Reading Round at Fabrica

I think a good short story can be like a core sample. Think how much a geologist can learn from a core sample – it’s the same. If it’s a good one, you’ve got absolutely everything you need to know about the history and geography and inhabitants and social conditions of the area, in wonderfully concise form. Helen Simpson

Writers working with readers

The reading group, based at Fabrica Gallery in Brighton, is part of a national scheme set up by the Royal Literary Fund.

It’s unique because each group – a Reading Round – is led by a professional, published author. At Fabrica, it’s poet and journalist Jackie Wills.

The other difference between the scheme and a conventional book group is that stories and poems are read aloud – a neglected pleasure – so members do not have ‘homework’.

It’s ideal for people who are short of time and is an opportunity to discover writers who may not make the headlines because they write short stories or poetry.

Fabrica’s at the heart of the creative community

All poetry is love poetry. Selima Hill

The group is based at Fabrica because exhibitions can provide a context for exploring different writers. The gallery is central, easy to get to and is at the heart of Brighton’s creative community.

A Reading Round is about discovering some of the most exciting writing, past and present. No qualifications or background knowledge of literature are needed, other than an open mind and desire to share ideas about writing.

The Reading Round will meet once a week on Tuesday afternoons from 2pm – 3.30 pm, starting on October 7, 2014 at Fabrica Gallery in Brighton during Fabrica’s exhibition, Reef, by artist Simon Faithfull.

The group is free but places are limited and participants make a commitment for the duration of the group. Meetings will be held in three 10-week blocks from October to December 2014, January to March 2015 and April to June 2015. The group is currently full but there is a waiting list. For more information contact Jackie Wills

The Reading Round Scheme nationwide

This year there are 8 new lectors in schemes running from Bristol to London to Cambridge. In 2010, nine groups piloted the scheme in Brighton, Cambridge, Glasgow, London, Sheffield, Taunton and Watford. In Brighton, the group was run by novelist Jonathan Buckley.

Its aim is to familiarise people with excellent and inspiring writing, introduce a wider range of literature than individuals might discover alone and develop members’ critical thinking skills.

A writer running a group benefits from a steady income, which helps buy time to write. Writers in the pilot reported their appreciation of literature had deepened as they chose work for the groups.

Helen Simpson:

Selima Hill:



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