Monday, August 06, 2007
So it's over, but if I ever had any doubt that there is such a thing as Arvon magic, any day over the last week would have convinced me. From the minute we all arrived, separately and a little defensively maybe, at the Hurst for our short story course, the sun shone and it didn't stop until we left on a grey Saturday morning. Of course, everything was helped by the fact taht there were sixteen (eighteen including Jean and I) committed writers present, and we even managed to have fun as well. The last two nights were spent enjoying fantastic short stories, some of which had been written over the previous three days, and there was even a short story slam, won by our youngest contestant, sixteen year old Clemmy who came up with alternative deadly sins. My highlights included sitting writing by the lake, the 'saucy' chocolate pudding, hearing complete stories I'd seen just one day earlier as little more than notes, and being shocked into silence (for probably the first time in my teaching career) by some of the secrets held by the 'characters' produced in a writing exercise. Thanks to everyone who participated - it was a real celebration of writing of the best kind - when a 'how to do it' turns into a 'this is how I've done it'. I'm not sure I've heard so many different writing voices in one room as I did during the evening reading sessions - proof that writing courses don't turn out clones. That was magic enough.
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