memoir writing retreats 2022

Memoir Writing Retreats | Workshops

Memoir Writing Retreats

Memoir Writing Retreats | Workshops Memoir Writing Retreat

If you want to write your story, this is the workshop to find out how. You will complete the retreat rejuvenated, knowing how to turn your memories into story, and how to write a compelling memoir.

Irene’s Memoir Retreat provides a creative space to define your experiences and write your memoir from the core of personal understanding. It is a time to connect to the heart of your story and feed your inner world.

This special week of writing offers many opportunities to make a deeper connection to your creative spirit.

Come to Inchydoney and write! Delve deep into an authentic Irish experience along the Wild Atlantic Way. Walk the ancient path with Irene, an Irish native… she’s show you the way.

Gourmet food, luxurious private room with balcony and sea views over the Atlantic Ocean.  A memorable journey is assured.

Limited to 9 Participants.

memoir writing retreats 2022

Using innovative right-brain/left-brain learning techniques you will trigger, develop and translate your life experiences into story as you learn creative structure.

It will be a time to discover and enhance your unique writing voice, explore theme and subject and its associated meaning as you learn how to focus your memoir. You will also discover how to engage with truth in the writing of creative non-fiction.

The workshop is open to new, emerging and established writers to:

  • create a short memoir
  • develop a full-length memoir
  • work on a current manuscript

You receive personal feedback on your story throughout the workshop.

The workshop is based on Irene’s workbook – The Memoir Writing Workbook – which you receive a copy of at the retreat.

memoir writing retreats 2022

Memories into Memoir Writing Retreat Inchydoney Island Lodge & Spa, Clonakilty, Co. Cork, Ireland Details | Apply

6-Day Retreat to immerse your soul and mind in your story, while you unwind and relax in luxury and great company.

Limited to 9 participants.

The retreat unfolds on Sun 26 May 2024 in Inchydoney Island Lodge & Spa. Your week is interspersed with daily writing workshops, private time to write, time to walk the golden sandy beaches or regenerate your body, mind and soul in *Ireland’s Leading Spa.  Luxurious 4 Star Accommodation and fine dining is assured. Your balcony overlooks a golden sandy beach with invigorating sounds of lapping tides. You won’t want to leave!

The nearby small colourful country town of Clonakilty is filled with Irish pubs, music events, great restaurants, all of which we will visit.

*The heated Seawater Therapy Pool, pumped daily from the Atlantic Ocean, provides a range of underwater jets plus bubble seats so you get a complete workout underwater!

Retreat includes:

*Memoir Writing Workshop with Irene Graham *Copy –  The Memoir Writing Workbook  by Irene Graham *Private Bedroom + Bathroom, luxury 4 Star accommodation *Full or Continental Breakfast each morning in Hotel main Dining Room *Tea/Coffee/Milk/Fruit Bowl in room upon arrival *Full Access to: Seawater Therapy Pool/Jacuzzi/Steam Room/Spa *2 x Lunches *1 x Dinners *Writing Journal

Food is of the highest standard: fresh, local, and includes organic dining when possible.

Only 9 lucky writers will experience this writing journey… in incredible surroundings and four-star luxury.

Fee: €2,295 euro

Fee includes shared (x2 bed / x2 bath) apartment, or private apartment option for additional fee. Further details upon application.

Workshop Code: W215

  • Fiction Writing Retreat
  • Memoir Writing Masterclass Online 6-month
  • Memoir Writing Course 16-week

Reviews | THe Creative Writer's Workshop

Explore our Memoir Writing Course Online 12-week   |   Memoir Writing Masterclass   |   Private Writing Classes

Photo Story Book by Irene Graham I Am A Hare! Hanna and The Hop Family

memoir writing retreats 2022

Write A Book Foundation

Memoir Therapy Writing Retreat

memoir writing retreats 2022

Start date: Feb 5, 2022

End date: Feb 8, 2022

Cost: Early Bird – $499, includes lodging, 3 meals, snacks, and writing workshops, led by a memoir therapist.

To apply, send in a résumé and writing sample (space is booked on a first-come, first-served basis).

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The Top 25 Writers’ Conferences in 2022

January 11, 2022 6 min read Education Workshops

memoir writing retreats 2022

By Author Phoebe A. Lee

  Another year means another year of writers conferences! Below is a list of 2022's best in-person and virtual writers conferences, workshops and retreats in North America to help you along your writing journey.

*Note: Please check COVID-19 rules and restrictions before booking any in-person tickets.

1.  Pacific Oregon University Residency Writers Conference

Writers looking to improve their craft will be in residency with MFA students, faculty and guest speakers. Presentations and events include craft talks, workshops, classes and readings.

The residency includes lunches and lodging at Best Western Ocean View Resort in Seaside. Students and faculty will have their own private rooms.

When: January 6-16, 2022; June 16-26, 2022

Where: January – on the northern Oregon Coast in the small, resort town of Seaside  June – on Pacific University’s campus in Forest Grove

2.  2022 North Island Writers Conference

Throughout the month of January, notable Canadian writers of all genres will host a writing workshop . Options to register for individual sessions.

Check for prices – some sessions are free and others are not. Open to the public.

When: January 7-23, 2022

Where: Virtual

3.  2022 Moravian Writers’ Conference

A free conference for writers, activists, medical practitioners and narrative medicine specialists on writing about health, healthcare and justice. 

When: March 18-19, 2022

Where:  Online and in-person ( Moravian University, 1200 Main Street, Bethlehem, PA)

4.  Let’s Just Write! An Uncommon Writers Conference

Presented by the Chicago Writers Association, the conference features two-days of in-person conference in Chicago with over 20 presenters, workshops, sessions, and panels on storytelling, publicity, and all other things that a writer needs to know, even a panel on what writers can learn from sports psychology . 

When: March 19-20, 2022

Where: The Warwick Allerton Hotel,  701 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 

5.  Association of Writers and Writing Programs Conference

For writers, teachers, students, editors and publishers. One of the biggest and prestigious writing conferences in North America, attracting thousands of attendees.

Events include panels, discussion rooms, pedagogy events and readings. There are in-person and virtual events, or a virtual-only registration option.

When: March 23-26, 2022

Where:  Virtual and in-person ( Pennsylvania Convention Centre, 1101 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA)

6.  University of North Dakota Writers Conference

A three-day conference featuring six to eight authors, who will be discussing their work and engaging with the community. Past authors include Gwendolyn Brooks, Tommy Orange and Colson Whitehead. All events are free and open to the public.

When: March 24-26, 2022

Where: In-person and online

7.  Breakout Novel Intensive 2.0

Taught by literary agent and author, Donald Maass of the Donald Maass Literary Agency. Ideal for new writers or writers starting a new project, the breakout fundamentals will cover strong characters , inner conflict, personal stakes , plot layers, powerful scenes and more. In-person and virtual options.

When: April 18-24, 2022

Where: Hood River, Oregon

When: June 13-19, 2022

8.  Nebraska Writers Guild Annual Conference

A three-day event with a writers retreat and breakout classes. Experts in the industry teach and share their insights on the writing business and craft. More details to be announced.

When: April 21-23, 2022

Where: Comfort Inn and Suites,  7007 Grover Street, Omaha, NE

9.  Nonfiction Writers Conference

Taking the traditional writers conference model and redesigning it specifically for nonfiction authors, the Nonfiction Writers Conference helps nonfiction writers find the best publishing path, marketing methods, uncover business and revenue opportunities, and build a powerful platform. Held entirely online.

When: May 4-6, 2022

10.  Atlanta Writers Conference

The Atlanta Writers Club is presenting the 26 th Atlanta Writers Conference in-person with virtual options. Writers will be given a chance to access 18 top publishing acquisitions editors and literary agents who are actively seeking new clients. There will be Q&A panels and help with getting your work ready.

When: May 6-7, 2022

Where: Westin Atlanta Airport Hotel,  4736 Best Road, Atlanta, GA 

11.  2022 Washington Writers Conference

Attendees get to pitch to three literary agents , as well as network with industry professionals and fellow writers and attend expert sessions.

When: May 13-14, 2022

Where: Bethesda North Marriott Hotel and Conference Centre,  5701 Marinelli Road,  Rockville, MD

Want to learn how to become a freelance writer?   Book a 1-on-1 consultation   with Freelance Writer Mike Pietrzak.

12.  Annual BIO Conference

Hosted by the Biographers International Organization, seasoned biographers will be present to help guide, mentor and advise attendees on various topics related to the craft of biography writing. 

When: May 13-15, 2022

Where: CUNY Graduate Centre (Tentative),  365 5 th Avenue,  New York, NY

13.  The Writer’s Hotel New York City Writers Conference

The programming has two components: two editor pre-conference team readings and the in-person conference in New York City. The team readings are a comprehensive consultation on each writer’s full-length manuscript, followed by a phone call to discuss strategy on the next steps.

The conference itself features workshops, lectures and one-on-one pitch sessions with literary agents. There is also an industry session for poets. Applications are on a first-come first-serve basis and will close once it’s full.

When: June 8-14, 2022

Where: Various hotels

14.  Yale Writers’ Workshop

A seven-day workshop taught by seasoned instructors with strong publication credits. Featuring craft talks, readings and individual meetings with workshop leaders, workshops are done in small groups of 10-12 people.

Participants with book-length manuscripts will be invited to join in pitch sessions. Open to applicants over 18 years old. Admissions are based solely on the writing sample. See website for more details on application process. There is also a workshop for high school students.

When: June 4-11, 2022

Where: 55 Whitney Avenue, Fourth Floor,  New Haven, CT

When: June 12-18, 2022

15.  Bread Loaf Environmental Writers’ Conference

A week-long conference for anyone interested in writing about the environment and the natural world. Featuring small, focused workshops and specialized classes, participants receive individualized attention from workshop leaders.

