jacey: (blue eyes)
Despite only lasting one week Milford seems to slurp up the whole of my September. First I'm getting ready for it, prepping my own submission (up to 15,000 words in one or two pieces), and this year the words would not behave themselves. I send one sub at the right time, but the other was a week late - which makes it difficult for the other participants who are standing by to receive, read and critique the pieces. After launching my own submission into the ether I then had a week to read all the other subs. There are fifteen writers in total so a potential 14 x 15,000 words to critique. That's 210,000 words to not only read, but read analytically and say helpful and sensible things about.

So by the time I climbed in my car and headed off to North Wales, I'd already done a lot of work. Then Milford itself is a mixture of free tme in relaxing surroundings, formal critique sessions, and social evenings with other writers. Hey, it's fun, but it is tiring. By the time I got back I was ready for a little lie down in a darkened room.

Here are some of my pics of the week...
The Nantlle Valley is truly beautiful. That's Mount Snowdon in the distance.
Nantlle Valley

















The view from the main house at Trigonos looking down towards the lake.

Lake 3

















Food is fresh from the gardens at Trigonos (and from local suppliers). Breakfast, elevenses, lunch, cake o'clock (4 p.m.) and dinner at 7.00. You certainly don't go hungry!

lunch 1






























Peaceful mornings. (David Allan hard at work on a manuscript in the Trigonos library)David Allan reading
















Though sometimes the strain begins to show! Jim Anderson awaiting a critique of one of his pieces.
Jim












And finally, the whole Milford group of 2016:
L-R standing: John Moran, Dave Gullen, Terry Jackman, David Allan, Guy T Martland, Jim Anderson, Liz Williams, Jacey Bedford, Glen Mehn, Elizabeth Counihan, Lizzy Priest. Seated L-R: Sue Thomason, Amy Tibbetts, Paulina Morgan, Siobhan McVeigh.
Milford 2016-03
jacey: (blue eyes)
Milford Day Out
After the writing business at Milford is done, we usually take Friday as a day off and go somewhere as a group. This year it was Gwydir Castle. Not a fortified castle as you can see but an impressive house dating back in parts to the 14th century. It's been beautifully restored to its original condition, even to the extent of retrieving and reinstalling the original (fantastically carved) dining room panelling which had been stripped out, sold to America and had ended up in the Metropolitan Museum of Art before being brought back to Wales.

Gwydir Castle-sm

Photographs are not allowed inside the house, but believe me the inside is as impressive as the outside. It's in the Conwy Valley, south of Conwy itself. If you're ever close by, make an effort to go. The gardens are beautiful as well, and one of the original 12 Cedars of Lebanon still survives - planted in 1625 to celebrate King Charles' wedding.
Gwydir garden01sm
jacey: (blue eyes)
My guest post about Milford past and present (with photos) is now up on the Tor.co.uk blog
http://torbooks.co.uk/2013/07/02/the-milford-writers-conference-past-and-future/
Please visit.
jacey: (blue eyes)
Please - everyone - boost the signal by posting this on your blogs or social media outlets. Thank you.

Milford SF Writers' Conference Weeks, 2014

You are cordially invited...
Milford is the UK-based event, founded by James Blish and now in its 41st year. It's for published SF writers to workshop their works-in-progress (short stories or novels) with other writers in the tranquil surroundings of beautiful Snowdonia, North Wales. It's a peer-to-peer event with no leaders or teachers enabling a creative exchange of information and ideas.

MILFORD 2013, Saturday 14th to Saturday 21st September 2013 is now fully booked, however it booked up so early and so fast that you can already book for 2014. (Early booking advised.)

Because Worldcon is in London in 2014 we are running an additional Milford week (subject to take-up of a minimum of nine bookings).
So you have a choice of dates:
Week 1 - 23rd to 30th August 2014
Week 2 - 13th to 20th September 2014
The venue for both is the lovely: Trigonos Centre, in Snowdonia
Joe's print
We are reserving half the places on the August 2014 week for overseas attendees until August 2013 or until fully subscribed, whichever is first. We hope that writers attending Worldcon (14th - 18th August http://www.loncon3.org/) from outside the UK will take the opportunity to attend Milford on the same plane ticket.

The total price for 2014 is £605 inclusive of full board for seven nights. A deposit of £115 is required to secure your booking and the balance of £490 is payable to Trigonos upon attending (by cash or cheque - no cards). Apart from a small Milford admin fee of £10, this sum represents your booking with Trigonos for accommodation.

Go to the Milford website to download and print the booking form for the 2014 weeks as a Word document; as a text file or as a pdf. You can state your date preference on the form.

Questions? Email the secretary. Liz Williams <mevennen@hotmail.com>
Or Jacey Bedford <jacey@jaceybedford.co.uk>
jacey: (blue eyes)
I'll be at Eastercon from fairly early on Friday until fairly late on Monday. I just got my schedule for panels and everything was crammed into Friday evening so I've had to drop put of the Superheroes on Film panel as it doesn't fiish until 5 and and I'm moderating the Zulu panel at 5 and will have to meet them and prep them for ut. They've never been to a SF con before.

So unless they give me something to replace the Superheroes panel later in the weekend I'm here:

Friday 5 p.m. Boardroom: Moderating the Zulu Panel. 'In advance of tonight?s show, members of Zulu Tradition talk about the Zulu culture and tradition. ' With Thandanani Gumede, Buhle Mhlongo, Khethukhuthulu Kheswa, Mzwandile Ngema and Bongi Siyabonga Gwala.

Friday 7 p.m. Boardroom: Writing Believable Characters.  Practical experience and observations on writing believable and interesting characters. Gillian Redfearn moderates Sarah Ash, Jacey Bedford, Gareth Powell and Ian Watson

Friday 8 p.m. Zulu Tradition in Concert. From Kwa-Zulu Natal to the world's stage, rekindling the spark of Zulu culture and heritage, through song, dance and drums. Some of you have read about the trials and tribulations of the Zulus on my blog,so come and see what they're all about.

I hope there's going to be an opportunity for folks who've been to Milford to get together - and maybe fior folks who want to know more abut it to come and meet us, too. Milford 2013 is already fully booked, but with 2014 being the worldcon year we're hoping to run two separate Milford weeks, one in August to happen shortly after Worldcon to enable folks from out of the country to do Milford and Worldcon on the same plane ticket - and then one at in September to enable those folks tied up with working at Worldcon to recover from it and not miss out on Milford.
jacey: (blue eyes)
For all my writer friends:

Bookings are now open for the next annual Milford Writers' Conference 14th - 21st September 2013 at Trigonos in beautiful Snowdonia, North Wales.

The total price for 2013 is £585 inclusive of full board for seven nights. A non returnable deposit of £115 is required to secure your booking and the balance of £470 is payable to Trigonos upon attending (by cash or cheque - no cards). Apart from a small Milford admin fee of £10, this sum represents your booking with Trigonos for accommodation.

You are cordially invited. As usual the minimum qualification is one fiction sale, any length to any recognised market. (i.e. not self-published). There's already been brisk interest, so please don't delay your application if you want to come.

Full details and application forms are here: http://www.milfordsf.co.uk/attend.htm
jacey: (Default)
This year's Milford is 22nd - 29th September, so I'm off to the wilds of Welsh Wales and leaving BB and the dog to amuse (and feed) themselves.  Fourteen writers kettled up in the middle of nowhere for a week. Looking forward to seeing [livejournal.com profile] la_marquise_de_, [livejournal.com profile] mevennen, [livejournal.com profile] davegullen and [livejournal.com profile] teriegarrison amongst others. Intensive critting of submitted works (one or two pieces each), some reading/writing time, some thinking time, a private lake for gazing at or walking to, three square meals a day (and no washing up after) plus cake, good company and sociable evenings.

