On Saturday 12th August at 12 noon I arrived at the Live Arts Bistro in Leeds for an afternoon of reading slams and workshops run by the fabulous Victoria Blisse of Smut UK.
After a quick turn on the Erotic Tombola and socialising with fellow erotic romance writers, including Kryssie Fortune, Jennifer Denys, Janine Ashbless, Gilly and Zak Jane Keir, we went straight into the first workshop, "What Author Shape Are You?" Jennifer Denys led us through a ticksheet geared towards finding out our author style before splitting us into groups according to our author shape (apparently I am a rectangle) and setting us the task of finishing J.K. Rowling's latest novel.
Next came the first reading slam. Victoria Blisse, Kryssie Fortune and Anna Sky treated us to five minutes each from their novels while Stephanie Robb stood by with the paddle to punish - or reward - anyone who went over their time. This led to at least one writer being pursued across the stage, paddle aloft!
After a brief break we reconvened for the second workshop, "Using Random Factors". Zak Jane Keir had us roll dice to choose character traits for two protagonists, a setting and a random twist to throw in when we got stuck. I managed to get a brief outline for a potential story which will go on my list for later in the year.
We then moved on to the second reading slam. Victoria Blisse, Jennifer Denys, Zak Jane Keir and Ashley Lister treated us to more five-minute excerpts and, in Ashley's case, two poems, one about a woman who shoplifts using her vagina and one about Vagisil, the medicated cream. Needless to say, the room was in stitches.
Stephanie Robb then laid down the paddle and picked up the ropes, chains and bondage tape to give us a demonstration on Hogties and Rope.
Using a willing (!) volunteer she led us through the safe usage of hogties, tape and Japanese rope bondage, much of which I think I'd be terrified to try myself but I took notes for future writing purposes...
I had to leave at that point so wasn't able to join in with the Smutty Crafting, but thanks to Victoria and Kev Blisse for a great afternoon - I'll definitely be coming to more!