As you sit at your desk beavering away at an assignment or other writing p
roject that you may be working on, it's all to easy to become isolated. Every now and then it is necessary to get back in touch with the real world, and thankfully there are a couple of great ways to do this. Writers holidays.
Caerleon, new Newport, Wales is the venue of the Writers Holiday, held at the end of July through to the beginning of August. From Sunday through to Friday, you can mix with over a hundred other writers as you tackle a variety of workshops in the mornings, listen to visiting writers lectures in the afternoon, attend even more workshops and classes after tea, and then listen to more writers after dinner. (Then it's all down to the pub after such a hard working day.)
If you're able to attend, I would seriously encourage you to do so. Yes, it costs a few hundred pounds but that's inclusive of accommodation, all meals, all workshops, tuition, after tea sessions and lectures. All you have to pay for is the drinks in the bar!
I led one of the series of workshops last year and this year I shall be giving one of the afternoon or after dinner lectures. It's a great, friendly atmosphere and I guarantee that if you went with a blank address book with you leave the event with it full of new friend's contact details.
For more information visit http://www.writersholiday.net/
If you're unable to get to Caerleon, or you do and you catch the bug (which I would be surprised if you didn't), the National Association of Writers Groups (NAWG) run the Open Festival of Writing at Durham over the first weekend in September. Again, it's packed full of other like-minded writers and is a non-stop weekend of fun, frivolity and workshops. Saturday night is also the gala dinner when the winners of the organisations competitions are announced, and the Oscars have nothing on this ceremony!
The NAWG Festival is sightly cheaper than the Caerleon holiday, but then is a long weekend event rather than nearly a week. More details can be found at NAWG FESTIVAL. I shall be running 3 workshops at Durham this year.
There is another 'event' - the Swanwick Summer School in Derbyshire in the second week of August, which is also popular.
If you're unable to make this year's events, do consider 2009. Start putting a few pounds a week aside now, or try to sell a couple of articles to pay for the break. They are great learning opportunities, as well as great holidays. You'll make lots more writing friends and who knows where that networking could lead?