All the firsts

Sam Rossi-Harries, writer and founder of Sleepy House Press, brings us a guest blog about moving to Manchester, performing at First Draft and generally getting his teeth into our literature scene…

sleepy house press

The 17th of August will be full of firsts for me. Not only will it be my first First Draft performance, but also my first First Draft altogether. (This isn’t, however, my first time writing in English, despite what you might be thinking after reading that awfully constructed sentence). It’ll also be the first time I’ve ever performed this kind of piece.

When I first read the prompt, I started writing a poem; then it became a dramatic monologue, then a short story, and now I don’t really know what it is… Some kind of big weird, scary and hopefully pretty mutant. Wherever it ends up, I’m looking forward to unleashing it on you guys.

There’s a reason this is my first First Draft (last time, I promise.) and that’s because I only just moved to Manchester. I’ve spent the last four years bumming about in various cities and writing scenes around the world, and it has taught me one thing: I like having other writers around me.

I’ve set up a project/experiment called Sleepy House Press with that in mind. It’s all about writing communities. We want to publish local writers, run workshops and support existing communities wherever we can . We’re looking for submissions and people to get on board however they see fit, so please take a look at the site if you think you might be interested.

Manchester is our first test subject, and so far it’s been a pretty damn good one. The amount of cool stuff happening in this city is ridiculous. I’ve been trying to make it to as many writing events as I can since arriving, and it turns out it’s full time job. From the vibrant spoken word scene to the workshops to the nights like First Draft, there’s a lot to take in. I am certainly not complaining.

I’m really looking forward to the night. I’ve heard good things, and I really like the philosophy of putting work you might not be completely sure about out there in a supportive setting. That’s what having other writers in your community is all about. It’s what Sleepy House Press is all about. Apparently it’s what Manchester is all about too.

I’m really looking forward to meeting all of you. I’ll be the balding guy with a beer and a wad of strange monstrous scribbles clutched in my hand.

First Draft audience 2

Bits and pieces

Don’t forget to join us (and Sam) on Monday 17 August at the Castle Hotel for our new-look August event: All Shoved Together

Find out more about Sleepy House Press and send them your submissions

Follow Sam and First Draft on twitter


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