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Swanwick writers’ summer school

Swanwick writers’ summer school

The Swanwick Writers ‘Summer School is an annual writers’ conference held at The Hayes Conference Center , near Swanwick, Derbyshire. Founded in 1948, and first held in the summer of 1949, it is believed to be the oldest independent writers’ school in the world. Established as a charity and run by the London Writers Circle. Early celebrities included in the School included, Vera Brittain , LP Hartley , Hammond Innes, and Arthur C. Clarke [1 ] The first chairman was Cecil Hunt , a chairman of the London Writers’ Circle. Early delegates included the nominee booker prize,Barbara Pym , No Background Return of Love, is inspired, in part, by Swanwick itself. [3] [4] Associated with the school for over fifteen years, Winner Paul Scott . He refers to the role Swanwick plays in creative writing in his published essays. [5] [6]

Over the years Swanwick has played an important role in the social development of creative writing. [7] [8]

The School

Established postwar, it formed part of the continuing process of democratization of writing by many amateur groups in the 1920s and 1930s. [1] From icts founding in 1948, the aim of the school has-been to Provide a social and educational framework for the development of creative writing skills. [7] Its role in the establishment of creative writing in the UK, from Hammond Innes in 1952 to Sir Terry Pratchett . [8] It has also been closely associated with the development of women’s writing. [9]Members range from seasoned authors to new published books. The inclusive community is designed to enable the sharing of experiences, best practice and support for individual writers’ creative writing.

Derbyshire Record Office houses the school’s historical records, reflecting its importance in the development of creative writing in the UK. These archives (ref: D5886) include the school minutes; how books and correspondence.


Noted authors Who-have-been members of the school over the years include Eleanor Hibbert , John Boland , Barbara Pym , Vivian Stuart , Paul Scott , Nina Bawden , Carla Lane and Margaret Drabble . [5] [8]


In 2005, the School Obtained a grant from Awards for All to launch the project TopWrite to supporting young writers and help close the gaps entre the business, literary and academic writing worlds.


  1. ^ Jump up to:b Hilliard, Christopher (30 June 2009). To Exercise Our Talents: The Democratization of Writing in Britain . Harvard.
  2. Jump up^ Allan, Victor (October 1949). The Fellowship of Swanwick . Writer Magazine.
  3. Jump up^ Pym, Barbara (2002). No Background Return of Love . Wickford: Moyer Bell.
  4. Jump up^ Cocking, Yvonne (19 March 2011). “A Thankless Task?”. Paper to The Barbara Pym North American Conference .
  5. ^ Jump up to:b Scott, Paul (1986). My appointment with the muse . Heinemann. ISBN  0434626007 .
  6. Jump up^ Scott, Paul (1987). On writing and the novel – essays . Morrow. ISBN  0688069096 .
  7. ^ Jump up to:b Wandor Micheline (2008). The Author Is Not Dead, Merely Somewhere Else: Creative Writing After Theory . Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
  8. ^ Jump up to:c Martin, Nancy (1983). Venture of Faith – A History of Swanwick . Worthing: HE Walter Ltd. ISBN  0 85479 066 7 .
  9. Jump up^ Kent, Sylvia (2009). The Woman Writer: The History of the Society of Women Writers and Journalists . Stroud: The History Press.