Last week we ran a Time to Write retreat in the beautiful Bosloe house at Durgan, near Falmouth. This is a stunning arts and crafts style house owned by the National Trust, and we were trying it out for the first time. It was, as the trail of 5 star ratings on our guests’ feedback forms verify, pretty fabulous. We’ll share some more of our favourite feedback comments in a blog very soon.
The house is larger than our Rosemerryn venue, and lent itself well to our group of twelve writers who had come from all sorts of writing backgrounds, primarily in order to crack on with a work in progress while being supported by both tutors and colleagues – and,of course, while being well fed.
The look on our guests’ faces as they arrived, and realised quite what a stunning setting they would be spending the coming week in, was something we will treasure.
The Time to Write week is less structured than our other retreats, which run more as short courses. With Time to Write, guests work independently on their projects, drifting in to grab breakfast and lunch on the go, and only gathering formally in the evening for dinner and socialising.
Tuition took the form of several one to one sessions over the week, where each writer could focus on their own project and writing journey.We also offered short informal morning inspiration sessions for those who wanted them; a great way to start the writing day. On Friday we organised a walk to nearby Glendurgan Gardens, which is simply glorious at this time of year.
Midweek, renowned author Patrick Gale joined us for dinner and gave an entertaining and often hilarious talk afterwards. He shared with us a reading from his first draft of his current work in progress, and we know at least twelve people who will be first in line to purchase the book when it comes out. The following morning he ran a hugely informative master-class, on how to write and how to get published. It really was a treat.
For us, one of the loveliest moments on any retreat is the shared reading on the last night. By this time, everybody is relaxed and comfortable in the company of supportive colleagues, and it is always moving and inspiring to hear the wide range of voices and styles echoing around the room as they share something of their work, or that of a favourite writer, with the group.
By the time our guests left us on Saturday morning, many friendships had been formed and several writing breakthroughs had taken place. Non-fiction projects became novels, points of views and voices changed, structures shifted, characters were killed off and created anew. There’s something about spending the week away from life’s responsibilities, surrounded and supported by other writers, that somehow makes things happen. The changes that took place were good changes, and we are excited to see where they will lead.
Our next retreat will be at the lovely Rosemerryn venue near Penzance, and will focus on long narrative structure. Book soon as this is always popular and places are limited.
Kath and Jane