What's not to like?

I've done all the advance reading and critting that can be done (still waiting for one piece to arrive by email) so my mornings will largely be free for writing or taking the odd trip into Caernarfon.

I have today to get my act together.

So... what have I forgotten?


jacey: (Default)
Due to a misunderstanding we have a vacant place at this year's Milford SF writer's conference in lovely North Wales from September 22nd - 29th. It's for published SF writers only (though you only need one sale to a recognised market under your belt to be classed as 'published').

The total price for 2012 is £560 inclusive of full board for seven nights. A deposit of £115 is required to secure your booking and £445 is payable to Trigonos upon attending (by cash or cheque - no cards). Apart from a small Milford admin fee of £10, this sum represents your booking with Trigonos for accommodation.

Full details here: http://www.milfordSF.co.uk/attend.htm

If anyone is disappointed because they thought they'd missed out when we (thought we'd) filled the places and closed the booking - here's your big chance.

Contact: Liz Williams <mevennen@hotmail.com>

I hope someone can fill in the gap.
:-)



jacey: (Default)
Here's the official invitation letter as sent out by secretary Liz Williams. Last I heard there were only three places left, so if you're interested please contact Liz without delay.

MILFORD 2012

Dear Writer,

You are cordially invited to join the Milford SF Writer’s Conference, held at the Trigonos Centre in Snowdonia.  The dates are Saturday 22nd September to Saturday 29th September 2012 inclusive (leaving on the morning of Saturday 29th).

If you’ve attended a previous British Milford, you will know more or less what to expect and can go straight to the booking form.  If not, then a brief introduction may be in order. Milford is a gathering of professional authors, loosely linked by science fiction or fantasy writing.  It is not a school for beginners, and there are no ‘teachers’ or ‘students.’ However, neither is it an elitist in-group: we welcome new participants, and invitations are extended to authors who have only sold the minimum requirement of 1 published piece as well as those among us who only dimly recall what rejection slips look like (HAH! – ed).  Writers who have not attended a previous Milford are particularly welcome.  

The conference has been a regular, more or less annual event since 1972, drawing members from Britain, Europe, America and Australia.  Over the years it has settled down to a comfortable workable format: demanding and exhausting, with much hard work being done, but it’s also convivial, with a lot of sitting and talking about doing hard work. There's no bar, but you are encouraged to bring your tipple of choice and we have a comfy social space in Trigonos' library. It’s thus a social as well as a literary event.

Here’s a brief generalised programme of the week:
  • Saturday: turn up late afternoon, bringing manuscripts for discussion during the week if you have not already sent them via email. There's no programme, but around mid-evening we convene and get to know one another over a meal.
  • Sunday to Thursday: the main working days. Morning is the time to read manuscripts and prepare notes. Afternoons are workshop sessions, at which the day's quota of material is discussed as forthrightly and constructively as possible, with fairly strict time limits to encourage brevity and allow even the shyest member's voice to be heard. Evenings are for more relaxed conversation and discussion, punctuated by occasional silly literary games.
  • Friday: depending on the workload, this can be the time for a further workshop, a semi-formal discussion, exploring the vicinity of the centre, or just resting. In the evening we unwind with a special dinner.

The centre
Trigonos is situated on the shores of Lake Nantlle in Snowdonia, among the mountains of the Snowdonia National Park. It is about 10 miles from Caernarvon, which is accessible from Bangor railway station by a frequent bus service. Full travel details will be sent to participants. The centre is comprised of an old Victorian house and converted barns, and has a committed approach to sustainable land development and environmental restoration.

The centre runs many courses and workshops, and there may be smaller other groups during the time that we will be there. It is full board (breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks) and caters to both vegetarians and non-vegetarians, and can cater for vegan guests also.  The centre grows much of its own organic produce.

Costs: for the whole week, you will pay £560 (minus your deposit) - a flat rate for:
  • accommodation
  • full board (plus tea/coffee breaks)
  • meeting room hire

What you have to bring:
1 or 2 pieces of unpublished work, not exceeding more than 15,000 words in total.  We strongly encourage you to send these in advance and we will set up a small email group for that purpose. If you have not sent them in advance please bring sufficient copies for each participant.  One of these copies is also to be handed to Jacey Bedford (acting Chair) or Liz Williams (Secretary) on the night of arrival so that we can organise the reading schedule, but you’ll get that back.

A typical Milford has anything from 10 - 15 participants, and works best with a full timetable and minimal slack - this year there will be a ceiling of 15 members on a ‘first come, first served’ basis, plus a waiting list which you can join by paying the registration fee and room deposit.  The treasurer will hold this until the booking is either confirmed or cancelled.

To book, please complete the application form (here) and return it to Liz at the address on the form, with a cheque or sterling money order, made payable to Milford SF Writers' Conference for a total of £115  -- £105 pound centre deposit; deductible from your final bill, and £10 conference registration fee. (Regulars will note that the deposit has risen in price: this is because Trigonos have had a number of no-shows and although they know Milford well, they have had to institute a blanket policy of all deposits up front. Since Milford is a non-profit organisation, we need to make sure that we have enough in the coffers to pay this initial lump sum). Cancellations will mean a loss of deposit unless we can re-sell your space.  At least one progress report, with members’ names and further information (such as how to get there!) will be issued in the summer/early autumn.

Hope to see you there!

The committee:
Sue Thomason (Chair)
Jacey Bedford (Minister without Portfolio)
Liz Williams (Secretary)
Steve Kilbane (Treasurer)

jacey: (Default)
Here's the official invitation letter as sent out by secretary Liz Williams. Last I heard there were only three places left, so if you're interested please contact Liz without delay.

MILFORD 2012

Dear Writer,

You are cordially invited to join the Milford SF Writer’s Conference, held at the Trigonos Centre in Snowdonia.  The dates are Saturday 22nd September to Saturday 29th September 2012 inclusive (leaving on the morning of Saturday 29th).

If you’ve attended a previous British Milford, you will know more or less what to expect and can go straight to the booking form.  If not, then a brief introduction may be in order. Milford is a gathering of professional authors, loosely linked by science fiction or fantasy writing.  It is not a school for beginners, and there are no ‘teachers’ or ‘students.’ However, neither is it an elitist in-group: we welcome new participants, and invitations are extended to authors who have only sold the minimum requirement of 1 published piece as well as those among us who only dimly recall what rejection slips look like (HAH! – ed).  Writers who have not attended a previous Milford are particularly welcome.  

The conference has been a regular, more or less annual event since 1972, drawing members from Britain, Europe, America and Australia.  Over the years it has settled down to a comfortable workable format: demanding and exhausting, with much hard work being done, but it’s also convivial, with a lot of sitting and talking about doing hard work. There's no bar, but you are encouraged to bring your tipple of choice and we have a comfy social space in Trigonos' library. It’s thus a social as well as a literary event.

Here’s a brief generalised programme of the week:
  • Saturday: turn up late afternoon, bringing manuscripts for discussion during the week if you have not already sent them via email. There's no programme, but around mid-evening we convene and get to know one another over a meal.
  • Sunday to Thursday: the main working days. Morning is the time to read manuscripts and prepare notes. Afternoons are workshop sessions, at which the day's quota of material is discussed as forthrightly and constructively as possible, with fairly strict time limits to encourage brevity and allow even the shyest member's voice to be heard. Evenings are for more relaxed conversation and discussion, punctuated by occasional silly literary games.
  • Friday: depending on the workload, this can be the time for a further workshop, a semi-formal discussion, exploring the vicinity of the centre, or just resting. In the evening we unwind with a special dinner.

