I’m into the future and I’m into writing so how could I resist when I was asked to host an evening with writers talking about the future of their craft.

Front of modern building.
Brave new building. The Sainsbury Wellcome Centre in Howland Street will be the venue for an evening to discuss the future of writing.

It’s the job of every writer to work out what their readers want and give them it. I’m a near-future fiction writer so of course I’m interested in how technology is developing and even more interested in how that affects us culturally.

It’s no surprise then that I’m fascinated by all the interesting things that are happening in the world of writing at the moment. Technology is here with the potential to democratise publishing and the potential to unleash all sorts of writing we’ve not even imagined yet. It also has a tendency to encourage us to turn our lives into an orgy of trivia.

Then again, mobile devices make reading more portable and writing more accessible but at the cost of shrinking our attention span, which I shouldn’t grumble at too much because it’s good news for those of us that write Flash Fiction.

Writing, of course, comes in all shapes and sizes and that was apparent when I spoke to the panellists.

We have Allen Ashley with his broad range of experience not only as a writer but as someone who edits and critiques other writing – what a fantastic position to be in to get a sense of where the craft of writing fiction is heading.

Helena Halme, another fiction writer, also has experience as a bookseller, a journalist and a non-fiction writer which in themselves would make for an interesting mix with Allen. But on top of all that she’s one of the new breed indie authors.

Finally, we add Hannah Kowszun into the mix. Hannah brings a speculative view on the future of marketing and describes herself as a manipulator of souls – so audience beware…

Mixing such a diverse bunch of writers together to ponder the different futures for their craft has got to make for an intriguing evening. And, as is often the case with these sorts of events, I reckon it’ll be the Q&A afterwards that really draws out the fascinating stuff. I can’t wait.

Stephen Oram is the Author in Residence at Virtual Futures and has published two novels and several shorter pieces of work. He is is hosting: Authors and Readers, panel discussion, 7pm Monday 20 June 2016 at the Sainsbury Wellcome Centre, 25 Howland Street, London W1T 4JG. Free event. Please RSVP to news@fitzrovia.org.uk to attend. The event is part of Fitzrovia Festival 2016.