Surrounded on all four sides by shelves and shelves of Victorian books, students from Years 7 – 13, their supporters, and a handful of acclaimed writers gathered under the Portico Library’s magnificent ceiling dome for a celebration of reading, writing and all-things-literary.
I was invited to attend after having been awarded a Special Commendation for my review of Fahrenheit 451 in the Portico Sadie Massey Awards for Young Readers. Winners of the equivalent Young Writers Award also attended.
After an opening address from the chairwoman of the library (which, as a volunteer and 19th century literature enthusiast, I like to think of as my second home), we had a performance from brilliantly engaging and witty Manchester poet Tony Walsh, whose reading at the vigil following the Manchester attack demonstrated the enduring power of the spoken and written word.
Prizes were handed out and mingling ensued. After getting a picture with Tony, I met a fellow blogger and A-level student (yay! Check out https://theliterarybloggerofficial.wordpress.com/ or https://theliteraryblogger.tumblr.com/) and chatted to some of the judges, whose enthusiasm and encouragement for young writers was almost tangible, and certainly catching.
In all, a great event to celebrate achievement and the power of writing; congratulations to all the winners!