first reading

On WritingI did my first official reading as a writer last Tuesday night, and it was a blast.

One of my stories was included in an anthology (Strange FrenZies) released last April. The publisher, who is from Texas, was in town visiting some family and decided to host a reading with several authors she’s worked with in the area. We met at a small cafe. It turned out to be an intimate gathering. Only 3 of us (including Elizabeth Akin Stelling, the publisher) were there to read. The rest of the guests were there to listen. We totaled just shy of 20.

Here’s where it gets interesting. The other two readers were both poets. Elizabeth works with both poets and horror writers–an admittedly odd mix. She and the other poet (Molly Middleton Meyer) were reading…well, poems. (Both are very talented. Elizabeth’s poems evoke a sense of her Texas roots, while Molly’s poems were meditative and beautifully crafted.) Sandwiched between them was me.

So, the night went like this: folksy rural poem…BLOOD AND GORE…deep contemplative poem…deep contemplative poem…deep contemplative poem…folksy rural poem…BLOOD AND GORE!

Can you spot me in the mix?

Honestly, I was afraid these nice people were going to flip out a bit. (One of my friends confided in me afterwards that she was, in fact, a bit wary. She had not previously read any of my stuff, and was shocked at the demons who evidently make my head their playground.)

But here’s the delightful part. People were wildly supportive. Strangers told me they really enjoyed my work, even if it wasn’t their cup of tea. While I wasn’t there to get my ego stroked, it was a wonderful experience to hear the validation of others. (Many writers don’t often get that.) I was elated that I had gone.

If you’ve not had similar experiences, I encourage you to find a writer’s group in your area. Go to their meetings. Listen to others’ works. Read your own. Offer compliments, be receptive of criticism, and embrace the community of writers. It’s an experience well worth having.


About Ash Martin
Ash Martin writes dark fantasy and horror, has a thing for classic monster legends, Nordic mythology, coffee, and sarcasm, and is currently working on multiple books.

4 Responses to first reading

  1. tristdagon says:

    What a wonderful experience!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good for you, Adam!

    Liked by 1 person

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