I was lucky to be able to book and attend a retreat with Writers Retreat UK before lockdown kicked in, and what I got was much, much more than space to write. The real USPs here are space, attention to detail and a genuine care for the comfort of the writers who attend. The accommodation was absolutely stunning and there was even a sauna and hot tub (let’s face it, no one can write 24x7). From arrival to departure we were wonderfully well looked after, with a home-cooked breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus a traditional cream tea. The absence of all the responsibilities that so often eat into our time at home to do what we love was pure bliss.
I also loved the light touch itinerary. It was up to us if we wanted to share our work or seek advice, and it was up to us where and how we worked. Nothing was enforced and there was a great cross section of genres, which meant the conversations and opportunities to listen to and advise on our experiences happened organically. Some writers preferred to stay in the peace and quiet of their rooms (which incidentally included a desk for those not inclined to work from their bed or sofa) and others chose the squashy sofas in the living room.
Last but not least, the retreat included two mentoring sessions with screen writer Steven Nesbit. Down to earth and well-versed in the rollercoaster journey many creatives go on to bring their work to the world, our conversations were reassuring, realistic and practical.
And the outcome? I can honestly say that my time with Writers Retreat was the most productive I’ve ever been. I produced two pieces that I’m really excited about (one of which was published by a blogging platform a couple of days after I returned), as well as taking some time to focus on improving the quality of my pitches.
A massive thank you to Jan and her lovely Mum for looking after us so wonderfully. Whatever your project, if you want the space to write and *NOTHING else to worry about, this is the retreat for you.
*Apart from the need to book a fasting retreat immediately afterwards
Although lockdown has put a pause on many of our planned activities, Writers Retreat UK has a full calendar of retreats next year. Website link above.