In September we’ll be hosting a fantastic two day Dementia Fiction Festival. We’re still hopeful about having events in person at the Accidental Theatre building in Shaftesbury Square, Belfast but we may well end up holding a hybrid event both simultaneously online and in person for those who live close to the theatre. Watch this space for more details later in the year. As we get closer to the Festival we’ll be thinking and planning a range of great workshops and panels exploring the themes and issues pertinent to writing about dementia. Our outreach officer Jan will be consulting with writers, academics, representatives from umbrella organisation both within the dementia and literary sector and, most importantly, people living with dementia to ensure the programme is as useful and comprehensive as possible.
On Wednesday past we had our first online Zoom session, consulting with a group of writers who have explored or are exploring dementia in their work. We were keen to hear about their projects and to find out what topics and themes they’d like to see covered at the festival. We were absolutely delighted to have fourteen enthusiastic, engaged writers from all across the UK, Ireland and even South Africa, join us for the chat. The group included novelists, short story writers, non-fiction writers, poets, play writes and screenplay writers. It was quite an eclectic bunch.
After each writer had presented an overview of their own project and the particular themes they’re engaging with we enjoyed a great discussion covering issues like maintaining a balance between negativity and positivity in writing about dementia, the importance of research, diversity and lack of diverse representation, language and form and a host of other really interesting issues. We concluded the evening with an opportunity to share useful books and resources. We hope to host another session in early May. If you’d like to join the chat drop Jan an email at firstname.lastname@example.org