Congratulations to Cass Grafton

Very pleased and proud that Cass was able to get this novel finished at our writing retreat at the Old Sawmills last year. Our copy is on order.

If you’ve got a writing project that you want to get on with, why not join us at the Old Sawmills this March? Who knows, it might be your novel in print this time next year. Find out more here.


The Cottage in a Cornish Cove by Cass Grafton – Book Review

Retreat to The Old Sawmills in March 2020

Do you need something fabulous to look forward to on these long winter days? Do you need to nurture your inner writer while indulging in excellent company, fabulous food, stunning scenery and plentiful supply of wine? Perfect. We have a few spaces available on our five-night writing retreat from 23-28 March, and you can book your place right here.

This retreat focuses on the craft of writing the short story, and takes place at the gorgeous venue of The Old Sawmills near Fowey.  This is our most unusual  venue,  accessed only a woodland walk or motorboat ride along the Fowey river from Golant. The peaceful setting adds to the sense of blissful seclusion. It’ll be a week in which to relax, reflect and rejuvenate your writerly self, or to discover your inner scribe for the first time. All levels of experience are very welcome.

Find out more about this retreat here.

The perfect Christmas treat for a loved one, or yourself

Treat yourself or a loved one to The Writing Retreat in 2020 

Book now for our 2020 retreats

Our programme for 2020 includes our Winter and Summer Sundays, and two fully residential five-night retreats, one in the gorgeous surroundings of The Old Sawmills near Fowey, and the other at Bosloe, overlooking the Helford estuary near Durgan.

Winter and Summer Sundays

Our Sunday retreats were hugely popular in 2019 and we have more treats in store for 2020.

We kick off our Winter Sundays at Devoran Village Hall on 12 January with ‘New Year, New You: how to kick-start your writing year’. Then, on 9 February, we have more inspiration to keep you writing  with ‘When a Writer Isn’t Writing: how to keep your writing larder well stocked’. We round off this winter series on 8 March with ‘Choosing the Form: when you know what to say but not how best to say it.’ You can find out more about the Winter Series here and can book your place here.

For our Summer Sundays, we return to the scenic setting of Mylor Yacht Club and start off with: ‘Flash Fiction: full on fiction, but fast,’ on 10 May. Then ‘Poetry: making the personal poetic,’ will be our theme on 7 June, followed by ‘Blogging: the art of online storytelling,’ on 19 July. Find out more about the Summer Series hereand book here.

 Cost: £45.00 each with a discount of £120.00 when you book for all three in either the Winter or Summer series. The price includes all refreshments and a delicious home-cooked lunch.

Residential retreats 

We offer two fully residential retreats in 2020. The Old Sawmillsis our venue for ‘Crafting the Short Story‘ from 22-28 March, with Tom Vowler returning as our mid-week guest author. Those of you who have attended our weeks at The Old Sawmills in 2018 and 2019 will know that this is an unusual and very special venue, with access by boat or by foot from Golant, which is the nearest village. There is no road access, which gives the house a magical ‘away from the world’ feel. You can book this retreat here

In the autumn, from 24-29 November, we return to Bosloe, the beautiful Arts and Crafts property overlooking the Helford. This elegant and spacious house is in fact three linked houses set in stunning grounds close to the famous National Trust gardens of Glendurgan and the neigbouring Trebah (not National Trust). Our theme will be ‘Time to Write‘ and we are delighted to welcome award-winning author Nina Stibbe as our midweek guest author. You can book this retreat here

We recommend speedy booking to be sure of your place at either retreat. 

Warmest wishes for Christmas and the New Year. We look forward to welcoming you to The Writing Retreat in 2020.

Kath and Jane.

Getting ready for an autumn retreat

Summer has left us much faster than we would like but we have the pleasures of an autumn retreat to look forward to in the far west of Cornwall; our fifth anniversary return to Rosemerryn.

On that first Retreat, held at Rosemerryn in November 2014, we drastically over catered. Yes, even for us! Guests from that wonderful week still giggle about how they’d waddled home fatter, happier, and further along with their writing projects than they’d ever imagined possible.  It is hard to believe that was five years and twice as many retreats ago.

Now, of course, we’re old hands, so as we sit here today, checking through our guests’ dietary details and planning the food side of things, we know exactly how to put together a menu that will have everybody feeling indulged and  satisfied without the need to purchase a new wardrobe. Those who have been on retreat with us before will find  a blend of old favourites and new tastes to enjoy. Those who are joining us for the first time are in for a treat.

