Saturday 29 August 2015

Horses for Courses: Residential writers' courses - April Taylor's view.

I have been back from the Swanwick Writers School in Derbyshire for almost two weeks now. In those two weeks, I have mused on the advantages and disadvantages for any writer attending one of these courses, using my experience of the Writers Holiday in Wales two years ago and the Writers School in Swanwick.

There will be those writers who do not feel they need to spend the £500 (ish) for a week of being looked after and not having to concentrate on anything but writing. Good luck to those. My feelings are that, even the seasoned published successful writer can come away with something new from a writing week experience.

Writers' Holiday, Fishguard

Swanwick Writers School, Derbyshire

If you would like to read more about my thoughts, go to my blog here:

You can find more information about April Taylor here:

Saturday 15 August 2015

Fascinated by History - Isles of Orkney

Linda Acaster has embarked on another short series of research blogposts taking in the northern isles of Orkney and Faroes, sitting out in the Atlantic Ocean north of Scotland.
[Research, eh? A likely story...]

Her intimation is that too many historical novels tend to dwell within their own time periods as if nothing existed or left its mark on the novel's 'present' and its characters.

She starts in Orkney, concentrating on the Neolithic megaliths that pre-date Stonehenge. 

Orkney: Skara Brae Neolithic Village
Faroe: Mountains, Fjords & Vikings

Saturday 8 August 2015

Fascinated by History

Members of Hornsea Writers are, to a greater or lesser degree, fascinated by history. Sometimes it is the mistakes of those reaching for power repeated down the centuries - see novels by Stuart Aken and April Taylor - and sometimes it is centred on ordinary people who lived in a time before our own who found the inner strength to deal with circumstances we wouldn't want to face outside the pages of a novel - see books by Annie Wilkinson and Madeleine McDonald.

One of the three wings of Gainsborough Old Hall c1460
Linda Acaster is fascinated by how a place, sometimes natural, often man-made, affects the lives of those who lived there, often diverse people across the centuries. 

Her latest post concerns aspects of one of the country's few mediaeval manor houses still standing in its recognisable form - Gainsborough Old Hall in Lincolnshire - where royalty separated by historical eras - King Richard III and King Henry VIII - once rested their heads, and the Pilgrim Fathers plotted their escape down the River Trent close by.