A First Milford by Georgina Kamsika

I’m not sure when I first heard of Milford – it was something that is just known. The Milford Writer’s Workshop. The Milford Method. They existed and I knew of them. I also knew it was for published authors, so I wasn’t quite there yet.

The first time I actually used the Milford method, or a version of it, was at Clarion West in 2012. Then again in other workshops, including ones held online.

I kept writing, and critiquing, and workshopping stories. I had stories published, a novel, some novellas. Then when I’d almost finished my third novel, a sci fi story set during a flu pandemic, an actual pandemic hit.

It wasn’t until 2021, when, post Pandemic – or the worst bit of it – that I wanted to get back out into the world. So, I attended The Milford Writer’s Workshop.

While it wasn’t my first ever workshop, it was still shiny and new in its own way. Held at the beautiful Trigonos in Wales, I was introduced back into writing society gently by the always kind Jacey Bedford who offered to drive me down.

I’m sure Jacey would be modest about it, but her fount of knowledge was the best introduction to Milford that I could have. That a long drive talking about ourselves, our writing, and Milford itself eased me back into socialising after almost two years of lockdown. Some of it was self-imposed, but necessary for the health of my friends and family.

That meant by the time I met up with the other writers, I was a little more acclimatised to people again. It was easy to chat and get to know people when surrounded by this scenery. 

As mentioned above, I’ve attended many workshops before, but once again, Milford had its own unique style. I am very used to critting quickly and concisely, whereas at Milford you are given a leisurely three whole minutes. I found myself speaking for half the time of others, and had still not quite unlearned this by the end of that week.

I came out the other end with a large number of very helpful comments and critiques while being reassured that my initial chapters had merit and that I should keep working on this novel. The best possible outcome from a workshop!

Georgina Kamsika is British Indian novelist who utilises the speculative element to examine power structures that mirror the real world. She has published a number of short stories and novellas. Her next attempt at socialising is as the UNESCO City of Literature Writer in Residence for 2022 in Wonju, South Korea.

About Jacey Bedford

Jacey Bedford maintains this blog. She is a writer of science fiction and fantasy (www.jaceybedford.co.uk), the secretary of Milford SF Writers (www.milfordSF.co.uk), a singer (www.artisan-harmony.com) and a music agent booking UK tours and concerts for folk performers (www.jacey-bedford.com).
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