Hopefully, from my first post on the matter, you got a taste for how great the John Hewitt International Summer School is. If you’re a writer who has never experienced it first-hand, I hope the jealously these posts no doubt engender within you push you to go next year. If you’re a sponsor of one (or more) of the bursary places, I hope you see what a wonderful thing it is you’ve enabled. And, if you’re a prospective funder, I hope this convinces you to invest in the arts. It is sorely needed.
Already, I’ve talked a little about what the summer school has taught me and shared some of the work it has helped me produce – I plan to share more on both those topics in the coming weeks – but what I want to do in this post is shine a light on specific events within the programme that particularly blew me away.
So, without further ado…
Day one, for me, started with an Ulster Fry at the Charlemont Arms. So far, so good. You’ve got to get a decent breakfast in you if you’re to make it through twelve hours of programming in a single stretch. Each day I ate lunch and dinner in a different place, trying to experience as much of what the city had to offer as possible.
I was not disappointed. The ice cream, in particular, was a favourite.
As someone who often finds themselves lacking in energy, I had a game plan when it came to the week. This was two-fold:
- I was going to pace myself, aiming to attend the recommended 80% of events but not stressing if I came in at 79% by the end of it all.
- I was going to avoid going back to my room during breaktimes, knowing full well that if I did I would get comfortable and fall asleep, despite my best intentions.
On both these counts, I was successful – as successful as I hoped but rather more successful than I actually realistically expected. I’m genuinely proud of how much I threw myself into everything. Continue reading