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Get away to write: 7 writing retreats happening in 2023
These seven upcoming writing retreats should be on your radar.
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Our all-inclusive Writers’ Retreat UK retreats take part in our lovely, quiet North Yorkshire venue. Our retreats are very different to others. We look after your every need during your stay with us, support you on group retreats with industry-specialists and offer the perfect environment to help you relax and create. Drop us an email and we’ll keep you informed with what’s going on and our specials offers.
Drop us an email and we'll keep you up-to-date with what's going and our special offers. If you prefer the human touch, please call 0845 519 8115 for a chat about any of our retreats.
Join us for a retreat and benefit from amazing ongoing discounts! Our retreats fill quickly so don't miss out. You can check out our reviews from previous guests here .
What's included in your Writers' Retreat UK retreat:
- For our untutored retreats, we offer mentoring with an industry professional to support you through your writing time with us.
- All meals are included (and some wine).
- Breakfast and lunch are served as a buffet. Breakfast is between 8am and 9.00am, with lunch usually around 12.30pm.
- Dinner is served as a sit-down, 2 course supper in the dining room. Writing can be a lonely process so evening dinner is a great opportunity for all of our writers to get together and socialise.
- Tea and coffee are on the go all day, along with cake, biscuits and snacks to keep the creative juices flowing
- We also offer a home-baked cream tea around 4pm to fuel your writing until evening dinner
- Transfers included from local public transport links.
- Writing pads and pens will be available, although we understand that most writers prefer to use their own.
- We have spare laptops - just in case! If you use one of our laptops, we'll give you a memory stick to take your work home with you.
- Space to write in your room, in privacy.
- Comfortable writing room, where you can work in the company of other writers.
- Access to a number of writing resources, including a library of writing books.
Bring a writer friend to share your room (most rooms can be made into twins) for just 50% extra. Bring a non-writing partner or friend for just 30% of the room price extra.
Take in your surroundings
Sometimes our writers like to take a walk to see the local area. This is a great way to clear your mind ready for the next writing session.
After supper, if you're ready to relax, we offer optional evening activities to share with your fellow writers. Alternatively, chill and watch a bit of TV or chat with others on the retreat in one of our comfortable lounges, in front of a roaring log burner. We host evening readings, too, for those that would like to share some of their work for discussion and feedback.
If you're taking part in one of our specialist retreats, your workshop instruction and feedback sessions are all also included in the price.
Don't worry about the little things, either. We provide an abundance of bubbles, shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, in fact, all the essentials you will need. We also carry plenty of spares in case you forget something, like, toothbrushes, razors, deodorant, and many more, so you only need to bring any special toiletries that you just can't live without!
This is a complete package that gives you dedicated time to write, lets you relax in idyllic rural or seaside surroundings, come together with other like-minded writers and have a truly invigorating quiet time away from home.
What are you waiting for? Reserve your place today, with a deposit of only £100pp , for our next writer's retreat.
Corporate and Academic retreats
Think writers' retreats are just for the creatives? Think again. Do you have corporate or academic documents to produce? We can provide the perfect environment with mentoring support, if needed. Click here for further information.
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The 8 Best Affordable Writing Retreats That Won’t Break the Bank
Gift a friend (or yourself) what writers want most: time, space, and a place to focus.
Networking, hustle, and industry understanding are unfortunate burdens of the life of a young and working writer. But trickier still is finding solitude. Privacy, quiet, and uninterruption are crucial to the craft; if solitude is one of the challenges of writing, it is also essential.
While residencies and fellowships are wonderful, most ask for applications and portfolios, and that can be prohibitive when you’re just starting out. Writing retreats are another means of getting away — and they can be done affordably, some even offering scholarships. Most bring together a small community of writers for a few days, so there is the opportunity for socializing and meeting the like-minded. Some involve travel to local sites or parks, or daily meetings to discuss the industry or the craft.
If you’re looking to get some peace and focus — or the best gift for your writerly friend this holiday season — here are some of the best writing retreats we found that won’t break your bank.
Wellspring House Retreat — Ashfield, Massachusetts, $260-$280/week
Retired English professor Preston Browning is the co-director of Wellspring House with his wife, author Ann Hutt Browning. The Wellspring House is run exclusively as a retreat for writers and artists, and as such is open all year: winter rates (mid-November to April 1st) are $260/week for an individual, and $290/week for a couple. Normal rates are only slightly higher: $280/week for an individual, and $310/week for a couple. You can also choose to stay just one to three nights for about $60–$90 per night. Each stay comes with access to the large living room and kitchen, along with access to one of the two common bathrooms (in total, the house hosts about six rooms). And if you’re really looking to get away, this retreat will help you do it: while the house offers modern amenities like laundry, the website warns that the house has no cell phone service.
Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Retreat — Colorado Springs, Colorado, $65-$399
The Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Retreat takes place in the foothills of the Colorado Rockies, at the Franciscan Retreat Center. Spanning three nights, it often contains special agent and author guests — in 2018, for example, Sandra Bond from the Bond Literacy and authors Heather Webb and Corinne O’Flynn will be there, leading talks and workshops, including a Publishing AMA by Sandra Bond. Residents can choose days only ($65 total, including meals), to stay and share a bedroom with one other resident ($299 total), or to have their own private bedroom for the duration of the retreat ($399 total).
God’s Whisper Farm Writer’s Retreat — Radiant, Virginia, $195 + $25/night
At the God’s Whisper Farm Writer’s Retreat, writers stay on a farm containing goats, chickens, dogs, and cats. They can enjoy writing workshops, talks from writers, meditation sessions, open mics, and shared, home-cooked meals. All rooms have two bunks and cost $25/night, but if you want slightly more private accommodations, you can opt to stay at a nearby Airbnb or at Best Western. If you want to avoid fees altogether, there are also ten free campsites nearby. Keep in mind the $195 rate is an early bird rate; prices may go up if you book within about three months of the retreat, hosted in late June.
Kundiman Retreat, in partnership with Fordham University — Bronx, New York, $375 + $25 application fee
In partnership with Fordham University, the nonprofit organization Kundiman offers a retreat for 36 lucky participants who apply. Kundiman, according to their site, aims to nurture writers and readers of Asian American literature. Keeping with this mission, top Asian American poets and writers lead the Master Classes and manuscript consultations at the retreat. The five-day retreat also includes reading, writing circles, and informal social gatherings, with room and board included in the subsidized tuition fee. Applicants can apply to either the poetry or writing track: as part of the retreat, poetry fellows get a free consultation on a 10-page manuscript, while fiction fellows get a free consultation on a 15-page manuscript.
‘The Moth’ Retreat for Artists and Writers , Cavan, Ireland, €300, or about $355 a week
If you want to submerse yourself in history during your retreat, try crossing the pond and attending The Moth Retreat for Artists and Writers, located at a house in Cavan, Ireland. According to the retreat website, Samuel Beckett went to school just a half an hour northwest of the home, while renowned writers like Seamus Heaney and Patrick Kavanagh all lived within an hour’s drive. The house itself is completely private, and includes a large studio, kitchen, and breakfast room downstairs, and a bedroom and bathroom upstairs. Fresh eggs are provided every morning, though you are expected to furnish your own meals. If you want to bring a friend or guest, that will cost you an extra 100 euros. Need a ride to the bus station or help finding other provisions? The publishers of The Moth are nearby and ready to help, according to the retreat website.
The Good Contrivance Farm Writer’s Retreat — Reisterstown, Maryland, $550 for one week
Another solitary retreat you could try is run by The Good Contrivance Farm, and is hosted in a contemporary loft apartment in the farm’s main barn. The Good Contrivance Farm is a non-profit that aims to preserve and restore historic farms in Maryland. To apply, send in a résumé and writing sample (space is booked on a first-come, first-served basis). Once booked, you’ll enjoy private use of the apartment, which includes great views of the farm, a full kitchen, 1.5 baths, a small library, and free WiFi. You can stay up to 4 weeks, with discounted rates the longer you stay (going as low as $450 per week if you stay the full four — though add $100 a week if you plan on having a second person stay with you.) Proceeds of the retreat all go to the non-profit.
The Watering Hole Winter Retreat — McCormick, South Carolina, $299–$399
The Watering Hole Winter Retreat is focused on building community among its 42 hosted poets. The retreat has no traditional classrooms, and aims to provide more publishing opportunities for poets of color, according to its site. Facilitators and speakers include renowned National Book Award winners, MacArthur Geniuses, recipients of the NAACP Image Award, and more. Interested writers can apply with a cover letter and three poems, and the site mentions that preference is given to applicants who are members of The Watering Hole Facebook Group and those who follow the organization’s Facebook fan page. During the fellowship, writers stay at modern cabins at Hickory Knob State Park.
The Mariandale Center’s Life Writing/Memoir Retreat — Ossining, New York, $350
The Mariandale Center is a quiet spot in Ossining, New York that hosts retreats and other programs. Included in the writing retreat are daily workshops, craft discussions, writing prompts, feedback on writing, and time to work on projects. Writers can also enjoy walks near the mountains and river. For this particular retreat, which spans three nights, all meals are included, and writers of all genres and experience levels are welcome.
