Need to get away from it all? Welcome to writer heaven.

 

 

Easy to reach

20 minute taxi from a mainline station (Newton Abbot in Devon).

Your own room

(Unless you want to share with a friend/partner – supplement applies).

No workshops or classes

Just days on end of blissful writing to focus on your own project.

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Three or six nights

Arrive at 6pm on your first day and leave at 4:30pm on the last day to maximise writing time.

All food included (and some wine!)

No cooking, no cleaning. I look after you so that you can focus on writing.

Sometimes it’s hard to focus.

 

What you really want is to get away from the city, away from work, away from chores and distractions and to-do list.

 

You need to escape.

 

You need a place where the practical stuff like food is taken care of so all you have to do is write.

 

Maybe you could even read for a few hours, go for a long walk, take a bath, chat with other writers…

 

Bliss.

Peace and quiet

Well, except for the odd donkey/cockerel. It’s the countryside, after all.

A room of one's own

Bedrooms range from cute little singles to huge kingsizes with claw-foot bathtubs. And no need to share.

Space to write

Working alongside others in the shared workroom is incredibly productive, but you can always find a quiet corner to yourself.

Writing Retreat Dates and Prices

Only dates listed here are available. See below for room details. Dates go up in batches, so pop your details in the big turquoise signup box below to hear about new dates. They do sell out fast and writers who have been before get priority booking. If you want to be added to a waiting list for a sold-out session use the contact form to let me know.

Tutored Retreats

Email hello@urbanwritersretreat.co.uk to go on the waiting list

Really wish that you could have all the lovely focused writing time a proper retreat gives but also get some 1:1 mentoring, advice and feedback on YOUR work from an experienced (nay, award-winning) author?

Your wish, is my command. In these retreats you’ll have access to tame author, Marcus Sedgwick. He has over 30 published books and is one of the rare writers whose work spans many genres, covering thrillers, non-fiction and comic books as well as YA and children’s literature. His most recent books are Snow and Saint Death, and he has a huge list of prestigious awards and nominations including the Michael L Printz award and multiple shortlistings for Carnegie Medal and Guardian prizes. Having worked in publishing and as a bookseller, he’s seen all sides of the book world, and as a bonus he’s a genuinely nice human being.

You’ll get two 1:1 sessions with Marcus, which you can submit work for in advance and use however you like. Maybe you’d like to develop a piece over the days of the retreat and use his feedback to improve it, maybe you’re after plotting help or industry advice or suggestions on how to improve something you want to submit, it’s up to you. We’ll also have a couple of group sessions, probably in the evenings. It’s a super small group of only 5-6 writers per session, so it’s a rare opportunity to spend time with a highly experienced writer, and we’ll decide as a group on the first night what form you’d like the group sessions to take.

 5 night tutored retreat with Marcus Sedgwick: 6pm Mon 26th June – 4:30pm Sat 1st July 2017
Room 1: £575 £500 – SOLD
Room 2: SOLD
Room 3: SOLD
Room 4: SOLD
Room 5: SOLD
Room 6: SOLD
Room 7: SOLD
Cancellation space now sold – but please email hello@urbanwritersretreat.co.uk if you’d like to put your name down in case of further cancellations.

 

 5 night tutored retreat with Marcus Sedgwick: 6pm Sun 2nd July – 4:30pm Fri 7th July 2017
Room 1: SOLD
Room 2: SOLD
Room 3: SOLD
Room 4: SOLD
Room 5: SOLD
Room 6: SOLD
Room 7: SOLD
SOLD OUT

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En-suite Rooms

Room 7

An en-suite double in the attic.

It has a huge kingsize bed that’s all yours, an armchair and a table you can write at.

There’s also a little window seat and a bathroom, including a free-standing slipper bath with hand-held shower.

Room 6

An en-suite double in the attic that mirrors room 7.

It has a huge kingsize bed that’s all yours, an armchair and a table you can write at.

There’s also a little window seat and a bathroom, including a free-standing slipper bath with hand-held shower.

Room 5

 

A large family room with an en-suite bathroom, all to yourself.

It has a kingsize bed, a single bed in the corner, a sofa and armchairs and a big window seat.

 

Room 3

A smallish room above the kitchen at the back of the house.

This means you do get noise from the kitchen and the wifi doesn’t work properly in this room, so it’s perfect for people who like working in cafes, want to escape the distractions of the internet or intend to write in the work room but not great if you’re very noise-sensitive.

It has a brand new king-size bed and its own bathroom with a deep bath (no shower), woohoo!

 

 

Rooms With Shared Bathrooms

 

 

Room 4

A big double with a kingsize bed all to yourself, a chaise-longue, window seat and a couple of armchairs.

There’s also a small table if you’d like to write in your room and shared bathrooms (two bathrooms between three rooms).

 

Room 2

A pretty single room with a huge window.

It’s small, with a single bed and shared bathrooms (two bathrooms between three rooms).

Room 1

 

A cosy attic room with a window seat.

It’s small and sweet, with a single bed and shared bathrooms (two bathrooms between three rooms).

 

 

 

Bathrooms

 

Three bedrooms share two bathrooms, so there’s never a rush.

