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I've been away all week in the depths of West Yorkshire doing an Arvon Course tutored by the awesome Celia Rees and Patrick Ness (and with a guest tutor session by multi-award winning Meg Rosoff).

It was intense.

Let me say that again: it was intense.

I'm not ashamed to say that the stress got to me for a couple of days, but I pulled through. By Friday evening I'd solved a problem with one scene in KYBS, had Celia Rees say that she really enjoyed a scene she read from KYBS and wrote 1800 words of a YA comedy zombie short story that Patrick Ness said he enjoyed and thought I should finish.


If you're thinking of doing a writing week at all this year (not necessarily children's/YA - if you have other writing interests) and you're in the UK, then there are still places on the these Arvon Courses and Retreats and I would recommend checking them out. The staff are lovely, the tutors are all leaders in their field and you usually end up with a great bunch of people who share your interests. Plus the big advantage of an Arvon course is that there are no distractions - no internet and no television so there's no excuse but to write.

I worked on KYBS on the train journey back and made more progress. I'm part way through one horribly tricky scene and still have another horrible scene to write from scratch, but I'm not quite as worried about as I was before. Incidentally, if you're taking a train journey in the UK and can book a ticket in advance, then look at the First Class prices - they're usually only slightly more expensive than cattle class and the service is a hell of a lot better.

Work did manage to snare me slightly while I was away, of which the least said the better.

In other news, the England football team - bwah ha ha ha ha!

Maybe when we crash out all those idiots with St George's flags glued to their car will take them off.

I got my first Amazon Vine pick sheet for June and was shocked and horrified to find that, based on my reviews and purchases, I was being offered free diet pills.

o rly?

:is unimpressed:

And that's about it. Back to reality I suppose ...


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 19th, 2010 07:42 pm (UTC)
Aw, fuck, I wish I had known about this. I freaking love Patrick Ness and would love/be terrified of working with him on a retreat! I'm thinking of applying to the Clarion workshops, but they're like 6 weeks and I don't think I'm ready for that yet :O
Jun. 20th, 2010 04:00 pm (UTC)
...I REALLY want to do one of these. So much. So so so much.

*starts saving pennies*
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


Caroline Hooton

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