Swanwick Writers’ Summer School

205 Reviews

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Date of travel

August, 2017

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This is the perfect place to help you focus on your own writing, whatever your preferred genre, hear what others are doing and maybe find a new approach you never thought of before. Mainly a “mature” bunch of participants, but there are also extra subsidized places for young people who show promise and, of course, a mix of those in their 30s and 40s.

I overheard it referred to as their “annual retreat”, a bit of “me” time with no distractions except maybe the bar and the evening entertainment. But, make no mistake, this is serious business! Everyone learns something from other participants as well as in the organized sessions.

These are either 2-session short courses or 4-session specialist courses covering a wide range of topics from fiction for children, poetry, comedy and script-writing, and even forensics or writing intimate scenes. Something for everyone, clearly.

Following positive reviews from my 2-session course last year, my 4-session specialist course this year was a more in-depth look at writing non-fiction. It was a great group of people with a fascinating mix of topics, either as magazine articles or full-length books. It ranged from writing a biography or nostalgia, self-help and development, how to write at 50+, family or food articles, to explaining concepts of Economics or riding a Harley Davidson around Saudi Arabia. Wow! We finished with discussions about who to target as potential readers, how to get published, and a plan of action to take forward.

It is a lovely venue with plenty of food (buffet-style), a bar open twice a day, tea and coffee available all day plus cakes and biscuits at break time. So, everyone comes away with lots of ideas, new friends, encouragement and plans to get published before next year’s Summer School. Oh yes, and probably carrying a few extra pounds from all that food. Swanwick is 70 years old next year 2018. So am I. Cause for celebration I think – next year I may talk about travel writing…


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