Carlow Writers’ Group read and no one gives any feedback

The Carlow Co-operative Writing Group met back again last night after our summer break. It really was quite shcoking to see how quickly the 2 and a half months had flown by! After a few minutes of chatter about how much we had written that summer(?), we all headed up to our usual cosy bar upstairs for a bit of the ol’ writing, listening and…timing…

The writers’ group is usually the same format. Someone reads, we listen and then we say how much we love it and then how much we would like to change it. We are a naughty bunch.

But, last night felt different and that’s because it was different. tonight the format would be read and get timed by me! Let me explain…We are reading at the Penfest Literary Festival in Carlow and to read successfully, one cannot simply show up and read for as long as one chooses. No, there must be a time limit and I decided that 5 minutes was the perfect amount of time for anyone to hear someone read for. I was armed with my android timer on my mobile and was not accepting anything over the 5 minute mark. Not even a second.

It almost worked out only for a lovely, little story about Katie Taylor, which made us all go “Ahhh” and forget about the time. But, that was it! Everyone stayed under the 5 minute mark and were all well-behaved as well.


But, it felt empty and odd. After, we finished reading, I had to move on straight away to the next piece of writing. No time to give positive feedback or debate over the use of a coma or whether a poem was a vignette or not. No, we got on with the job of reading and we finished after two hours, rewarding ourselves with a chat down in the Teach bar.

As I walked home, Simon and I went through the night. At last, we could speak and say how great we all were!

Come see and hear us read at 4:30 in the Carlow Library this Sunday, 16th September. You will be glad you did and I might even take my eye off the timer and allow you give us some feedback!

The website for Penfest is here.

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