelley Day Sclater, Rebecca Raeburn and Sarah Gundle.