On a chilly end-of-July morning four members of the Headline team were up with the larks to embark on the winding journey to Weymouth. Although at first sight it may look like we had just managed to take a day out at the seaside in the name of ‘work’ there was in fact a very important reason for our expedition. We were off to Weymouth Library for their first ever MyVoice Roadshow, a groundbreaking reading and writing Roadshow led by young people.
Aimed at those aged between 11 and 19 years old, the day included fun, creative events, workshops, exhibitions and performances focused around reading, writing and the arts and was sponsored by Headline. We were chosen from a number of publishers who had also pitched for the same event as a result of our rather innovative approach to the pitch process: telling our local ghost stories with a torch in the dark, locked in a basement toilet at Headline HQ seemed to do the trick…
The Roadshow kicked off with a “Meet the Publishers” panel event and we were subjected to some fierce Jeremy Paxman style questioning… We were then joined by our three fantastic authors who threw themselves into the proceedings. Cathy Brett ran a packed-out cartoon workshop, in which Hannah (Editorial) and Vicky (Marketing) tragically realised that neither could draw, not even with significant assistance! Kate Kingsley told an enthusiastic crowd of budding writers her experiences of getting published; an excellent event chaired by Maura (Publicity). And Andrew Hammond ran a fascinating scary story workshop. We had some very talented teenagers in the audience who read out their own efforts at the end of the session. Some budding Headline YA authors perhaps?
The day finished with our much-hyped world record attempt, which we had been talking about in the office for weeks before the event.We managed to smash the record for the ‘Longest Scream By a Crowd’ by 6 seconds (as yet, not official). A journalist from the Dorset Echo was on hand to capture our moment of glory before we headed back to London, a little bit hoarser (Publicity Sam in particular, on account of her being even more excited than most of the young readers at the event when we were successful!).
The MyVoice Roadshow was a highlight of a busy summer and the chance to meet and speak to so many young readers about our authors and our books made it very special indeed.
Posted by Vicky Cowell, Marketing, & Sam Eades, Publicity