The centre
Trigonos is situated on the shores of Lake Nantlle in Snowdonia, among the mountains of the Snowdonia National Park. It is about 10 miles from Caernarvon, which is accessible from Bangor railway station by a frequent bus service. Full travel details will be sent to participants. The centre is comprised of an old Victorian house and converted barns, and has a committed approach to sustainable land development and environmental restoration.

The centre runs many courses and workshops, and there may be smaller other groups during the time that we will be there. It is full board (breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks) and caters to both vegetarians and non-vegetarians, and can cater for vegan guests also.  The centre grows much of its own organic produce.

Costs: for the whole week, you will pay £560 (minus your deposit) - a flat rate for:
  • accommodation
  • full board (plus tea/coffee breaks)
  • meeting room hire

What you have to bring:
1 or 2 pieces of unpublished work, not exceeding more than 15,000 words in total.  We strongly encourage you to send these in advance and we will set up a small email group for that purpose. If you have not sent them in advance please bring sufficient copies for each participant.  One of these copies is also to be handed to Jacey Bedford (acting Chair) or Liz Williams (Secretary) on the night of arrival so that we can organise the reading schedule, but you’ll get that back.

A typical Milford has anything from 10 - 15 participants, and works best with a full timetable and minimal slack - this year there will be a ceiling of 15 members on a ‘first come, first served’ basis, plus a waiting list which you can join by paying the registration fee and room deposit.  The treasurer will hold this until the booking is either confirmed or cancelled.

To book, please complete the application form (here) and return it to Liz at the address on the form, with a cheque or sterling money order, made payable to Milford SF Writers' Conference for a total of £115  -- £105 pound centre deposit; deductible from your final bill, and £10 conference registration fee. (Regulars will note that the deposit has risen in price: this is because Trigonos have had a number of no-shows and although they know Milford well, they have had to institute a blanket policy of all deposits up front. Since Milford is a non-profit organisation, we need to make sure that we have enough in the coffers to pay this initial lump sum). Cancellations will mean a loss of deposit unless we can re-sell your space.  At least one progress report, with members’ names and further information (such as how to get there!) will be issued in the summer/early autumn.

Hope to see you there!

The committee:
Sue Thomason (Chair)
Jacey Bedford (Minister without Portfolio)
Liz Williams (Secretary)
Steve Kilbane (Treasurer)

jacey: (Default)
Seven days, fifteen SF writers, twenty-seven pieces to read and crit, totalling approximately 180,000 - 200,000 words. That's Milford SF Writer's Conference in a nutshell.

We all arrived in North Wales on 17th September, some totally prepared, some not and most, like me, kind of halfway there. I'd managed to read and crit twelve of the pieces in advance, and two oif them were mine, so I only had thirteen to work on during the week. That's not as bad as it sounds because we schedule mornings free for reading time and the official crit sessions start after lunch. With five pieces to crit on most days and six on some, we had a heavy workload.


Milford Crit Session 2011. Terry, Mark, Tiffani, Jim, Deirdre and TerieMilford rules sound a bit formal but they work. We sit in a circle, the person to the left or right of the person being critted starts off and it goes round the room clockwise or anti-clockwise, depending. Everyone gets a timed four minutes to deliver their crit. Underrunning is fine, overrunning id frowned upon. Once everyone has had their say the crittee gets an uninterrupted right of reply and then there's a free for all discussion. We generally allow an hour per piece and that gives us some leeway, but with a full group of fifteen crits were taking up the maximum time allowed and we were lucky to get all five crits in between lunch and dinner (allowing a teabreak, of course, because we are British after all.

Err, well, British only applied to some of us. We always have a foreign contingent, in the past we've had Americans, French, Australians and Swedish. This year we were one-third American. Five out of fiftreen of us. Only one had actually travelled from the USA, the rest were UK residents.


Milford Attendees 2011Milford participants 2011
Left to Right: Jim Anderson, Mark Tompkins, Liz Williams, Kari Sperring, Alys Sterling, Heather Lindsley, Jacey Bedford, Chris Butler, Tiffani Angus, Terie Garrison, Deirdre Counihan, Mark Bilsborough, Terry Jackman, Pauline Dungate, John Moran

Milford is exhausting, enjoyable, sociable, educational, inspirational and... did I say exhausting?

It's great to have your work critted by such a brilliant bunch of published writers, but I think ,ost of us agree that being critted is only a small part of it. Working on crits for everyone else really sharpens up your critiquing skills and gives you a good insight into how stories work, or not.

Beaumaris castleTo make sure we got everything critted in time we even did extra morning crits on Wednesday and Thursday because we try to finish the critting by Thursday evening so we can go on a jolly on Friday. The weather was wet all week but it eased off on Friday so we ended up at Beaumaris Castle, which is beautiful. We even got Kari's impromptu castle/history lecture. Well, there's no point in wasting the talents of a medieval Welsh history specialist, is there?

Mark, Kari and John at BeaumarisRight: the gatehouse and approach across the moat.

Left: Mark B, Kari and John walk the outer wall.

High point of the week? Tiffani's screamingly funny crit of one of Jim's pieces which not only had us all howling with laughter, but Jim practically sliding out of his seat, helpless. Oh, how we wished we'd recorded it.

jacey: (Default)
Seven days, fifteen SF writers, twenty-seven pieces to read and crit, totalling approximately 180,000 - 200,000 words. That's Milford SF Writer's Conference in a nutshell.

We all arrived in North Wales on 17th September, some totally prepared, some not and most, like me, kind of halfway there. I'd managed to read and crit twelve of the pieces in advance, and two oif them were mine, so I only had thirteen to work on during the week. That's not as bad as it sounds because we schedule mornings free for reading time and the official crit sessions start after lunch. With five pieces to crit on most days and six on some, we had a heavy workload.


Milford Crit Session 2011. Terry, Mark, Tiffani, Jim, Deirdre and TerieMilford rules sound a bit formal but they work. We sit in a circle, the person to the left or right of the person being critted starts off and it goes round the room clockwise or anti-clockwise, depending. Everyone gets a timed four minutes to deliver their crit. Underrunning is fine, overrunning id frowned upon. Once everyone has had their say the crittee gets an uninterrupted right of reply and then there's a free for all discussion. We generally allow an hour per piece and that gives us some leeway, but with a full group of fifteen crits were taking up the maximum time allowed and we were lucky to get all five crits in between lunch and dinner (allowing a teabreak, of course, because we are British after all.

Err, well, British only applied to some of us. We always have a foreign contingent, in the past we've had Americans, French, Australians and Swedish. This year we were one-third American. Five out of fiftreen of us. Only one had actually travelled from the USA, the rest were UK residents.


Milford Attendees 2011Milford participants 2011
Left to Right: Jim Anderson, Mark Tompkins, Liz Williams, Kari Sperring, Alys Sterling, Heather Lindsley, Jacey Bedford, Chris Butler, Tiffani Angus, Terie Garrison, Deirdre Counihan, Mark Bilsborough, Terry Jackman, Pauline Dungate, John Moran

Milford is exhausting, enjoyable, sociable, educational, inspirational and... did I say exhausting?

It's great to have your work critted by such a brilliant bunch of published writers, but I think ,ost of us agree that being critted is only a small part of it. Working on crits for everyone else really sharpens up your critiquing skills and gives you a good insight into how stories work, or not.

