We’ll have a daily writing workshop to highlight specific techniques and editorial strategies, and to consider extracts of your work in progress. Each writer, depending on the size of the group, will have between two and four tutorials during the week, to discuss how to keep going in order to achieve a finished draft. We’ll also consider working towards publication.
|Tutor: Zoë Strachan – Writer
Zoë Strachan is the author of three novels: Ever Fallen in Love, Spin Cycle and Negative Space.
Ever Fallen in Love was shortlisted for the Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust Book Awards and the Green Carnation Prize and nominated for the London Book Awards. Negative Space won a Betty Trask Award and was shortlisted for the Saltire First Book of the Year Award.
Zoë’s short stories and essays have appeared in various magazines and anthologies and been broadcast on BBC Radio. She has been UNESCO City of Literature writer-in-residence at the National Museum of Scotland, a Hermann Kesten Stipendiaten, a Hawthornden Fellow, and a Robert Louis Stevenson Fellow. In 2011 she undertook a British Council visiting fellowship at the International Writing Program of the University of Iowa and in 2012 she was visiting faculty at Dartmouth College.
Works for theatre include Panic Patterns (with Louise Welsh, Citizen’s Theatre and BBC Radio Scotland) and Old Girls (which opened the 2009/10 season of A Play, a Pie and a Pint at Òran Mór). Her short opera Sublimation (with composer Nick Fells) toured Scotland in May 2010 with Scottish Opera before going to Cape Town, South Africa in November 2010. The Lady from the Sea, a full-length opera composed by Craig Armstrong and based on the play by Ibsen, premiered at the Edinburgh International Festival in 2012, where it won a Herald Angel Award.
Between 2011 and 2014 she co-edited New Writing Scotland, Scotland’s principle forum for poetry and short fiction, and in 2014 she curated a new anthology of LGBT writing from Scotland, Out There (Freight) – the first of its kind in over a decade. She teaches Creative Writing at the University of Glasgow.
www.zoestrachan.com / @zoestrachan
|Guest, Wednesday evening: Louise Welsh – Writer
Louise Welsh is the author of eight novels including, The Cutting Room, Death is a Welcome Guest and No Dominion. She is the editor of Ghost, One Hundred Stories to Read with the Lights On (2016). Louise was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Arts by Edinburgh Napier University (2015) and was a University of Otago’s Scottish Writers Fellow at the Wallace Arts Centre in New Zealand (2016). She has presented over thirty BBC radio features and written many short stories and articles. Louise has written libretti for four operas including Scottish Opera’s production of Anthropocene (music by Stuart MacRae) which will hit the stage in January 2019. She has also written for the stage. Her new play King Keich will premiere at Òran Mór on 22nd October.
Louise is co-director (with Jude Barber) of the Empire Café, an award winning collective exploring Scotland’s relationship with empire. (@theempirecafe) Louise is Professor of Creative Writing at University of Glasgow and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.
Photo: Julie Broadfoot
|PRICES||Fee includes all day and evening tutored workshop sessions, readings, accommodation and full board (not including alcohol).
Single – En-suite room £790
|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.
|WHAT TO BRING||
|START TIME||Please arrive between 3:00pm and 5:00pm on Monday 8th July 2019.
Tea and Cake 4.30pm
Introductory Workshop 5.45 – 6.45pm
|END TIME||After breakfast, 10:00am on Saturday 13th July 2019.|
|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.
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 3.00 – 5.00pm. On this first day, tea and cake are at 4.30pm followed by an introductory/ice-breaking workshop 5.45 – 6.45pm. Dinner is at 7.00pm. All courses end after breakfast on Saturday (10.00am).
Although there will be slight variations, according to the type of course (see below), students can generally expect the following outline:
8.00 – 9.00am: Breakfast
9.30 – 11.00am: First workshop – Students explore particular aspects of the chosen genre and take part in writing exercises to further their understanding and expertise. 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.
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, enjoy The Dales, draw, paint, read or work on individual writing projects.
4.30pm: Tea and cake
5.00 – 6.00pm: Third workshop
All students have one individual tutorial of 30 minutes with the tutor in the course of the week which usually takes place at a mutually agreed time, usually in the afternoon.
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 student ‘open-mic’ night or word/literary game. On Friday, there is a reading of work 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 students.
These follow the same basic structure as above except there is only one workshop in the morning and, depending on the size of the group, participants will have between two and four tutorials 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, participants in conjunction with the course director sometimes organise evening read-rounds of their work /open mics/music /word games. However, participation in such events is entirely voluntary and people are free to continue with their writing in the evenings if they prefer.