The Writing Retreat Roundup: 20 Incredible Retreats to Attend in 2018
If you check out the definition of the word “retreat” in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, you will find that it has two distinct meanings. The act of withdrawing from something difficult or dangerous; and in its noun form, a place of privacy or safety.
The freelancing world — as you likely know if you’re reading this — can be one of those difficult and dangerous things. Hours scramble away out of your reach, deadlines loom ominously ahead, writer’s block lies in wait to ensnare you at the worst possible time.
It’s a jungle out there.
Enter the overwhelmed writer’s saving grace — a lovely mixture of a vacation and a work productivity super-charger — a writing retreat. A place of privacy and safety that writers can run to when they need some inspiration, motivation, and courage to push ahead.
While all writing retreats vary in location (always beautiful), activities (workshops, talks, tours and more), and price, each of them offers something unique to the writer in need of a creative escape. Most of them include shared accommodation, meals, and activities, so you can totally relax and focus on your work.
If a writing retreat sounds like total bliss to you and you’ve already started packing bags, check out the list below of 20 incredible writing retreats you can attend in 2018.
1. Writers Retreat Andalusia, Spain
This is a true “away from it all” style writing retreat. While there are opportunities to have your writing critiqued, the idea of this particular retreat is simply to be away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, in a beautiful, quiet setting, and WRITE.
Of course, the chance to meet like-minded people and make new friends in the writing world is also there, but this retreat focuses very much on knuckling down and doing your writing thing. The amazing views, stunning venue, and utter serenity make this a superb place to do just that.
The beauty of this writing retreat is that it’s entirely up to you how long you want to stay. A week, a month, forever? … It all depends on you and your writing. Make sure to check up on prices on the website, as this varies according to the length of stay.
Do keep in mind, though — whilst there is no specific writing level that is required to join this retreat, it is mentioned that this is an opportunity to write amongst a group of Muslimah writers.
Being surrounded by like-minded people is important, so make sure to read through the details carefully and decide if it’s for you!
Best Suited For: Writers of all levels; Muslimah writers
Date: February 2018
Location: Andalusia, Spain
Price: Varies according to length of stay
2. Creative Writing Retreat, Costa Rica
How do you feel about a writing retreat in a Costa Rican rainforest?
What better place for writing and rejuvenation than a biodynamic lodge with an on-site spa?
This writing retreat feels far enough away from everyday life to be a proper retreat but is also close enough to various exciting activities and tourist attractions to make for a well-rounded working vacation.
With morning creative writing workshops overlooking the forest and afternoons free for practicing what you’ve learned (or heading out to explore), this week is what you make of it.
If you’re serious about your writing, you should be able to have a balanced, fun and creative week and come away with new knowledge and techniques — not to mention, a nice tan.
Best Suited For: Writers of all levels (and their families!)
Date: February 3 – 10, 2018
Location: La Fortuna, Costa Rica
Price: $1399 (shared room), $1849 (private room)
If you write anything in the Christian genre, this is a superb 2-day retreat-like conference for you to attend. Here you’ll be surrounded by like-minded people, where the focus is on not only honing your skills as a writer but also emphasizes the WHY behind your writing.
A key feature of this writing retreat is that attendees have the benefit of receiving one-on-one mentoring from some very established writers. As if that’s not enough, you’ll begin receiving weekly info and preparation assignments seven weeks before the retreat begins, so you’ll be prepared (and excited) when it starts.
Best Suited For: All writers
Date: February 16 – 18, 2018
Location: Asheville, North Carolina, USA
Price: From $304
4. Cape Town Writer’s Retreat, South Africa
Ah, my home country! If you fancy a vacation in a beautiful, cultural place while getting in some serious learning from a highly acclaimed NY Times author, this short writing retreat is a fantastic option.
Led by the very accomplished Wendy Goldman Rohm, this retreat is designed to assist writers in generating new ideas, developing and expanding on existing work, and molding writing projects into true works of art.
The focus here is on story and manuscript development, geared towards writers of fiction, nonfiction, screenplays, plays, and poetry. Opportunities for networking are rife and the sheer volume of valuable, practical information makes this an incredible option if you’re serious about a career as a writer.