Beaumaris castleTo make sure we got everything critted in time we even did extra morning crits on Wednesday and Thursday because we try to finish the critting by Thursday evening so we can go on a jolly on Friday. The weather was wet all week but it eased off on Friday so we ended up at Beaumaris Castle, which is beautiful. We even got Kari's impromptu castle/history lecture. Well, there's no point in wasting the talents of a medieval Welsh history specialist, is there?

Mark, Kari and John at BeaumarisRight: the gatehouse and approach across the moat.

Left: Mark B, Kari and John walk the outer wall.

High point of the week? Tiffani's screamingly funny crit of one of Jim's pieces which not only had us all howling with laughter, but Jim practically sliding out of his seat, helpless. Oh, how we wished we'd recorded it.

jacey: (Default)
BB is looking after himself for a week because I shall be completely off the radar from 17th - 24th September as I head for North Wales and another intensive week with 14 fellow SF writers at the annual Milford conference. http://www.milfordsf.co.uk. It's a full-house this year, 15 is our maximum number and with each writer submitting up to 15k workds (in one or two pieces) for peer crit and workshopping, it's going to be pretty hectic. Thank goodness there's reading time in the mornings because so far I've only managed to deal with 10 of the advance submissions. There are 28 pieces, of which two are mne, so I make that another16 pieces to read and crit sensibly and thoroughly. I might manage another two of them tonight if I get off LJ and back to work.

See you all after 24th September.
jacey: (Default)
BB is looking after himself for a week because I shall be completely off the radar from 17th - 24th September as I head for North Wales and another intensive week with 14 fellow SF writers at the annual Milford conference. http://www.milfordsf.co.uk. It's a full-house this year, 15 is our maximum number and with each writer submitting up to 15k workds (in one or two pieces) for peer crit and workshopping, it's going to be pretty hectic. Thank goodness there's reading time in the mornings because so far I've only managed to deal with 10 of the advance submissions. There are 28 pieces, of which two are mne, so I make that another16 pieces to read and crit sensibly and thoroughly. I might manage another two of them tonight if I get off LJ and back to work.

See you all after 24th September.
jacey: (Default)
Wow! I can hardly believe it, [livejournal.com profile] mevennen emailed this morning to say that all the places for Milford 2011 have been snapped up in the few short weeks between Eastercon and yesterday. That's amazing! It's the fastest it's ever been filled I think.

jacey: (Default)
Wow! I can hardly believe it, [livejournal.com profile] mevennen emailed this morning to say that all the places for Milford 2011 have been snapped up in the few short weeks between Eastercon and yesterday. That's amazing! It's the fastest it's ever been filled I think.

jacey: (Default)
It's Milford booking time again
Need more information? Ask here or email the secretary (Liz Williams) at mevennen(at)hotmail.com
Further information and application forms to download  - http://www.milfordSF.co.uk
Please feel free to pass on this information to suitable qualified SF writers

Entry requirement:
You need to have had at least one professionally published piece, i.e. one story/book sold to an editor. Self-publication does not count.

Dear SF Writer,
You are cordially invited to join the Milford SF Writer’s Conference, held at the Trigonos Centre in Snowdonia. The dates are Saturday 17th September to Saturday 24th September 2011.

A Brief Intro
Milford is a gathering of professional authors, loosely linked by science fiction or fantasy writing. It is not a school for beginners, and there are no ‘teachers’ or ‘students.’ However, neither is it an elitist in-group: we welcome new participants, and invitations are extended to authors who have only sold the minimum requirement of 1 published piece as well as those among us who only dimly recall what rejection slips look like. Writers who have not attended a previous Milford are particularly welcome.

The conference has been a regular, more or less annual event since 1972, drawing members from Britain, Europe, America and Australia. Over the years it has settled down to a comfortable workable format: demanding and exhausting, with much hard work being done, but it’s also convivial, with a lot of sitting around and talking about doing hard work. It’s thus a social as well as a literary event.

Here’s a brief generalised programme of the week:
  • Saturday: turn up late afternoon, bringing manuscripts for discussion during the week if you haven't emailed them beforehand. There's no programme, but around mid-evening we convene and get to know one another over a meal and afterwards in the library.
  • Sunday to Thursday: the main working days. Morning is the time to read manuscripts and prepare notes. Afternoons are workshop sessions, at which the day's quota of material is discussed as forthrightly and constructively as possible, with fairly strict time limits to encourage brevity and allow even the shyest member's voice to be heard. Evenings are for more relaxed conversation and discussion, sometimes punctuated by occasional silly literary games. We reserve one night to talk about markets
  • Friday: depending on the workload, this can be the time for a further workshop, a semi-formal discussion, exploring the vicinity of the centre, or just resting. In the evening we unwind with a special dinner.
The Centre
Trigonos is situated on the shores of Lake Nantlle in Snowdonia, among the mountains of the Snowdonia National Park. It is about 10 miles from Caernarvon, which is accessible from Bangor railway station by a frequent bus service. Full travel details will be sent to participants. The centre is comprised of an old Victorian house and converted barns, and has a committed approach to sustainable land development and environmental restoration.

It is full board (breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks) and caters to both vegetarians and non-vegetarians, and can cater for vegan guests also. The centre grows much of its own organic produce.

Costs
For the whole week, you will pay a total £510 (a non-returnable deposit of £115 and a balance of £395 upon attendance). This fee covers:
  • accommodation
  • full board (breakfast/lunch/dinner plus tea/coffee breaks)
  • meeting room hire
  • Milford's conference admin fee of £10

A typical Milford has anything from 10 - 15 participants, and works best with a full timetable and minimal slack - this year there will be a ceiling of 15 members on a ‘first come, first served’ basis

To book, please complete the application form (download here) and return it to Liz, with a cheque or sterling money order, made payable to Milford SF Writers' Conference for a total of £115  (£105 for the centre deposit; deductible from your final bill, and £10 conference registration fee.) You can also pay your deposit by paypal if coming from abroad. Please contact Liz for details.

Hope to see you there!

The committee:
Sue Thomason (Chair)
Jacey Bedford – (Mailing lists and website)
Liz Williams (Secretary) – mevennen@hotmail.com
Steve Kilbane (Treasurer)
Kari Sperring
Karen Williams
jacey: (Default)
It's Milford booking time again
Need more information? Ask here or email the secretary (Liz Williams) at mevennen(at)hotmail.com
Further information and application forms to download  - http://www.milfordSF.co.uk
Please feel free to pass on this information to suitable qualified SF writers

Entry requirement:
You need to have had at least one professionally published piece, i.e. one story/book sold to an editor. Self-publication does not count.

Dear SF Writer,
You are cordially invited to join the Milford SF Writer’s Conference, held at the Trigonos Centre in Snowdonia. The dates are Saturday 17th September to Saturday 24th September 2011.

A Brief Intro
Milford is a gathering of professional authors, loosely linked by science fiction or fantasy writing. It is not a school for beginners, and there are no ‘teachers’ or ‘students.’ However, neither is it an elitist in-group: we welcome new participants, and invitations are extended to authors who have only sold the minimum requirement of 1 published piece as well as those among us who only dimly recall what rejection slips look like. Writers who have not attended a previous Milford are particularly welcome.

The conference has been a regular, more or less annual event since 1972, drawing members from Britain, Europe, America and Australia. Over the years it has settled down to a comfortable workable format: demanding and exhausting, with much hard work being done, but it’s also convivial, with a lot of sitting around and talking about doing hard work. It’s thus a social as well as a literary event.

