Goodness! Swanwick seems like such a long time ago now. It’s crazy how just six weeks ago today, I was sat in the foyer at The Hayes putting together welcome packs for all the delegates.
If, like me, you’re already excited for the 2018 school, here’s another story from fellow Swanwicker Elizabeth Hopkinson to help fill the darkening days of Autumn:
Swanwick Writers’ Summer School really is the week that keeps on giving.
I first attended twelve years ago and every year something has happened there to change my writing life. 2017 has been the best year of all, with so many good things to take away and follow up at home. My writing year is already different because of Swanwick.
Here are 10 highlights:
1. Winning 2nd Prize in the Short Story Contest. Not only did I take home a fabulous (if heavy) framed certificate, but also a free critique from Writing Magazine. And during the week, I was able to chat to Jonathan Telfer of Writing Magazine about the best way to use it.
2. Running my own contest via the Swanwick Facebook group, to name the children’s’ novel that provided our cat Sootica’s name. (Sootica the Witch’s Cat by Ursula Moray Williams). The prize was a proof copy of my short story collection, Tales from the Hidden Grove, for which I now have an extra reviewer!
3. My 1-1 with John Lamont. Thanks to his advice, I have already begun to visualise the future I want. (Although I did get some funny looks photographing myself in Waterstones for the new Pinterest board!)
4. An invitation to join Yorkshire Writers’ Lunch in Huddersfield.
5. The tag line to my trilogy-in- progress brilliantly nailed by another Swanwicker over dinner: “The Magic Flute meets Farinelli Il Castrato”.
6. Getting a wheelchair-using beta reader for my trilogy. He read the first book in just a couple of days!
7. The opportunity to be part of Chasing Unicorns, a charity anthology in memory of former Swanwick chairman, Katy Clarke.
8. Procrastination-Free Day. I didn’t have the stamina to go past 2:30, but I got so many plot problems fixed. And I got stickers!
9. Learning how to be a journalist with Simon, on the Swanwick Standard. I wrote a piece for my local paper as soon as I got home.
10. Being able to revisit Swanwick whenever I want, thanks to Steve Barnett’s YouTube videos.
Thanks again, Swanwick! You’ve been amazing!
Elizabeth Hopkinson has had over 60 short stories published and won several prizes. Her first novel Silver Hands was published by Top Hat Books in 2013 and this year she has published an ebook of previously-published stories, Tales from the Hidden Grove. Elizabeth is a regular member of the Swanwick Writers’ Summer School, where she has led a number of workshops. She lives in Bradford, West Yorkshire, UK, with her husband, daughter and cat, in a tiny house that is being taken over by books and artwork.