Welcome 2021

Welcome to our 2021 schedule of courses, tutored retreats and untutored retreats at The Garsdale Retreat! At the time of writing, in October, 2020, we are very much hoping that some degree of normality will have returned and we will be able to welcome writers back to Garsdale. If restrictions still apply, we will offer courses online which we have proved very successful so far. With numbers limited to eight per course and led by outstanding tutors, we have been able to maintain a quality experience which has inspired a high level of writing and provided an excellent creative relief from the ardours of lockdown. If the situation is safe to do so, however, we will also consider re-opening for courses and untutored retreats with limited numbers (see courses page).

Due to Covid-19 we were able to run only two private residentials in 2020. In February, we were proud to be chosen as a venue for the mentoring scheme New North Poets, run by the Poetry School and New Writing North as part of the Northern Writers’ Awards. Four emerging poets from the North of England enjoyed a week’s residency tutored by Clare Pollard. After which, novelist, Stephanie Butland, managed to squeeze in with her popular ‘Character and Dialogue’ course just before lockdown.

In 2020, we were also delighted to congratulate Roger Robinson, twice-tutor at Garsdale, on winning the prestigious TS Eliot prize for his collection, A Portable Paradise.

In our first four years we have been thrilled to receive outstanding feedback from both tutors and students (see testimonials) as well as, more recently, attracting attention from the national and international press.  In June, 2019, we were featured in The Sunday Telegraph’s list of top ten writing holidays and, later in the summer, received acclaim in the Ukrainian edition of Elle magazine’s review of activity holidays around the world!

Since opening in 2017, inspired by expert tuition, course participants have reaped the benefits of small size workshops (a maximum of eight residential/two non-residential students), and enjoyed a high level of individual support and guidance.

They have loved Rebecca’s ‘cordon bleu’ meals and The Garsdale Retreat, being fully catered, has also provided an escape from domestic chores (no cooking or washing up!), giving the luxury of time and space for writing.

The remote beauty of our Yorkshire Dales location has also been very much appreciated. Most people have enjoyed walks in the National Park and a few intrepid souls have enjoyed swimming in the Clough!

In 2020, we were due to welcome thirty-four ‘returners’ some of whom came on the online courses with others holding their deposits over for 2021. All speak of the unique, nurturing atmosphere of The Garsdale Retreat and the special feel of being in a writer’s home.

It has also been lovely to have greeted people from around the globe including Canada, Australia, Singapore, Malta, Spain, Germany, France, USA, Turkey and the Republic of Ireland.

The schedule for 2021 offers another broad range of courses: poetry, fiction and memoir with an outstanding line-up of tutors and guest readers, not to mention our ever popular untutored retreats.

Rebecca and I hope you find a course or retreat to suit your creative needs and look forward to welcoming you to Garsdale in 2021.

Hamish Wilson