Here’s a brief generalised programme of the week:
  • Saturday: turn up late afternoon, bringing manuscripts for discussion during the week if you haven't emailed them beforehand. There's no programme, but around mid-evening we convene and get to know one another over a meal and afterwards in the library.
  • Sunday to Thursday: the main working days. Morning is the time to read manuscripts and prepare notes. Afternoons are workshop sessions, at which the day's quota of material is discussed as forthrightly and constructively as possible, with fairly strict time limits to encourage brevity and allow even the shyest member's voice to be heard. Evenings are for more relaxed conversation and discussion, sometimes punctuated by occasional silly literary games. We reserve one night to talk about markets
  • Friday: depending on the workload, this can be the time for a further workshop, a semi-formal discussion, exploring the vicinity of the centre, or just resting. In the evening we unwind with a special dinner.
The Centre
Trigonos is situated on the shores of Lake Nantlle in Snowdonia, among the mountains of the Snowdonia National Park. It is about 10 miles from Caernarvon, which is accessible from Bangor railway station by a frequent bus service. Full travel details will be sent to participants. The centre is comprised of an old Victorian house and converted barns, and has a committed approach to sustainable land development and environmental restoration.

It is full board (breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks) and caters to both vegetarians and non-vegetarians, and can cater for vegan guests also. The centre grows much of its own organic produce.

Costs
For the whole week, you will pay a total £510 (a non-returnable deposit of £115 and a balance of £395 upon attendance). This fee covers:
  • accommodation
  • full board (breakfast/lunch/dinner plus tea/coffee breaks)
  • meeting room hire
  • Milford's conference admin fee of £10

A typical Milford has anything from 10 - 15 participants, and works best with a full timetable and minimal slack - this year there will be a ceiling of 15 members on a ‘first come, first served’ basis

To book, please complete the application form (download here) and return it to Liz, with a cheque or sterling money order, made payable to Milford SF Writers' Conference for a total of £115  (£105 for the centre deposit; deductible from your final bill, and £10 conference registration fee.) You can also pay your deposit by paypal if coming from abroad. Please contact Liz for details.

Hope to see you there!

The committee:
Sue Thomason (Chair)
Jacey Bedford – (Mailing lists and website)
Liz Williams (Secretary) – mevennen@hotmail.com
Steve Kilbane (Treasurer)
Kari Sperring
Karen Williams
jacey: (Default)
Milford is an annual, week-long event at which published SF writers get together to workshop and crit short stories, novel beginnings, ongoing work and ideas with each other. It's been held all over the UK, but currently resides in North Wales, at Trigonos, within sight of Mount Snowdon and close to Caernarfon. This year it took place during the last week in October, an unusually mild week for the time of year with Snowdonia decked out in autumn colours.

The maximum number of writers rarely exceeds 14 or 15, but this year, due to a few late dropouts, we ended up being a small but select group of 10. We workshopped 19 pieces of writing between us, something approaching 150,000 words. The standard was enormously high. That's not to say that we didn't have criticisms, but they were all constructive.

I can't say just how much I appreciate Milford as a concept. It's brilliant. There are no face to face crit groups in my area run along serious lines (one in Huddersfield where people read out their own work - my idea of hell) so to spend a week in the company of like-minded SF writers recharges my writing batteries like nothing else can. I get as much out of doing the crits as being critted and once a piece has been through the mill it resurfaces in conversation - sometimes with great ideas bubbling to the surface.

Here are the 2009 Milfordians: Back row L - R [info]lil_shepherd, Nick Moulton, [info]mevennen [livejournal.com profile] birdsedge (me), Heather Lindsley, [info]altariel, Jon Moran
 
Front Row: [info]chrisbutler, Stefan Hogberg, [info]charlieallery



Trigonos is a fabulous place, on the southern edge of Snowdonia with its own lake and a glorious view from our crit room window.



If I have any reservation's about Trigonos it's about food - its (mostly) vegetarian fare which shows up more obviously in their evening meals. The food ethos is great in that it's all organic and much of it is home grown. Breakfasts are fine, lunches are brilliant with a huge pot of home made soup and a variety of breads and salads, but evening meals can be a little lentiltastic and... the smoked mackerel and mushroom pie did cause a few grown men to cry. (Not a happy food combination. If you ever fancy trying it... don't.) When served polenta one evening (following on from quinoa the evening before) someone (and it wasn't me this time) was heard to remark, 'This isn't food; this is what food eats!' Don't get me wrong, I like a fair amount of vegetarian food, even though I don't actually like vegetables in large quantities, but courgettes in runny cheese as a main course doesn't do it for me, and neither does sweet potato Thai curry which looks like orange slush. In all fairness the chef does make an alternative for people with allergies and extreme dislikes, but if there's a glut in the garden you will find the week's menu heavy with it. This year they obviously had millions of courgettes. I would never have actually listed courgettes on my 'dislike' list because usually I eat a few just to be polite, but now I find that after a week of aversion therapy, I can't face them. We didn't even get them in ratatouille (which I do like), instead they were mostly served in hero-sized lumps, boiled or steamed or maybe very lightly oven roasted. [personal profile] maeve_the_red is probably licking her lips right now - committed veggie that she is.

On the other hand everything else about the place is so right. The people are friendly and welcoming, we get our own ensuite rooms, the facilities for meeting and for socialising are marvellous, the setting is perfect. So all in all I can cope with the food given all the other plus points. Maybe next year we'll just ask the chef to tweak the menu a little more in the direction of us omnivores.

We always try to get all the workshopping work finished by Thursday night so that we can go and have a day out on Friday. This year with the weather still fine and mild we picked Caernarfon Castle - a fabulous place to spend a few hours and the guided tour was well worth two quid even though the guide did think the Angevin Kings were English (rather than French)







Despite my gripes about the food I wouldn't want to miss Milford and I'm really looking forward to next year - September 18th - 25th. If anyone fancies coming you only need to have sold one piece of fiction to qualify. You can find out more from www.milfordsf.co.uk

jacey: (Default)
Milford is an annual, week-long event at which published SF writers get together to workshop and crit short stories, novel beginnings, ongoing work and ideas with each other. It's been held all over the UK, but currently resides in North Wales, at Trigonos, within sight of Mount Snowdon and close to Caernarfon. This year it took place during the last week in October, an unusually mild week for the time of year with Snowdonia decked out in autumn colours.

The maximum number of writers rarely exceeds 14 or 15, but this year, due to a few late dropouts, we ended up being a small but select group of 10. We workshopped 19 pieces of writing between us, something approaching 150,000 words. The standard was enormously high. That's not to say that we didn't have criticisms, but they were all constructive.

I can't say just how much I appreciate Milford as a concept. It's brilliant. There are no face to face crit groups in my area run along serious lines (one in Huddersfield where people read out their own work - my idea of hell) so to spend a week in the company of like-minded SF writers recharges my writing batteries like nothing else can. I get as much out of doing the crits as being critted and once a piece has been through the mill it resurfaces in conversation - sometimes with great ideas bubbling to the surface.

Here are the 2009 Milfordians: Back row L - R [info]lil_shepherd, Nick Moulton, [info]mevennen [livejournal.com profile] birdsedge (me), Heather Lindsley, [info]altariel, Jon Moran
 
Front Row: [info]chrisbutler, Stefan Hogberg, [info]charlieallery



Trigonos is a fabulous place, on the southern edge of Snowdonia with its own lake and a glorious view from our crit room window.



