If you’re dead or live on Mars, you may not have heard of the Swanwick Writers’ Summer School. Being neither a Martian, nor moribund (last time I looked), I was already aware that Swanwick is the oldest independent writing school in the world. But it’s taken me several years to take the plunge as a delegate. I assumed it would be packed full of published authors, all knowing each other. I pictured myself sitting forlorn in a corner, ignored by the great and good, and then slinking away to my room, knowing myself to be right at the muddy bottom of the literary food chain.