Conquered our nerves, at any rate, for last night ten members of Ilkley Writers stood on a stage before a huge (no, really – scarily so) audience and read stories specially-written for the occasion. It was the first time I’d been in quite that situation, not only being judged on my performance but also the content. Amazingly it was a fantastically enjoyable experience (once I’d assured myself I wasn’t going to trip on the steps or knock the microphone over) and it was great to be part of the audience for the other 9 readings, hearing the stories with the fresh ears of the people behind me as they gasped or laughed at lines they were hearing for the first time, and watching the atmospheric black and white film of the moor playing in the background. Afterwards, the applause and the excitement as we congratulated each other and basked in the praise both individually and collectively coming our way from members of the audience were intoxicating. I have a feeling this might be the start of something.