If I have any reservation's about Trigonos it's about food - its (mostly) vegetarian fare which shows up more obviously in their evening meals. The food ethos is great in that it's all organic and much of it is home grown. Breakfasts are fine, lunches are brilliant with a huge pot of home made soup and a variety of breads and salads, but evening meals can be a little lentiltastic and... the smoked mackerel and mushroom pie did cause a few grown men to cry. (Not a happy food combination. If you ever fancy trying it... don't.) When served polenta one evening (following on from quinoa the evening before) someone (and it wasn't me this time) was heard to remark, 'This isn't food; this is what food eats!' Don't get me wrong, I like a fair amount of vegetarian food, even though I don't actually like vegetables in large quantities, but courgettes in runny cheese as a main course doesn't do it for me, and neither does sweet potato Thai curry which looks like orange slush. In all fairness the chef does make an alternative for people with allergies and extreme dislikes, but if there's a glut in the garden you will find the week's menu heavy with it. This year they obviously had millions of courgettes. I would never have actually listed courgettes on my 'dislike' list because usually I eat a few just to be polite, but now I find that after a week of aversion therapy, I can't face them. We didn't even get them in ratatouille (which I do like), instead they were mostly served in hero-sized lumps, boiled or steamed or maybe very lightly oven roasted. [personal profile] maeve_the_red is probably licking her lips right now - committed veggie that she is.

On the other hand everything else about the place is so right. The people are friendly and welcoming, we get our own ensuite rooms, the facilities for meeting and for socialising are marvellous, the setting is perfect. So all in all I can cope with the food given all the other plus points. Maybe next year we'll just ask the chef to tweak the menu a little more in the direction of us omnivores.

We always try to get all the workshopping work finished by Thursday night so that we can go and have a day out on Friday. This year with the weather still fine and mild we picked Caernarfon Castle - a fabulous place to spend a few hours and the guided tour was well worth two quid even though the guide did think the Angevin Kings were English (rather than French)







Despite my gripes about the food I wouldn't want to miss Milford and I'm really looking forward to next year - September 18th - 25th. If anyone fancies coming you only need to have sold one piece of fiction to qualify. You can find out more from www.milfordsf.co.uk

jacey: (Default)
Most of you already know about Milford, a week for published SF writers to get together and workshop short stories and novel excerpts in a small, intensive peer to peer gathering. This year it's being held in Snowdonia from 24th to 31st October in our venue of recent years Trigonos - a lovely eco-friendly and comfortable venue within sight of Snowdon itself committed to home grown (organic) food

I've been attending various Milfords (off and on) since 1998 and am on the organising committee. When the bookings first started earlier in the year we filled the places quite quickly, but we've had a surprisingly high dropout rate and as of the present moment we have four available places, one of them only notified to us this week. We obviously need to fill these if at all possible as we block book a specific number of rooms at Triginos.

So please pass the word around, or if you fancy a bracing trip to North Wales in October with a bunch of other SF writerly types please get in touch with us via the Milford web site or drop a note in the comments.

Please note that the minimum requirement for coming to Milford is one professionally published story - so relative beginners are welcome, but many of the writers who attend are multi-published novelists.

jacey: (Default)
Most of you already know about Milford, a week for published SF writers to get together and workshop short stories and novel excerpts in a small, intensive peer to peer gathering. This year it's being held in Snowdonia from 24th to 31st October in our venue of recent years Trigonos - a lovely eco-friendly and comfortable venue within sight of Snowdon itself committed to home grown (organic) food

I've been attending various Milfords (off and on) since 1998 and am on the organising committee. When the bookings first started earlier in the year we filled the places quite quickly, but we've had a surprisingly high dropout rate and as of the present moment we have four available places, one of them only notified to us this week. We obviously need to fill these if at all possible as we block book a specific number of rooms at Triginos.

So please pass the word around, or if you fancy a bracing trip to North Wales in October with a bunch of other SF writerly types please get in touch with us via the Milford web site or drop a note in the comments.

Please note that the minimum requirement for coming to Milford is one professionally published story - so relative beginners are welcome, but many of the writers who attend are multi-published novelists.

jacey: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] mevennen  has just posted the preliminary details for the British Milford SF writers' week in Wales this autumn. Places are limited, so if you are interested, please get in touch soon, preferably with [info]mevennen  who is secretary, or with me.

At [livejournal.com profile] mevennen 's request - I am reposting her notice here.

MILFORD 2009

Dear Writer,

You are cordially invited to join the Milford SF Writer’s Conference, held at the Trigonos Centre in Snowdonia. The dates are Saturday 24th October to Saturday 31st October 2009 inclusive (leaving on the morning of Saturday 31st).

If you’ve attended a previous British Milford, you will know more or less what to expect and can go straight to the booking form. If not, then a brief introduction may be in order. Milford is a gathering of professional authors, loosely linked by science fiction or fantasy writing. It is not a school for beginners, and there are no ‘teachers’ or ‘students.’ However, neither is it an elitist in-group: we welcome new participants, and invitations are extended to authors who have only sold the minimum requirement of 1 published piece as well as those among us who only dimly recall what rejection slips look like (HAH! – ed). Writers who have not attended a previous Milford are particularly welcome.

The conference has been a regular, more or less annual event since 1972, drawing members from Britain, Europe, America and Australia. Over the years it has settled down to a comfortable workable format: demanding and exhausting, with much hard work being done, but it’s also convivial. It’s thus a social as well as a literary event.

Here’s a brief generalised programme of the week:

* Saturday: turn up late afternoon, bringing manuscripts for discussion during the week. There's no programme, but around mid-evening we convene and get to know one another over a meal (7p.m.).
* Sunday to Thursday: the main working days. Morning is the time to read manuscripts and prepare notes. Afternoons are workshop sessions, at which the day's quota of material is discussed as forthrightly and constructively as possible, with fairly strict time limits to encourage brevity and allow even the shyest member's voice to be heard. Evenings are for more relaxed conversation and discussion, punctuated by occasional silly literary games.
* Friday: depending on the workload, this can be the time for a further workshop, a semi-formal discussion, exploring the vicinity of the centre, or just resting. In the evening we unwind with a special dinner.

The centre

Trigonos is situated on the shores of Lake Nantlle in Snowdonia, among the mountains of the Snowdonia National Park. It is about 10 miles from Caernarvon, which is accessible from Bangor railway station by a frequent bus service. Full travel details will be sent to participants. The centre is comprised of an old Victorian house and converted barns, and has a committed approach to sustainable land development and environmental restoration.

The centre runs many courses and workshops, and there may be other smaller groups during the time that we will be there. It is full board (breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks) and caters to both vegetarians and non-vegetarians, and can cater for vegan guests also. The centre grows much of its own organic produce.

Costs: we are firming up the cost at present with the centre, but it will be a flat rate for :

- accommodation
- full board (plus tea/coffee breaks)
- meeting room hire

It's usually around £450 for the week, including everything.

What you have to bring:

- 1 or 2 pieces of unpublished work, not exceeding more than 15,000 words in total. Please bring sufficient copies for each participant, in usual manuscript format UNLESS you circulate these as email attachments in advance. One of these copies is also to be handed to the Chair (Sue Thomason) or Secretary (Liz Williams) on the night of arrival so that we can organise the reading schedule, but you’ll get that back. The progress reports will keep you informed as to the number of participants, so you’ll know how many copies to bring.

A typical Milford has anything from 10 - 15 participants, and works best with a full timetable and minimal slack - this year there will be a ceiling of 15 members on a ‘first come, first served’ basis, plus a waiting list which you can join by paying the registration fee and room deposit. The treasurer will hold this until the booking is either confirmed or cancelled.

If you are interested, please email me at: liz(at)arkady(dot)org and I will send you full details, including deposit details, and an application form.

