“Say Anna, what are you like at chairing events?”
A message popped through on my phone from a rather lovely lady who I knew was helping to organise the Cheltenham Literature Festival. As it turns out, after a last minute change of plans, the festival were in need of someone to chair The Times and Sunday Times panel on Microadventures – with Alastair Humphreys (Godfather of Microadventure) and Phoebe Smith (editor of Wanderlust Mag).
Of course, being invited to host a discussion at arguably the most famous literary festival in the world was no biggy. Who am I kidding?! This was a BIGGY! Like, if Mr Biggy had got jiggy with Mrs Biggy and made little Biggy babies, it couldn’t have been more of a biggy. Naturally, I styled it out.
I confirmed that I could indeed do chairing – because chairing is mostly talking and asking questions – and talking and asking questions is what I do best. I always find chairing events rather lovely, because I don’t have to talk about myself for a change. Instead I can just focus on making sure the audience are having a ruddy good time, and on bringing out the best in the stories that others have to share. How marvellous.
Plus, being a chair is like juggling cucumbers (have you ever tried juggling cucumbers? It’s more tricky than juggling balls). And every time I chair, I learn something new. So what better place to learn something new than at one of the greatest literary festivals in the world? Continue reading