I was thinking yesterday about some of the trips I’ve done and met other writers; with a short writer’s retreat less than three weeks away I was telling someone about Arvon and the couple of writing holidays I’ve done with them. I thoroughly recommend them if you haven’t.
I’d not really had a holiday for a while when I first went on an Arvon course; with Lee gone it’s less easy on your own (although it never stopped me) and Arvon is 5/6 days in a wonderful location where writers come together. The week usually consists of writing workshops in a group of about twenty and includes some one-to-one feedback time as well. So choose one that caters for your needs, so in my case novel writing/short stories. It’s run by people successful in that field and gives you writing time as well. In small teams you also have one night when you take your turn cooking as well (I am not really much of a cook, but they give you everything you need and the recipe for the night, so actually it was fun!). Then in the evenings they have guests so maybe a big publisher or an agent, and usually the wine flows.
It’s not cheap, but it’s well worth what you get and most of all: friendship and support. I did it twice and would happily do it again at some point, although now I would love to be a tutor on one! I am still in contact with people I met on Arvon courses.
At the end of the month I am off to a place in Devon run by a writer who offers retreats, three nights in idyllic surroundings with a small group of writer friends. That does not have the same structure and is really offering ‘me’ time to write, and I also hope to relax and take walks and there was talk of going out for runs as I want to work out too. It’s a very fair price and with being as busy as I am, so much needed. And fully catered!
So if you’re wondering about doing a different kind of holiday, do look into these things.
I am thinking about running something like this in Wales next year, having talked to a writer friend of mine who runs a hotel there, for short story writers and novelists, a small group, workshopping and one-to-one feedback, perhaps with another writer… just thinking about it at the moment and wondering if anyone would be interested?
Do let me know, or tell me about your writing retreats. I still fancy doing one in New England 🙂
Look where I’m off to…