Darlington seems to be having a real moment. Everywhere I look, there are heaps of new events and clubs coming up for people to enjoy. Considering the fact that recent news about the town centre has been far from ideal (and will see even more closures in town), it’s been lovely to celebrate the good stuff.
Last weekend, two very good things happened at once, which I was very happy about. The Literary Day and the Darlington Food Festival. I had already blogged about how excited I was for the Literary Day, which was a part of the Darlington Arts Festival this year. If you haven’t seen that post, you can find it here. If you have read that post, you are probably well aware of the fact that I was really looking forward to it. It certainly lived up to that excitement!
I started my time at the Literary Day bright and early, with a writing workshop that ran between 9 and 11am. It was run by Vane Women, and was sightly bonkers in the best possible way. The session saw us being given expertise, anecdotes and advice about creating a character and writing from their point of view. We were asked to pick a hat and then have a go at doing some writing about a character that was inspired by that hat. I chose a hot pink number and after a little bit of nerves, I had a go at the writing tasks and found them really helpful!
There were plenty of other sessions throughout the day, and stalls to shop at. I am on a book buying ban (again – I know) so had to restrain myself but this wonderful selection from Jeremiah Vokes made that quite challenging.
I did however head back in time for the launch of Inkerman Street, an anthology of short stories from local writers. Including me. Yep, if you missed my many over-excited social media posts about this, I had some work in Inkerman Street which I’m super proud of. I did not volunteer to read at the launch – way too scary – but it was fab to hear some of the stories that had been produced. I am very much looking forward to reading through the rest of the stories that are included in the anthology soon.
In between events, I popped to the market by High Row where the Darlington Food Festival was. As well as places to grab a bite to eat and demonstrations, there were also countless stalls selling some fab products. Some of them were from Darlington and were places I was already aware of but others were entirely new to me. Many of them were still local so it was great to expand my foodie directory.
I had so much fun mooching around the stalls and sampling some new products. Plus, it was super lovely to see so many people out and enjoying the Food Festival. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen the market square that busy!
All in all, this ended up being a wonderful day seeing the best my town had to offer when it came to two of my favourite things (food and books, of course) so what’s not to love about that?