'There’s a scene in one of the Harry Potter movies. Hagrid invites the students to come up and meet a really terrifying critter. “All right, then,” he says, “Who’s first?” All the students take a step back, leaving Harry standing alone in front of the group. That’s kind of like how I fell into the job.'
This October 8 and 9 is the annual Japan Writers Conference. A melting pot of free talks, workshops and readings, the event brings together a community of writers, publishers, and lovers of literature to share their knowledge and celebrate words.
Whether it's the ins and outs of writing horror, poetry, interactive fiction, memoirs or first lines, exploring the pros and cons of small presses, learning how to be a writer and an editor, or landing a newspaper column in Japan, this year's lineup has something for everyone. We'll be doing a session on interactive fiction on Monday Oct 9 at 2pm. So if you're in Tokyo, come down and say hello, Programme details here.
We sat down with John Gribble, one of the organisers, to learn what Harry Potter has to do with his involvement, what he finds surprising and challenging about running the conference, and what he's working on now.