Luxury student accommodation!
I spruced up quickly, and made my way back to the centre, and the noisy and busy bar. I got a double Bacardi and coke and loitered around trying to spot somebody I knew, even vaguely. I spotted Isabel Costello! I hooked up with her, and had a great night, listening to the 7 performers at Friday Night Live and being wowed by their courage to get up and read their stuff to such a large audience.
The workshops on Saturday were fabulous and informative, and I learned a lot about writing. The breakfast and lunch were good, and I found myself really enjoying meeting people I "knew" from Twitter, The Word Cloud and from blogs. And meeting people I had never met before in any capacity. It was a very friendly, open event and no need to feel shy for long. Everybody there was a writer and wanted to talk about writing.
The gala dinner on Saturday night was great fun, and I was on a lively and interesting table: three of us (not me) doing exceptionally well in the Best First Chapter competition, and the overall winner on our table too! (Kate Johnson). Later in the evening, my editor Suzie Doore sought me out with a bottle of Champagne, which was lovely, and we chatted about... well, writing mostly!
Writerly types Isabel Costello, Alan P and Athelstone all ready for the gala dinner
Our table... Wendy, David and Kate, winner of the first chapter comp... this was later in the evening
.. people drifted off to chat with others and get even more drinks, I presume
Sunday morning was a little subdued... but there were more workshops and a nice lunch, where I sat with more on-line friends:
The lovely Jody Klaire, Squidge and Hil from The Word Cloud
Oh, and there was a bookstall ran by Blackwells. I couldn't resist and bought Nirvana Bites by Debi Alper, one of the weekend's tutors and a book doctor and an amazingly talented and supportive lady. Would I go back to the FOW14? Yes, I'd love to. Even as a writer who is lucky enough to have a book deal, there is so much to learn and enjoy at the FOW. Apart from anything else, it was so much fun.
(Note to self: use a sat nav next year.)