Monday, 5 July 2010

Writing Life

A writing life is made up of many things other than writing books. In June, I tutored a week long Creative Writing Course, at the Ted Hughes Arvon Centre at Lumb Bank in Yorkshire, together with Patrick Ness. We were lucky enough to tutor a talented and enthusiastic group. They worked very hard and rose to every challenge we could devise. It is traditional on Arvon courses to read out work on Friday night and the standard that they achieved was very high indeed. They have gone on the start up their own Yahoo! Group. I hope they stay in touch with each other - and with us.

I went from there to Rimini in Italy. I had been invited to a Festival and was looking forward to a few days in the Italian sun. It rained (it did not rain in Yorkshire), but the festival was well worth the trip. It was run and organised almost entirely by teenagers. I was looked after by the wonderful Cristina who spoke excellent English and sorted everything out for me. A big audience turned out to hear me talk about Sovay, published in Italy as La ragazza con le pistole, despite a spectacular thunderstorm.

The day after I arrived back in England, I went to Kingston-on-Thames for an event with my friend, Mary Hooper, and another Bloomsbury writer, Lucy Jago. We were in the Rose Theatre talking about historical novels. Mary has just had her novel Fallen Grace published and Lucy's novel, Montecute house came out in April.

I ended the week at Haberdashers' School in Monmouth, taking part in a whole week's activities, centred around the life of Charles Rolls (of Rolls Royce fame). his family lived just outside Monmouth and this year is the centenary of his death. On Friday afternoon we were entertained to an Edwardian tea on the lawn - an excellent way to end the week!

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