I started drafting this post at 2330 on Wednesday night. Or at least, I think it was Wednesday night. The last week at Swanwick has been a blur of the nicest possible kind. So engrossed, only two selfies and a couple of snaps of the grounds made their way onto my phone!
From what I heard, all the courses were fabulous, and I know for certain that those I attended have helped me enormously. Creative non-fiction with Katheryn Aalto has really inspired me to try a new genre which seems to fit how I like to write, and Sue Moorcroft and Michael Jecks showed me where I was going wrong with the current works-in-progress and (I think) how to get both the words flowing again, and improve my writing.
I’ve been given tips on how to connect with an audience, conjured new ideas from dreams and pop music, and even managed to find inspiration to enter the flash fiction competition. And as well as lifting my pen each morning in the early writing slot, I’ve opened myself to the ideas of meditation and tai chi in the evenings (both of which were great).
To top it all, I was even on the winning team for the general knowledge quiz – pencils and notebooks our very well-deserved prizes…
Lots of places say they’re friendly, and many are, but sometimes only if you’re in the right gang. Not Swanwick. Of course there are friendship groups, but even the most established of these was welcoming. And there are plenty of chances to make lots of new friends, which I definitely did.
The Swanwick Book Room is also an excellent opportunity to see what others are writing (I even sold a few copies of Kindred Spirits: Tower of London). And on the last night, we had a hilarious panto, with a wonderful interpretation of “500 Miles”, converted to my new mantra – “500 Words”.
Without wanting to sound like an advert, I really cannot recommend it highly enough, and I am definitely keen to be back in 2017 (I’ve even put it in the diary…).
Now, just to find the time to get all this inspiration down on paper…