Ask a writer why they want to be published and they'll probably tell you that they want to share their stories, which makes sense if we remember that the origins of storytelling date back to a time when tales were shared around fires in the evening.
I was lucky enough to be brought up in a house where I was read to as a young girl, and I smile when I think of reading to my own three children as they cuddled into me on the sofa. Now that my children are teenagers, the stories we share are usually told around the dinner table.
So if stories are to be shared it goes without saying that spoken word events are a vitally important part of our culture.
But how important are these events to the novel writer, apart from getting your face kent? The answer, to me, is very. Yesterday I took part in one of my favourite live literature events, which takes place upstairs in a cosy coffee shop in Falkirk and is run by Untitled. I chose an excerpt to read aloud that I thought I'd previously edited tightly, but I've discovered that it's only when I know an audience is going to, hopefully, be hanging on my every word that I perform my best cuts. And the editing doesn't stop there. It's incredible how I can take out complete sentences or change words on the spot.
The biggest plus of going along to these events for me is that, having listened to the varied and brilliant talent that is out there, I always come away feeling inspired.
The spoken word in Scotland is very much alive and kicking!
Emma Mooney is a writer of Scottish contemporary fiction and is the author of A Beautiful Game. and Wings to Fly.