Caerleon – a writers’ holiday

I spent a few days towards the end of July teaching at the writers’ holiday at Caerleon. Teaching novel writing is tricky. In the end, the only way to do it is to do it – then read, review and do it again. I worked with a group of about 25 people, and we discussed plot and character development, ways of creating a sense of place, ways of creating tension and general issues that are important to writers. It was a good few days and I enjoyed the classes a lot. I hope the people I was teaching enjoyed it as much as I did.

It reminded me how much I used to enjoy the teaching part of my work as a college lecturer. Even, with the rose-tinted glasses of hindsight, the day-release plumbers who set off the fire extinguishers during coffee break (what do you say when you come back to your classroom and find it awash? Not, if you want to keep your job, the first thing that comes into your mind. You say the second thing which in my case was: Will someone go and get a mop and bucket?)

Anyway, enough dreaming about past glories. There were some very good writers at Caerleon and I expect to see some familiar names in the shortlist for the Debut Dagger in 2007. If you want to find out more, visit the web site at

ZoĆ« Sharp will be teaching the crime fiction course next year – it will be worth doing.