Best Suited For: Advanced writers
Date: February 19 – 23, 2018
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
5. Deep Thinker’s Retreat, USA
This is for the writers out there who are working on (or would like to be working on) a novel. If you want to learn how to create captivating characters, map out in-depth story plots, and tug at the heartstrings of your readers, THIS is the writing retreat for you.
As the name suggests, this retreat is designed to help you unlock your own mind. It’s focused, it’s intense, and if you’re serious about pulling up your writing socks, it’s effective.
One-on-one coaching, detailed feedback, brainstorming and writing exercises. What’s not to love?
Best Suited For: Writers interested in, or busy with, writing a novel
Date: February 23 – 27, 2018
Location: Destin, Florida, USA
Price: From $1349
6. Oaxaca Women’s Creative Writing Retreat, Mexico
Based at a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this retreat is all about exploration, encouragement, and yoga — the perfect environment for creativity to flourish.
A mix of quiet reflective space and street hustle is available for you to explore depending on your mood. Plus, the workshops are tailored as much as possible to the participant’s strengths and needs (you’ll send a writing sample ahead of time to provide for this).
One of the main focuses of this particular writing retreat is to garner support and encouragement as a group of like-minded women and to see similarities in each other’s differences. Instructor Robin Greene endeavors to help women bring out their own voice, creativity, and best self in their writing.
Best Suited For: Female writers of all levels
Date: March 2 – 9, 2018
Location: Oaxaca City, Mexico
Price: From $1395 to $1695 depending on room requirements
A mix between solitary writing time, select writing and publishing workshops, and feedback from others in the field, this writing retreat in the Redwoods of Northern California is a fantastic option if you’re a fiction writer interested in getting your book published.
Hosted by two very accomplished consultants with backgrounds in publishing and editing, and featuring speakers from the writing world, these retreats promise a wealth of information, inspiration, and relaxation.
Time to write, time to learn, time to socialize, interspersed by yoga, optional massages, wine and s’mores(!) make this a great getaway and a very worthy networking opportunity.
Best Suited For: Fiction writers with publishing ambitions
Dates: March 14 – 18, 2018 and March 21 – 25, 2018
Location: Santa Cruz Mountains, Northern California
Price: $2347 (shared room), $2597 (single room)
Beautiful settings make writing all the easier, and this one is rather breathtaking. Spend time with other writers and teachers at the Franciscan Retreat Center at the foot of the Colorado Rockies. If the view alone doesn’t inspire you, then perhaps you should reassess your career.
This is the full package for fiction writers and covers all the things that sound scary when you’re setting out to write a novel. How to write a book opening, bringing your characters to life, the ins and outs of publishing, sprinkled with many hours of writing, readings, and discussions — and of course delicious meals to nourish your creative brain.
There are also plenty of fascinating places nearby which make for an inspiring outing if you need to get away from the laptop for a bit and find some new inspiration.
Best Suited For: Fiction writers of all levels
Date: March 15 – 18, 2018
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Price: $399 (single attendee, single room), $299 (“Bring a Buddy,” shared room), $65 per day if accommodation is not required
9. Himalayan Writers Workshop, Nepal
If you’re one of those writers who are more extroverted and enjoys a good bit of collaboration, this is the perfect writing retreat for you.
The focus of this retreat is group writing, so prepare to be spending quite some time talking, brainstorming and creating with others. Of course, when you’re surrounded by the amazing sights, sounds, and culture of Nepal, inspiration should come easily, and there will be plenty of time to explore, learn and marvel at the world of Kathmandu.
This writing retreat also involves a bit of travel, as you will spend time in up to four different hotels during your stay. Combine that with plenty of socializing and group work, there’s really no getting bored here.
Best Suited For: Sociable fiction writers
Date: April 9 – 19, 2018
Location: Kathmandu, Nepal
Price: $2980 (shared room), $3380 (single room)
10. The Mokulē’ia Writers’ Retreat, USA
Yoga and writing in Hawai’i! Could you ask for a more appealing combination of inspirational things?
