Swanwick 2022 Day 2

I had cause to look back through my Swanwick blog entries yesterday. (We were trying to remember the name of one of the guest speakers from way back. But that’s another story.) And I realised they started in 2011. Twelve years worth of history. I didn’t have time to read everything at the time, but there were some great snippets of memory jumping off the page at me. Maybe there’s a book in there somewhere? I’ve not seen a history of the Summer School anywhere else. Mind you, this is the school’s 73rd year, so there would be an awful lot of research to do. But that’s for later. What about today?


With very little to report on the School itself so far, my appreciations today are of the little things that made yesterday relatively stress-free. Using the satnav for the first time, I made the final step of the journey in less than an hour yesterday, while managing to avoid the motorway altogether. I’m thankful to my sister in Scotland for that tip. The flourishing chilli plant my brother-in-law gave me for my husband (who loves his food really hot) survived the journey in the armrest of the car and is now presiding over the Book Room. The Book Room is stuffed full of fiction, poetry and non-fiction ready for our first session later this morning. And everyone was very patient when they had to queue in the heat to register their books. And listening to Erin Kelly’s warts and all description of the life of a professional author was fascinating. (And, as so often happens, convinced me once again that I took the right decision to be an indie author.) But most of all, I am grateful to Mark and Phil who carried all my luggage (and there’s always a lot for Swanwick week) upstairs to my room while I was dealing with latecomers.


I’m typing this at 6am, so it’s obvious I’m raring to go on the first full day of the programme. I took a few minutes last night to colour code the day into ‘musts’ and ‘wants’. (You can take the girl out of planning, but you can’t take planning…). So I know I have an early morning writing exercise to look forward to; the first hour of a four-part course on Creative Non-Fiction; a two-part workshop on Writing Crime Fiction; and one of my highlights of the week, the General Knowledge quiz this evening. Last night I wimped out early and was in bed by nine thirty. I’m hoping to stay awake long enough to chat to friends in the bar this evening. But the jury’s still out on that one. I’ll tell you in the morning.

By Elizabeth Ducie

Elizabeth Ducie was a successful international manufacturing consultant, when she decided to give it all up and start telling lies for a living instead.

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