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Swanwick 2014 – Final Thoughts

The last course I attended this year was Robin de Jongh’s session on Online eBook Marketing, from which I learnt the importance of aiming for a niche. Robin stressed that, with the ever increasing number of books and websites appearing each year, the road to success involves a careful study of the potential audience as well as the competition. I can well believe that, as my only non-fiction book so far, Easy Money For Writers And Wannabes, continues to outsell any of my short story collections. At the AGM, it was good to see two of my friends enjoying success. Cathy Grimmer of Ripon Writers’ Group was elected to the 2015 committee and Julia Pattison won the raffle for a free place at Swanwick next year. Hearty congratulations to both ladies!

Swanwick busking on the lawn

The traditional Dregs Party (an opportunity to contribute any drinks and snacks bought but not consumed during the week) took place on the lawn and was enlivened by a final performance by some of our Swanwick buskers.

Swanwick buskers audience

No musician myself, I’m a great admirer of those who can play and sing, so you might be able to pick me out in the middle of the audience. Shortly afterwards, we all piled into the bar and then dinner to fortify ourselves (yet again!) for the evening ahead.

Swanwick quiz

I should have known that we weren’t in for a serious attempt at ‘I’m sorry, I haven’t a clue’ when everyone in the audience was handed a kazoo. No show would be complete without musical numbers, but the panellists’ faces when confronted by our renditions of The William Tell Overture and the theme tune from EastEnders were a sight to behold. From left to right, John Lamont, Lesley Deschner, Michael O’Byrne, Mike Berry and Phil Collins did their best against a background of rising hysteria.

Swanwick best actress

Cathy Grimmer was overwhelmed to have been voted Best Actress for her performance in ‘Requiem’, her own play, but the honour was very well deserved. Phil Collins won the Best Play award for the third year running. Will anyone beat him in 2015, I wonder! John Lamont – the handsome chap in the kilt (for those of my readers who don’t know him) – led us in the singing of Auld Lang Syne and then it was off to the bar for a few farewell drinks before packing and bed. I can’t believe it’s all over for another year but look forward to keeping in touch with everyone until we reassemble next summer. Swanwick 2015 will take place from 8th to 14th August and it can’t come soon enough for me!

15 August, 2014 - There are 2 comments on this story

  1. Sounds as though you had a good time.

    Patsy -

  2. We certainly did, Patsy. I hope you can join us next year!

    Maggie Cobbett -

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