This tutored retreat is designed for a limited number of writers to work intensively with a focus on individual sessions to help them develop their work. This will involve looking in detail at work in progress, as well as building on strengths and considering future directions.
Each writer will have an individual 30 minute tutorial every day. Daily 90 minute group workshops will also offer writing exercises and prompts to stimulate new ideas.
Tutor: Steve Ely – Poet
Steve Ely has published eleven books or pamphlets of poetry, including Englaland, Lectio Violant, The European Eel and Lives of British Shrews. His symphonic, book-length poem, Eely, was published by Longbarrow Press in November, 2023. His apocalyptic landscape poem, Orasaigh, (with photographs by Mike Faint), will be published by Broken Sleep books in August, 2024. His books have won or been shortlisted for a number of literary awards, including the Forward, Ted Hughes, Northern Writers, Laurel & Michael Marks prizes.
He teaches creative writing at the University of Huddersfield, where he is Director of the Ted Hughes Network, and is an experienced teacher of creative writing in community, residential and online settings, including the Arvon Foundation, The Garsdale Retreat and The Poetry School.
Guest, Wednesday evening: Fleur Adcock – Poet
Fleur Adcock was born in New Zealand but has lived in London since 1963. Her books of poetry, all published by Bloodaxe Books, are: Poems 1960-2000 (2000), Dragon Talk (2010), Glass Wings, (2013), The Land Ballot (2015), Hoard (2017) and The Mermaid’s Purse (2021).
She has also published translations from Romanian and medieval Latin poetry, edited several anthologies, including The Faber Book of 20th Century Women’s Poetry, and written libretti and texts for a number of musical works. In 2006 she was awarded the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry and in 2019 the NZ Prime Minister’s Award for Literary Achievement in Poetry.
Photo: Jemimah Kuhfeld
|PRICES||Fee includes all day and evening tutored workshop sessions, readings, accommodation and full board (not including alcohol).
Single – En-suite room £990
|TO BOOK||£150 deposit payable on booking by bank transfer, PayPal or cheque, to secure place. Balance due six weeks before the start of the course/tutored retreat/untutored retreat.
Please see Terms and Conditions.
|WHAT TO BRING||
Please arrive between 3:00pm and 4:30pm on Monday 3rd June 2024
Tea, cake and housekeeping notes 4.30pm
Introductory Workshop 5.30 – 6.30pm
After breakfast, 10:00am on Saturday 8th June 2024
|LOCATION||The Garsdale Retreat, Clough View, Garsdale Head, Sedbergh, Cumbria LA10 5PW
Nearest railway station: Garsdale, on the Leeds – Carlisle line.
For directions, see Find Us section on the Contact page.
Courses (Tutored and Untutored Retreats – see below)
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 participants, tutors and the landscape itself.
All courses start on Monday afternoon, arrival time 3.00 – 4.30pm.
4.30pm – Housekeeping information, tea and cake
5.30 – 6.30pm – Introductory workshop
6.30pm – Complimentary welcome drink
7.00pm – Dinner
All courses end after breakfast on Saturday (10.00am).
Although there will be slight variations, according to the type of course (see below), participants can generally expect the following outline:
8.00 – 9.00am: Breakfast
9.30 – 11.00am: First workshop – Participants explore particular aspects of the chosen genre and take part in writing exercises to further their understanding and expertise. All participants 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.
11.00 – 11.30am: Coffee break
11.30am – 1.00pm: Second workshop
After lunch, participants are free to do whatever they like, such as: relax, go for walks, read or work on individual writing projects.
4.30pm: Tea and cake
5.30 – 6.30pm: Third workshop
All participants on a course have one individual tutorial of 30 minutes with the tutor in the course of the week. These will take place in the afternoons.
Each evening, at about 8.30pm, 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 writing game or a poetry/music performance from Hamish and Rebecca. On Friday, there is a shared reading of ‘work-in-progress’ produced during the week.
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 the writing is essentially work-in-progress. However, the aim of the anthology is to reflect a flavour of the work accomplished on the course and to provide participants with an attractive record of their time at Garsdale. The Retreat stores copies of anthologies in the library, providing pleasure and inspiration for future participants.
These follow the same basic structure as above except there is only one workshop in the morning and participants will have a daily 30 minute tutorial, four per week.
The only formal structure of the week is determined by meal-times (see above), allowing participants to concentrate totally on their own writing. After dinner, there are optional events such as writing games and poetry/music performances from Hamish and Rebecca. Participation in such events is entirely voluntary and people are free to continue with their writing in the evenings if they prefer. However, we do like to end the week on Friday evening with a shared reading of work-in-progress as a celebration of the week’s writing.