Late cancellations will mean a loss of deposit. At least one progress report, with members’ names and further information (such as how to get there!) will be issued in the summer/early autumn.

Hope to see you there!

Liz




jacey: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] mevennen  has just posted the preliminary details for the British Milford SF writers' week in Wales this autumn. Places are limited, so if you are interested, please get in touch soon, preferably with [info]mevennen  who is secretary, or with me.

At [livejournal.com profile] mevennen 's request - I am reposting her notice here.

MILFORD 2009

Dear Writer,

You are cordially invited to join the Milford SF Writer’s Conference, held at the Trigonos Centre in Snowdonia. The dates are Saturday 24th October to Saturday 31st October 2009 inclusive (leaving on the morning of Saturday 31st).

If you’ve attended a previous British Milford, you will know more or less what to expect and can go straight to the booking form. If not, then a brief introduction may be in order. Milford is a gathering of professional authors, loosely linked by science fiction or fantasy writing. It is not a school for beginners, and there are no ‘teachers’ or ‘students.’ However, neither is it an elitist in-group: we welcome new participants, and invitations are extended to authors who have only sold the minimum requirement of 1 published piece as well as those among us who only dimly recall what rejection slips look like (HAH! – ed). Writers who have not attended a previous Milford are particularly welcome.

The conference has been a regular, more or less annual event since 1972, drawing members from Britain, Europe, America and Australia. Over the years it has settled down to a comfortable workable format: demanding and exhausting, with much hard work being done, but it’s also convivial. It’s thus a social as well as a literary event.

Here’s a brief generalised programme of the week:

* Saturday: turn up late afternoon, bringing manuscripts for discussion during the week. There's no programme, but around mid-evening we convene and get to know one another over a meal (7p.m.).
* Sunday to Thursday: the main working days. Morning is the time to read manuscripts and prepare notes. Afternoons are workshop sessions, at which the day's quota of material is discussed as forthrightly and constructively as possible, with fairly strict time limits to encourage brevity and allow even the shyest member's voice to be heard. Evenings are for more relaxed conversation and discussion, punctuated by occasional silly literary games.
* Friday: depending on the workload, this can be the time for a further workshop, a semi-formal discussion, exploring the vicinity of the centre, or just resting. In the evening we unwind with a special dinner.

The centre

Trigonos is situated on the shores of Lake Nantlle in Snowdonia, among the mountains of the Snowdonia National Park. It is about 10 miles from Caernarvon, which is accessible from Bangor railway station by a frequent bus service. Full travel details will be sent to participants. The centre is comprised of an old Victorian house and converted barns, and has a committed approach to sustainable land development and environmental restoration.

The centre runs many courses and workshops, and there may be other smaller groups during the time that we will be there. It is full board (breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks) and caters to both vegetarians and non-vegetarians, and can cater for vegan guests also. The centre grows much of its own organic produce.

Costs: we are firming up the cost at present with the centre, but it will be a flat rate for :

- accommodation
- full board (plus tea/coffee breaks)
- meeting room hire

It's usually around £450 for the week, including everything.

What you have to bring:

- 1 or 2 pieces of unpublished work, not exceeding more than 15,000 words in total. Please bring sufficient copies for each participant, in usual manuscript format UNLESS you circulate these as email attachments in advance. One of these copies is also to be handed to the Chair (Sue Thomason) or Secretary (Liz Williams) on the night of arrival so that we can organise the reading schedule, but you’ll get that back. The progress reports will keep you informed as to the number of participants, so you’ll know how many copies to bring.

A typical Milford has anything from 10 - 15 participants, and works best with a full timetable and minimal slack - this year there will be a ceiling of 15 members on a ‘first come, first served’ basis, plus a waiting list which you can join by paying the registration fee and room deposit. The treasurer will hold this until the booking is either confirmed or cancelled.

If you are interested, please email me at: liz(at)arkady(dot)org and I will send you full details, including deposit details, and an application form.

Late cancellations will mean a loss of deposit. At least one progress report, with members’ names and further information (such as how to get there!) will be issued in the summer/early autumn.

Hope to see you there!

Liz




jacey: (Default)
Welcoming [livejournal.com profile] davegullen  fo my f-list. Nice to see you here, Dave.
jacey: (Default)
Welcoming [livejournal.com profile] davegullen  fo my f-list. Nice to see you here, Dave.
jacey: (Default)
I'm tired out, but it was a great week full of fascinating people, mind-blowing ideas (almost literally) and about 160,000 words of intense critting. Twelve writers, 25 pieces of writing, 25 hours of formal critting and who-knows-how-many-hours of reading. The standard was scarily high. [livejournal.com profile] mevennen , [livejournal.com profile] bluehairsue , [livejournal.com profile] maeve_the_red  and [livejournal.com profile] chrisbutler  were all there, plus some old faces and some new.

Chocolate and alcohol featured in varying amounts. Much useful information was shared. Post-crit discussions continued to chew over stories and ideas. Meal-time discussions often turned gory and at one point we realised that the Welsh language class - which came in on Tuesday morning and stayed for lunch - had gone very quiet just as [livejournal.com profile] bluehairsue  was expounding on cannibalism.

Trigonos - the centre where the week is held - is a fabulous place with its own frontage on to a Welsh lake with Snowdon peeking up in the distance and the Nantlle Ridge looming up above. This is the view from the main house down to the water. Wherever you point your camera you come up with a magnificent landscape - even in the wet. It's not a hotel, but it's very comfortable and the atmosphere is welcoming and easy-going.
Trigonos

The only slight drawback (for me, but not for others I hasten to add) is the centre's food policy - excellent and totally praiseworthy in theory as it's sustainable (mostly from their own garden), but it's vegetarian with a strong vegan bias and sadly not really to my taste (or my digestive system's) as I'm a) not vegetarian b) definitely NOT vegan and c) not keen on vegetables except when served up with meat/fish and lots of gravy/sauce, veggie or otherwise - and cooked with SALT (please!). Breakfast was toast/cereal/fruits etc. so no complaints there. Lunches were fine (delicious home made soups). Starving was impossible because there were also yummy cakes with afternoon tea plus delightful desserts at dinner. But sadly the main courses for dinner diverged from my definition of food.  No one else seemed to worry, but root vegetables al-dente aren't my thing. Crunchy green veg is grea, but I find crunchy potato and swede less appealing. I feel guilty for griping because the chef took great pride in his cuisine and for many people it's one of Trigonos' plus points. Also he very kindly made me other stuff when pulses or peppers were dish du jour. Unfortunately my idea of comfort food is shepherds pie and his is roast courgette and tomato with brown rice. Nuff said?.

Anyhow, I came home and made liver, bacon and onions casseroled in rich gravy. Ah! Much better. It's not the meat I miss, it's the gravy.
jacey: (Default)
I'm tired out, but it was a great week full of fascinating people, mind-blowing ideas (almost literally) and about 160,000 words of intense critting. Twelve writers, 25 pieces of writing, 25 hours of formal critting and who-knows-how-many-hours of reading. The standard was scarily high. [livejournal.com profile] mevennen , [livejournal.com profile] bluehairsue , [livejournal.com profile] maeve_the_red  and [livejournal.com profile] chrisbutler  were all there, plus some old faces and some new.

Chocolate and alcohol featured in varying amounts. Much useful information was shared. Post-crit discussions continued to chew over stories and ideas. Meal-time discussions often turned gory and at one point we realised that the Welsh language class - which came in on Tuesday morning and stayed for lunch - had gone very quiet just as [livejournal.com profile] bluehairsue  was expounding on cannibalism.

