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  • Alan Ward

The Future is Back Reading at Gay's The Word

The streets of Bloomsbury had a particularly chilly feel after dark on Halloween, with orange lights hanging in foggy windows and the occasional skeleton walking along the pavement.

I'm not sure how the readings at the culmination of The Future is Back ended up scheduled for Halloween, but it added a sense of occasion to the atmosphere and didn't seem to diminish our audience. We were joined by a supportive crowd that packed out Gay's the Word leaving standing room only.

Image credit: Esther Heller

We read pieces of writing we'd developed throughout the programme, and were well looked after by the bookshop staff and supported by sign-language interpreters.

Taking a seat at the back after my own reading at the end of the first half, and listening to my companions reading in the second part free from the anxiety of knowing I'd be called up, I had a great appreciation for the talent of the writers I've met on this journey and the unique stories they tell. We're an LGBTQ+ writing group writing about all aspects of human (and in some cases non-human) experience. Through listening to each other and being listened to we've developed or improved pieces of writing that tell diverse stories. I look forward to seeing what my talented peers do next.

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