Julia Crouch – Tutor
William Letford – Guest Reader
Guest Reader
15th – 20th October 2018
Course Date

Have you got an idea for a crime novel but don’t know what to do with it?

Have you started a crime novel and got stuck/lost, or need help to move it on?

Have you finished a crime novel and need to make it better?

If so, then this course is for you. It will help you clarify your ideas, address problems and take your work forward to the next level. As well as more general writing craft issues such as point of view and voice, the daily workshops will cover areas particularly pertinent to crime fiction, including genre, plotting, character development, building tension and the importance of setting, and there will be plenty of opportunity, both in the sessions and in your private writing time, to apply what you have learned to your own work.

By the end of the course you will have a far clearer idea of your novel, know what steps you need to take to move it forward, and, most importantly, the enthusiasm, excitement and confidence to get on with it.

Applicants should submit up to 500 words on their crime fiction idea and what stage it’s at to info@thegarsdaleretreat.co.uk at the time of booking.

 Julia Crouch - The Garsdale Retreat

Tutor: Julia Crouch – Writer

Julia Crouch is the author of five internationally published novels: Cuckoo, Every Vow You Break, Tarnished, The Long Fall and Her Husband’s Lover. She has also contributed to several short story anthologies and writes regularly for newspapers and magazines. Since she described her work as Domestic Noir, the term has rather caught on, and she has recently contributed a foreword to a collection of academic essays on the subject.

An experienced teacher, she regularly runs classes and workshops at festivals and universities, and teaches online and mentors for Faber Academy and UEA/Norwich Writers’ Centre. She is a member of Killer Women, a collective of South East based women crime writers, and co-founder of The Brighton Crime Wave, hosting best-selling crime writers at events in Brighton.

Photo: Adam Bronkhorst

 William Letford - The Garsdale Retreat

Guest, Wednesday evening: William Letford – Poet

William Letford’s debut collection Bevel was published by Carcanet in 2012. A chapbook of his poetry And then there was skin was translated into Slovakian and published by Vertigo in 2014.

He has performed in many countries and venues, by invitation, and sometimes just for the hell of it. His work has appeared on radio and television and his second full collection Dirt was published by Carcanet in 2016.

Photo: Chris Scott

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 15th October 2018.
END TIME After breakfast, 10:00 am on Saturday 20th October 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.

Writing Crime Fiction - The Garsdale Retreat