Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Caerleon summers

In 1997 the Babe Magnet wrote a book for a series called How To. His title was Writing and Publishing Poetry.  As a result of that, he was invited to run a course at Caerleon Writers’ Holiday.  When he was contacted by Gerry Hobbs who,  with his wife Anne ran Writers’ Holiday, he asked if they  would like a Mills & Boon author to come along too – ie me.  That offer was accepted enthusiastically, we both went the Caerleon  - and it was the start of a long love affair with the place and the event.

 We fell in love with the setting – a tiny Welsh town with the best preserved Roman amphitheatre in the country - the atmosphere - the  good food  (there is always huge amounts of food, with so much choice ) But most of all with Anne and Gerry who ran a wonderful event with friendliness, informality and made sure that it was exactly as they described it a Writers Holiday. None of the other general  Writers' conferences come anywhere near to Caerleon on these points.

Since then we have gone back to Caeleon every year but one -  and that was only because it clashed with the RWA conference in America and I just couldn’t manage both., Caerleon in July has been so  much a part of our lives that we start to look forward to the next one even as we are driving home from the most recent event,  We have done talks, run courses, organised poetry readings, made friends, each year meeting up again with old friends and making new ones. We helped to celebrate Caerleon’s 25 anniversary and  we have been proud  to be part of the very special writing event.

We’ll be there again In July this year – but sadly probably not after that,

2012 is likely to be the last year that Writers' Holiday takes place in the form it has taken for the last 26 or so years, at the university campus in Caerleon, South Wales. The change is as a result of economic necessities but also other  difficulties so that Writers’ Holidays is unlikely ro continue as it has done in the future.

There's a possibility of Writers' Holiday evolving, next year, at a smaller and different venue, with a correspondingly smaller number of places available, but if anybody has always meant to go to the present Writers' Holiday Caerleon, or thought they might go this year but haven't got around to booking, this is your last opportunity. You can find out more at the web site

The Babe Magnet and I will be there this summer – I will be running the  course  A COMPLETE INTRODUCTION TO WRITING ROMANCE  . The Magnet is giving a Main Talk on something or other.  We will enjoy every bit of the week as we always do  – the courses, the conversations, that food – the Wednesday afternoon trip out – the final evening with the performance by the Male Voice Choir  and we’ll be desperately sad when it’s  over and at the thought  that it will never be the same again.

I’ll let you all know just what plans Anne and Gerry come up with to carry on their wonderful tradition of friendly and helpful writers events – and I’ll hope to see some of you at Caerleon in  July.

And don’t forget that Anne and Gerry also run the fabulous Fishguard Writing Weekend in February  where I   follow up my Introductory course  from Caerleon  with  Advanced Romance. I hope I’ll be able to run the basic course somewhere else next year with Anne and Gerry’s warm  welcome to look forward to.


Ayla said...

Oh no! I had to cancel this year so that's really bad news for me. I love the Writers Holiday, especially as it's on my old campus and literally down the road from where i live. It's been one of the best events to go to for many years. I hope Anne and Gerry can find a venue for next year!

marybelle said...

Have a wonderful time!!

Anonymous said...

I've been to Caerleon for a few years. Sadly I had to cancel last year, but looking forward to July. It's such a shame that it won't be running in the future as it really is a writers holiday - no pressure.
I'm sure that there will be a few watery eyes at the last night this year :-(

Kate Walker said...

I agree Ayla - Caerleon has been one of the very best events for years. I'm so glad you got to be part of it. And yes let's hope that Anne & Gerry find a new venue for next year. Maybe see you then?

Kate Walker said...

Thanks Marybelle - we will have agreat time, I know but it will be sad to think it'll possibly be the last one

Kate Walker said...

Hello Christine - you'll know all about how great Caerleon is - and yes, you've put your finger on why it's so special. It truly is a writers' holiday. You can do as much or as little as you like. And I'm sure I'll be one of those with watery eyes on the last night. I can't believe it will really be the *last* one.


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