This writing retreat brings together three dozen or so writers from all backgrounds, genres and skill levels, for a week of various activities geared towards motivating you to improve your writing, finish projects, land new ones, and network with fellow writers.
The theme is “nā wahi no’oulu,” which means “places that inspire us,” and the aim of this week is to encourage writers of all kinds to explore, not only physically, but mentally, and to bring that into their work.
There may even be some hula dancing. Talk about inspiration.
Best Suited For: All writers
Date: May 6 – 11, 2018
Location: Camp Mokulē’ia, North Shore, Hawai’i
Price: From $900, depending on room
11. Pink Pangea Writers Retreat, Israel
If you’re a woman looking for a jumpstart of creativity, this writing retreat is a super idea.
At this retreat for female writers, you can expect to sample the local cuisine, catch a tan on the beach, explore ancient plazas, buy handmade souvenirs … And of course, meet writers from all over the world, take part in transformative writing and publishing workshops, get creative with writing assignments and get to share your work and receive feedback from others in the field.
Sometimes a change of location, culture, and company can make all the difference in your work, and this writing retreat promises to be a one-of-a-kind experience.
Best Suited For: Women writers
Date: May 18 – 22, 2018
Location: Tel Aviv, Israel
Price: $995 (shared room), $1370 (single room)
12. Paris Writer’s Retreat, France
If South Africa sounds a bit too wild and exotic for you, the same value-packed writing retreat as the one in Cape Town is held in romantic Paris — though at a slightly higher price tag.
Best Suited For: Advanced Writers
Date: May 28 – June 1, 2018
Location: Paris, France
13. Co. Galway Writers Retreat, Ireland
If writing in the same place as some well known literary figures is something that inspires you, Lisdonagh Manor is likely to help you progress in leaps and bounds towards finishing your project.
Set on a private estate amongst the green rolling hills of Ireland, the serenity and beauty of this house is something to behold. Of course, getting schooled on things like pushing through self-doubt, the power of music, your life vision and owning the fact that you’re an author, are what takes this from being just a serene timeout to a value-packed writing retreat.
Add daily yoga, horseback riding, the occasional pub outing and an excursion to the Cliffs of Moher, and this is a superb retreat you should not miss.
Best Suited For: All writers
Date: June 10 – 16, 2018
Location: County Galway, Ireland
Price: $2999 (shared room, must be booked together), $3499 (single room)
Run by Emma Palzere-Rae, a successful playwright whose specialty is solo shows, this writing retreat is the one for you if you’re serious about injecting some spice and creativity into your works.
With an emphasis on collaboration, community, and creativity, you will gain far more than just a few writing tips here. You will have the chance to be mentored by Emma, assessed by your peers, develop ideas in collaboration with fellow artists and in between all of the fantastic writing stuff, explore the towns and beaches. As an added bonus, you’ll also be able to check out the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, which hosts the O’Neill Playwright’s Conference.
If you’re a playwright who could find some inspiration in spending time with others in an environment of teamwork, innovation and artistic license, this could be the writing retreat for you.
Best Suited For: Playwrights
Date: June 22 – 29, 2018
Location: Stonington, Connecticut
15. Write Your Book/Novel, Greece
Let’s be honest now. We all dream of writing a best-selling novel sitting on a beach in an exotic country, don’t we?
With this retreat, that dream could become your reality. A week on a sultry Greek Island, wind in your hair, the salty fresh air. I don’t know about you, but that’s about as magically inspiring as it gets for me.
This week is focused on “memory and writing,” and presents a combination of technical writing skills and techniques like learning how to access your memories, finding ways to beat that writer’s block, and developing your story.
On this writing retreat, you will be tutored by two incredibly talented people, meet other writers on the same path as yourself, engage in tons of writing lessons, share ideas, and eat delicious Greek food, all with an ocean view … Really, why haven’t you bought a ticket already?
