Pelin Bilici is originally from Turkey but she lives in Berlin, Germany and she is an M.A. British Studies student at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. She is currently doing her internship at Literature Wales and her role is to support various projects within the company.
On Monday 5 November 2018 I travelled to Cricieth from Cardiff to take part in a residential course on YA Fiction without having any clue on what I would experience there. My colleague Miriam picked me up from Cricieth and took me to Tŷ Newydd where I would collect all the amazing memories with three incredibly engaging authors and 7 other participants.
On the first evening, after the delicious dinner cooked for us by Tony, we all got the chance to introduce ourselves to each other and get in the team spirit. The tutors, Marcus Sedgwick and Lucy Christopher, made sure that everyone had the opportunity to make their story heard.
During the workshops we had in the mornings, we discussed the main elements of fiction. Marcus and Lucy shared their own experiences and they offered various examples to us to show that it is possible to use these elements in different ways with a personal perspective. This was one of the most important parts of the whole week for me as it made it possible for all of us to realize that stories based on different preferences of 8 participants formed unique and productive pieces of fiction.
We spent the evenings listening to the readings of the authors’ own works, drop in sessions and playing games. Apart from these activities, we also had the chance to listen to Kiran Millwood Hargrave’s talk on her experience of being a writer and once again it was proven that individual differences and personal approaches were what made fiction so fruitful and enjoyable. This was definitely what I appreciated the most as a Turkish individual taking part in such a course as my understanding of another culture and my memories with 7 other individuals made me realize my own personal story. It was challenging but extremely helpful to make sense of the environment around me by means of fiction.
The space I occupied at Tŷ Newydd was of course another undeniable factor for my realization of my potential as a writer because it was and it always is the perfect place to produce some form of art with an exercise of writing. It not only offered me a personal space but it also provided me the surrounding in which I could easily exchange ideas with other participants. Tŷ Newydd, with its historical, cultural and natural richness, was the best place to attend a residential course as every day we woke up at a place where all these historical, cultural and natural values merged together.
I wholeheartedly recommend Tŷ Newydd’s courses and retreats as I believe one will always find a sparkle there.