Reading to an audience is part of an author's life -- if you're lucky enough to have a bookstore host you. And though these particular writers haven't published yet, this was an invaluable experience -- picking something good to read that would entertain a listener and make him want to know more -- and picking something that fits the allotted time -- six minutes, in this case.
In some cases, this involve editing -- leaving out bits that are obscure, leaving out bits that aren't necessary. Such pruning usually results in a stronger piece.
And then there's the experience of standing up in front of strangers and presenting them with a little piece of your heart. It can be daunting.
I'm happy to say there was a good crowd and the readers acquitted themselves well. That's Tommy Hays, the director of the Great Smokies Writing Program, at the mic; the nine who read are in the front row.
May there be many, many more readings at bookstores for all of them!