Aug. 12th, 2018

clhollandwriter: (Default)
It's that time of year again, and I'm back at Swanwick Writers' Summer School for its seventieth year. It's the longest running writing school in the UK. Getting here was surprisingly stress-free considering it involved a rail-replacement bus service, but still tiring.

Given the travel and full-on socialising that started while we waited at Derby station for our coach (which was late), I got to the end of dinner feeling tired and cranky. The evening speaker was Sue Moorcock, but I decided to spend the evening on a phone call home, and streaming Netflix in my pyjamas. Possibly the most important thing Swanwick's taught me over the years is the importance of self-care - which includes time to myself. Getting overtired can ruin my enjoyment of the rest of the week.

Today saw the start of specialist courses on poetry, crime writing, novel writing, short stories, and memoir. I opted for crime writing (even though I don't write crime), the first two sessions of which are looking at forensics and scene preservation. There's a mock crime scene in the corner, which I haven't had a chance to look at properly yet, so I hope to take some pictures tomorrow.

The short courses on offer today were a mini-film making course, sitcom, more poetry, and writing for competitions. I went to Secrets of Sitcom - something else I don't write. Well, I am here to learn! We went into the building blocks of what makes a sitcom, and in groups discussed our own concepts. It hasn't made me want to start writing sitcoms, but it did occur to me that if you take out the comedy you're basically left with a soap. I also thought about how well the format would - or wouldn't - translate into prose.

The hour long courses today were readings of the prize-winning competition stories, or preparation for the Page to Stage (drama) and Swanwick Standard (journalism) projects that run later in the week. I took the opportunity to have some me-time, something I try to build into every day as otherwise it gets a bit full on.

Tonight's speaker is Amit Dhand, who writes novels while working full time as a pharmacist. I'm looking forward to seeing how he gets it all done,

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