In a word - wow!
The spinning whirl of a buzzing melee that is the Winchester Writers' Festival only grows dizzier by the year. I got home last night, keen to note down what went well and what needed some attention with my teaching and...
... promptly crashed out and fell asleep. It was exhausing, but exhilarating too.
This morning, after a mammoth sleep, I've been reflecting what it is about such meetings of minds that is so delightful and uplifting.
Firstly, a quick thanks to the group I took on Sunday for the Crime Writing, from Start to Slaying workshop -
They were a hard working bunch as you can see, but also fun. They gladly played along with some of my stranger ways of teaching; not minding at all being sprayed with my cologne, sharing their innermost secrets, being scared out of their wits etc...
But back to the feelings of the Festival -
Firstly, there's the obvious one, that people were learning about the art of writing. One of my group said, "I've had two epiphanies in an hour" (sounds like a British 70's comedy - maybe Carry on Writing?!), which meant that she could see her book in a new, and much improved, light.
The tutors learn too, I can promise you that - every time I teach I discover something new about the joyous land of writing.
The Festival also gives aspiring authors the chance to pitch direct to publishers and agents, and every year some get taken on - watching them skip up the steps in the heart of the university afterwards is such a moving moment.
But best of all, I think it's the sharing of the love which is the most wonderful part of the festival.
Writing can be a solitary and lonely business, as we all know very well. To have so many like-minded people all gathered together, talking about writing, feeling writing, living and breathing writing, is both energsing and inspirational.
So here's to all who came along, wishing them the very best for the writing year, and here's to Winchester and the other great writing festivals, schools and holidays - long may they thrive and share out the love of our wonderful passion.