Charlotte's Web

Blogging my world since 2006

Cool Things from WriteCon Zurich


Living on a small English island in the sea of Germany means I don’t often get to hang out in person with other English writers. So when WriteCon Zurich organiser Jill Prewett pinged me to say there was a space free and would I like to come, I was all like get me to the station right now, James, and don’t spare those horses goddamnit.

I am now heading home after a deliciously writerly weekend, but I wanted to summarise the highlights before real life kicks in again and I am too tired to think:

  • Being amongst writers. Writers care. This is a lovely and wonderful thing. I made a whole heap of new friends.
  • Emma Darwin’s fiction masterclass. I finally understand psychic distance and – this is a big and – how this relates to telling and showing. I plugged the result of some exercises from the class into chapter one of Karkloof Blue and it is now rocking.
  • The enthusiasm and drive of independent author Joanna Penn, who blogs here and writes here. I learnt for the first time how self-publishing can be a very good thing. Thanks, Jo, for explaining the hybrid model to me.
  • Vegetarian restaurant Hiltl. The best food. I went there twice.
  • Snow.
  • Finding my favourite hat and gloves again after losing them.
  • The fact that being amongst writers and talking and thinking about writing has had an immediate effect on getting me writing again. I am re-inspired and re-energised, and that is the best thing of all.

Now I have a four-hour train journey back to Heidelberg and more than enough time to a write a minimum of 2,000 words.

Crack the whip, James!


Author: charlotteotter

Novelist, feminist, crime writer

9 thoughts on “Cool Things from WriteCon Zurich

  1. Fabulous. I, too, found a recent writer’s retreat wholly inspiring and restorative.

  2. So glad you had a wonderful time. I’ve never done it myself, but I can imagine how being in the company of other writers could really raise your morale and fire your enthusiasm.

  3. Sounds fantastic – both to be around lots of other writers and to be able to speak English all day everyday.

  4. That sounds really inspiring!

  5. So pleased you enjoyed it, Charlotte and thanks for making the trip. It was really interesting for me to hear about the German publishing market. Very glad we met!

  6. It sounds so great! I hope one day I can attend!

  7. Pauline, you would love it. And if I went too, then we would finally get to meet after all these years as blog friends!

  8. Sounds enchanting, snow, gloves, vegetarian restaurants and above all, writers! I discovered Joanna Penn a few months ago and spent the better part of a weekend studying everything she’s done. I can’t figure out where she gets the drive, creativity and energy to invent so much. An amazing person. I would love to meet her in person, too.

  9. Sounds divine. And I am quite sure you’re right about how inspirational it is to be set amongst other writers, even just for a day. Like a flapping, panicked, slow-dying fish being dropped back into a cool, clear river.

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