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18 November 2016

Last weekend I was at the annual conference of the National Association of Writers in Education (NAWE) in Stratford-on-Avon. It’s my first time as a speaker there, and I hosted a slot about Becoming a Writer-in-Residence.

It was a well-attended session, though clashed with 2 other sessions I desperately wanted to listen to – one on science and poetry, and another on experimentation in poetry. Thankfully, poets were usually to be found in the bar later on and there were abundant informal discussions and swapping summaries of sessions we missed.

Here’s the info from the programme:

Becoming a Writer-in-Residence

What is a Writer-in-Residence? What exactly do they do? And how do you get to be one? Discover the benefits and pitfalls of being a writer attached to an organisation. This interactive workshop will include where to look for residencies, how to find the perfect fit, applying, proactively creating your own role, and practicalities like responsibilities, payment, and the impact on your work. There are residencies out there to suit all genres and levels of writer – from just starting out to full-time professional author. Find out how a writing residency can inspire you, widen your experience, boost income, and help create more writing time.

For me, the NAWE conference was inspirational, energising and gave me lots of new ideas for my teaching and writing. I met lots of new writers, academics, Phd students and community arts workers. It was fun, hectic, tiring and absolutely wonderful. To cap it all, there was even falconry followed by a writing session on offer!

I will definitely be going back next year – second weekend in November, 2017. Put it in your diaries. It’s well worth attending.