Wednesday and we are back to the normal programme. So every hour is timetabled for one topic or another. No relaxing today. And it’s also the last day that the Book Room is open. We had three very busy sessions and sold a satisfying number of books written by our delegates. Somehow, I don’t think I was the only one doing a bit of early Christmas shopping.
Holding Out For A Hero
One of the highlights for me of this year’s Swanwick has been Steve Hartley’s two-part course on Heroes. Steve’s been coming to Swanwick for the past few years and, apart from his first appearance as a guest speaker where he persuaded a number of delegates to climb inside a giant pair of pants (don’t ask!), I’ve not managed to make it to any of his courses. Today’s sessions looked at different types of heroes and sparked fierce discussions about whether Dr Who was a Classic Hero, or Robin Hood an Anti-Hero. Our group all agreed that Gromit was (what else?) an Underdog Hero. The final exercise, which we completed in less than ten minutes, was to invent a hero and give her a journey. Suffice it to say, I now have the plot for my next-but-one novel!
The Swanwick Standard
We had the second session of journalism practice this afternoon with Simon Hall. He showed us classic examples of both good and bad headlines (I loved Murder Victims Rarely Talk To The Police) and then gave us a taste of the newsroom by expecting us to interview someone and write an article about them in six minutes flat. Finally, Simon sent his fledgling journalists away to finish writing our Swanwick articles which will hit the Swanwick streets tomorrow for all to see.
Page to Stage
This is always one of the most popular evening events of the week, and this year it was hosted by Liz Hurst, who definitely does NOT have a Falkirk accent. Seven short plays, written in advance but cast, directed, and rehearsed since Tuesday. The audience votes for the best play, actor and actress. As always there was a real mix: four dramas and three comedies, with some moving moments and some hilarious ones. It would be unfair to single out any one play or any particular performer, (which is why the picture is of Liz); they were all brave enough to stand up on stage, and every one of them deserves the applause they received. Results of the vote will be announced at tomorrow’s farewell.
Only at Swanwick would I find myself saying: I still have your cowboy hat – and I found a holster under the bed!