The Value of Community: another story from the Swanwick Writers’ Summer School

Time and time again, you will hear people talk fondly of the friendliness of the delegates at Swanwick. Unlike some other conferences, there is no pressure to meet agents or engage in furious networking, but this contribution from Rita Berman shows us how, even in the most laid-back atmosphere, the contacts we make on our writing journeys can never be underestimated.
I travelled from the USA to attend Swanwick in 1988, 1999, 2002, and 2004. 
Not only did I learn from a number of professional authors, and meet many delightful people but I also gave talks about my experience as a freelance writer.
Hugh Rae, who taught novel writing in 1999, guided me in the writing of my mystery-novel, The Key, which I published in 2014.  The same year, I met Elena Sollewijn-Gelpe from Brussels and in 2002 while we were at Swanwick helped her proof her book Bullets in the Bedroom.
I interviewed Judith Spelman, one of the speakers at Swanwick in 2002, and published it online at Absolute Write  in 2004.
For a week-long immersion into all aspects of writing, comfortable accommodation,  good food and pleasant surroundings, you can’t beat Swanwick.
Parallel Lives, was published in 2016. It is a memoir of growing up in London during the Blitz in the Second World War.  It is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble in Kindle and paper-back versions.
London-born, RITA BERMAN is a freelance writer, lecturer, editor, and author of Parallel Lives (2016), The Key (2014), The Dating Adventures of A Widow (2013), Still Hopping, Still Hoping: the biography of Carla Shuford (2012) and The A-Z of Writing and Selling (1981). Her memoir, I Saw London Burning, appeared in Celebrating Family History, Heritage Books, 2005. Berman also contributed to Journey Proud, Carolina Press, 1994.

Her publications include more than 600 articles and lectures, in magazines and newspapers both here in the UK and in the USA.

If you’d like to learn more about her, her online home can be found here.

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