RLF Reading Round is a unique network of reading groups, each run by a published author. The group leaders, or ‘Lectors’, may be playwrights, poets, writers of fiction or non-fiction: all are able to offer a unique ‘insider’s’ perspective’ on the texts under discussion.
For almost 2 years, Metal have hosted a regular group led by acclaimed novelist and short-story writer Syd Moore.
To mark Essex Writers House, a programme which Syd was instrumental in developing, we are excited to offer a limited number of spaces to join her Reading Round for the evening.
What to expect from the Reading Round
There’s no reading to be done either before or after the sessions. Instead, each week the group listens to different pieces of writing that the Lector reads out loud. The selected writing might be a short story, poem, speech, memoir or piece of narrative non-fiction. The pieces are then discussed at some length to get under the skin of the text: What effects does it have on us as we read? How does it achieve those effects? Guided by the lector, participants consider the text in detail, looking at tone, choice of words, viewpoint, the effect of a certain image or turn of phrase, and so on.
Groups are run loosely along the lines of practical criticism, whereby readers are encouraged to respond afresh to the words on the page in front of them, rather than relying on preconceived ideas about a text. All that is required of participants is a willingness to listen, discuss and be open to new ideas. For many participants, the group provides a valuable opportunity to meet with other book-lovers in a friendly, stimulating and relaxed environment.
About Syd Moore
Syd Moore is an acclaimed novelist and short-story writer whose work focusses on the historic witch hunts in Essex. Her first book, The Drowning Pool (HarperCollins, 2011) looked at the legend of Sarah Moore, a notorious sea witch, in Moore’s home town of Leigh-on-Sea. The bestselling Witch Hunt (HarperCollins, 2012) investigated the hysteria of 1645–47 inflamed by the notorious Witchfinder General. Moore continues to explore the witch hunts of Essex in her current series The Essex Witch Museum Mysteries (Strange Magic, Strange Sight, Strange Fascination, Strange Tombs) published by OneWorld. The Strange Days of Christmas (OneWorld, 2019) is her first short-story collection.
Prior to writing, Syd Moore was a lecturer, worked extensively in the publishing industry and presented Channel 4’s book programme, Pulp. She was the founding editor of Level 4, an arts and culture magazine, and co-creator of Superstrumps, the game that reclaims female stereotypes. In 2017 she founded the Essex Girls Liberation Front to challenge and reposition the stereotype of the Essex Girl. She was also appointed UK ambassador for the Danish charity, DINNødhjælp, which helps Nigerian ‘witch’ children. In 2018 she was selected to be the writer in residence for the Essex Book Festival and began an on-going campaign for an Essex Writers House. Her debut screenplay, Witch West, has been optioned by Hidden Door Productions.
Syd Moore has been shortlisted for the Dead Good Reader awards. She lives in Essex where her books are set.
Find out more about the Royal Literary Fund here.