Other Worlds Workshop Weekend: In conversation with Alex Davies
We spoke with writer, lecturer, tutor, events organiser, and frequent NWS workshop facilitator, Alex Davies ahead of his Other Worlds writing weekend at the Nottingham Writers’ Studio in September.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
There’s a big question to start with! I’ve been working in literature professionally for just over ten years now, which has taken in all sorts of adventures! In that time I’ve run a whole host of workshopping and tutoring, done some lecturing at University level, led or been involved in about 20 conventions, run writing conferences, worked as a proofreader and copy-editor… now that I think of it there’s even been some writing in there! I suppose for me variety has always been the spice of life – it’s always been exciting to me to have new projects and to test my range and my skillset rather than settling into a particular comfort zone. That may or may not be the most efficient way to do things, but that’s what makes me tick!
What’s your involvement with Nottingham
I’ve always really enjoyed working with the Studio whenever I’ve had the opportunity, and I’ve probably run about 20 workshops and courses at the venue at a guess – I’d have to delve back into the old diaries! It’s great to have a spot like it so close to home – living in Derby it does make me rather envious we don’t have similar, but then again most places don’t! There always seems to be a really keen crowd for workshops and events across a wide range of topics – I never thought I’d have the chance to run a session on alternative history, for example, but NWS helped me to make that one happen!
What is Other Worlds?
It’s become a sort of loose brand for a series of events I’ve run in Nottingham – I say loose because this September’s event is different again from 2018! Last year we had a mix of panels and workshops, which worked well, but given the focus of NWS it felt as though it would make sense to go for more of a workshop weekend. As such we’ll have a smaller capacity and everyone will get more individual attention through workshops with me as the weekend facilitator, some superb guest workshoppers over the two days, feedback time, Q+As and more. It’ll be very focussed with a view to developing new work and also developing and enriching the understanding of horror, crime, SF and fantasy fiction over the two days.
Everyone and anyone! I suppose it would be ideal if you had an interest in writing ‘fantastic’ or ‘speculative’ fiction – even if you’ve not given it a go yet but always wanted to give it a try, there’ll be plenty for you! It’s all about offering up some inspiration, fresh ideas and guidance to attendees. No experience in the field required…
What other events have you got coming up? (Both NWS & elsewhere) On the 30th September, I’ll be back at the Studio running a session on Gothic Fiction, which I’m really looking forward to – it’s a genre that I’ve always loved, and I have the pleasure of teaching it at the University of Derby last year. Other than that one of my main ventures for the rest of 2019 will be the UK Ghost Story Festival, which runs in Derby over the weekend of 29th November-1st December. Unsurprisingly that’s another area of fiction I love – there are lots of ties to the Gothic – so that’ll be big, busy and exciting!
The Other Worlds Writing Workshop Weekend runs over the 14th and 15th September, with both day and weekend tickets available. Special discounted rates are available for NWS members – for more information visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/other-worlds-workshop-weekend-fantasy-crime-horror-and-sci-fi-event-tickets-61823987210