18th – 23rd May 2020
Course Date

‘Sumer is icumen in, Lhude sing cuccu…..’ Let your writing blossom as summer arrives with its seasonal influx of house martins, curlews, lapwings and oyster catchers. Enjoy the space to write, free from domestic distractions and fuelled by outstanding food.

Untutored retreats provide a great opportunity to kick-start a project; to move writing on; or simply to get something finished! Meal-times form the only formal structure of the day where ideas, inspirations and even frustrations can be shared with fellow writers.

The Garsdale Retreat gives writers the time and space often lacking in daily life, and frees them from the interfering pressures of the modern world. It offers simple but comfortable accommodation. Each bedroom has a writing desk and there are two ground floor, en-suite bedrooms. The Retreat also has a sitting room in the main house and a workshop space in the coach-house both of which writers are free to use.

Excellent locally sourced food is cooked for the writers who can also walk straight out into The Yorkshire Dales where they can draw inspiration from the tranquil and remote beauty of the local landscape.

A maximum of seven places are available on each retreat, all of which run from Monday, 3.00pm to 10.00am on Saturday.

The domestic arrangements and meal-times are the same as for the courses (see structure of the day). All food is catered and there are no domestic duties to stand in the way of creative work. At the Garsdale Retreat, writers can devote themselves totally to writing.

PRICES Untutored Retreat fee includes accommodation and full board (not including alcohol).

Single – En-suite £610

Single – Shared Bathroom £560

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.
INCLUDED
Accommodation Sheets & Towels
Meals
WHAT TO BRING
Boots/outdoor shoes/trainers suitable for walking on rough paths.
A waterproof jacket or coat.
Torch
Warm Clothes
Toiletries – we do have one hair dryer available
Writing materials: your personal writing preference – laptop, paper, pens etc.
USB memory stick: for printing your work. (We do have air printing so may not be necessary)
Musical instruments and drawing/painting materials – sketchbook, pens, pencils, watercolours etc. (optional!)
Cash: for books written by the tutors, alcohol or sundries. The nearest cash machine is in Hawes, six miles away.
START TIME Please arrive between 3:00pm and 5:00pm on Monday 18th May 2020

Tea and cake 4.30pm

Dinner 7.00pm

END TIME After breakfast, 10:00am on Saturday 23rd May 2020
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

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).

Course Structure

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

5.30 – 6.30pm: Third workshop

7.00pm: Dinner

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 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.

Tutored Retreats

These follow the same basic structure as above except there is only one workshop in the morning and participants will have a daily tutorial, four per week.

Untutored Retreats

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.