Writers at Work 2018... Empty notebooks

It’s amazing what you can discover at Hay.

Ten days ago, I arrived at the Writers at Work tent with an empty notebook and nervous anticipation. Now, many masterclasses and workshops later, I feel I’ve truly found my element, and that new notebook is packed with advice from world-famous writers and their publishing teams.

It will take a lot of contemplation to fully process the whole, magnificent experience, but for the moment I’m holding close these sage words: ‘You write to become a better writer’ - the inspiring Kamila Shamsie; ‘Each novel tells you how to write it’ - Ian McKewan, who mentioned Writers at Work several times during his main event; and from Cathy Rentzenbrink, a comment that resonated with the whole group: ‘All writers have one thing in common - they feel they don’t fit in’.

 And that is another reason why my time at Hay has been so invaluable -  I’ve found soulmates within Writers at Work and a place where I do fit in.

The most precious benefit I’ll take away from this experience, along with the sound advice, industry contacts and many wonderful memories, is the genuine kindness and support of my new and trusted friends.  

Wendy White is an award-winning children's writer from Wales and one of the 2018 Hay Festival Writers at Work. Find out more here.