Summer dresses, shorts and flip flops, adventure, sunshine, new beginnings - the Skyros holiday season in Greece has officially begun. To help give you a feel for her fully-booked writing course, Mez Packer, author of 'Among Thieves' and 'The Game is Altered', shares her experiences from the first Skyros Centre Writers' Lab this July . . .
What I love most,
on the island, is watching people as they arrive at the Writers’ Lab.
Witnessing the changes as they relax and unwind. Some of them are nervous on
the first day of the course. They don’t want to read their work, they’re unsure
of their ability. Others are more confident – they have stories and ideas
bubbling out of their brains.
It’s been a week since I returned from sunny Skyros and although daily life is already beginning to grind me down the Skyros experience is still making me glow. For the participants (so they tell me) and for the facilitators there’s something unique and lasting about a Skyros holiday and every day, since getting home, I have gone back over the photos and looked at the emails from group members and read the updates on Facebook from the wonderful Andrew and Julian. The sense of togetherness I felt there and the friendships I made - are real.
The great thing, though, is that a typical Skyros participant is a peculiar type of person - fun loving and full of enthusiasm – but most of all supportive and magnanimous. For a facilitator this is pure joy. The group almost runs itself. By the end everyone wants to read their work and everyone has been inspired. The place, the other participants and the unique atmosphere that a Skyros course engenders are compelling. It’s creativity and generosity combined. It makes Skyros a genuine highlight on my teaching calendar. As a creative writer it makes me want to return again and again.
Mez Packer – Creative Writing facilitator July 2012