Established editors , literary agents and publishers will also be present to give advice on how to place work in magazines and the publishing world.

Where: Bread Loaf Campus of Middlebury College,  75 Franklin Street, Middlebury, VT

16.  SleuthFest

For writers and fans of mystery, suspense and thriller fiction. Featuring workshops, craft talks, panels, forensic classes and a cocktail party. Agents and editors will also be accepting pitches.

When: July 7-10, 2022

17.  Imaginarium Convention

Imaginarium is part film festival, part writing conference, part cosplay — an expo for all creatives, including writers and creators of all genres. Panelists include authors, editors, publishers, filmmakers, screenwriters, game designers, comic creators, artists, actors, and all other creatives. 

When: July 8-10, 2022

Where: Holiday Inn Louisville East,  1325 South Hurstbourne Parkway, Louisville, KY

18.  The Greater Los Angeles Writers Conference

A conference for writers of all genres, including screenwriters and graphic novel writers. Open to writers in all stages of their career, from aspiring first-time writers to already established writers.

Workshops include one-on-one with agents and publishers to prepare writers for pitch meetings, which are also included in the conference.

When: August 5-7, 2022

Where: Hilton Los Angeles Westside,  6161 West Centinela Avenue, Culver City, CA

19.  When Worlds Collide

A festival to connect readers, writers, artists and publishers of commercial and literary fiction of all genres, with public readings, master classes and other workshops on the business of writing.

When: August 12-14, 2022

Where: Delta Hotels by Marriott Calgary South,  135 Southland Drive SE, Calgary, AB

20.  Fernie Writers’ Conference  

A week-long intensive writing workshops, panel discussions and performances in the Rocky Mountains. There will also be opportunities to mix and mingle with editors, literary agents and notable writers who will also be workshop leaders.

When: August 15-21, 2022

Where: Lizard Creek Lodge, Fernie Alpine Resort,  5346 Highline Drive, Fernie, BC

21.  Pacific Northwest In-Person Conference

Featuring writing contests in all genres for a chance to win a free critique. There are master classes and pitching sessions. There are also membership options for conference pricing discount.

When: September 23-25, 2022

22.  GayRomLit Retreat

For writers, readers and publishers of LGBT literature. More details coming soon.

When: October 19-23, 2022

Where: Renaissance Portsmouth Norfolk Waterfront Hotel,  425 Water Street, Portsmouth, VA

23.  Surrey International Writers’ Conference

A professional development event for writers of all genres, featuring master classes, workshops and pitch sessions.

When: October 21-23, 2022; Master classes – October 20, 2022

24.  Indie Romance Convention

A smaller setting that provides attendees a chance to get to know each other. Three days of learning, workshops, panels, and fun events at night.

When: November 2-5, 2022

25.  The Sarah Lawrence College Publish and Promote Your Book Virtual Conference

Featuring interactive panel discussions with prominent New York City literary agents, major publishing house editors and public relations professionals, author talks, Q&A’s and pitch sessions. 

26. WriteOnCon

A favourite for kidlit, middle grade, and YA writers. Perfect if you want to learn everything from how to land an agent, to how to market your book, to how to improve your craft.

When: July 15-17, 2022

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50+ Incredible Writers Retreats to Attend in 2022

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Since COVID has drastically changed the world we live in, many of these retreats may be canceled, postponed or moved online. Check with each individual retreat for details.

Dream of getting away to write, but need some guidance on the next steps for your novel?

Want to meet and work with other writers, but in a more intimate setting than a writing conference ?

A writing retreat might be just the ticket.

And while some of these retreats might still be on hold due to the pandemic, many are getting back into hosting.

Why you might want to attend a writers retreat

Whereas writing residencies are mostly about working in solitude, and conferences focus on networking and lectures, writing retreats fall somewhere in between.

Most are in beautiful locations (where, presumably, your creative juices will flow more easily), and offer a combination of workshops, tours and interaction with a small group of writers.

They’re a great way to combine a vacation with inspiration, networking — and, of course, lots of writing.

They can be pricey, but some offer scholarships (so always ask!), or consider creating your own writing retreat with friends.

And remember: A writer’s retreat is an investment in your career, as well as an opportunity to get away. If they’re out of your price range, then perhaps a writing residency would be a better fit. Or, check out this list of grants for writers .

Looking for a women-only retreat? Some of the retreats on this list fit the bill, and you can also hop over to our post on women’s writing retreats .

Incredible writers’ retreats to attend in 2022

The writing retreats below take place in 2022 (unless they’re postponed or cancelled because of the pandemic) — and are organized by location, in order from least to most expensive.

(Hint: If there’s a particular country or month that works best for you, command-F to search the page for it.)

Unless otherwise noted, the prices include workshops, shared accommodation, activities and most meals. None include airfare to and from the destination.

If your chosen retreat has already happened, don’t despair; click through to check out next year’s dates, as many of them are annual affairs. And the same goes for if one has been postponed due to COVID.  

Please keep in mind that The Write Life team has not attended these retreats. While we’ve gathered as much information as possible to share with you, consider this a starting point, and do your own research before committing. To ensure you’ll have an enjoyable experience, we recommend reading testimonials and reviews, or asking the host to connect you with past participants.

USA & Canada

1. rocky mountain fiction writers retreat.

If you’re a fiction writer looking for a quick and affordable getaway, this retreat might be for you.

Set at the Franciscan Retreat Center of the Colorado Rockies it offers workshops, critiques and readings. The organizers promise you’ll “find inspiration in the natural beauty that will surround you.”

The retreat has a handful of Facebook reviews, with Diana Williams writing , “Everything – the people, the training – I am so impressed!” and Hillary Rose adding , “RMFW is a quality conference! Great teachers and keynotes every year. If you are going to invest in a writing conference, this is the one to choose!” 

Keep an eye out for more detailed information about location, costs and more.

Cost: TBD; 2021 costs ranged from $299–$399 per person. Or $65 per day if arranging your own lodging. 

2. Willow Writers’ Retreat

This three-day retreat in Hermann, Missouri (wine country!) offers quiet time away to immerse yourself in the writing process, plus a supportive group to cheer you along.

Willow Writers’ Retreat is facilitated by Susan Isaak Lolis, a published and award-winning writer. Attendees have access to workshops, including one with creative writing instructor Margaret Harrington, plus a reading on the last evening to celebrate your work.

Cost: TBD; 2022 rate was $350.

This event was already held from July 10-14, 2022. Keep an eye out for more detailed information about next year’s location, costs and more.

Disclosure: Willow Writers’ Retreat is a partner of The Write Life. We hold our advertisers to high standards and vetted this retreat just like the others on this list. 

3. Find Your Story: A Therapeutic Life Writing Retreat for Older Women

Are you in the second half of your life? Are you a newbie writer who wants to tell your story? Then this women-only retreat in Dallas, Texas was designed for you. 

Over the weekend, psychotherapist and writing coach Jennifer Westrom will help you get started (or unstuck) when it comes to your memoir. 

After attending Westrom’s writing class in 2018, Cherri Julia Maker Ridingin wrote on Facebook : “Jennifer is a strong leader in a soft way, highly intuitive, and an outstanding teacher. Class three is next week, and already I feel that I have released some blocks that were preventing me from moving forward in my writing. Her lessons have touched me deeply.” 

This event happened in the Spring of 2022. Keep an eye out for next year’s event details.

Cost: TBD; 2022 rate was $799 per person. 

4. Writing With Care

Picture a charming converted church by the ocean in Newfoundland, and something like Ochre House Retreat comes to mind.  This retreat welcomes a small group of creative artists from all disciplines and welcomes participants to “unwrap their writing and their experience of writing.”

Under the guidance of “extraordinary” instructors, you’ll discuss writing techniques and tools, as well as “the place of writing in one’s life.”

“This is an amazing treasure, a gem, the best,” wrote Bernardine Stapleton in a 2017 Facebook review for Ochre House. “The Writing With Care retreat really WAS all about care, thought, being gentle, and guiding the participants.”

Official 2022 dates have yet to be announced. Keep an eye out for more detailed information about location, costs and more.

Cost: TBD; 2020 costs ranged from $1113-1525 CAD ( $851–$1166USD) Meals and accommodations included.

5. Writing Round the Trees: A Transformational Writing Retreat

At this Colorado retreat located near the San Juan National Forest, you’ll “immerse yourself in the wilderness and your writing.”

Using her background in publishing, editing and astrology, host Cassandra Leoncini will lead you through workshops, one-on-one sessions and experiential ceremonies, all the while gaining inspiration from Lilith, the “ancient Tree of Life spirit who seeks embodiment and dramatization in our lives.” 

There aren’t a lot of public reviews for this retreat — though one written by Madonna Kettler on Facebook said, “Great people, great food, and plenty of time to create and BE!” 

Official 2022 dates have yet to be announced. Keep an eye out for more detailed information about location, costs and more. If you don’t want to wait, contact Leoncini to get on the mailing list for 2022!

Cost: TBD; 2020 rate was $800 per person for a private room plus daily meals. 

6. The Writer’s Cruise

Cruise your way to writing success and sail to beautiful destinations with Melinda Copp, a ghostwriter, developmental editor and writing coach. 

Along with a small group of writers, you’ll attend workshops on creative writing, getting published and productivity. On your days in port, you’ll have the chance to explore gorgeous beaches before reuniting with the group for dinner. Best of all: When you’re on the boat, you’ll be free from distractions, ready to do what you came to do — write! 

“One of the most exciting parts about working with Melinda was gaining momentum,” Amy Menna said in a testimonial on Copp’s site. “Melinda was a resource that helped me get my thoughts from my head to the paper… Without Melinda’s program, I would never have had the motivation to move forward.”

Cost: TBD; 2020 costs ranged from $827–$1,056 per person (when booked before December 13, 2019). After that, rates rise $200 per person. 

