Onwards and Upwards

After our reading at the Art Workers’ Guild, Alison was very forthright in her collective praise of the class and she seems to be expecting some big things from us as a year group, although she might perhaps have been surprised at the progress of at least one of our number over the six weeks or so after the event.

I looked at Facebook page a couple of weeks ago to see a picture of Michael Braga, one of my coursemates from the City Novel Writing course holding a sheaf of papers with a very satisfied expression on his face. In an incredible burst of productivity, he’s finished his novel already – achieving an incredibly impressive 93,000 words – and all this while doing a demanding, full-time job. Amazing.

I always found his readings to be tremendously entertaining, humorous and colourful and the excerpt he read at the Art Workers’ Guild showcased these qualities very well. I look forward to following the progress of the novel and wish him the best of luck with it. He’s set up a blog recently, which is another testament to his productivity – it can be accessed from the sidebar.

Alison sent out a news update to all course alumni a couple of weeks ago mentioning that Simon Holmes from the course had been taken on my Simon Trewin, an agent at United Artists, whom Alison previously described as ‘a big cheese’.  (His photo is now on the agency’s web page.) Simon’s writing is very intelligent; in passages it can be quite beautiful, creating a highly imaginative surreal world with a most intriguing central character. I wouldn’t be surprised to see his novel in the running for a literary prize in the near future.

A few students from the course have taken interesting initiatives. A couple of people have been on an Arvon foundation retreat up in the Black Isle near Inverness – something I’d like to do but for various reasons probably won’t get the opportunity for a few years. I’ll be looking forward to hearing how that went.

Another route is one-on-one mentoring, something that Bren Gosling, has taken up. He’s talked positively in his blog (linked to from the sidebar) about his sessions with Emma Sweeney – who stepped in as a very capable substitute for Emily at the end of the course and helped us with our readings.

Emma marked our last assignments for the course – our reflective commentary and blurb – and made some nice comments on mine. She also gave some very helpful feedback on material for my tutorial in the last term – which was the bulk of chapter five.

I’m mulling over another course of action that I might undertake this autumn in relation to keeping the writing momentum going – if I make a decision to then watch this space and all may be revealed.

One Reply to “Onwards and Upwards”

  1. Hi,

    I’ve just stumbled upon your blog. Yesterday, I was accepted into the City U’s Novel Writing Certificate course. And am pretty certain I’m going to do it. Can I ask you a couple questions about your experience with it?

    Much thanks,

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