We are delighted to announce that, instead of cancelling our remaining 2020 courses, we will be running them online via Zoom. There are two poetry courses, one tutored by Helen Mort 7 – 11 September, the other by Kim Moore 5 – 9 October, Fiction Writing tutored by Hannah Vincent 21 – 25 September and a Memoir course tutored by Cathy Rentzenbrink 2 – 6 November. Places still available on all four but going fast! Please click on Courses tab for bookings and more details.

Sadly all untutored retreats have been cancelled.

We are still closed for all retreats and courses. We will re-open when it is 100% safe to do so, i.e. when masks and social distancing are no longer necessary. We want to ensure that all writers coming to The Garsdale Retreat will be able to benefit from the relaxed and creative atmosphere of the full Garsdale experience.

We are currently taking bookings for the Untutored August Retreat (24 – 29 August) and the remaining 2020 courses/retreats but with the proviso that they will be cancelled if it is unsafe for us to open. A £150 deposit will secure your place but will be fully refunded if the course/retreat cannot go ahead due to Covid-19.

Just to confirm, all courses and untutored retreats at The Garsdale Retreat are cancelled up to 14th June, for now. We will continue to monitor the situation and make further cancellations if needed, staying in contact with those who are booked on to courses/retreats after that date. Best wishes to all and happy writing!

Linda Cracknell has abridged Kathleen Jamie’s Surfacing for BBC Radio 4’s Book of the Week (w/b February 3rd).

Paul Henry is interviewed in the current edition of Poetry Wales.

Congratulations to Carol Farrelly who has won the Short Story Mentoring Award in this year’s Bridge Awards. 

We are delighted to announce that Garsdale Retreat tutor, Roger Robinson has won this year’s TS Eliot prize for poetry. Roger led outstanding and inspirational courses in 2018 and 2019.  Participants were among the first to hear a live reading from his prize-winning anthology A Portable Paradise. Also,Vidyan Ravinthiran, a 2018/19 guest reader, was short-listed for The Million-Petalled Flower Of Being Here. Participants were lucky enough to get a sneak preview of this last year pre-publication.

Our first untutored retreat of 2019 – the Spring Retreat – just finished today with very un-spring like weather! This was more than made up for by the crackling open fires with the daily tea and cake. Participants managed to get much writing done as well as getting out for walks each day between showers. One intrepid writer even enjoyed a bracing dip under a gushing waterfall!

We are delighted to announce the addition of a poetry course – Getting Poems Done, 23rd – 28th September, tutored by the inspirational Roger Robinson. Steve Ely is the mid-week guest, so book your places quick as this is one that is sure to sell out!

We are delighted to tell you our 2019 courses and untutored retreats are filling up quickly. All you need is the £150 deposit to secure a place on the course of your choice. Don’t miss out, there are only eight places on each course and seven on untutored retreats, so get that place booked!

Novelist Stephanie Butland loves The Garsdale Retreat and uses it for her residential writing retreats for anyone who is writing fiction. Her friendly, focussed courses are for writers of all levels of experience. Writers who have been on her retreats describe them as “transformative,” “amazing,” and “the best writing course I’ve ever been on”.
Stephanie is running three retreats with us this year for which there are still places available:
Work On Your Fiction is all about storytelling as craft. It focuses on the shapes of the stories we tell, and how we choose to tell them. We’ll talk about writing scenes effectively, bringing characters to life, point of view, voice, getting unstuck, and much more! This course has been attended by people who are wondering if they want to/could write at all, people who are stuck, and people who have completed novels and want to make them better.
Work On Your Fiction dates:
– Thursday February 21st 4pm-Tuesday February 26th 10am
– Thursday 29 August 4pm- Tuesday 3 September 10am
Character and Dialogue in Fiction. We’ll cover: how to create believable characters that we root for (and probably partly dislike); how character and plot drive each other; how the world of the novel works to support and challenge the characters we create. And we’ll work on writing dialogue that feels authentic while being meaningful, and finding the voice and lexicon for our characters.
Character and Dialogue in Fiction dates:
Monday 9 December 4pm – Saturday 14 December 10am.
If you’d like more details or to book, please contact Stephanie directly via email – stephaniesnowdrop@gmail.com

Check out our exciting and inspiring 2018 courses, tutored retreats and untutored retreats on Wednesday 1st November.

Whilst still offering a broad selection of poetry courses, we have extended our range to include courses on: Writing for Children, Play Writing, Song Making, Crime Fiction, Memoirs and Novel Writing.

Don’t miss out on a place – bookings open 9.30am!