Swanwick Writers’ Summer School: Reflections

What an amazing week!

I am thrilled to report that my first Swanwick Summer School was a magnificent success. It was truly wonderful to be a part of such a lively community of fellow wordsmiths. The term networking doesn’t really apply, not least because it doesn’t feel as though I’ve made new contacts; instead, I have made new friends. It’s a unique and inspirational environment. To hear everyone’s stories about what they write and their lives in general was delightful. I was particularly touched that the fact that I am not yet published mattered not one jot to anyone I spoke to. Some of these characters deserve a particular mention.

I had some expert guidance and advice from Roy Devereux about writing magazine articles and, more importantly, getting paid for it. I also had a one-to-one session with Roy where we discussed an article I had already written and talked about the next steps to getting it published. I’ll let you know my progress with that one.

Special thanks must also go to Autumn Barlow for her course on self-publishing. She gave many hints and tips which I shall be following very soon. Thank you Autumn!

Thanks must also go to Alison Chisholm for her course on writing autobiographies. She has opened my eyes to the fact that autobiographical writing can be done using fixed periods in your life, something which had never occurred to me before. I now have a couple of ideas to explore in this genre too.

Tarja Moles provided some superb information about creating and managing a blog. Look out for some great new content and improvements to this site over the coming weeks.

I even met a fellow ailurophile, the multi-talented Stella Whitelaw and learned of a local writers group, the Bardstown Writers, which I hope to visit very soon.

The highlight, however, would have to be winning an original signed Curtis Jobling cartoon at the AGM auction on the final evening. I will admit to being just a little starstruck as I asked him if I could get his picture in the bar!


In short, I have come away from Swanwick with many more friends and a certain magic coursing through my veins. I am more inspired to write and more determined than ever to be a success. I cannot thank you all enough…

18 thoughts on “Swanwick Writers’ Summer School: Reflections

  1. You’ll always remember your first time at Swanwick, Liz, and I’m very glad that you enjoyed it. I’ve been a regular attender since 2006 and it really is the School that keeps on giving.

    1. Hi Maggie,
      Thanks for visiting my site.
      It is an amazing place, that’s for sure. I really can’t wait for next year!
      Take care!

    1. Hi Anuradha,
      Many thanks for visiting my website. It was great to meet you at Swanwick. I, too, wanted to come and chat to you on several occasions. Let’s make sure we don’t miss each other at Swanwick 2014!
      Thank you too for adding your website details. It looks very interesting and I look forward to reading it at length.
      Take care!

    1. Thanks for visiting the site Mark. It was a remarkable week, for sure.
      I have to say, however, I can foresee a certain crashing down to earth on Monday when I return to the real world and JLR!

    1. Thanks Elizabeth! I really wanted to come to your session on folk tales but I was exhausted that day. Are you doing something similar next year? Or, am I too early to talk about it yet..?!

  2. I so enjoyed our fleeting chats Liz. Aren’t we lucky to live in a time when communications so easy? We’ll know each other much better by the time we all meet again at Swanwick 66. PS first time I’ve ever left a comment on a blog, I’m getting braver all the time 🙂

    1. Indeed we are Heather, it’s so wonderful.
      I’m extremely flattered you chose my blog as the first on which you have left a reply 🙂
      It was wonderful to meet you. Can’t wait until Swanwick 66!
      Take care.

    1. Hi Maggie,
      I will DEFINITELY be coming back next year. I don’t yet have many writing friends, as it happens. However, that’s one thing I’d like to change between now and Swanwick 66, so you never know…

  3. Lovely to meet you Liz and glad you enjoyed your first Swanwick. Want to follow your blog, but there’s no follow button or place to put in my e mail address 🙁


    1. Hi Vicki,
      Point taken on the email subscription – hope to have something up and running shortly. I’ll post a comment via the Swanwick page when it’s done.
      Thanks for the feedback!

  4. Congratulations on getting so much out of Swanwick, Liz. It’s always reassuring for us old-timers to know that a white-badger has enjoyed the week. Next year you will find yourself looking forward to meeting the Swanwick community once again, but this time as old friends. Which they now are.
    Best wishes for your future as a writer.

    1. Hi David,
      Thanks for your kind comments. I went to your characterisation session which I found extremely useful. I have a novel which I’m trying to get off the ground at the moment, and the one thing I’m stuck on is the characters. Or, should I say, I WAS stuck on them. Not any more… 🙂
      So, thank you for your insights. I shall be putting them to good use very soon.

  5. Hi Liz (or Serene Athenian Goddess, as I now think of you),
    Just a note to check that you received those FABULOUS photographs. (They may have gone to your old e-mail address).

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