Holidays for Writers – are they worth it?

I’ve recently been lucky enough to spend time at two well known writers’ Summer Schools.  The Writers’ Holiday at Fishguard (Pembrokeshire) and Swanwick the Writers’ Summer School (Derbyshire).

So what can you do at a writers’ holiday? Apart from network and enjoy yourselves a lot, that is!

Here’s a selection of the 2015 courses provided at each.

  • Novel Writing
  • Manifesting your goals – writing goals – naturally!
  • Writing for Children
  • Poetry
  • Short Stories
  • Script writing
  • Painting – discover the artist in you.
  • Writing historical fiction
  • Writing contemporary women’s fiction
  • Writing for magazines
  • Meditation

The speakers are impressive too. Experts in their fields, they range from authors to agents and publishers to magazine editors. Check out their websites for next years selection.

Oh and then there’s the entertainment. The last night pantomime at Swanwick. The Cwmbach male voice choir at Fishguard. All unmissable entertainment.

What’s the food like? Well, Swanwick has a reputation for school dinner food but I thought this year’s was pretty good actually. Fishguard isn’t bad either. Waitress service, choice of menu. Huge breakfasts. Fantastic. But then maybe it’s just the company of other writers – you never know who you are sitting next to? That little old lady at breakfast who turns out to be the author of 40 plus novels or the woman who’s the world expert in chimney sweeps! Who needs food!

The accommodation is good at both but you won’t be spending much time in your room. There is far too much going on and you won’t want to miss a thing.

Both holidays are superb value. Fully inclusive for a week and around £500.

Will you come away inspired and buzzing and fired up to get on with the lonely business of writing. Well, I always do.  Both courses have Facebook and Twitter pages. Check out their websites on the links above. So you can keep in contact all year long. I highly recommend both ‘holidays’.

Fishguard is more intimate – around 50 delegates and they have a weekend in February as well as a week in July.  Swanwick has around 200 delegates and has activities going on from dawn – meditation on the lawn – till dusk – late night discos and writing sessions.

Fishguard is set on the beautiful Pembrokeshire coastline. Great for walking if you want to clear your head between courses.

Partners are welcome at both. Some pix below to give you a flavour of both but please do check out their websites.

My next Saturday course in Bournemouth by the way is Create Off The Page Characters. This is workshop based and suitable for beginners or experienced writers. And will be useful for you whether you write short stories or novels. Should be great fun. Small group guaranteed. Very relaxed environment. Constructive feedback.

  • Date: Saturday 17th October – 10 till 4.00
  • Venue: Kinson Community Centre, Millhams Road, Pelhams Park, Bournemout BH10 7LH
  • Cost: £45

Please email me via this website if you’d like to book or find out more details of my Bournemouth course.

I’m also teaching at the Royal Agricultural University in Cirencester, 8th to 10th April 2016 and in Alicante on 13th June 2016 for a few days. Email me for details of these if you’d like more info. I also teach at Woman’s Weekly offices in London. Please see their website for details. I’m also at NAWG this year 4th to 6th September and Woman’s Weekly Manchester Live 10th to 12th September. Phew, no wonder I feel a tad tired! I wore myself out just writing that!

Della guitar

me having a guitar moment by the lake at Swanwick with the lovely Helen Ellwood

Me teaching at Kinson

Me teaching in Bournemouth.

Swanwick house




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4 Responses to Holidays for Writers – are they worth it?

  1. Thanks for including me in your guitar moment, Della; Swanwick magic at its best.

  2. How right you are Della!

    At Writers Holiday I surprised myself by writing two poems under the guidance of James Nash. I wasn’t at Swanwick because I was driving trams at Crich Tramway Village, just five miles away, but everyone I spoke to said how much they enjoyed themselves.

    • Della Galton says:

      How amazing is that, Malcolm! A writing magic that spreads out around the venue. I think they have the time effect too – we get back from them and are inspired for a week or two extra. We need more writing holidays!

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