I’m just back from the Swanwick Summer School for writers in Derbyshire.
It was my first visit and I absolutely loved it! I would urge any writer to try to attend. The courses are designed to appeal to writers of every stamp from scriptwriters, to novelists, to non-fiction writers, to poets, comedy, crime, soaps, the works. The speakers were outstanding: entertaining, informative, witty. The week culminated in a talk by bestseling writer, Deborah Moggasch (sp?). Excellent speaker, drew us into the world of film-making with its woes and budgets and successes and failures.
I found the cost very reasonable. It starts around £400 for the week, which includes a basic room (no ensuite at this price) all meals, beverages, courses, talks and entertainment. You can even pay by instalments. Or you can go a little up-market and book an ensuite or a room by the Lake. The grounds are very attractive, as is the house.
I enjoyed the Buskers’ Night when attendees bring their own musical instruments and entertain their fellow attendance. Be warned, I shall turn up next year with my keyboards and play whatever lively piece I’ve managed to master.
I’ve also put my name down to give a talk or course on self-publishing. After three years as my own mistress, I feel I have much I can pass on. I don’t know whether the committee will take me up on either proposition. We shall see.
On the last night, just before Deborah’s talk, we had the Dregs Party, where everyone brings whatever booze they have left. We were lucky this year, the weather was fine and the Dregs Party was able to be held on the lawn. Ooh, the glamour! DJs and evening gowns. I didn’t reallise everyone dressed to the nine’s; I shall know better next year and will bring my best bib and tucker!
Because I’m determined to attend Swanwick 2014, even though it took me nine hours’ to get there this year and I got horribly lost around Leicester. Couldn’t find the signpost for the A6 North, though I found the A6 South with monotonous regularity. 🙁 But, by next year I will have a satnav and, please God, will even have learned how to use it. Maybe I will even be less nervous of motorways.
Perhaps I’ll see you at Swanwick in August 2014?