I’ve been lucky enough to have enjoyed two Immersions at Margie’s beautiful home in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Both had a different flavour. Both changed my writing. Both inspired me to push myself to a new level. And both were tremendous fun.
My first Immersion blew my mind. I was awed by Margie’s energy and mental acuity, her humour, her teaching ability, her amazing analytical skills, and her ability to look at a sentence, a paragraph, a page, and make it better, to add power, to weed out weak or overblown writing.
That first time I arrived from the UK, jetlagged and a little apprehensive. I was swept up by Margie’s warm and enthusiastic welcome, met my fellow Immersioners and went on an impromptu trip to Red Rock Amphitheatre, an amazing and inspirational venue. Then we headed up to Margie’s mountain retreat. As an overseas visitor, I was treated to a room in Margie’s house, along with the awesome Edwina Jagelman from Australia. Margie and her husband Tom were perfect hosts – warm, welcoming, generous. Like everyone else who has met Tom, I was devastated to hear of his tragic death earlier this year, and my heart goes out to Margie and her family.
Back to that first Immersion. We worked hard. 8 am to 10 pm every day. I was amazed at the number of hours we put in and the amount of material we covered. The time never dragged. It was fun, interesting, challenging, varied. The time spent with Margie in our one-to-one sessions was especially precious and I wished I could have her to myself all day, every day. She was insightful, thought-provoking, and always encouraging. By the end of each day I could barely string words together, my brain was so loaded with information. But it started to sink in. The principles I’d started to learn from Margie’s online classes and from Fab30 took life and form and meaning. And my writing improved.
My second Immersion, last summer, was an advanced class, diving even deeper into the work. More mind-blowing ensued, and I met some fabulous writers from around the world – three Americans, two Aussies, one Kiwi, and me, the token Brit. We had a total blast and I remain in close contact with my Immersion sisters.
So many of Margie’s graduates have gone on to become wildly successful best-selling authors. I’m not one of them yet, though I hope to be one day. But even if I never achieve those heady heights, I’m now able to analyse my work and the work of others and see where and how it can be improved, where it can be tightened, where there are missed opportunities to add power and emotion. Since my first Immersion, I’ve finalled in several contests, I’ve been honoured to stand in for Margie to teach her Big Three classes, and I’ve been privileged to work alongside some amazing writers and to be part of a writing community that is both supportive and inspiring. I’m currently querying, so watch this space!
Would I recommend immersion? The answer is a resounding ABSOLUTELY. This is one choice you’ll never regret, one choice that can change your writing life and bring you on in ways you can’t even imagine. You’ll meet fellow writers and create lasting relationships. You’ll have fun. You’ll be inspired. You’ll be amazed at what you can achieve.