The writers on the Manuscript Mentoring week with Rosie Scott had a great week – productive, friendly, stimulating, full of laughs and stories – and Rosie enjoyed it every bit as much as they did.
MAGIC! I loved it. Small but fabulous group very committed, worked hard but also lots of fun, the staff were as usual wonderful – great food and kindness to us. They put on a memorable farewell night with kava, a lovo and singing and dancing by Keni’s children (Keni and Mereone sang with them) and a rendition of Gilbert and Sullivan by one student – the extraordinary Kevin who is a professional singer among many other things. And loved the outdoor shower I had this time, not to mention the snorkelling. The group all went away in high spirits, inspired to write.
As I said in my last article on Daku, it’s a great place for people to get to a deeper level with their manuscripts. It really is the best teaching experience for me too- to see the way people’s work improves over the week is a joy. I believe this is partly because they become so relaxed and open in this lovely place.
I hope this is will become an annual event.
(Yes, Rosie – it will. The 2012 manuscript mentoring week is up on the website – 22- 29 September.)
Writers can be very defensive about their work, treasuring it as one does a newborn baby and very reluctant to expose it to the discerning eye of others. But Rosie’s generous nature and the relaxed and friendly group members put an end to such fears. She is friendly, perceptive, a skilful mentor and, importantly, for this course, she is a successful novelist and teacher of creative writing, with a string of academic qualifications that bring added authority to her task of mentoring.
She made the week good fun, yet it was also rigorous, and both the workshops and exercises revealed skills in my writing that I didn’t know I possessed. I came home realising I really could write, but also with a clear understanding of the areas of the craft I need to develop. Amidst the humdrum silliness of daily life, I am still writing everyday, a sure sign that Rosie and the group members had a positive, lasting effect on me.
Rosie had a sensible timetable of activities. We had all previously read by email the work of each of us in the group. The mornings were spent in writing exercises and a thorough workshopping of a group member’s piece; in the afternoon that person had a private mentoring session with Rosie. Nobody felt unduly stressed, and happy conversations bubbled along about books, films, and life experiences. A sense of humour, a good yarn, a well-told joke are essential pieces of equipment to bring to Rosie’s classes.
It is hard to explain just how suitable Daku Resort is for such activities as writing. It is small, very beautiful, and authentically Fijian. Colours are powerful – the red and orange of flowers, the deep shiny green of foliage, the stark white of a ship out on the blue bay waters. Laughter from children on the beach or guests in the pool drift up to our verandah where we always worked, but nothing distracts us; we are far from the rush and bother of our daily lives. A guest at Daku, in a conversation about travel, reminded me that ‘there are diamonds in one’s own backyard.’ ; it’s the moral of a story of African origin. That’s very true, but I would like to have Daku Resort as my own backyard, and Rosie Scott can have a cabin for free to advise me on my writing.
Rosie Scott is a terrific teacher – probably the best I’ve encountered. And I’ve studied a lot. In fact I never felt like I was being ‘taught’, but instead, her methods helped to peel back layers. Rosie has a wonderful personality and a knack at understanding exactly what each person in the group needs to take their writing to the next level.
The outstanding feature of the course was its flexibility. Rosie Scott concentrated
on the individual writer, drawing out his or her talent and helping the ideas to flow freely. Simultaneously there was plenty of time to get on with personal writing. Rosie is not only an accomplished author but a professional counsellor as well – a great help in getting an author
to sort out aims and ambitions.
You would go a long way to find more good humoured and friendly staff then those at Daku. You are always greeted with big Fijian smiles. The travel arrangements worked extremely well, especially as Fiji is so easy to reach. It was a great pleasure to take the domestic flight from Nadi to Savusavu, to experience the beautiful views of mountain and sea from the aircraft window.
No, I’m not a published author, merely someone who loves to dabble in both writing and traveling. And when I discovered the writing course at the Daku Resort, I knew that I had to be a part of it! Our writing instructor, published author Rosie Scott, was absolutely fantastic, helpful and very inspiring. And the group of other budding authors that I met also led to a fantastic writing holiday. Rosie, thank you for everything! I look forward to working with you once more!
Details of the 2012 course can be found at Paradise Courses – Manuscript Mentoring.
Rosie’s webpage can be found here.