Disclosure: The Writer’s Cruise is a partner of The Write Life. We hold our advertisers to high standards and vetted this retreat just like the others on this list. 

7. Retreat & Create

A new offering from The Write Life founder Alexis Grant , this retreat is held in the beautiful, historic mountain town of Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, about an hour from Washington, D.C.

This retreat is intimate, with about 10 attendees. It’s not just for writers; it’s open to anyone who’s career-focused and need space and quiet to focus on their work. Several of the events are women-only.

In addition to plenty of work time, the retreat includes an easy-to-moderate hike each morning and a group dinner each night at a local restaurant. Grant emphasizes on the website that all activities are optional, so you can choose to be energized by group conversations or dive deep into solo work time.  

Cost: TBD, but the cost includes four nights accommodation, three meals a day, hikes and a massage.

8. Writers Who Run, Retreat & Race

OK, so this retreat isn’t happening in 2021, but if you’re reading this late in the year, take note it will be running (get it?) again in April 2022 in the mountains of northeastern Georgia.

After a two-mile run each morning, you’ll have a full schedule of workshops, critique groups, writing time and social events. The culminating event is a scenic 5K and 10K race on Saturday morning!

For testimonials, check out these YouTube videos from past participants. 

Cost: TBD; 2019 costs ranged from $1,400–$2,400 per person.

9. Autumn Writing Retreat in the Berkshires

Let autumn in New England be your muse on this five-day retreat with Page Lambert, an instructor of creative writing at the University of Denver’s graduate school.

From October 17-21, you’ll stay at a historic inn, participating in group writing sessions and individual manuscript consultations — and drenching your creativity in the beautiful fall colors. Alternatively, check out Lambert’s 13-day women’s retreat in Peru in 2022 ($4,350).  

Lambert has a lengthy page of testimonials on her website. In one, Paula Hagar said Lambert was “the most awesome writing teacher I’ve ever studied with.” In another, Marsha Rosenzweig Pincus called the Peru trip “one of the most inspirational, spiritual and transcendent experiences of my life.”

Cost: $1,695 per person.

10. TLC Women’s Writing Retreats

Want something a little different?

Schedule your own private retreat with Tammy L. Coia, a memoir-writing coach who lives in Bellingham, Washington. You’ll stay at her house, in a private bedroom with water views. Each day, you’ll have one-on-one coaching alongside home-cooked meals. She offers this at her home in Palm Springs, plus Dahlonega, Georgia as well.

Or, if you’d rather work in a group setting, Coia holds retreats in Mexico in February ($1,950–$2,250), , Greece in May ($3,900–$4,400), and Italy ($2,800–$4,500) and Vermont in October ($1,500–$2,500). 

“Tammy gently leads you through what are often difficult memories to put on paper, but it can prove to be a very healing experience,” Joni Padduck wrote on Facebook . “I highly recommend Tammy! I guarantee it will be a wonderful experience.” 

Cost: $2,400–$3,400 for three- to five-day retreats. 

11. Wake Up and Write Writers Retreat Workshop

For three decades, this retreat — in one form or another — has been providing an immersive learning experience for people writing novels.

It will be held on a 15-acre retreat center outside of Boise, Idaho, where you’ll participate in workshops, intensive writing and one-on-one meetings with industry professionals.

Though the retreat doesn’t have any testimonials or social media reviews, we’re including it because of its longevity. One anonymous testimonial on its site said, “My friend says any workshop/retreat/conference that offers one nugget of insight is worth its weight in gold. If so, the Writers Retreat Workshop made me a wealthy woman.” We’ll just have to take her word for it! 

The retreat is temporarily suspended due to COVID-19. Bookmark it to keep an eye out for developing information about location, costs and more.

Cost: TBD; 2019 rate was $1,895 per person for a single room.

12. The White Mountain Book Writing Retreat

Editor’s note: Due to the coronavirus pandemic, this retreat now offers an online option.

This retreat in the mountains of New Hampshire focuses on two things: self-nurturing and nonfiction book writing. If you keep putting off your book because of, well, life then host Dorothy Holtermann might say this retreat is for you. 

From July 12-17, you’ll learn her “Birth a Book system” through group classes and private coaching, all while feeding your body with farm-to-table organic food and daily yoga classes. If you’re Zooming, you can still join the fun: receive “healthy food goodies” by mail, and enjoy live meditation classes and book writing and performance classes that are sure to be interactive.

On the retreat’s website, a testimonial from Tammy Wetzel said: “My experience was transformative. I came to just work on the mechanics of writing but it was so much more. The holistic experience, the making of friends and ‘letting loose’ helped me discover the ‘soft side’ of writing.” 

Cost: $995 per person to attend from home, $2,455 per person for a private room, or $1,495 per person for tuition only.

13. Wide Open Writing : The Coast of Maine

Interested in spending a week writing from an Adirondack chair on the shores of the Atlantic? This retreat in Boothbay Harbor, Maine, will take place from June 20-26.

It includes writing workshops, a Thai massage, daily yoga — and membership in a “writing community that is devoted to co-creating magic.” Hosts Dulcie Witman and Nancy Coleman offer a March retreat in Mexico ($2,300)  and a September retreat in Italy ($2,650), as well.

On Wide Open Writing’s website, Robin Gaines, author of “Invincible Summers,” wrote: “I came to the retreat expecting a similar experience I’ve had at other writing retreats, the classic workshop style of sharing work and critiquing, but this retreat allowed participants to open up their imaginations to new work, new ideas, all with the support of other writers urging you on. It was dream-like. It was special. I’ll be back.”

Cost: $2,500 per person (does not include all dinners).

14. Unplug and Write: An All-inclusive Writing Retreat in Minnesota

Not only is Jess Lourey a tenured writing professor; she’s also the author of 20 books and counting. When you join this women-only retreat from August 8-14, in St. Paul, Minnesota, you’ll get her tutelage via group workshops and a private coaching session. 

Mornings at the beautifully-restored Summit Avenue mansion will feature meditation, yoga and writing, and afternoons will be yours to read or relax (or keep writing). This retreat is open to female writers of all stripes and stages, including bloggers, novelists, nonfiction authors and memoirists. 

“I had the opportunity to take a workshop from Jess before I was published,” Lissa Marie Redmond, author of “A Cold Day in Hell,” said in a testimonial on Lourey’s site . “Her honesty, encouragement, and knowledge of the craft helped me make the leap from aspiring writer to published author. I still take the lessons I learned from Jess and apply them to my daily writing routine.” 

Cost: $4,600. 

15. The Taos Deep Dive & Revision Writer’s Retreat

Want to get away, but not too far away? Try this women-only retreat in Taos, New Mexico, hosted by author Jennifer Louden from October 24 – 30.

Your fee includes everything: “All lodging and all meals, daily writing seminars, daily yoga classes, on-the-spot writing coaching, plentiful snacks, and love love love.” 

In a testimonial on Louden’s site, an anonymous writer said: “The retreat was honestly life-changing for me because it helped me understand what it is to be a writer.” Plus, Lauren Taylor shared, “The retreat transformed my relationship to my writing.” 

Cost: $2,390–$2,790 per person.

16. Good Contrivance Farm Writer’s Retreat

Located 25 miles north of Baltimore on a six-acre property in historic Reisterstown, Maryland, this writer’s retreat is open to writers of all levels, plus it operates on a first-come, first-served, non-competitive basis. (Although, you still need to submit a resume and one writing sample for admission.)

Good Contrivance Farm is a non-profit dedicated to the preservation and restoration of small, historic farms in Maryland, and it offers the retreat as part of public outreach efforts. 

Directed by Pushcart Prize writer (plus a ton of others) Ron Tanner and his wife Jill Eicher, the retreat offers workshops and readings as well as plenty of alone time for you in the farm’s contemporary loft apartment. 

There aren’t any Facebook reviews, but Harlan Roberts wrote a Google Review , saying, “My wife and I just spent a week here and we both got a LOT of work done! She managed to edit half of her current novel and I finished editing a book of my short stories. Ron Tanner has put together the perfect writing retreat. It’s quiet, comforting and very accessible.” 

Cost : $570 for one person for a weeklong stay (meals and beverages not provided); $670 for two. Discounts are available for longer stays up to four weeks. 

17. Write-by-the-Light Writers Retreat & Workshop

Author of 11 books Julie Tallard Johnson, MSW, LCSW is an educator, counselor and writing sherpa in Wisconsin who uses her five-day retreats as a way to help writers establish a solid foundation for their ideas and writing aspirations. 

The daily syllabus is brimming with writing prompts and opportunities to develop your book’s theme, voice and structure. She promises that if you come with just an idea, you’ll leave with a fully blossomed template for a book, plus knowledge of “simple and constructive ways to write about your experiences and knowledge in a uniquely creative way.”  

After Johnson helps you shape your stories and narrative during this retreat, you’ll know exactly how to bring out your story’s true meaning and complete your book. 

Take it from Moly Chanson, whose testimonial said: “Julie’s teaching style is encouraging and heartfelt, and over the course of the week my mindset shifted from writing as an indulgent hobby to an act of self-expression and service that can actually change the world. … I now have a completed manuscript that is ready to publish, and much of the writing I did at WBTL is in my book!”

Official 2022 dates have yet to be announced. Keep an eye out for more detailed information about location, costs, accomodations and more.

Cost : TBD. 

18.  BOAAT Writer’s Retreat

BOAAT is a literary journal and poetry book publisher that hosts an annual weeklong writer’s retreat in a spacious log cabin in the mountainous Vilas, North Carolina. 

Seven poets get to enjoy one-on-one time with a prominent workshop leader who will lead five group and individual workshop sessions — besides that, writers can use their serene time in the mountaintops to chip away at writing projects, explore nature and workshop their poetry with an established poet. 

