Sunday, 17 August 2014

Swanwick - Sunday 10th August

I missed breakfast.
I often do that at Swanwick as I’m not used to three full meals a day. It was time to make my first decision – which short course to start with. I opted for Della Galton’s stories for competitions.  The session was full of useful information and tips about how to improve your chances of writing a competition winning story. It ended with an exercise. Write an opening paragraph with a great hook.
After that, at 11.15, it was time to choose my specialist course. As my head was still in Leeds and I was feeling decidedly the worse for wear having had too much to drink thanks to lots of people wanting to buy me wine, I went for the safe option of short stories. I didn’t learn much, but at least it wasn’t too demanding.
After lunch, it was back for part two of the competitions course. I decided not to go to the Writer Hour which takes place every day between 4 and 5. These are facilitated sessions where you can actually get to do some writing. I chose to chat instead which was lucky as I was in the bar when Shirley Blair of The People’s Friend fame arrived so I got a chance to say hello. She was that night’s speaker which was great as so many writers at Swanwick aim to get a story published in that magazine.  It was a pleasure listening to her. She has the most divine Scots accent as well as a warm and friendly manner. 

From 9.30-10.30, there was a performance in memory of WW1 which, as I thought it might be a bit maudlin, I didn’t attend. Reports are that it was excellent but a bit sad so I think I made the right choice.
I was happy to spend time with Sandra and Trish, my friends from Brixham Writers who were attending Swanwick for the first time, mainly to see Shirley Blair, as well as Betty Moulder, another friend I met at Caerleon, years ago.  A photo of them follows. 

Sandra on the left, then Betty, and finally Trish, proudly displaying her novel.

By the time 10.45 came along, I didn’t want to leave them so I didn’t go to the disco. I eventually got to bed around midnight, feeling happy that I’d not only learned a few things, I’d also had a full and interesting day.

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