Trigonos - the centre where the week is held - is a fabulous place with its own frontage on to a Welsh lake with Snowdon peeking up in the distance and the Nantlle Ridge looming up above. This is the view from the main house down to the water. Wherever you point your camera you come up with a magnificent landscape - even in the wet. It's not a hotel, but it's very comfortable and the atmosphere is welcoming and easy-going.
Trigonos

The only slight drawback (for me, but not for others I hasten to add) is the centre's food policy - excellent and totally praiseworthy in theory as it's sustainable (mostly from their own garden), but it's vegetarian with a strong vegan bias and sadly not really to my taste (or my digestive system's) as I'm a) not vegetarian b) definitely NOT vegan and c) not keen on vegetables except when served up with meat/fish and lots of gravy/sauce, veggie or otherwise - and cooked with SALT (please!). Breakfast was toast/cereal/fruits etc. so no complaints there. Lunches were fine (delicious home made soups). Starving was impossible because there were also yummy cakes with afternoon tea plus delightful desserts at dinner. But sadly the main courses for dinner diverged from my definition of food.  No one else seemed to worry, but root vegetables al-dente aren't my thing. Crunchy green veg is grea, but I find crunchy potato and swede less appealing. I feel guilty for griping because the chef took great pride in his cuisine and for many people it's one of Trigonos' plus points. Also he very kindly made me other stuff when pulses or peppers were dish du jour. Unfortunately my idea of comfort food is shepherds pie and his is roast courgette and tomato with brown rice. Nuff said?.

Anyhow, I came home and made liver, bacon and onions casseroled in rich gravy. Ah! Much better. It's not the meat I miss, it's the gravy.
jacey: (Default)
Had my hair cut. Had a good reading afternoon. Managed to get to the bank and the post office. Picked up a few edibles to leave in the fridge for Best Beloved. Bought a dinky wine box that holds two whole bottles of red (who cares what it tastes like it packs down small - into an eight inch (approx) cube). Posted out several 'I'm away for a week, don't bug me' notes to folks who are used to me being at my desk and on call 24/7. Packed my suitcase - more or less - and I'm ready to go. Just need to close down the computer and pack it in its case. (Yes I have backed up the whole work directory to a hard drive at home.) Milford here I come.

Don't respond to this - I'm gone.

Bye for now. back in a week or so.
jacey: (Default)
Had my hair cut. Had a good reading afternoon. Managed to get to the bank and the post office. Picked up a few edibles to leave in the fridge for Best Beloved. Bought a dinky wine box that holds two whole bottles of red (who cares what it tastes like it packs down small - into an eight inch (approx) cube). Posted out several 'I'm away for a week, don't bug me' notes to folks who are used to me being at my desk and on call 24/7. Packed my suitcase - more or less - and I'm ready to go. Just need to close down the computer and pack it in its case. (Yes I have backed up the whole work directory to a hard drive at home.) Milford here I come.

Don't respond to this - I'm gone.

Bye for now. back in a week or so.
jacey: (Default)
Just getting packed ready for Milford. Wild Welsh Wales here I come. I've managed to read and crit all the first day's stories and most of the second so I'm slightly ahead of the game, but there's a huge workload, reading-wise, and I suspect that I'm probably nowhere near as far ahead as most people. This year there are twelve of us with 24 stories or novel exerpts adding up to approximately 142,000 words to be read and sensibly critted. I'm barely 35,000 words into that so far!

So why am I here? Right I'm gone... off to read some words.

Thanks everyone for best wishes on my birthday. I guess you know how I'm spending it!

See some of you at Milford and the rest when I get back after 4th October.

jacey: (Default)
Just getting packed ready for Milford. Wild Welsh Wales here I come. I've managed to read and crit all the first day's stories and most of the second so I'm slightly ahead of the game, but there's a huge workload, reading-wise, and I suspect that I'm probably nowhere near as far ahead as most people. This year there are twelve of us with 24 stories or novel exerpts adding up to approximately 142,000 words to be read and sensibly critted. I'm barely 35,000 words into that so far!

So why am I here? Right I'm gone... off to read some words.

Thanks everyone for best wishes on my birthday. I guess you know how I'm spending it!

See some of you at Milford and the rest when I get back after 4th October.

jacey: (Default)
I 've been too busy to post much, but I had a good couple of days I...

1) Managed to finish the second piece of writing for Milford and post it off
2) Checked and printed all the pieces I need to read for Milford
3) Paid the outstanding bills and actually remembered to stick stamps on the envelopes and put them in the postbox
4) Got my new Epson V200 scanner connected and working
5) Caught up on some vital work stuff that won't wait until after Milford
6) Scanned some old family photos for a friend.

And before that, on Saturday and Sunday I was part of the crew that tore the inside out of Birdsedge Village Hall (ready for the rebuild that starts in October)... and I mean tore the inside out of it. We attacked it wioth crowbars and sledgehammers and ripped off wallboards, cupboards, door frames, windowsills and, by default, a lot of Victorian lime plaster. Okay, so mostly I wielded the kettle and teapot and not the sledgehammer, but to each her own. Despite calls to the whole village for helpers we ended up with three men (only one under 50) and three women, two with bad backs (inc. me) and the other who only stayed for two hours. But an amazing amount of grot, rubble, rotten timber, plaster and wallboard was ripped out, cleared away and carted off to the local tip. In the process we unearthed a window that was probably boarded over almost a hundred years ago (still with some broken glass in the windowframe) and disproved a theory (mine unfortunately) of where one of the original walls had been before the building was converted from houses to school in 1870 (long before it was a village hall). There was quite a lot of archaeology buried in there, including some original dark green victorian paintwork and some 1920s lincrusta. Doing the tear down ourselves has saved us about £3,500 on the rebuild costs. This weekend we ripped out the main hall and the smaller meeting room. next weekend it's the kitchen and loos but oh-dear-what-a-shame... I'm at Milford.

jacey: (Default)
I 've been too busy to post much, but I had a good couple of days I...

1) Managed to finish the second piece of writing for Milford and post it off
2) Checked and printed all the pieces I need to read for Milford
3) Paid the outstanding bills and actually remembered to stick stamps on the envelopes and put them in the postbox
4) Got my new Epson V200 scanner connected and working
5) Caught up on some vital work stuff that won't wait until after Milford
6) Scanned some old family photos for a friend.

And before that, on Saturday and Sunday I was part of the crew that tore the inside out of Birdsedge Village Hall (ready for the rebuild that starts in October)... and I mean tore the inside out of it. We attacked it wioth crowbars and sledgehammers and ripped off wallboards, cupboards, door frames, windowsills and, by default, a lot of Victorian lime plaster. Okay, so mostly I wielded the kettle and teapot and not the sledgehammer, but to each her own. Despite calls to the whole village for helpers we ended up with three men (only one under 50) and three women, two with bad backs (inc. me) and the other who only stayed for two hours. But an amazing amount of grot, rubble, rotten timber, plaster and wallboard was ripped out, cleared away and carted off to the local tip. In the process we unearthed a window that was probably boarded over almost a hundred years ago (still with some broken glass in the windowframe) and disproved a theory (mine unfortunately) of where one of the original walls had been before the building was converted from houses to school in 1870 (long before it was a village hall). There was quite a lot of archaeology buried in there, including some original dark green victorian paintwork and some 1920s lincrusta. Doing the tear down ourselves has saved us about £3,500 on the rebuild costs. This weekend we ripped out the main hall and the smaller meeting room. next weekend it's the kitchen and loos but oh-dear-what-a-shame... I'm at Milford.

June 2017

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