If you’re a writer, especially if you have a family, or do it in your spare time, you will probably find it difficult to find time and space to write. Whether you are starting to write, or you are an experienced published writer, it is often helpful to take time out from your other duties and spend time working on your craft. A writer usually needs peace, time and inspiration to write. There are holidays available which can provide these, and in many cases tuition and advice too. Here are some which are highly recommended.
The Arvon Foundation
The Arvon Foundation runs courses led by published writers, in houses in beautiful locations in the countryside. Workshops are held in the morning, with one-to-one tuition in the afternoons. The atmosphere is communal and friendly, and writers of all levels of experience are welcome here. Grants may be available for students on low incomes. There is no internet, and mobile phone signals are intermittent so you will be able to concentrate fully on your writing work.
Set in the beautiful Cotswolds, Farncome Estate offers a range of short breaks covering various subjects, mostly creative, including a number of writing courses. From writing for magazines to creating an outline for a novel, the courses are taught by professional writers. They provide an excellent kick-start to a career, or can help you find inspiration for your next writing project.
The National Writers’ Centre for Wales
Tŷ Newydd, which is the National Writers’ Centre for Wales, is a beautiful house, set in beautiful surroundings. There are options to suit every writer’s needs here, from retreats to structured courses, or one-to-one tuition. Courses are available in English or Welsh and cover everything to poetry, to advanced writing skills, to writing memoirs.
Cove Park is an international residency arts centre in Scotland. Offering a range of retreat and course options in relaxing, inspirational surroundings, there is bound to be an option to suit you, whatever your needs. The Fielding Programme is an excellent initiative. Here you can book for a week or more for either a mentored or unmentored retreat. You can get help from an experienced writer-in-residence and have space, time and beautiful surroundings in which to progress your work.
A simple “get away from it all” break
Sometimes, especially if you are an experienced writer, you do not need any mentoring or tuition, simply time away to be able to concentrate on your writing. Many retreats offer this option, or there are a number of specific cottages, bed and breakfasts or private rooms available where writers are particularly welcome. Or why not simply think of a place you feel would be inspirational and book a few days there by yourself. Turn off the phone, switch off the internet, and take time to write without distractions. You may be surprised how much you get done.