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Writing Retreats to Inspire You
BY ANDREA MORAN • March 17, 2023
It’s a dream of mine to someday attend a writing retreat. My former professors will periodically post pictures on Instagram of their leisurely getaway spent holed up working on their next publication and all I can think is, Sign me up!
While certain writing retreats are specifically aimed at the academia set and require applications (but also offer grant opportunities and scholarships), I discovered that many are open to anyone who wants to attend. Whether you’re a beginning writer who wants a quiet place to get started or a seasoned author who is looking for the perfect place to finish up that latest novel, I guarantee there is a retreat that will meet your needs. Here’s a roundup of some of 2023’s offerings to help inspire you to make this your year for writing.
1. Cruising Writers April 1–8, 2023, departing from Galveston, Texas
If you’re looking for a writing retreat that feels like a tropical vacation, this one may be for you. Launching out of a port in Galveston, Texas, retreat members will enjoy day trips to Mexico, Grand Cayman, and Jamaica. While on board, there will be one-on-one sessions with presenters (including Becca Syme, the author of the QuitBooks for Writers series, and Kirsten Oliphant, author and host of the Create If Writing podcast), as well as networking events with other writers. This year’s theme focuses on having participants create a personal plan to reach their own customized creative writing and marketing goals. A retreat like this might prove particularly helpful for writers who are uncertain of the best ways to promote their writing and social media presence.
2. 6 Day Ego Break Writer’s Retreat May 25–May 30, 2023, Burnsville, North Carolina
Touted as a writing retreat for “novice writers, professional writers, and everyone in between,” the Ego Break Writer’s Retreat specifically focuses on character development and creativity. Participants will attend various workshops, including one that explores how dreams can be a source of inspiration for writing. They will learn techniques to use their dreams in pursuit of certain characters or plot lines. During their downtime, guests will have the opportunity to ride horses through the wilderness, enjoy a Reiki massage, and take a day trip to Mount Mitchell State Park.
3. Writers Who Run July 10–16, 2023, Lake Junaluska, North Carolina
The name pretty much says it all. Retreat members will start their mornings with a two- to three-mile run or walk around the lake. They will then participate throughout the day in multiple workshops that explore everything from novel structure and the business of writing to social media presence and networking. Two hours of each day will be devoted exclusively to writing, with the addition of critique sessions in order to get maximum feedback. The faculty for this year’s retreat includes authors April Dávila, Rachel Werner, and Christie Wright Wild. All genres of writing are welcome. In their free time, participants can try out various activities like whitewater rafting, journal making, and waterfall hikes. The weeklong retreat culminates in a 5K or 10K Race for Literacy, which raises funds for a children’s literacy program and books for Georgia schools.
4. 4 Day Writing & Wellness Retreat August 18–21, 2023, New Hope, Pennsylvania
This is your basic nuts-and-bolts type of retreat. Participants will begin each morning with some quiet meditation and journaling time. They will then move on to guided writing exercises and sharing with groups. Each day will introduce new ideas and techniques to incorporate into the writing process, as well as larger discussions to get feedback and constructive criticism from fellow writers. Every retreat member will get a one-on-one session with the retreat host, as well, where they can discuss anything from the workshop feedback to overall goals to troubleshooting specific issues. Writers are invited to spend their afternoon downtime furthering their craft, exploring the town, or taking a day trip into nearby Philadelphia.
5. The Writer Craft Writer’s Retreat August 24–27, 2023, Marcola, Oregon
Memoirist and podcaster Valerie Ihsan hosts this workshop located on the banks of the McKenzie River in Oregon. This retreat caters to very small groups and is largely held outdoors. Participants will hear tips on the writing process, gaining inspiration, and utilizing networking opportunities. This year, Ihsan will tackle book structure, story hypothesis, plotting, and author action plans among other topics. Two thirty-minute coaching sessions are included for each member either before, during, or after the retreat. During their free time, writers can try a yoga or reflexology class.
6. Rockvale Writers’ Colony September 29–October 1, 2023, College Grove, Tennessee
While Rockvale offers different themes for their retreats that are held throughout the year, this one specifically explores the “mind, body, and spirit replenishing techniques from the teachings of yoga, meditation, and acupuncture.” Those techniques will be looked at alongside current social neuroscience and interpersonal neurobiology research, which will all be combined into the practice of writing. Four workshops will be held, as well as a chance for a personal yoga or whole body relaxation session with the host. Retreat members will learn tools for their own somato-spiritual practices, in addition to plenty of journal prompts and free writing. When they are not writing, participants can enjoy the rustic woods of Rockvale’s hiking trails.
