As it says in my Christmas letters every year: I can’t believe how quickly the past year has gone. It seems no time at all since we were all heading home from the 68th year of Swanwick Writers’ Summer School, and yet here we are once again, settling in at the Hayes, greeting old friends, making new ones, and ditching our resolutions to avoid desserts. Although I have to say the custard is a lot paler than usual this year!
Day one has gone by in a blur: the Book Room is packed with literary goodies awaiting eager buyers tomorrow morning. Our Chair, Cathie Grimmer, welcomed a packed room at the opening session: 285 delegates, including 92 white badgers and 12 Top Writers. The 92 were taken on an orientation tour, and judging by the noise level in the Lounge for the drinks reception at the end, not too many of them got lost along the way.
Our guest speaker was crime writer Stephen Booth, . Despite having written his first novel (an unpublished scifi) at the age of 12 and being now on book 18 in his Cooper and Fry series, he admitted to still feeling thrilled at the sight of his name on the cover of a book. He talked about how his readers blend fictional worlds with reality; and I found myself wondering what would happen if the Wardlow phone box was out of order the day Ben Cooper needed to use it. Later, it was a privilege to sit in a crowded room listening to other writers sharing their current projects and brainstorming answers to their writing issues.
I thought I would finish each post this week, with an ‘only at Swanwick’ moment. So for my first one: only at Swanwick would I lie on my back on damp grass at midnight, watching shooting stars!