First Draft: Crush


Monday 17 October

The Castle Hotel

See some photos from this event

An evening of fanfiction, impressions, musical tributes, and more…

The prompt for this event was been set by wonderful fiction writer (and author of ‘Call It Dog’) Marli Roode. Read it below…

richard siken crush

The Prompt

So you say you want a deathbed scene, the knowledge that comes 
before knowledge,
and you want it dirty.
And no one can ever figure out what you want,
and you won’t tell them,
and you realize the one person in the world who loves you
isn’t the one you thought it would be,
and you don’t trust him to love you in a way
you would enjoy.
And the boy who loves you the wrong way is filthy.
And the boy who loves you the wrong way keeps weakening.
You thought if you handed over your body
he’d do something interesting.

From A Primer for the Small Weird Loves, by Richard Siken

Or, as Jennifer Paige put it…

It’s just a little crush/
not like I faint every time we touch

In Richard Siken’s poetry, the body is tyrant. To be touched is at once to be reached, connected to, found, and to be controlled, disappointed, made aware of the ways in which you’re like everybody else and the ways in which you’re alone. Love – or obsession – is inevitable; loss, impending; punishment, deserved. Put in less stark terms, a crush is sweet, erotic and life-threatening all at once. It’s mentionitis, trying to avoid cliche (because sex and love seem to invite them, cliches), boring your friends anyway.

So at the next First Draft, I want to ask writers, musicians, comedians and other performers of all kinds to come share what it’s like to have a crush, to be crushed upon, to be, to quote Cher Horowitz, totally bugging. We promise you won’t bore us.

Line up of performers

Marli Roode – fiction

Laetitia Adkins – comedy

Holly Aszkenasy – fiction

Nyela Asad & Ben Rout – musical comedy

Lenni Sanders – poetry

Adam Farrer – creative non-fiction


Cafe Misfits – music

Luke Helly – comedy

Joe Daly – fiction

Thom Bee – comedy

Danielle Peet – creative non-fiction

Jenny May Morgan – drama/comedy