Poet Ysabel Y. Gonzalez’s testimonial on the website said her time attending this retreat was “incredibly rewarding” for her poetry and personal well-being. She wrote, “This retreat was half residency and half workshop, which allowed my poetry the opportunity for feedback and critique, along with plenty of down time to generate new work.”

Mexico & Latin America

19 . costa rica retreat for writers and families.

Bring your partner and niños along on poet/children’s writer/playwright Julie Hartley’s creative writing retreat from January 30 to February 6.

You’ll stay at a gorgeous eco-lodge in the heart of the rainforest, with easy access to both hammocks and hikes. Each morning, you’ll participate in creative writing workshops, and you’ll have the afternoon to write or explore. In the evenings, you’ll reconvene with your group for readings and other writerly activities. 

In a 2020 Facebook review , Trish Roberts wrote: “I had an amazing experience at the Costa Rica retreat in 2020. I met a wonderful and diverse group of writers. The writing workshops were well constructed and the group leader, Julie, offered invaluable insights and guidance. … I highly recommend.” 

Cost: $870.10–$1,265.60 per person (does not include lunch or dinner); $395 per child if sharing a room with two adults.

20. VSW Writing Retreats

Run by the Vancouver and Victoria Schools of Writing and hosted by writing coach and author Kathrin Lake, this retreat isn’t a bad deal — especially for Americans. 

It offers group classes and one-on-one coaching in writing and publishing, plus optional dancing and tours. Dates for the seven-day retreat are annual between January and March. Lake hosts one retreat in Canada in  August, too.

In a blog comment, David Pelzer wrote attending Kathrin Lake’s writing retreat in the historic village of Barra de Navidad in Mexico “is a gift to oneself,” saying: “Kathrin creates a supportive, nurturing environment while challenging each participant to explore their work in a deeper and more meaningful way, both in group work and individual coaching sessions. Highly recommended.” 

Cost: TBD; 2020 rate was $1,360 CAD per person (~$1,043 USD) (does not include lunch or most dinners). 

21. Journey Into Sacred Expression Women’s Retreat

I love the sound and attitude of Aimee Hansen’s women-only writing retreats in Guatemala — and from her glimmering reviews , they live up to their promise.  

You’ll stay on Lake Atitlan and enjoy daily yoga, meditation and writing sessions. Guest facilitators will also lead you in Mayan fire, cacao and dance ceremonies. 

“Aimee Hansen’s retreat was wonderful from start to finish,” Jill McGrath wrote in a Facebook review. “I was looking for a women’s retreat to recharge my poetry writing and to connect to my spirituality via yoga, meditation, and nature. The retreat far exceeded my expectations.”

Cost: TBD; 2020 costs ranged from $1,575–$1,895 per person (private rooms are an extra $300–$400).

22. Story Quest — Costa Rica

Make progress on your novel or memoir while staying on the lush beaches of Nosara, Costa Rica. 

During this “ultimate writing adventure,” authors Doug Kurtz and Dan Manzanares will teach you their “Story Map” curriculum, which covers characters; plot; and theme, setting and voice. The retreat includes six days and more than 30 hours of instruction, plus group and individual coaching sessions, happy hours and yoga. 

On Facebook , Evon Michelle Davis wrote, “The Story Quest workshop blew my mind! I have an MFA, but what I learned took my writing to a whole new level. Doug, Dan, and Doug’s wife, Cat, went out of their way to attend to the needs of the retreat participants.”

Cost: $1,695–$2,995 per person. 

23. Under the Volcano

Typically held in the Mexican village of Tepoztlán, this respected nonprofit program will hold its 18th annual retreat in cyberspace over a three-week period from April 9-30. The program, which is highly selective, requires a writing sample for admission. 

As an “incubator of literary talent,” it’s intended for “committed writers with projects underway.” Since it’s gone from one week to three, the 2021 program will combine master classes, intimate gatherings and craft talks, agent presentations plus optional pitch sessions, and even a weekly social that brings together participants from around the world. 

“Under the Volcano is not just about the writing,” said Natalie Hart, according to the program’s website. “It is a personal journey. Never has a combination of place, people and programme felt so powerful and inspiring.” 

Cost: $995 per person, plus a $450 auditor fee per masterclass.  Financial aid is available.

24. Creative Revolution Retreat

Leigh Shulman invites you to choose your own retreat dates — and join her anytime in Salta, Argentina. This retreat is meant for people at any stage of writing a book, or for those who want to start writing but need some guidance. 

Over eight days, you’ll enjoy intensive writing workshops tailored to your project, yoga, cultural activities, a massage and a private apartment in a bustling city center. Space is limited and the host prefers an intimate retreat, so grab a couple of friends and book a date.

“The retreat met and exceeded my expectations,” Kathleen Evans said in a testimonial on Shulman’s site. “Each day I could feel the progress during this retreat, and I feel that I’ve really grown. My writing has matured, and I have a solid plan and an idea of where I want to go with my writing project.” (She tweeted about it , too.)

Cost: $2,500 per person. Scholarships are available.

25. The Right Place to Write

Who doesn’t want breath-taking views of mountains, valleys and the ocean as writing fodder? 

Join publishing powerhouses Dawn James and Tenita Johnson on their seven-day Costa Rican retreat, where you’ll have plenty of time to write, reflect and learn with a “dedicated team of publishing professionals to support, inspire and guide you.”

From March 25-31, you’ll get to expand your creativity through in-depth workshops and individual consultations with a writing coach and publishing strategist, feedback on written work and accountability partners. 

But first, you have to get through a clarity call with either James or Johnson to discuss your project and your commitment to publishing your work. You’ll also have to submit a book synopsis (if you haven’t started writing) to the editor or up to 12 pages of the work you hope to shape at the retreat — that way, she can prepare feedback for your one-on-one editorial session.

On the retreats testimonial page, Jen wrote, “This retreat taught me to have confidence in my voice and my writing. I also learned the business side of becoming an author. It was an incredible week!”

Cost : $1,895 until December 31, 2020; $2,195 after.

26. Retreats for You

Debbie Flint, the owner of a picturesque 17th-century thatched house in southwest England, runs a variety of retreats throughout the year. (Importantly, they all come with home-cooked meals and resident labradors you can walk through the countryside.)

Author Alison May, for example, is running three “Developing Your Novel” retreats from March 8-12, June 7-11, and November 1-5. If you can’t make those dates, author Rebecca Horsefall is hosting a five-night “Develop Your  Novel” retreat from February 22-27. There are also several “General Just Write” Retreats to consider, too. 

The center, which welcomes groups, has a five-star rating on Facebook with more than 80 reviews. “The house is gorgeous and comfortable; the food is delicious, and there is always home-made cake,” Anita Chapman wrote . “Alison is a fantastic tutor who knows a great deal, delivering it beautifully; and she has a real interest in her students’ projects.”

Cost: £595 (~$705 USD) per person.

27. Alpine Writers’ Retreat

If you’re looking for basically a writing residency, with a bit of tutelage thrown in, this new retreat might be of interest. 

To enable attendants to focus on their writing,  published novelist Valeria Vescina will lead small group retreats — max of three people! — in the Swiss Alps. You’ll enjoy a 90-minute writing workshop in the morning, then have the rest of the day to conquer those blank pages. After dinner, you can also participate in readings or group discussions. 

Though she doesn’t have any reviews yet, Vescina’s creative writing workshops at a library and high school have received positive feedback .  

Cost: TBD; 2019 rate was £600 (~$711 USD) per person for your own room. Dinners will be prepared by the host, with your help. Other dates may be available; inquire with Vescina.

28. The Leopardi Writing Conference

When you attend this retreat in the medieval town of Le Marche, Italy, its hosts promise you’ll get a glimpse of “authentic Italian country life.” 

This “immersive program for new and experienced authors” takes place in July 2021. It includes workshops and talks on fiction, nonfiction and poetry, as well as opportunities for expert feedback on your writing project. 

The retreat has several reviews on Facebook, including this recent one from Kelly Leonora: “Excellent and personal instruction in a small group setting, surrounded by beauty and inspiration. It exceeded expectations!”

Cost: $975 (does not include accommodation or meals). Partial scholarships are available.

29. Verse Kraken Writing Retreat

This weeklong retreat in Brittany, France in July is taught by authors Claire Trévien and Tori Truslow. (Trévien’s debut poetry collection was the reader’s choice in the Guardian’s first book award .)

They promise you’ll “engage with the environment” by exploring local culture, food and literature — and engage with your words through workshops, tutorials and independent writing time. Writers of all genres are welcome and encouraged. 

“This has been such a wonderfully restorative experience, one that has made me realise how starved of inspiration I’ve been for the last year,” Quen Took wrote on Twitter . “I want to carry this experience with me & use it to make my life a better, more joyous place.”

Cost: £850 ($1,007 USD) per person. £500 ($593 USD) £450–£500 (~$576–$641 US) per person without lodging or breakfast.

30 . Black Sea Writing Retreat

Pumped to include a getaway in Romania — a lovely country that deserves more visitors! At this seaside retreat, you’ll receive practical instruction in writing and editing, as well as one-on-one critiques of your work. 

Also included in the cost are Romanian language classes, a food tasting and trips to historical sites in Romania and Bulgaria. The host offers more retreats in Ireland in May (for travel writing), June and September, and Paris in October.

“This is a special place in the world, a magical place,” Denise Stablein wrote in a testimonial on the site. “The Irish and local authors both entertained us and challenged us to be like them. They are real people. The combination of writing with immersion in the culture cannot be duplicated anywhere else. The land, the sea and the people are delightful.” 

Cost: TBD; 2020 rate was €1290 per person (~$1,528 USD).

31. Iceland Writers Retreat

At this retreat, it seems like you get what you pay for: intimate workshops and panels with award-winning authors like David Chariandy and Kristín Helga Gunnarsdóttir.

