Retreats for Novelists

A writing retreat will provide writers at any stage of his or her career a place to cultivate creativity and concentration.

How long you go to a writer retreat varies. Some retreats require a minimum stay of two weeks. Others allow you to go for a weekend.

Retreats are not conferences. Writing conferences are great for taking classes and workshops, and networking. But don’t expect to achieve writing; this is unlikely.

After a writing retreat, on the other hand, you may well have the beginning of your novel, or you might have made some significant progress, although progress might not be measured by how many words you have written. Writers also visit writer’s retreats not only to increase their word counts but to revitalize their writing, get over blocks, or loosen up, for example.

Here are some benefits being enjoyed by novelists at writing retreats today.

They are stimulated by a change of environment.

They can focus or get away from distractions.

They demonstrate a commitment to themselves and their craft.

They can recharge with rest, as well as writing.

They can be with like-minded people.

They can enjoy a kind of working holiday.

Writers at retreats also benefit from mixing with other writers. They may receive tutoring from established authors. This kind of input of time, energy, and expertise can make writing retreats an invaluable part of a writer’s annual schedule.

There is a writing retreat out there for every kind of author. Some of the better-known retreats include The Interlochen Writers Retreat, Storyknife Writers Retreat, and Writers Who Run.

Interlochen Writers Retreat, Michigan – This retreat has been running for 12 years. You can spend four days writing new material in whichever genre you like. It is set in beautiful surroundings and features award-winning faculty providing craft talks.

Storyknife Writers Retreat, Alaska – This is a women-only retreat. Author Erin Hollowell writes: “Storyknife is not all about the buildings, not all about the volcanoes, nor the big Alaskan sky that stretches over this beautiful land. Storyknife is about supporting women’s voices and stories … Storyknife supports the work of women writers who have historically had fewer opportunities to devote time to their work.”

Writers Who Run, North Carolina – Writing is well-known to be a sedentary occupation, but not at the Writers Who Run Retreat, where writers can enjoy six days of exploration on and off the page. It’s a perfect place to exercise and stimulate the body and mind, and to see what this does for your writing.

Our advice is to think about your ideal writing retreat and then search for it online. Retreats all over the world appeal to different writers. And there are lots of good reasons to book one soon.