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Frequently Asked Questions

I’ve had nothing published, is everyone there a published writer?
Not at all. Many people who come are in the same position. Swanwick embraces all writers from those starting their writing journey to more accomplished authors and all points in between.
This is my first visit to Swanwick – what should I expect?
Swanwick is renowned for the warmth of its welcome and supportive environment.


For newcomers, Saturday evening starts with an orientation tour and reception, while at dinner we seat all first timers together with Ambassadors who act as table hosts. All of which quickly helps to settle people in and make connections.


Is there a dress code?

No, there isn’t one! Some delegates like to dress up for the Last Night but that’s entirely optional, as is Fancy Dress.


For the Fancy Dress evening on Wednesday—wear a costume, carry a prop / wear a hat or just come as you are, it’s entirely up to you. 

Do I need to pre-book courses I want to attend?
No. One of the unrivalled features of Swanwick is the freedom to choose courses when you are there. You can make your mind up on the day and even switch between courses should you wish to.

We ask only that you arrive in good time for each session you attend, switch off or silence your mobile phones, and are considerate of other delegates.
Do I have to attend courses every day?
Absolutely not. In fact, we recommend you pace yourself when first visiting Swanwick. There is so much going on that you could forget to enjoy the experience. This is YOUR week, so it is up to you how you spend it.

Other than courses, what else can I take part in?

All delegates are welcome to perform at Buskers’ Night and the Prose and Poetry Open Mic sessions. Use the boxes in the Information Room to put your name forward for these events, which are popular.


All delegates that attend the School for that year then become a Member of The Writers’ Summer School. Your voice is important, so please do come to the AGM.

Are you able to cater for special dietary needs or preferences?
The Hayes is equipped to meet most dietary requirements. You will need to identify your dietary needs, together with any food allergies, at the time of booking.
Are all rooms single occupancy or can I share with a friend or partner?
All rooms are let on a single occupancy basis, though most have double or twin beds. If you wish to share, please state this on your booking form and tell us the name of your companion. Charges are per person.
I have mobility issues - can the summer school accommodate me?
Yes, it can. The Hayes Conference Centre has accommodation specifically designed for delegates with disabilities. Though should you need individual support or help during the week, contact the Secretary before booking to ensure your requirements can be met.
I’d like to pay in instalments, is that option available?
Yes, it is. Contact the Treasurer who will arrange a payment plan to suit your needs.
I'm travelling by train. Is it easy to get to Swanwick?
Yes, it is. The school runs a coach from Derby station at 3:45pm on Saturday and a return coach on Friday, leaving the Hayes at 9:15am. Include this option when you book a place.

I'm travelling by car. Is there are car park and is there a charge?
There is ample car parking at the Hayes' and it is free!

Is free Wi-Fi available?
Yes, free Wi-Fi is available throughout the conference centre.
I loved the room I had last year. Can I have the same one again?
We will work with our venue, The Hayes Conference Centre, to meet any personal mobility needs of which we are aware, but we cannot accommodate room preferences at the current time​.

Can I bring pets?
The Hayes policy is that pets are not permitted, although Assistance Dogs are allowed.

Where is information and help available from during the week?

Please ask any School Ambassador or Committee Member if you need to know anything about the courses, events, room locations, etc. They will wear purple lanyards during the week, so it should be easy to spot and stop them to ask for their help.


The Hayes’ reception staff will be happy to help with any issues that you have with your room or The Hayes’ facilities.

For any other matters, please come to the Writers’ Summer School Office (Board Room, 1st Floor, Main House).


In addition, the whiteboard in the dining room area will be used for any notices and programme changes. These are also announced by the Vice Chair before Evening Speakers.

If the answer to your question isn't here, please contact the Secretary through the online enquiry form.

To book, follow the link: 

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