It’s been a week now since I returned home from Hay Writers at Work, a professional development scheme for writers from Wales funded by the Arts Council of Wales and the brainchild of Hay Festival’s own Peter Florence.
I came across the call-out for applicants for the scheme in the Literature Wales’ newsletter back in March and decided to apply (under my real name, Wendy White). I was absolutely delighted when I found out a few weeks later that my application had been successful.
I spent 11 days at the festival, along with 19 other writers from Wales, being nurtured, nourished and inspired by the amazing programme of workshops and masterclasses wonderful Hay Fellow, Tiffany Murray, organised for us.
In future blogs I’ll be sharing some of the advice I gleaned from the authors, poets, publishers and agents who spoke to us, but today I’m sharing a link to Hay Festival’s blog page, and my own contribution to that. There are also posts on the website by some of the other writers who took part in the scheme, sharing their own viewpoints on our time at Hay.
It was an amazing and extremely beneficial 11 days. I came home exhausted after the packed programme, but truly inspired to take my writing to the next level and very grateful for the whole fantastic literary experience.
But best of all, I’ve expanded my network of writing friends and I know they’ll be a real support to me. I’m looking forward to supporting their new work and cheering them on in the future too.
The Hay Writers at Work scheme can only go ahead with the generous help of the Arts Council of Wales but hopefully, if funding continues, places will be available for more writers from Wales to attend next year’s festival.
I’d advise any writer who’s eligible (that is, who’s from Wales or lives in Wales) to keep a look out for the notice in Literature Wales’ newsletter early in 2019 and just go ahead and apply – it’s an opportunity that’s too good to miss.
Sara’s debut novel ‘Not Thomas’ – a story of child neglect, love and hope, shown through the eyes of five-year-old Tomos – is published by Honno Press in paperback and as an e-book, and is available to buy direct from the publisher, from Amazon and from bookshops.