Saturday, 10 September 2011


Breakfast was from 7.30 – 9 which was great as I could decide when to get up.
The first workshop started at 9.30. This time it was in the main building so I didn’t have to walk far.
The class was led by James Nash, a poet based near me in Leeds. He gave us some photos taken from newspapers and magazines and asked us to write a few lines as though we were that person. Next he produced a remarkable clay sculpture of a young boy’s head and we took our inspiration from that. He gave us questions which we had to answer from the boy/sculpture’s point of view. I have no idea how bad or terrible my poem was, but I did enjoy the process and James was a very good teacher, warm and very human.
Once that class was finished it was time for me to take centre stage.
I gave a talk on the subject ‘What do Take a Break want? In which I looked at both fiction and the wide variety of filler opportunities that market is looking for. It went down very well. Once again people seemed to find me very funny, and not in a bad way either. From there it was straight into lunch, then came the AGM which was dull but not as bad as it could have been.
After that, somebody ran a session on limericks which I didn’t go to. Instead I chatted to some of the people in what I call the book room as it’s where books for sale were on displayed. I met the man behind Byker books who published one of my stories in his last fiction collection – Radgepacket 5 and found out that I was going to be in the next one too, which was good news.
The next workshop ran from 3.30 – 5.30. This was with Julie Bokowiec again.
She was looking at language used in drama and how it changes according to the person who’s speaking and who they are speaking to.
The Gala Dinner was the next thing on the agenda. As we weren’t eating until after seven thirty, I went for a quick walk to the nearest shop to buy a few Babybel cheeses to keep me going.
The Gala Dinner was of a good standard, even though there wasn’t much choice. Once we’d finished eating, the prizes were awarded for the various competitions including the one I’d judged with the last line about a pumpkin.
Dinner went on until about 9.30 after that it was time for people to have their four minutes of fame, when they could read out their work to entertain the ret of us. I read a story from my book of twist stories just to show willing.
The sparkles ended just after eleven, when finding not much else to do, I went to bed. Before climbing in, I turned the mattress over which made a huge improvement. As I went to sleep I could hear a disco somewhere in the distance being run by students somewhere. Part of me wanted to join them!

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