 

Rooms are first come-first served. I’ll do my best to allocate you the type of room you request, but you’re asked for 2 choices and I’ll let you know the options if there are any problems. Please make sure you check availability before filling in the booking form. Once you’ve booked, I’ll email you (this can take a few days) to confirm I’ve got your request and to send an invoice, and you’ll then have a week to transfer the money in order to secure your room. Rooms can’t be held without payment. Cancellations and date changes must be made six weeks ahead of your retreat start date for a refund. If you cancel or change dates between three and six weeks ahead of your retreat date you’ll be entitled to a 50% refund. After this date, no refunds or changes are possible. All cancellations and booking changes are also subject to a £30 admin fee. Please make sure that you have travel insurance in case you’re unable to come to the retreat at the last minute, have trouble on the journey, etc. You’ll arrive in the evening of your first day (from 6pm) and you may have to vacate your room after breakfast on your last day so that your room can be prepared for new arrivals, but you don’t have to leave until 4:30pm so that you get the maximum possible writing time. Please note that I’m a home cook and can’t deal with severe food intolerances or particularly difficult requirements. If you think you might fit into this category, please contact me before booking.
What's included?
Your own room including bedding and towels plus three meals a day including a glass of wine or two with dinner. And, of course, cake!*

 

You’re welcome to bring anything else you’d like to have on top of what’s provided, and you’ll also take care of your travel arrangements, toiletries and any additional trips you’d like to make.

 

*(other snacks are available if you don’t eat cake, but I can’t promise not to judge.)

Will I get my own room?
Yes.
Is there a room-sharing discount?
Most people don’t want to share with a stranger, so I don’t offer this option and the prices are all for one person in each room. However, if there is a suitable room available and you want to share a room with a friend/partner, the second person comes at a discounted price.

 

Rooms 6 or 7 would be great for couples, but be aware that the en-suite toilet has a curtain rather than a door. Room 5 is perfect for sharing as it has a king-size bed and a single, room 4 works if you are sharing a bed (or I can arrange a single camp bed) and room 3 has twin beds but is quite small.

If you’d like to come with a friend/partner, email me for a price.

What's the house like?
It’s a comfortable 7-bedroom grade II listed farmhouse with a large dining room to write in. Think country-style and relaxed – it’s lovely and homely rather than 5* luxury.

 

Being so old, it’s also pretty creaky and you will be able to hear people walking overhead or talking loudly. I ask people to be considerate of noise for this reason.

I’m really sorry, but the house isn’t accessible or wheelchair-friendly. It’s on a steep hill and has many stairs (the attic rooms are up quite steep stairs). I’d love to run retreats in an accessible house, so if you know of one I might be able to hire with at least 5 bedrooms that might work for a retreat, please let me know!

Can you deal with my food allergies/intolerances/weird aversion to broccoli?
I’m an untrained home cook, and I can’t deal with severe intolerances or allergies, or with any other serious medical issues.

 

If you have difficult food or medical requirements, you’ll need to contact me before booking. If you’re not sure if your needs count as difficult, please click the booking button and fill in the form but also email me.

I’ll do my best to fit around people’s needs and dislikes because I’d much rather serve food that people can eat and will like, but it isn’t always possible. I figure that I’ll do my best but that you’ll understand if I still go ahead and serve your pet hate because, you know, you understand that juggling lots of food requests isn’t easy and anyway hating broccoli is weird. Broccoli is amazing.

If there’s ever a meal you don’t like though, you’ll always be very welcome to make yourself egg on toast. Believe me, nobody’s going to starve around here.

Er, how about you tell me about the writing now?
Okay, fiiiiiine. Your schedule is entirely your own, but the house is quiet for writing from 9am-6pm with breaks for lunch and cake. There’s a large dining room that we use as a writing room, and most rooms can have some sort of table to write on. There’s also a living room, or you can write in the kitchen. There are no classes or workshops, just time and space for you to settle down and focus for an extended period of time. This retreat isn’t about you learning how to write, it’s about getting it written, it’s about your project and giving you the space and support to actually do it. Start work early, spend long hours walking or reading in the bath, whatever you fancy. Evenings are free and we can arrange readings if you like, but most people prefer to chill out; there’s a DVD player and a games barn, and a pub within walking distance.
What are check in/out times?
No chucking out at 10am!

 

You can arrive from around 6pm on your first day, and can leave late afternoon (around 4:30pm) on your last day so that you get as close to a full day as possible on your last day to write.

How do I get there?

The house we use for residential retreats is a 20-ish minute taxi ride from Newton Abbot in Devon, which is on the main train line between London and Paddington.

 

I’ll put you in touch with the other writers so that you can try to arrange taxi shares.

Is there wifi?
Yes. The only bedroom it doesn’t really work in is 3, the twin room at the back above the kitchen. This could be good or bad depending on how easily distracted you are.

 

The wifi signal is good in both the main work room and the living room.

Lovely countryside

There’s nothing like a long walk for putting your creativity into overdrive.

 

Real fires

Because what writer’s idyll would be complete without them?

All meals provided

I take care of food so that you don’t have to worry about anything but writing.