Having been to many short story and poetry events, SAFEENA CHAUDHRY noticed a lack of novels from new novelists being read on the literary scene. She decided that she would combine her two passions - novels and documenting events - to record authors reading their work to a live audience. If the audience liked what they heard, not only would they get to meet and support the author, they would also get a chance to read more of the story and the journey with the characters would continue. Novel London is an exciting platform for writers and readers. So far, the events have showcased unpublished, independently published and traditionally published fresh fiction.
Safeena completed a BA Writing at Middlesex University, having spent her last term organising the Literature Festival. She trained as a camera operator and editor but had to take a break. She completed her debut novel, Companions of Clay, which was launched in paperback at Foyles's Bookshop on the Southbank in June 2015. Feeling very apprehensive at reading in public, she was coached by Norma Cohen and found that she read her extract out with ease as a result.
Writer, actor and professional coach NORMA COHEN has been informally working with novelists prior to each performance. She runs workshops through her company, Vital Sparks. Covering delivery, voice control, inflection, projection, conveying meaning and connecting with an audience, her training during rehearsals has been invaluable in preparing novelists for their readings. Her sessions have changed the way that readers perform their work and there is a noticeable difference in their delivery after just one session.
Via a modern dance training & exhilarating theatre immersion at Ovalhouse, Norma worked as an actor with experimental & fringe theatre companies in the 70s & 80s, co-founding Sidewalk & Ship of Fools theatres (cabarets: Sympathetic Magic, Cleansweep, Oy Vey, Fung Shway). She recently performed in Yarning (Birmingham MAC) & is a member of Visible ensemble: www.visible.org.uk (Who Do We Think We Are? Southwark Playhouse/Northern Stage) & The Wardrobe Project (GRAEAE). She currently compères for And the Rest Will Follow poetry salonand Novel London.
Norma and Safeena have read from their own work at Novel London, have gone through the process themselves and can offer insights and support to other novelists. If you would like to contact either of them, please email email@example.com
Special thanks to Rob Starr Photography, Lee Cooper, Ian Bozic, Marina Uzcategui, Leszek Halasa and Allesandro Leonardi for recording and photographing the sessions.
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