It’s not all about the food of course (actually it sooooo is). Next week, we’ll be working on the workshops. But for now, bring on the wine list and the cheese board…

Kath and Jane

Summer Sundays 2019 – starting soon

The Writing Retreat is getting ready for our Summer Sunday series of day retreats at Mylor Yacht Club, and we wanted to let you know that there are still some spaces at the table. We’d love you to join us.

Sunday 19th May     –     Finding your story through theme

Sunday 16th June    –     Finding your story through character

Sunday 14th July     –     Finding your story through setting

The day includes lunch and all refreshments. We look forward to sharing a day of stimulating writing, delicious food and fine company.

If would like to attend, please fill in the form here or drop us an email at We hope you have a productive and enjoyable summer and that we can catch up again soon.

Warm wishes,


Kath Morgan and Jane Moss

Sister Scribes: Cass Grafton on why it’s good to talk

Recently, I was on a writing retreat – one that lived up to its name, being only accessible by boat at high tide (or after a hike through the woods from the nearest village). Hosted by Kath Morgan and Jane Moss of The Writing Retreat, the theme was simply ‘Time to Write’, which we had in abundance.

There were only 6 of us, and we soon developed our favourite spots for contemplation and scribing: at the wooden table by the creek, in the large window seat in the sitting room or even on the pontoon jutting out into the river.

I wrote in my room during the day, either in my own window seat with its fabulous water views or at the desk I’d tugged into place between the window and the extremely large bed (known as Robert Plant’s bed – long story, but there’s also a recording studio under the main house)!

Despite the obvious benefits of a retreat – that longed-for chance to focus on nothing but writing, allowing your mind to wander, your characters to fully take hold of you and the story in a way they often can’t when you’re surrounded by the minutiae of daily life – I was able to indulge in something else: time to talk, not only with fellow writers (usually over the yummy lunches and dinners) but also during one-to-one sessions with Kath or Jane.

These sessions brought answers to dilemmas I’d spent months battling with: what’s my hook; how do I finish this book that’s been almost done for months; what do I write next? Talking it through, being heard, was all it took for solutions to come, often prompted by the tutors’ insights. I left every one-to-one on a high, inspired and raring to get back to the writing.

This hasn’t been my only chance to talk face-to-face with other writers, of course. Aside from get-togethers with my fellow Sister Scribes, I’ve been co-writing with Ada Bright (for her guest post on being an author, see link below) for years, and despite the thousands of miles and 9-hour time difference separating us, we talk when writing 3 or 4 times a week. We discuss plot, why a character is behaving in such a way, battle out the things we’re struggling with, and we laugh. There’s a lot of laughter!

Do you begin to see the benefit of the talking? Writing can be such a solitary profession. Things go round and round in your head, we hit stumbling blocks, trip over our own words, lose faith, regain it, sometimes question whether we love what we’re doing, whether we should even continue.

Living in Switzerland, as I do, can also be isolating – I can’t meet up with my Sister Scribes as often as I’d like – so imagine my delight when I connected with 3 other British writers who regularly meet up for ‘writerly lunches’! They all pen fabulous psychological suspense novels, with Louise Mangos (@LouiseMangos) published by HQ Digital, Alison Baillie (@alisonbailliex) by Bloodhound Books and Linda Huber (@LindaHuber19), who has a wide portfolio, by Bloodhound Books and their imprint, Bombshell Books. She also writes light romance novels under the name of Melinda Huber.

Aside from lunch and laughter, we share our thoughts and feelings on the sort of things writers value talking about: practical experiences, both in writing and publishing, our ups and downs, our current challenges and our plans for ‘what next’. Oh yes, and there’s the odd glass of Prosecco too!

So write and enjoy it. Embrace it, but if you get the chance, talk to other writers, preferably face to face. You won’t regret it!

Winter Sunday Retreat – Playing With Point of View

Roll up, roll up! Our next Winter Sunday is on Sunday 17 March and our theme is Playing with Point of View. The question for the day is, whose story is it anyway? Learn techniques to help you try on different voices and to judge which point of view will serve your story best.

Venue: Devoran Village Hall, 9.45am-4.00pm.

You can book your place here.

See you there,

Kath and Jane

%d bloggers like this: