Writers’ Retreats


Having experienced a ‘taught’ retreat as an MA student battling with my debut novel, I have to say that I found it liberating.  

There’s nothing like escaping from the daily drag in order to be able to write exclusively. It’s also great to spend your evenings in the company of like-minded students and experienced authors.  

At the time of my retreat in 2012, I had an 18-month-old son, a five year old daughter, and a part-time teaching job. Getting away from home for a week to go on retreat was a revelation

It wasn’t just escaping the unsuccessful potty training and tantrums, becoming free of policing pre-meal hand-washing and an endless mountain of laundry, it was the sheer bliss of not having to think about anything other than storyline

Once my retreat was over, I didn’t necessarily use all of the writing I’d completed that week, although I did keep it (poetry included, even though I’m no poet). Rather, the retreat showed me that I could be creative under pressure, and encouraged me to try different forms I’d previously never considered.  

If you want to concentrate purely on one form, say novel writing or script writing, or even just have meals provided and absolute peace to continue with your project uninterrupted, you’ll be able to find  the appropriate retreat option in an internet search - there are plenty out there to choose from.

I was delighted to be asked recently to teach on a fiction writing course at the Miradoux House in Gascony, for Karen Pegg’s achapteraway.com.

I’m particularly taken by the fact that Karen’s retreats work hand-in-hand with literary agencies, actively talent-scouting as well as offering agent-author sessions as part of each course. 

Who wouldn’t want to spend a week in Gascony, working on and discussing a potential debut novel with an established literary agent?! 



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