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To Plan or not to Plan? Advice for Writing and Life Itself Nov 30, 2021

'Life is what happens while you're busy making plans.' John Lennon was probably quoting others when he famously said this, but the idea will resonate with anyone engaged in something creative. It's true of daily life as well and never more so than at this busy time of year.  

We are...

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What Is Point Of View In A Novel? Oct 08, 2021

It's such a good question. 

Point of View in a novel, or POV for short, can seem like one of the most baffling choices a writer has to make. But it's straightforward once you learn what the choices are, how they work and - crucially - what how to fix it when POV accidently shifts midway...

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6 Essential Skills For Writers Sep 24, 2021

We're often asked 'what are the essential skills I really need in order to call myself a writer?' It's the question asked by people who know they love writing but also sense that they have much to learn in order to be the best writer they can be.

As fully committed writing geeks we love lists, so...

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Learn How To Write With Our Stay Home Writing Workshops Sep 03, 2021

Our live autumn series of half-day Stay Home Sundays are starting soon and they've got us thinking about how to create the ideal conditions for a writing retreat at home. With a little thought and forward planning it can be done. 

Here’s what we recommend: 

  1.  Clear...
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Can writing really be taught? Aug 12, 2021

We're at a party and someone asks, 'So what do you do for a living?'

When we say 'We teach people to be writers,' we often get the intrigued response: 'But can you really teach someone to write? Surely it takes natural talent to be a writer?’ 

Well, yes and no. 

Talent is part of...

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Get To Grips With Point Of View - Our New Course Tells You How Jul 22, 2021

We're excited to announce the first in our new series of Get to Grips online courses, designed to help you learn the essential skills of creative writing. For our first course we've chosen that mysterious thing called point of view, or POV for short.  

In this video Jane gives you...

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Welcome to The Writing Retreat online Jul 20, 2021

An unexpected silver lining of the pandemic was the discovery that we could do so much online, reaching many more writers with our courses. To make the most of this great opportunity, we have set up this new online home. Welcome! Come on in and have a look around. 

Our web address is the...

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The Return of the Purple Folders Feb 16, 2021

Isn’t it funny what you miss? In pre-pandemic times the purple folders in which we carry our workshop notes and essential information for our retreats are a familiar sight. They sit on the table with us during workshops and by the fireside in the evenings after dinner during our residential...

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Congratulations to Ellen McGarrahan Feb 03, 2021

We’re celebrating the success of one of our regular retreaters, Ellen McGarrahan. Her debut book is published in the USA today by Random House and we are thrilled for her and proud to have helped a little along her writing journey. Ellen isn’t on Facebook but many of our guests will...

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