We’re gearing up for the next Editing in Paradise masterclass retreat. It’s a thrilling thought and a bit daunting. Last October in Bali was…well, thrilling and daunting but I’m so happy it happened and we did it and we’re ready to do it again. Why daunting? To be honest, it was harder work than I imagined even when I thought it would be hard! And that was just us, not to mention the dedicated and very focused writers. But why thrilling? Let me tell you the story of one of the writers…who arrived a committed and very skilled short story writer. Working with her and those stories was a great experience. And one of them, begged to become more than a short story. But that was for her to decide.

On her return to England, having survived the long gruelling squash of 23 hours in a small, fast tin can with bad food and too little atmosphere, she had to do a rapid reentry (straight to work within a day of arriving back in London). But, within days she wrote to tell us that the story was going to be the bones of her first novel. NaNoWriMo kicked in; she wrote those 50,000 words and writes again to say she’s pretty happy with the result. So am I. I’m honoured and delighted and warmed by the experience. That’s what makes this so much joy. It’s not a trite thing; editors may say it’s an honour to work with authors. Often it’s just words (!). This time it was true.