Best Suited For: Writers who want to write a book or novel
Dates: Write Your Book: June 15 – 23, 2018
Write Your Novel: June 24 – July 2, 2018
Location: Skala Eressos, Lesvos Island, Greece
Price: $1760 (early bird), $2000 full price
16. Writers Who Run, USA
We writers are often guilty of forgetting to move or get fresh air while we’re working, which is exactly what makes this writing retreat so refreshingly different from others. The focus is on strengthening your body and mind, and what a superb combination that is for inspiring creative thinking.
Start the morning with a group run and a decadent breakfast before settling down to some value-packed writing workshops. Swimming, boating, and hiking are some of the active options. When not working up a sweat, write to your heart’s content in a lovely and inspiring setting.
This writing retreat’s crowning glory is the 10 km trail run on the last day — which I’m pretty sure is secretly a metaphor for your completed masterpiece.
Best Suited For: Writers … Who run
Date: June 25 – 30, 2018
Location: Nantahala National Forest, North Carolina
Price: $1499 (shared room), $1899 (private room)
17. Travel & Food Writing Retreat, Cambodia
This retreat is a great option if you are — or you would like to be — a travel and food writer. Could you find a better combo? Food, travel and sculpting your craft in the most delicious way possible.
Cambodia is a culinary delight and paired off with its unique culture, this writing retreat makes for a creativity-stimulating week. Come with an appetite to snack on local foods. Digest while learning writing tips and tricks in the workshops and classes. By the end of the week, you’re sure to leave fully satiated with a new love for Cambodian food and a whole lot of progress on whatever writing project you’re working on.
Be sure to study the information on the website — there are multiple retreats with different purposes, so make sure you pick the right one for you!
Best Suited For: All writers
Date: July 1 – 8, 2018
18.Hamlet’s Hideaway Retreat, Denmark
Ah, to be on this retreat or not to be on this retreat? That is the question.
There’s plenty about this writing retreat to entice you — not least of which is the fact that your location is an 18th century royal Inn in a foreign, fascinating country. The literary aura is strong in this particular area. You may even wish to pay a visit to the gravesites of Hans Christian Andersen and Søren Kierkegaard for some inspiration from the other side.
Two well-accomplished authors will tutor you in a variety of topics. Think, researching, using figures of speech in your writing, mining your own story resources and pitching for publication.
Top it all off with daily yoga, experiencing a new culture, meeting other writers, all while gaining valuable knowledge to hone your writing skills. It’s sure to be a very worthwhile week.
Best Suited For: Those writing personal essays or memoirs, but all writers are welcomed
Date: August 12 – 18, 2018
19. Your Beautiful Writing Life Retreat, Italy
Tuscany! Could you ask for a more artsy, romantic place to find new ideas to fuel your writing?
Morning meditation, writing workshops, activities and dedicated writing time are punctuated with delicious, REAL Italian meals. You’ll spend your days learning about writing mindsets, bringing setting to life, and social media for writers.
No matter what your intentions or struggles are, full and unwavering support is offered to ensure that you get the most bang for your buck.
The setting alone is inspiring and enough to bring one’s creativity to the forefront. Oh, did I mention you get to partake in a traditional pasta-making workshop? What are you waiting for?
Best Suited For: All writers
Date: September 24 – October 1, 2018
Location: Tuscany, Italy
Price: From $2250 to $2450 depending on the room booked
The open water, wind in your hair, cocktails and live entertainment … This is everything a cruise should be, just with some added features. Think, writing lectures, one-on-one feedback sessions, and a group of fun, driven and like-minded cruising writers.
Don’t worry, this writing retreat is equal parts work and play. You will have the chance to enjoy port days in Cozumel, Mexico; Georgetown, Grand Cayman and Ochos Rios, Jamaica. Catch a tan, go for a dive or explore a waterfall, all the while gathering bits and pieces of inspiration for your writing project.
This is one you don’t want to miss!
Best Suited For: Anyone!
Date: October 13 – 20, 2018
Location: Departs from Galveston, Texas
Price: $1750 (shared room)
So? How’s your 2018 looking so far?
Sometimes all we need to break the monotony in our working life is a change of scenery, company, and a little jolt of enthusiasm. All of the incredible writing retreats on this list promise just that. So go on, get away from your home office, out of your comfort zone. Pick one and let us know how it goes!
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