You’ll also have dedicated writing time and the opportunity to explore the incredible country of Iceland, with outings led by contemporary Icelandic writers. It runs April 29 to May 3, 2020.

On Facebook, Christine Wilkins Blackford wrote : “IWR is the best organized, the most productive and the most jam-packed full of fun I have ever had at a writers’ retreat. Going again this year. Can’t wait!”

Cost: 198,000 ISK (~$1,586 US) per person (does not include lodging and most meals). Scholarships available.

32. Write Away Europe — Plovdiv

Looking for a place where your “soul and creative spirit will soar”? Travel to the 2019 European “Capital of Culture” — the charming Bulgarian town of Plovdiv — from July 18-24, 2021. 

Your hosts will be Lisa Howe, a professional editor; Scott Stavrou, a novelist and writing instructor; and George Crane, a published author and writing instructor. You’ll participate in writing workshops, one-on-one mentoring sessions and nightly social hours, all while staying in the heart of a historic city.  

Write Away Europe also hosts retreats in Greece in May, Italy in June and France in September. It has several Facebook reviews, including one from Amy Lynn, who attended the Plovdiv retreat in 2019. “This program is phenomenal,” she wrote . “Every day there is individual attention to each writer’s projects. [They] used their expertise to really help me hone in on my craft—from plot to sentence structure, their attention was extremely valuable and helpful to me… The experience changed me as a writer.”

Cost: $1,850 per person (does not include lunch).

33. The Creative Writer’s Workshop: Fiction & Autobiographical Fiction

Learn to tell your story while escaping to the mythical Irish island of Inis Mór from July 11-18 or September  5-11. 

In addition to writing workshops with host Irene Graham, you’ll enjoy guided walks and tours of the remote island. Graham also hosts two memoir-specific retreats in June and September. 

“I am quite a different writer leaving this retreat than I was on arrival,” Kris Mescher wrote on Graham’s site. “I now know what story development is. My purpose is clear. I am freer to follow my internal creative sense.”

Cost: €1,675 ($1,885 USD) per person for a private room in July; €1,650 ($1,950 USD) in September (does not include all meals).

34. Women Reading Aloud — Greece

In June, writer and poet Julie Maloney will bring her women’s retreat to the Greek island of Alonnisos for the tenth straight year.

You’ll stay in a family-owned guest house overlooking the Aegean sea. Each morning, you’ll participate in writing workshops, and each afternoon, you’ll have free time to explore your surroundings. One night, you’ll also partake in a sunset dinner cruise (swoon!). 

“I have attended the Alonnisos Writing Retreat with [Women Reading Aloud] for three years and each year I come away fuller, richer, and more excited about my writing,” said a testimonial from Lynne Rosenfeld on Maloney’s site. “I have grown so much as a woman and a writer.” 

Cost: TBD; 2020 rate was $2,425 per person for a private room (includes breakfast and three dinners).

35. Ireland Writing Retreat on the Wild Atlantic Way

Authors Carolyn Flynn and Jona Kottler invite fiction and creative nonfiction writers to join them at the Delphi Resort near Galway for a “generative and restorative retreat.”  

You’ll receive mentored critique, individual consultations, group talks on topics like story architecture, narrative flow and dialogue — and time to wander the mountains of Connemara. 

“The inspiration from… Ireland is still shining bright,” 2019 participant Cathy Wade wrote in a Facebook post. “The retreat had a profound impact on my writing and my confidence in my writing.”

Cost: TBD; 2019 rate was $2,295–$2,495 per person if booked before February 1, 2020, after which cost increases $100–$200 (includes breakfast and most dinners).

36. Your Beautiful Writing Life Retreat

Because no one can get enough of Italy: three-time novelist Vanessa Carvale’s three-night retreat will be held at a villa a few miles from the historical city of Florence.

It’ll include craft-based and coaching workshops, personalized manuscript feedback and even an onsite pasta-making class. Carvale hosts a retreat in Australia, as well. 

“I came in incredibly blocked and stressed about the project I was working on,” Josephine Moon, author of “The Beekeeper’s Secret,” said in a testimonial on Carvale’s site. “[A]nd I’m leaving with a new project that feels totally right, that I’m excited about.”

Cost: $2,450 per person.

37. Krouna Writing Workshop

Travel with novelist and writing instructor Henriette Lazaridis to her ancestral home in the mountains of northern Greece, where you’ll enjoy group workshops, individual coaching and lots of time to write.

To apply, you must submit a 10-page writing sample. And before attending the retreat from July 25-31, you’ll also need to submit a paragraph explaining why you want to participate in the workshop. 

“Krouna Writing Workshop is an amazing experience led by a brilliant, caring person in one of Greece’s most gorgeous landscapes, and I would attend again in a heartbeat,” Elene Catrakilis wrote in a Facebook review . “I received kind, constructive and incisive feedback, both written and verbal with respect to my manuscript.” 

Cost: $2,500 per person (does not include breakfast or dinner, but it does include round-trip transportation from Ioannina to Papingo by car).

38. Get Away to Write — Spain

Murphy Writing of Stockton University will hold its 11th international retreat in northern Spain.

The retreat, led by award-winning authors Peter E. Murphy, Roberta Clipper and Christine E. Salvatore, is open to fiction writers, memoirists and poets. It includes workshops, feedback sessions, plentiful writing time and an excursion to Barcelona.

In a Facebook review for Murphy Writing, Helen Chibnik said: “In addition to providing reliably gifted, supportive, and working writers as guides, the workshops are well-balanced, productive, and a whole lot of fun – worth every penny.”

Murphy Writing also hosts a March retreat in Florida for $1,500–$1,700 per person.

Cost: $2,500–$2,700 per person (scholarships and early registration discounts available).

39. Hamlet’s Hideaway

This all-inclusive retreat will be held in Denmark from August 8-14. You’ll stay in the shadow of Fredensborg Palace, a “magical setting to dream and create.” 

Hosts Shawna Kenney, an author, and Anja Klemp Vilgaard, a journalist, will lead you in one-on-one sessions and daily writing workshops. Both new and experienced writers are welcome.

Among the retreat’s five positive Facebook reviews , this one from Karen Halasa stood out: “Hamlets Hideaway was an experience of a lifetime, a crucible of creativity in a luxurious setting of natural beauty. The feedback provided by the organisers and other participants was encouraging and constructive, the place conducive to writing.” 

Cost: $2,700 per person.

40. A Writer Within — Tuscany

Spend a week at a historic villa in Tuscany — complete with your own private chef — at this women-only retreat from May 21- 27, 2022 or May 29 – June 4, 2022.

In the mornings, author Kathryn Kay will lead group writing sessions that focus on craft and the creative process. Afternoons will be for writing, one-on-one sessions and group outings to nearby towns and sites. In the evenings, you’ll share your work and reflect on the day (over wine).

Kay has written and video testimonials on her site. A recent review from Marisa Brown said: “I said ‘yes’ to the dream of a writing retreat, and what better guide than Kathryn Kay to make that dream become a reality. As a workshop leader, Kathryn is gracious, grounded and focused. This was truly an all-encompassing experience of exploring myself and my writing.”

Cost: $2,900–$3,700 per person.

41. GoodWorld Journeys Literary Salons on Patmos, Greece

You’ll get to work with some BIG names at this pair of 10-day literary salons in Greece. 

The first retreat in May features the poets Kaveh Akbar, Terrance Hayes and Mary Karr, who will guide you through discussions, in-class exercises and informal workshops. During the second, in June, Karr is joined by the legendary George Saunders to focus on personal essays, memoirs and short stories. 

“The Salon experience was intimate, and structured in a relaxed and informal way but also enabled me to gain valuable writing knowledge, skills, and affirmation,” Josephine Dempsey said in a testimonial on the retreat site. “Yes, a life changing experience!”

Cost : TBD; 2020 rate was $3,450–$3,950 per person (includes breakfast and two dinners). Scholarships and early-bird registration discounts available.

42. Stone + Wildflower Writing Retreat

At this (warning: $$$) retreat, founder Malika Ali Harding says, “We’ll gather seaside to make poems from wildflowers, short stories from stone, and reimagine Nordic fairytales by the fire.” It takes place at Norway’s stunning Arctic Hideaway from September 18-21, 2020.

This retreat is more focused on activities — like sunrise yoga, pebble stacking and wildlife viewing — than on coaching or critiquing, but allows time for writing and reflection, too.

“Traveling with Story Rebels allowed me to have the time and space to be creative,” Amanda Ponzio-Mouttaki said in a testimonial on the site. “With all the details sorted, I could relax and focus on writing, surrounded by others with a similar drive.”

Cost: TBD; 2020 rate was €4290–€4690 (~$4,753–$5,196 US) per person.

43. Loire Writers Retreat

Writers, authors, poets, academics, screen and songwriters in search of a “creative haven to find their inner voice, develop their craft and begin or complete their story” will find solace in this retreat’s nurturing environment. 

Located in central France’s Loire Valley and close to the historic town of Saumur, this retreat for writers offers a tranquil space for you to focus on your writing. 

Whether you stay for one week or four in 2022, hosts Iris and Derrick Mathews ensure your only responsibility will be to unleash your creativity — and you know they mean it because they even handle the cooking and cleaning for you. When you need a writing break, enjoy one complimentary holistic therapy session plus access to bicycles to explore the French countryside. 

“Thank you for a wonderful Writing Retreat,” said author Tony Macaulay in a testimonial on the site. “You have created the perfect place for writers to get away from it all, to relax, focus and simply write.”

Cost : £784 ($1,047 USD) per person per week. 

44. Vacation Writing  

From September 26 to October 2, discover your story in Ragusa, one of the most picturesque towns of southern Sicily. Whether you need to dust off a project, start or complete one, this (albeit pricey) retreat might be the restorative experience you need. 

