Resting and Reviewing

Well, we’ve been having a well-deserved rest and recuperating from an invigorating retreat, filled with warmth, laughter, shared creativity, and the odd eureka moment. Oh, and a lot of cheese…

A cheese board to die for

The feedback from participants keeps coming in, and we thought we’d share some of the comments to date that have been music to our ears. Just what we needed to re-energise us as we start preparations for the next retreat in March.

Here are some snippets of what our November 2014 retreat guests had to say:

I have made tons of progress, ideas, writing. Meeting new people on the same ‘journey’ was brilliant. It helped me get back into the swing of things. – Elaine

It was beyond superb – Joy

I have loved it. Every moment. My writing is a joy once again. I had lost my way with it and within the first day of the course I had a better storyline and character. I am excited to write again. The food was exceptional, like dining out every night. Fantastic. –  Avis

It was nice to have a long meal for the conversations that generally developed. – Helen

At the end of the retreat…I wanted to share something I had written (a major break-through!) Thank you for a wonderful experience. The food was absolutely delicious. – Liz

The house was perfect. Needless to say, you can’t improve on the food. I’d like to thank you all for everything that you have done for me this last week. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without you and I would not have had so much fun and laughed so much. – Michelle

Thanks for the wonderful retreat. Must keep writing. – Candy

Wonderful memories of a house full of warm, friendly, funny people. Incredible encouragement and inspiration to really take my writing more seriously. Thank you to all of you for sharing yourselves on such a well organised and well fed retreat!! I would love to come back X – Charmaine

YES, I would go again – Elaine

Cheers everybody

Cheers everybody

Roll on March…

Settling into our settings

As November’s writing retreat draws closer we’ve been busy preparing delicious menus, daily schedules, and morning workshops. The aim of this season’s retreat is to offer our retreaters the space to write, the companionship and support of other writers, and inspirational workshops designed to nourish their works in progress, whether those WIPs be long laboured upon or newly hatching.

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As I’ve been thinking through what I want our guest writers to take away from my workshop on settings, it occurs to me that I haven’t been exploring my own settings deeply enough. Don’t get me wrong, there are several key things that I have of course taken into account. I’ve been careful to invoke all five of the senses in order to ground my readers in a sense of place. I’ve considered the function of my settings in relation to my characters and their story, questioning whether the setting of a specific scene offers a reflection or a contrast to my characters or their moods. Where possible, I’ve tried to give the setting a character of its own, to enable it to evoke atmosphere and tension.

But I now realise that what I haven’t yet done in my current WIP is really get to grips with the tone and textures of my overall setting. I know from experience that doing this will benefit my writing, but it’s an easy step to miss out when there’s so much else to think about. So that’s what I’m going to ask our retreaters to do during that session. I’ll post more here after I run the workshop and we see how everyone gets on.

Happy scribbling,


The November writing retreat is full now, but…

The Writing Retreat event of November 2014 is now FULLY BOOKED. Apologies to those who we were unable to accommodate this time around. We’d love to welcome you to join us at a future retreat.

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The next event at The Writing Retreat will take place from Monday 16th March to Saturday 21st March 2015. Maybe you’re new to writing, or perhaps you’ve written a lot but don’t feel like you know what you are doing yet? This retreat will be perfect for those who want to get to grips with the core elements of creative writing.

Book early to avoid disappointment. See The Writing Retreat website for more details.