Being Back by Allison Symes

Image Credits:-

  1. Pictures from the Swanwick Writers' Summer School were taken by me, Allison Symes.  
  2. I also took the screenshot for the ACW Flash Fiction group.  
  3. One image created in Book Brush using Pixabay photo.

I returned from the Swanwick Writers’ Summer School earlier this month and it was a joy to be back there again. It was cancelled last year for the first time in its seventy year plus history due to You Know What.

It was so good to be back at The Hayes, Derbyshire for Swanwick 2021


One of my favourite spots at The Hayes.

I’ve made wonderful writing friends at Swanwick and it was great to meet up in person once again after a gap of two years. Some of us kept in contact through Zoom but the buzz you get from being with fellow creatives in person is hard to beat. Swanwick is held at The Hayes in Derbyshire where I know some of you go to the CRT events. The place itself is lovely. See photos for proof!

So what has all that got to do with ACW then (other than my taking the chance to put ACW materials, as well as my own books, in Swanwick’s Book Room. I'm glad to say most (of both) went!)?

A nice quiet place to think after a hard day's workshopping!

The gardens at The Hayes are stunning.
 

Firstly I wanted to express gratitude for all that Zoom has made possible over the last year or so. It has been a joy for me at Membership to see members taking part in some of the events ACW held online. And I know I appreciate the events I’ve been able to “attend”. 

I also wanted to give a shout out to Jane Brocklehurst at Events, Richard Palmer at groups, and Dan Cooke, our tech support, for their hard work behind the scenes this past year. It is also great seeing genre groups starting to become a reality for ACW (and another benefit for members) including the Flash Fiction group hosted by Annmarie Miles and I.

The Chapel at The Hayes. There is a daily short service at Swanwick. I led a session on the Monday.

View of The Chapel
 

Secondly, I hope the last year has given us all a deeper appreciation for what I know I have normally not given a second thought about. The funny thing is it has not been a deliberate “not thinking about” either.

I arrange transport, go to an event, come home again, having had a lovely and productive time, buzzing with ideas to write about when I get back. And that’s fabulous and something I’ve loved being able to do once more. 

One of the joys of the author life. Image taken by Fiona Park on my phone!

A lovely place for reflection at The Hayes. Yes, there are fish in there. No fishing allowed though!
 

But if you can’t get to in person events, this is not something you can ever take for granted.

So in our “brave new world” then, as we come back to something approaching normality, what would I like to see in our writing world?

I want to see the best of both worlds - online events as well as in person ones and both appreciated for what they are.

I have many reasons to be grateful for Zoom and online working. The ACW Flash Fiction group is one of them.
 

I would like to see the online events encourage more people to write and submit their work and have a way of finding encouragement and support this way.

And those of us who can go to in person events to appreciate these and the blessings we have here. 

And whichever kind of event we go to, or if we can do both, that we might find our writing blessed and encouraged and in its turn that writing proves to be a blessing and encouragement to others, whether we write specifically Christian material or not.  

And don't forget we follow in the footsteps of the Greatest Storyteller of all, Jesus. Even stories written "just" for entertainment can take people out of their troubles for a while. May that be a blessing to us all.


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