7. The Vibrant Landscape of Writing October 8–12, 2023, Stockbridge, Massachusetts
Writers of fiction, creative nonfiction, or poetry will receive one-on-one instruction from the retreat host, Page Lambert. A creative writing instructor at the University of Denver’s graduate school, Lambert will also host small group discussions. This extremely small retreat only admits seven writers at a time (five of whom are in residence). The vibrant fall foliage at this time of year will especially appeal to those who have always wanted a getaway to New England.
8. Stowe Story Labs November 10–14, 2023, Cambria, California
If you’re in the business (or hobby) of screenwriting, this retreat is for you. Participants will have the opportunity to get their scripts reviewed by three different industry insiders in a total of three one-hour meetings. They’ll get ideas and feedback on their script, angle, and career trajectory. Additionally, there will be daily one-hour small group and peer-to-peer meetings plus group workshop sessions to help screenwriters learn how to develop their craft and how to avoid common pitfalls of the screenwriting business.
Andrea Moran lives outside of Nashville. She’s a professional copywriter and editor who loves all things books. Find her on LinkedIn .
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The Garsdale Retreat is a creative writing centre, providing courses and untutored retreats, in the remote and beautiful setting of The Yorkshire Dales.
Our courses offer opportunities for new, emerging and experienced writers. The tutors, all professional writers, lead workshops and also give one-to-one tutorials to help the individual student. In the remote and beautiful setting of The Yorkshire Dales, The Garsdale Retreat gives a wonderful opportunity to escape from the daily stresses of life and to draw inspiration from fellow students, tutors and the landscape itself.
Untutored retreats allow the time and space to develop individual writing projects.
Whether a tutored course or an untutored retreat, all meals are provided, enabling participants to focus entirely on their writing, whilst enjoying excellent locally sourced food in simple and comfortable surroundings.
Accommodated in an attractive Edwardian house, with workshops held in its converted coach-house, students can enjoy the stunning landscape of The Yorkshire Dales and take walks directly from the house into the National Park.
The Garsdale Retreat provides an ideal place to reconnect with self and creativity in a busy and pressurised world. We welcome all to share in our passion for writing and to enjoy a rich and revitalising experience.
2023 Courses and Retreats. Now Open for Booking
Prices range from £660 – £945. See individual course page for details.
Residential courses and retreats to begin again, grey hen press book launch hosted by the garsdale retreat.
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Birmingham Writers' Retreat
Writing retreats in brilliant Birmingham every 2nd Sunday of the month!
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Get your writing fix with the OG writing retreat in sunny Brighton!
Milton Keynes Writers' Retreat
WE’RE BACK! Smash your writing goals with us in the lovely Milton Keynes!
Edinburgh Writers' Retreat
Write your socks off in the city of lit at our Edinburgh writing retreat!
There’s always one more thing to do, or one more stupid thing to look at on the Internet. Before you know it, it’s gone midnight, you’re sitting in your pants eating Dairy Milk, and you’ve written 25 words. Ugh.
That’s why we developed our writing retreats, in which we turn off the wifi and make you get on with it.
Because the only way to get your writing done is to sit down and write.
What happens at a Writers' HQ writing retreat?
Writing! More writing! Some more writing! A bucket-load of writing! Also much tea and biscuit eating.
Spend the day in a room with a bunch of writers, limitless caffeine and – horror! – no internet.
We’ll help you set your writing goals for the day and for the long-term, celebrate your successes, and break through blocks.
Write together in short bursts – long enough to focus but not so long you burn out – with breaks for leg stretches, drinks, snacks and lunch.
A score board, gold stars, general silliness and supportive competitiveness will help you reach your targets and get your writing moving.
No distractions. No excuses.
Just writing. Perf.
See all upcoming retreat dates and book your ticket now! >>
New writers! Emerging writers! Aspiring writers! Experienced writers! Not-sure-if-they’re-really-allowed-to-call-themselves-writers! (hint: if you write, you’re a writer )
Writers who want to tinker with some ideas or make a start on a brand new project.
Writers with a work-in-progress that’s stalled or been put aside while life takes over.
Writers who just wanna get shit done .
People writing fiction , non-fiction, scripts, academic texts, copy, articles, blogs, poetry, creative non-fiction, genre, high brow, low brow, and anything else that needs an alphabet shuffle.
People who want to drink tea and eat biscuits and write some words in a fun, supportive environment .
PSST... A writing retreat is an AMAZING gift for the writer in your life!
Treat your writer buddy to a day of uninterrupted writing, tea, biscuits and literary cameraderie with a Writing Retreat Gift Voucher.
They’ll be able to choose where and when they want to redeem their voucher and will be forever grateful for your generosity. Gold star for you!
Free courses! Free retreats! Pep, vim, gifs, bad literary jokes, and general super cool writerly stuffs.
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