Friday, November 27, 2009


On Saturday 21st November GROW sent some of our members to The FED London MiniFest at Faraday house in Holborn, London.

We had a full day of writing, publishing art, meditation and performance related workshops, celebratory readings and TheFED AGM. We met with members of community writing and publishing groups from all over the UK and America.

A fabulous buffet lunch was laid on for us by Lucia Birch from Stevenage Survivors.

The workshops were all very interesting and generated a huge amount of work from everyone who participated. The Vale House Project workshop, which was run by Roy and Lucia Birch, included meditation, creative writing and Reiki. The theme for the writing was 'Freedom' and we decided to use the same theme for TheFED December 2009 Writing Challenge as a way of show-casing the beautiful and uplifting writing that was produced there.

The Celebratory Performance was expertly compered by Paul King from Manchester. Jan Hedger & Nick Crump very kindly prepared and performed pieces of writing done by some GROW members who were unable to come with us on this occasion. Their performance was very well received and they even took the opportunity to plug our 2010 GROW Calendar for us!

Later on, Tony May gave a spirited performance of his own work, 'Why do I bother?' and Jan Hedger delivered a very moving reading of her own piece 'Empty Teacups'

We met Steve Parks and six of his students from Syracuse University in New York. They had travelled all the way from America just to attend the MiniFest.

We also met some students from King's College in London, who were all new to TheFED.

GROW had two tables to display our own publications - and those of Jan Hedger and FLOW. People were very impressed by 'Illumination' and particularly liked the fact that we had tried to make it accessible to non-readers and visually impaired people by including a DVD. It was lovely to hear that GROW's hard work is inspiring other TheFED groups to make multi-media presentations of their own work.

We enjoyed the opportunity to look at and buy books from the other groups.

We bought back with us some copies of TheFED 2010 Calendar, which features some of the work submitted to TheFED Writing Challenges.

Many of the attendees have sent in their photos, memories, writing and video clips to share their experience of the 2009 MiniFest. They can all be viewed on TheFED website.

We are all looking forward to TheFED 2010 London MiniFest and will do everything in our power to encourage many more people to join us for our very special day out.

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