Back on Track

Last weekend I attended another of Kate Walker's fabulous writing retreats, organized by Malaga Workshops.  The Hayes in Swanwick was a venue I'd not been to before and, although not far from Derby, it is set in lovely grounds and surrounded by farmland.  I went with the aim of not actually doing much writing as I wanted to do a lot of thinking instead. And, thanks to Kate's critique of my manuscript and her generous comments and encouragement, I was able to reassess very  carefully and positively my current work in progress. As such, from arriving feeling a little jaded, I came away with a much clearer idea of where the book is going and with renewed energy to do the editing necessary for submission after Christmas.

As always, meeting up with writing friends - aka the legendary Walker's Stalkers - was great and a fun and productive weekend flew by far too quickly.  There were a couple of new faces there too and the group really worked well, with everyone getting lots of writing done in between the feedback sessions. And when creativity proved elusive, there were the tranquil gardens to explore, which really helped clear one's head and recharge the batteries.   We even kept calm when our 'honesty' bar mysteriously disappeared on the last night.  Happily, the course organizer Lois Maddox tracked it down with her usual and admirable tenacity!


  1. Hi Melissa. So glad you had a wonderful time, productive too. It's one of the best results of a course to come away with a much clearer idea of what you want to do with a story. Love the photo - a picture of tranquillity. xx

  2. Thanks for your comment, Sarah. It was a lovely weekend and really sorry you couldn't make it. Hope your new story is going well :) xx

  3. Lovely to see you again Melissa - and I'm so glad that my comments and critique helped you. That story is so worth reworking to polish it and turn it into the diamond it could be so I hope the editing goes well. Wasn't the setting of The Hayes beautiful ? And we were so lucky to get the lovely weather too so it looked its best. Thanks for the photo - I didn't get to see too much of the lake! Too busy talking with other students! Hope to see you again soon.

  4. Hi Kate, thanks so much for your lovely and encouraging words about my story and I'm back to it now with a vengeance! Yes, the Hayes was really beautiful and so peaceful - maybe next time we should hold the one-to-ones out by the lake so you can enjoy a bit of the tranquility too! xx


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