The Swanwick Effect

       Picture from Swanwick website.

It's that time of year once again when I arrive home, tired but happy, from a week in beautiful Derbyshire with my fellow writers.

I've been attending Swanwick Writers' Summer School for about 10 years now, and it always helps my writing career in a new way.  In the early years, it was invaluable for learning new skills, and for getting inspiration for my stories.  Many of my short stories - Awaken the Dawn is one that springs to mind - began life at Swanwick.  Then it became a place where I could meet agents face-to-face and discover that they were normal human beings.  And this year, my highlight was time chatting with another delegate, who helped me create a plan to organise my time and maximise on my success.  Let's see how it goes!

Swanwick is also the place where I first learned the skills of teaching a writing workshop.  This year, I led an early-morning session - with the aid of Story Cubes!  I also led Sunday Worship in the Chapel.  And, for the first time, participated in a manic activity called Page to Stage, in which my comedy sketch was frantically cast, rehearsed and performed within two days!  One particular delegate has now become Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart for all time to come!

The best thing about Swanwick is that the friendships last from year to year, and even continue between Summer Schools.  So if you are a writer or wannabe writer from Britain (or just fancy a summer visit to Britain!) check out the website.  You will have a wonderful time!

      Picture from Swanwick website.


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