Besides one daily writing workshop led by an author, you’re encouraged to use this time to generate new work, overcome writing blocks, simply keep writing — or sleep in as much as you can. In your free time, connect with the writers you’ll share a villa with or find inspiration in the architecture colors, tastes and sounds of Sicily.

Oh, and this isn’t too shabby: A private onsite chef will prepare all your meals and snacks. This fairly new retreat doesn’t have any reviews just yet, but the details look very promising. 

Cost : $3,000 for shared accommodations, $4,500 for a private room and $5,500 for couples (with only one person a part of the retreat). 

45. Melete Writing Retreats

If you’re a fiction writer, TV or screenwriter, you need to be at this week-long, immersive retreat in Piedmont, Italy between the months of May and July. 

The learning experiences found in each retreat session will be led by Harvard faculty and acclaimed authors, playwrights, screenwriters and TV writers. (No big deal.) It takes place at the historic Marchesi Incisa della Rocchetta estate, where a typical day includes readings, two-hour group manuscript workshops and one-hour one-on-one conferences — all al fresco if the weather is agreeable. 

Besides writing time, you can explore the national park and golf course located nearby, not to mention the cooking classes and wine and cheese tours. “Join us,” the site says, “and we will nurture your creativity as you deepen your process and build community.”

To get in, you’ll need to submit a cover letter or resume and writing sample. Although reviews or testimonials weren’t available, know that finetuning your craft in Piedmont puts you in great company: authors like Charles Dickens, Tolstoy, Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway and Natalia Ginzburg have all spent time writing in and about this region.

Cost : $2,675 per session (includes continental breakfast with room service and daily housekeeping service).

46. Words Wanderlust

How many writers can say they spent six days writing in the old-world streets of Tbilisi, Georgia? Between the vineyards with an 8,000-year-old history of winemaking and the ancient  monasteries, you might not ever want to leave this retreat for writers. 

From June 6-12, this retreat invites you and a small group of writers to accomplish three things: explore, escape, write. 

“Nurture your creativity, develop your work-in-progress or jumpstart your writing project” through writing sessions and daily creative writing classes led by award-winning authors. In addition to that, talks by international and local authors, personal consultations with writing tutors — and, of course, tours to Georgia’s countryside for wine and cheese tastings.

While you’re here, enjoy a private room in a stunning boutique hotel plus the opportunity to roam hidden gems in your spare time. Writers at any level are welcome, and course topics include: plotting and structuring your novel, turning life into story, creating compelling characters and getting your work published. 

Cost : $1,695 (not all dinners are included).

47. The Moth Retreat For Artists And Writers

“The Moth Retreat was exactly what I was looking for,” writes Susan Allot on the retreat’s website. “A converted barn all to myself, fresh veg[etables] from the garden and a daily delivery of eggs. Beautiful countryside on the doorstep. I managed about a month’s worth of writing condensed into one inspired week.”

For writers of any discipline looking to experience this along a beautiful country lane in Ireland, this retreat may be for you. You’ll be surrounded by the country’s famed lakes and joined by three dogs and a flock of hens. 

While you’re free to spend your time as your please, there’s Wi-Fi, a writing desk and an easel to use to work, plus a bike to explore the area. 

The Moth Magazine publishers Rebecca O’Connor and Will Govan will be available if you need any assistance. You won’t find guided writing workshops here, but you’ll certainly find the solitude and silence needed to finish that novel. 

Apply to find out when you can book this retreat in 2022! 

Cost : €400 a week ($476 USD), plus a €100 ($119 USD) fee to bring a partner or friend; a minimum stay of 1 week is required; self-catered.

Asia, Africa & Middle East

48. writing retreat in south africa.

Boy does this sound dreamy! You’ll stay at a farmhouse a few hours from Cape Town, enjoying morning classes and afternoon free writes (and countryside walks).  

In the evening, writing coach and literary agent Sarah Bullen will lead sessions focusing on everything from genre to character development to approaching publishers. It all goes down March 10-14. Along with the author Kate Emmerson, Bullen also hosts a retreat in Greece in June and Italy in September.

“I recently attended the writers retreat and residency at Skala Eressor [sic],” Mary-Joe Emde wrote in a Facebook review . “This has been the most profound retreat I have ever done. Kate and Sarah are masters at creating a space for creativity and writing skills. I loved every moment of it and would recommend this to every aspiring writer.”

Cost: 7,900–11,700 South African rand (~$514–$761 USD) per person. 

49. Write Your Journey — Vietnam

You’ll take a cooking class, boat to an ancient town, practice daily yoga, get a sound bowl massage — and, oh yeah, write — during this retreat at a boutique resort in Hoi An.

In September, former academic and published author Kerstin Pilz will guide you in group and one-on-one writing sessions — all while exploring “authentic Vietnam” to “ignite your creativity.” 

This retreat has an abundance of reviews on TripAdvisor and Facebook . Julie B., for example, wrote : “It’s hard for me to explain the magic that happened in the retreat – very much thanks to beautiful and expert facilitation by Kirsten and wonderful service from the team she has in place. Whether you think you are a writer or not, this is definitely the place to find out…it was a truly fantastic and beautiful experience!”

Cost: $1,950. 

50. Writer’s Retreat in Tel Aviv-Jaffa, Israel

Want to explore the cosmopolitan city of Tel Aviv while sharing stories and making new friends? This women-only, Pink Pangea retreat might be for you.  

In addition to exploring Tel Aviv’s markets and history, you’ll participate in daily writing workshops, get guidance on pitching stories and connect with other women writers. The company also hosts retreats in other countries like France, Switzerland or Greece throughout the year.

According to a testimonial on the Pink Pangea site, Bobbie Traut said: “I met wonderful writers and had the chance to share stories with strangers who later became friends. By minimizing distractions and removing myself from my day-to-day schedule, I found that the creativity flowed.”

2022 dates have yet to be announced. Keep an eye out for more detailed information about location, costs and more.

Cost: $1,080–$1,280 per person (does not include lunch or dinner).

51. Indian Summer House Writers’ Retreat 

At this luscious boutique hotel in southern India, you can attend a writers retreat in March or October, or set up your own dates upon request. 

In addition to morning yoga and meditation, “tantalising” meals and cultural activities, you’ll have daily writing workshops, evening reading sessions and abundant writing time. 

In a recent TripAdvisor review , user shonee2018 gave their experience an “excellent” rating. “Time has this lovely pace in India,” they wrote. “It seems to pass even more gently at Indian Summer House during our daily writer’s workshops with Caroline Van De Pol, readings and discussions to reflect and share our work with others or enjoying the outdoor showers, having a drink in the coconut lounge, jumping into the pool two, three times a day or relaxing at the spa.” 

Cost: TBD; 2020 costs ranged from $2,190–$2,990 AUD (~$1,494–$2,040 USD) per person. 

52. Himalayan Writers Retreat

On this 10-day retreat in the Indian Himalayas from March 31 to April 10, maybe you’ll find the solace you need to finish that important project. 

Each retreat has a guest leader, plus two resident facilitators: a psychologist and an author. They’ll guide you through everything from discussions to long walks, bonfires, yoga and pottery. Aside from airfare, everything is included in the price — airport transfers, food and even a trip to the Taj Mahal!

This retreat has more than 100 five-star Google reviews. In a recent one , Ramanjaneya Sharaph wrote: “The workshop covers all aspects, from the science and craft of writing, to getting published. This is a workshop in the true sense of the word. There are enough hands on [sic] writing exercises, with feedback from the course leader and other participants, that helps better understand the concepts.” 

Cost: $2,800 per person.

53. Writing on Water — Inner Mongolia

Ready for a real adventure? At this retreat, you’ll stay in a luxury hotel in Inner Mongolia, an autonomous region of northern China.

You’ll participate in creative writing and movement workshops, attend historical and cultural tours, and gain a deeper understanding of this unique part of the world. Plus, you’ll meet guest artist Rahna Reiko Rizzuto, the award-winning author of two novels and one memoir. The organizers also host retreats in Australia and Croatia.    

Although no social media reviews are available, Nicole Reed wrote in a website testimonial: “The week I spent with Writing on Water was a powerful experience. I was able to discover myself as a writer.”

Cost: TBD ; 2020 costs ranged from $2,975–$3,375 per person.

54. The Cape Town Writers Retreat

This five-day retreat is hosted by Rohm Literary Agency and led by best-selling author and literary agent Wendy Goldman Rohm. 

Fiction and nonfiction writers, poets, filmmakers and playwrights of all levels are welcomed to attend this private retreat in the heart of Cape Town to accomplish whatever they’d like: create new material, develop ideas or shape works-in-progress.

Here, “story and manuscript development come alive.” As information becomes available for Cape Town’s 2022 retreat, check out these additional opportunities:

Maui, Hawaii: January 18-22 ($2,395) Biarritz, France: March 5-7 ($875) Paris, France: March 19-21 ($850) Andros, Greece: May 16-21 ($2,245)

“I will bask in the creative afterglow of Wendy Goldman Rohm’s writers’ courses for a long, long time,” writes Margaret Atwood’s literary agent Phoebe Larmore on the website. “During my many years as a literary agent, I attended numerous writers conferences, but none of them came close to the extraordinary events for writers that Wendy presents. Wendy … has the gift of inspiring writers to expand their visions and hone their crafts, and of sensibly instructing them how the publishing world works.”

Cost : TBD; 2020 rate was $1,550 (not including lunch and dinner). Scholarships available. 

Have you attended any of these writing retreats? Have any others to recommend? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

This is an updated version of a story that was previously published. We update our posts as often as possible to ensure they’re useful for our readers.

