Hannah Vincent – Tutor
Carol Farrelly – Guest Reader
Guest Reader
13th – 18th August 2018
Course Date

Have you got a brilliant idea for a novel but no idea how to start writing it? Or perhaps you have a colourful character waiting in the wings but nowhere to house him or her? Perhaps you have always wanted to write but have never found the time?
This is a tutored retreat for beginners. During your week at Garsdale you will take the most important first step towards completing a novel – by starting it! By making time for your creative practice and committing yourself to the writing and learning process you are committing yourself to being a writer.
Our week’s work will focus on character, language and structure and will provide advice and tips for sustaining a healthy writing practice.
By the end of the week you will have learned skills to help you develop material you have written whilst on retreat. Crucially, you will have made connections with fellow writers who understand what it is to yearn to write and who appreciate the struggle to satisfy this yearning.

Hannah Vincent - The Garsdale Retreat Tutor: Hannah Vincent – Novelist/Playwright

Hannah is a playwright and novelist who lives in Brighton.
She is a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at the University of Sussex and teaches Creative Writing for The Creative Writing Programme at New Writing South as well as The Open University.
Her first novel Alarm Girl is published by Myriad and her second The Weaning will be published by Salt in 2018.

Photo: Bosie Vincent

 Carol Farrelly - The Garsdale Retreat Guest, Thursday evening: Carol Farrelly – Writer

Carol Farrelly is a fiction writer. In 2015, she was awarded a place on the Jerwood/Arvon Mentoring Scheme and began work on her current novel.
She is a previous recipient of the Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship, a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award and the Sceptre Prize.

Carol’s short stories have been widely published in journals such as Stand, Edinburgh Review, The Irish Times, New Writing Scotland, Popshot, and Lampeter Review, and broadcast on BBC Radio 4.

In 2013, her story ‘The Telephone Man’ won the international Lorian Hemingway Short Story Prize. She has been shortlisted for the Bridport Prize, Fish Prize, Asham Award and the RA & Pin Drop Short Story Award. She has read at the Edinburgh International Book Festival and Aye Write! Literary Festival.

She holds a DPhil on Thomas Hardy’s novels and Victorian constructions of readership; thankfully, her love for Hardy remains intact.

PRICES Fee includes all day and evening tutored workshop sessions, readings, accommodation and full board (not including alcohol).

Single – En-suite room £760
Single – Shared bathroom £710
Shared Room (2 Beds) £660
Non-residential (inc. lunch and evening meal) £500

TO BOOK £150 deposit payable on booking by PayPal, bank transfer or cheque, to secure place, balance due six weeks before start of course.
Please see Terms and Conditions.
Accommodation Professional Tutor
Meals Sheets & Towels
Boots/outdoor shoes/trainers suitable for walking on rough paths.
A waterproof jacket or coat.
Warm Clothes
Writing materials: your personal writing preference – laptop, paper, pens etc.
USB memory stick: for printing your work. (We do have air printing)
Musical instruments and drawing/painting materials – sketchbook, pens, pencils, watercolours etc. (optional!)
Drawing/painting materials – sketchbook, pens, pencils, watercolours etc.
Cash: for books written by the tutors, alcohol, taxis or sundries. The nearest cash machine is in Hawes, seven miles away.
START TIME Please arrive between 4:00 pm and 6:00 pm on Monday 13th August 2018.
END TIME After breakfast, 10:00 am on Saturday 18th August 2018.
LOCATION The Garsdale Retreat, Clough View, Garsdale Head, Sedbergh, Cumbria LA10 5PW

Nearest station: Garsdale – direct line from Leeds.


The Garsdale Retreat provides an inspiring place to develop as a writer. 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.
All courses start on Monday afternoon, arrival time 4.00 – 6.00pm and finish after breakfast on Saturday, 10.00am

Course Structure

Although there will be slight variations, according to the type of course, students can generally expect the following outline:

Each day begins with a morning workshop at 9.30am where students explore particular aspects of the chosen genre and take part in writing exercises to further their understanding and expertise. Tutors also write alongside the students, sharing and developing work with participants. The immediacy of hearing or reading an expert’s emerging work gives invaluable insight and inspiration into the art of writing. All students have opportunities to share their work with the tutor and fellow writers in a safe, supportive and nurturing environment in which individual work is respected and confidence developed.
There is a mid-morning coffee break and the session finishes at lunchtime (1.00pm)
After lunch, participants are free to do whatever they like, such as: relax, go for walks, enjoy The Dales, draw, paint, read or work on individual writing projects.
All students have at least one individual tutorial which usually takes place in the early evening after tea and homemade cake.
Each evening there is an after-dinner event. The precise nature of this varies according to the type of course but participants can typically expect a tutor reading on Tuesday followed by a reading from a guest writer on the Wednesday evening. There is an informal activity on Thursday such as a student ‘open-mic’ night, or a tutor devised activity. On Friday, students and tutor take part in a reading of their work from the course-produced anthology.

All courses end after breakfast on Saturday.

Poetry Course Anthology

An integral part of poetry courses is the production of an anthology of writing produced in the week. It is, of course, accepted that work may not be completely polished and there is an element of work-in-progress about it. However, the aim of the anthology is to reflect a flavour of the work accomplished on the course by both tutor and participants and to provide them with an attractive record of their time at Garsdale. The Retreat stores copies of anthologies in the library, providing pleasure and inspiration for future students.