A Whirlwind of Wonderful Intensity

It's taking quite some time to return to anywhere approaching earth after the Winchester Writers' Conference. 

What a weekend! From my first meetings with the other writers, I got the sense it was going to be special. And how.

Firstly, on the Thursday night, I met Dave Evans, a very fine author who was on my crime writing course last year.  And then he announced he's been shortlisted for the hugely prestigious Crime Writers Association Debut Dagger award.

I take none of the credit - it's down to his talent alone.  But what a start to the weekend.

Then there was Friday and my group for our day together talking about crime writing. It's always a nervous experience, starting these sessions.  You never quite know if you're going to get on.

But, I'm delighted to say, we did - and brilliantly.  From only about twenty minutes into the course, when I did an alarming exercise which consisted of me throwing chairs, breathing on people's necks in a most sinister fashion, and spraying my cologne around, we bonded.

The group seemed to understand my unorthodox ways of teaching and it all worked so well we spent much of the rest of the weekend getting together for chats over a coffee or rather more interesting drink.

Simon at Winchester 2013.JPG

This is me in my Winchester classroom "trying to be serious" mode, with some of my teaching prompts. 

I'd like to thank everyone who came along to Friday, and my one hour session on Saturday, for such a fantastic time. I hugely enjoyed myself, it was a great pleasure meeting you all, and I learnt lots myself.

And may I also say - from the work you did in the exercises I set, you're going to be damn fine writers.

I noticed that across the entire conference, people were bonding, supporting each other, really cheering their fellows on. There is such an intensity of emotion to the weekend - so many drawn together by their shared passion of writing.

It was an exhausting, but incredibly uplifting time, a memory which will never fade.  I feel proud to have been a part of it, and my life much richer for all the people I met.  Many I hope will stay somewhere with me as we journey onwards.

And if I made some small difference to a few writers, and their work, that'll do me beautifully as a little legacy.

To you all - thank you, so very much.