Photo via MRProduction / Shutterstock  

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memoir writing retreats 2022

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Pacifica Online | Pacifica Graduate Institute

Writing Down the Soul: A 9-Month Certificate in Memoir Writing

Writing Down The Soul 2020

Mar. 25 – 27 | Dec. 3 – 4 | June 29 – July 3

Ongoing course | at pacifica graduate institute's ladera lane campus, program description, writing down the soul, with maureen murdock and jennifer leigh selig.

This program welcomes participants who:

  • Have always wanted to write a full-length memoir or try their hand at shorter personal reflections
  • Have already written memoir pieces and want to bring a depth perspective to their writing
  • Have a desire to cultivate a sense of archetypal and mythic consciousness in their writing
  • Wish to honor a soul-filled perspective towards creative imagination
  • Desire the structure and support a thoughtful writing community can offer

“ Writing Down the Soul breathed beauty and life into my writing. It was a deeply rewarding experience. I highly recommend it to anyone who has the desire to write, deepen their connection with others and make meaning of their own lives.” — Ruth Salmon

Featured in The Writer Magazine 

Opening Residential Weekend with Maureen Murdock and Jennifer Leigh Selig (Conducted live via Zoom)

Memoir’s particular appeal lies not only in its truth-telling but in the effort the writer makes to reveal herself. Mary Karr writes, “A psychological self-awareness and faith in the power of truth gives you the courage to reveal whatever you unearth, whether you come out looking vain, or conniving or hateful or not.” The essence of a great memoir is the voice of the writer and how she brings the reader into a scene with sensory details. The memoir has to deliver vivid characters, evocative settings, and pitch-perfect dialogue for the reader to remain interested. This opening residential aims to help you uncover your truth, develop insight into the larger themes of your story, and cast yourself as a compelling character. We’ll read excerpts by published memoirists such as Mary Karr, Abigail Thomas, Brando Skyhorse, and Myra Shapiro as examples of character development, dialogue, and structure, and we’ll spend some time with writing exercises each day. Participants will have an opportunity to come to know their fellow classmates, including the three they will be partnered with for feedback groups during the online writing modules.

Online Format Description (Conducted asynchronously via Pacifica’s online learning management system)

The online portion of the certificate program, facilitated by Jennifer Leigh Selig, takes place over eight months, each covering a distinct theme in memoir writing. The month begins with select readings on the theme (typically 60-75 pages), accompanied by a video presentation and an online discussion. In the middle of each month, participants have the option of joining a live Zoom discussion of a recommended “memoir of the month” to study issues of craft and content. Each month ends with the posting of 2-4 pages of memoir writing by participants for small group and faculty feedback. Participants may choose to submit pages of an ongoing memoir in the process or may produce new material in response to suggested writing prompts.

While there are due dates for each of the components, participants can work at their own pace and partake in discussions and offer feedback at their convenience.

Online Topics:

  • “Making Sense of the Senseless,” and Other Reasons We Write (and Read) Memoirs
  • Anatomy of a Memoir: Story as Flesh, Structure as Bones  
  • To Tell the Truth, the Whole Truth, and Nothing But the Truth(?)
  • Whose Story Is It? Writing Sensitively About Others in Our Lives
  • Memory Matters: Imaginal Remembering and Other Depth Psychological Approaches to Embodying and Enlivening Our Memories
  • “Psyche Equals Voice,” Or How to Write Pages That Sing With Soul
  • The Power of Metaphor and the Potential of Key Images
  • The Path of Personal Transformation : The Alchemy of Memoir Writing

Required Books:

  • Barrington, J. (2002). Writing the memoir: From truth to art (2 nd ). Portland, OR: Eighth Mountain Press.
  • DeSalvo, L. (2000). Writing as a way of healing: How telling our stories transforms our lives. Boston, MA: Beacon Press.
  • Karr, M. (2015). The art of memoir . New York, NY: Harper Perennial.
  • Kephart, B. (2013). Handling the truth: On the writing of memoir . New York, NY: Avery.
  • Maran, M. (Ed.) (2016). Why we write about ourselves: Twenty memoirists on why they expose themselves (and others) in the name of literature . New York, NY: Plume.
  • Murdock, M. (2003). Unreliable truth: On memoir and memory . New York, NY: Seal Press.
  • Quibell, D. A., Selig, J. L. & Slattery, D. P. (2019). Deep creativity: Seven ways to spark your creative spirit . Boulder, CO: Shambhala Publications.

Closing Residential Weekend with Maureen Murdock and Jennifer Leigh Selig (Conducted live via Zoom)

After nine months of intensive memoir writing, it’s time to give birth! Participants will celebrate their labors as a community with Maureen and Jennifer as midwives. On Saturday, December 3 rd , everyone will be encouraged to read aloud from self-selected pages of their memoir writing, with Maureen offering feedback on the pages and the presentation. On Sunday, December 4 th , Jennifer will lead the group in taking a backward glance, discussing the insights we experienced and the inroads we made on our individuation journeys vis -à- vis writing our memoirs. We’ll look into the future as well, and discuss venues for publishing memoir essays and full-length books, including mainstream, small press, and self-publishing options. Participants will be invited to submit a piece of their writing for a compilation yearbook commemorating the course.

Optional Residential Writing Retreat

During this optional retreat, participants will gather in community with Jennifer, who will draw from her 33 years of teaching both writing and depth psychology and offer presentations to inspire both craft and calling. There will be time for writing, for revising, and for workshopping memoir pages on the peaceful Ladera Lane campus. Alumni from the Writing Down the Soul program starting with the class of 2017 are also invited to attend, making this writing retreat a rich opportunity to meet other memoirists and learn from their journeys. Alumni will participate in panel discussions, present their own workshops, and offer mentoring to the class of 2022.

Program Testimonials

“Thanks for this course. I dreamed about it, a little afraid it would disappoint. It’s even more wonderful than I thought possible. I am profoundly grateful.”

~Shirley Munoz

“Jennifer Selig and Maureen Murdock have masterfully crafted a memoir course. As true professionals, ardent teachers, and skilled writers they braid the essential elements of memoir— technique, structure and voice—into a deeply resonant experience of one’s soul. Taking this course was a stellar gift to my writerly self.”

~Dr. Christine Flaherty

Program Details

Opening Weekend – Online  (required) March 25-27, 2022

  • Friday: 5:00pm-7:00pm;
  • Saturday: 9:00am-12:00pm, 2:00pm-5:00pm;
  • Sunday: 9:00am-12:00pm

Closing Session – Online (required) December 3-4, 2022

  • Saturday, December 3: 9:00am-12:00pm, 1:30pm-5:00pm
  • Sunday, December 4: 9:00am-12:00pm

Residential Writing Retreat (optional) June 29-July 3, 2022

  • Wednesday: 12:00pm – Sunday, 12:00pm

Location: Pacifica’s Ladera Lane Campus NOTE: Participants who have travel considerations may make arrangements to leave early All Sessions are Pacific Time

  • $1,295 Pacifica Student Rate
  • $1,495 Pacifica Alumni, Full Time Students, & Senior Rate
  • $1,795 General Rate
  • $525 Summer Residential (Optional)

Summer Residential fees include meals: Wednesday lunch through Sunday lunch.

Featured Presenters


  • General Information

LOCATION Opening Weekend and Closing Sessions are hosted Online and the optional Residential Writing Retreat is located at Pacifica’s Ladera Lane Campus.

ACCOMMODATIONS Overnight housing is available for the Residential Writing Retreat at Pacifica’s Ladera Lane Campus.  Reservations  can be made online at the time of registration, or by contacting [email protected]

DISABILITY SERVICE ON CAMPUS It is the Institute’s goal is to make facilities, programs, and experiences accessible to all members of the community. The Institute works individually with those who are disabled to determine how individual needs can best be met.  For additional information regarding Disability Services, please visit .

For additional information, including travel, cancellation policy, and disability services please visit our general information section .

Registration Details

Payment options: Credit Card, PayPal, Check or Phone.

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memoir writing retreats 2022

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memoir writing retreats 2022

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Incredible Writing Retreats to Attend in 2022

  • on Nov 11, 2021
  • in Writing Tips
  • Last update: January 4th, 2024

Note: Be sure to check out the 2023 writing retreats list!

memoir writing retreats 2022

If you’re a passionate writer then you know that having a dedicated time just for writing is one of the things that lifts up your spirit and boosts your creativity. However, everyday life duties and responsibilities just get in the way of that. Take a look at these incredible writing retreats in 2022 for a much needed break from everyday life and pour all of your focus on relaxing, meeting fellow writers and of course, writing!

