Writing can be - and maybe should be - stitched into your everyday life. But sometimes a short break, leaving all the quotidian rubbish behind, can free you to think, play, experiment and submerge in a project in a way which is very difficult when your mind is cluttered with the school run and the annual report.
We'll have exclusive use of Deborah Dooley's lovely, sixteenth-century house in the centre of the village, and I've called it a workshop retreat because - well - it's a mixture of the two. We'll have morning workshops, and the afternoons will be given over to private writing time, with a one-to-one tutorial for every writer. There will also be good home cooking, wine, open fires, maybe sun (hard though it is in chilly March to imagine the glories of May). There are some lovely walks in and around the village: I suspect they're saturated with plot ideas and sense data, from all the years Deborah Dooley has been welcoming writers to her home.
There will be an absolute maximum of seven writers, and mostly likely four, in the workshop and, in keeping with the spirit of the blog, we'll be focusing on prose fiction and creative non-fiction. Some exercises in the workshop will be able to use characters and settings from your work in progress, while others will be designed to try out ideas and techniques which are new to you. Every writer will also get a half-hour's one-to-one tutorial/mentoring session with me.
You should go home with new confidence, insights, processes and tools (not, of course, rules!) to help your writing develop and grow. You might even find you've got some new story ideas, and perhaps made some new writerly friendships.
The workshops will be suitable for writers at any stage and with any kind of current project, although absolute beginners might feel rather at sea. (If you can't get away for this weekend, but like the idea of course covering similar topics, then do have a look at the Writer's Workshop six-week online course, Self-Editing Your Novel, which I developed with writer Debi Alper. It also covers creative non-fiction ... it's just that that made the title a bit long!)
For Retreats for You's own website, click here.