A Retreat in Princes’ Islands

International writers’ retreat, annual january 4-day writing projects intensive, annual november 4-day writing retreat, winter poetry & prose getaway, fiction, nature and travel writing retreat, guided novel writing retreat, poetry: tutored retreat, writing for children and young adults: tutored retreat, the clockhouse retreats, writing courses, holidays & retreats in costa rica, women’s writing retreat, nsw writing retreat with rebecca giggs: voice in narrative nonfiction, foxes’ writing retreat, write that book, publish that book in costa rica, sit, write, walk – a journey of self discovery, wild seeds writers retreat, weekend writeaway at home, gunnas weekend writing retreat, wide open writing mexico retreat, tutored retreat: editing fiction, get away to write – florida, ossabaw island writers’ retreat, mythic creativity retreat, casa ana creative writing retreat, imagine retreat, life-writing, biography and memoir, ireland writing retreat, haven i the writing retreat, mission of the algonkian writer retreat and novel workshop, writer’s retreat in cape town, bipoc stay at home writing retreat, himalayan writers retreat, stylish writing intensive, spring novel retreat, rocaberti writers retreat, writing retreat for academics, mission of the writer retreat in california, writing on the big sur coast with laura, write your journey, writeaway in new mexico, write what you want to read, non-fiction: tutored retreat, iceland writers retreat, the writing retreat, connect and create, andros, greece writng retreat, a life-changing writing retreat, composed writing retreat, paros greek island retreat, writeaways grand tour, writeaway in france, the writer’s residency, a writer within retreat in tuscany, art of writing retreat, writeaway in italy, stay at home writing retreat, memories into memoir writing retreat, paris writers retreat, literature & landscape of the horse retreat, greece writer’s retreat, rainforest writing retreat, the annual june 10-day writing projects retreat, the annual june 10-day writing projects retreats, creative connections writing retreat, contemporary writers retreat, fiction writing masterclass, memoire writing masterclass, all-genre nip bookcamp workshop & writing retreat, ireland writing retreat on the wild atlantic way, greece writers retreat, write, travel, transform: tuscany, greece’s writer’s retreat, elixir writing retreat, writers’ retreat uk retreat, summer novel retreat, awcs writers’ retreat, l.r johnson writers’ retreat in ireland, tuscany writing retreat, composed at home online writing retreat, writing retreat in tuscany, italy, come to your senses writing retreat with author karen karbo, casa ana novel writing retreat, work-in-progress – fiction masterclass, writers’ retreats with tours of ireland, fiction & autobiographical fiction writing retreat, the white mountain book writing retreat, true life stories, scholarly writing retreat, tassajara retreat center carmel valley, california, speculative fiction nip bookcamp workshop & writing retreat, live free and write retreat, weaving words and women, denmark’s writing retreat, foxes’ retreat festival of writing, north beach poetry retreat, the lighthouse sessions – men’s retreat, the lighthouse sessions – women’s retreat, creative writing retreats in the pyrenees, biarritz writers retreat, provence retreat, memories into memoir memoir writing retreat, go and write scotland retreat, grand tourist writer’s retreat, words & clay women’s river trip, lamu writing retreat, the okoboji writers’ retreat ii, go and write ireland retreat, automn novel retreat, fall retreat in the beautiful berkshires, developing your novel tutored retreats, the taos deep dive & revision writer’s retreat, la bodeguita writing retreat, la casa grande writing retreat, the moth retreat for artists and writers, wellstone center in the redwoods’ writing residencies and fellowships, create your own retreat, words and wanderlust retreat, la muse artists and writers retreat, stay-home writing retreat, shore thing writing getaway, mini writing getaway, writing in the pines.

Have you settled on a writing retreat yet? Don’t hold back, whether you’re a beginner or a master of writing, there’s a place for every logophile!

Read more here.

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5 Writing Retreats to Apply to in 2022

Looking for a place where you can write more and worry less? A writing retreat might be the perfect vacation for you in 2022. These five writing retreats present an exciting opportunity to explore a new place, meet new people, and focus on writing. Whether you’re working on a collection of poetry, a novel, or a memoir, there’s sure to be a retreat that suits your style. 

Contemporary Writers’ Retreat in Paris, France

If Paris is on your bucket list (next to finishing your next writing project), this retreat is for you. Geared toward women writers, the retreat offers daily writing workshops, themed field trips, meetings with booksellers, and one-on-one coaching. In addition to the writerly offerings, the retreat offers a quintessential Parisian experience with lodging in a striking Art Nouveau house located near local shops, restaurants, and farmer’s markets. The retreat runs June 5–11, 2022, and participants can choose between a private room ($2,799) or a shared room ($2,299). 

High Desert Center Writing Retreat in Paonia, Colorado

Taking a gap year? The High Desert Center Writing Retreat might be your perfect match. Designed for budding writers and modeled after National Novel-Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), the goal of this retreat is to complete the first draft of a novel (so don’t expect to complete editing a final draft during your stay). There are two age groups at the High Desert Center: 13–16 and 17–23. The groups will have dinner together, engage with guest speakers, and network, but feedback sessions and lodging will be separate. The retreat costs $2,200 and runs May 4–June 1, 2022. 

Iceland Writers Retreat in Reykjavíc, Iceland

If small group settings are your jam, this upcoming writing retreat will make you feel right at home. The Iceland Writers Retreat offers intimate writing workshops and cultural tours in Reykjavíc. In addition to cozy workshops and lectures limited to about 15 participants, attendees will be able to enjoy local cafes, visit geothermal hot springs, meet local writers, and learn about the country’s rich literary tradition. The retreat costs approximately $2,000 and runs April 27–May 1, 2022. 

InkWell Composed Residential Writing Retreat in Sautee Nagochee, Georgia

Hitting a wall with your writing? Run by InkWell, this supportive retreat is designed to help you move past self-doubt, writing blocks, and distractions. Attendees will get plenty of personal time to write, reconnect with the pleasures of writing, and receive professional support for a healthy writing practice. Held at the Elohee Retreat Center in Sautee Nagochee, Georgia, the retreat runs May 15–21, 2022 and will set you back about $4,650–$5,250, depending on the accommodations you select. 

Jess Lourey’s Women’s Writing Retreat in Costa Rica

If a luxury writing retreat is what you’re looking for, Less Lourey’s writing retreat in Costa Rica is an excellent choice. This retreat is geared toward women writers who are working on short stories, novellas, novels, memoirs, and more. Each morning is dedicated to developing and refining your work, overcoming writing blocks, and even mapping career goals. In the afternoons, attendees are free to relax, write more, or explore nature, museums, hot springs, or anything else available in the area. The retreat runs February 20–26, 2022, and costs a total of $3,200. 


memoir writing retreats 2022

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Write Your Memoir

Discover story creation, bring your story to life.

If you have the words, there's always a chance you'll find the way

memoir writing retreats 2022

This course focuses on one valuable element of memoir writing after another. Expect to have your eyes opened to imaginative memory prompts, guidance on tempting roads that could lead to dead ends, ideas on story development, structure and loads more.

Starting Soon

Online Memoir Course USA/Europe/Canada: Sat 20 Jan 2024

Memoir Writing Retreat Ireland: May 2024

Memoir Writing Workshop Spain: Oct 2024

Memoir Writing Masterclass LIVE 6-month: 8 Jan to 25 June 2025

Receive Advice and Tips


Beth Kephart, the award-winning author of three dozen books of fiction and nonfiction, has chaired national literature juries and has written about memoir and literature for The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Millions, Creative Nonfiction, Brevity,  Huffington Post, Image Journal Good Letters , and elsewhere. Her new books are Wife | Daughter | Self: A Memoir in Essays, We Are the Words: The Master Memoir Class, Beautiful Useful Things: What William Morris Made (with Melodie Stacey), and A Room of Your Own: A Story Inspired by Virginia Woolf’s Famous Essay (with Julia Breckenreid). Beth’s essays can be found at The Normal School, Ninth Letter, North American Review, Creative Nonfiction, Cleaver, Brevity, Chicago Tribune, The New York Times , and elsewhere.

Beth is the recipient of the 2015 Beltran Family Award for Innovative Teaching and Mentoring at the University of Pennsylvania. She was the 2013 Miami YoungArts Master Teacher. She has conducted workshops across the country, participated in many big-festival panels, and given numerous keynotes. She was named one of the 50 writers celebrated in the year-long Philadelphia’s Literary Legacy exhibit at the Philadelphia International Airport. Beth’s thoughts about writing and teaching memoir are featured in this July 2022 Publishers Weekly story. Her book, We Are the Words, as well as her memoir expertise is featured in Issue 49 of Breathe Magazine.

Beth is the author of Handling the Truth: On the Writing of Memoir (Avery), winner of the 2013 Books for a Better Life Award (Motivational Category), a memoir workbook called Tell the Truth. Make It Matter. , and a collection of new ideas about the memoir form called Strike the Empty .

Her acclaimed books for younger readers include Cloud Hopper, The Great Upending, Wild Blues, This Is the Story of You, Going Over, and Undercover . A forthcoming picture book will tell the story of Ursula Nordstrom.

To read her essays or find out more about her books, visit her at her website.

memoir writing retreats 2022

Edwina Shaw

The healing power of story, upcoming relax and write retreats.

memoir writing retreats 2022

A few times every year I hold wonderful retreats for women that combine my twin passions – yoga and writing.

In the mornings we do some gentle yoga, then through the day we get stuck into writing with workshops that are suitable for writers from absolute beginners to those wishing to renew their writing mojo, or those battling writers block. On Saturday nights we do readings around the fire and share the stories close to our hearts with a supportive group or women. ALL ACTIVITIES ARE OPTIONAL.

In beautiful locations at affordable prices, we feast and have fun, escaping ordinary life for a few days to immerse ourselves in writing and be inspired and motivated by informative workshops by a highly skilled, experienced facilitator. Now I’m thrilled to be collaborating with my dear friend and fellow writing teacher, Kerstin Pilz of Write Your Journey , to offer International retreats in Bali and Vietnam with plans for Sri Lanka and Italy in the works. Oh yeah! Save up those pennies and come too! REMEMBER IF YOU HAVE AN ABN ALL RETREATS ARE TAX DEDUCTIBLE!

Please note that prices have risen for accomodation and food and, well everything really, so prices here have also gone up. I am, however, keeping these retreats as affordable as I can as I know many writing women aren’t flash with cash and have introduced a tiered system – please only access the concession prices if in genuine financial difficulties. I will still be offering sponsored positions. If you really really want to come but are having financial troubles drop me a line and we can work something out.

For more information on retreats see my other website RELAX AND WRITE RETREATS 

To be kept up to date on forthcoming retreats and receive regular writing tips and publishing opportunities , enter your email below – don’t worry I won’t clog your inbox. 🙂

THANK YOU! You can opt out at any time.

To MAKE PAYMENTS  – Please either contact me to arrange DIRECT DEBIT or PAYMENT PLANS .


RETREAT DEPOSIT $200 to secure your place at any Relax and Write Retreat. Just make sure you contact me to check availability first. PLACES CURRENTLY AVAILABLE IN ALL LOCAL RETREATS. BALI FULLY BOOKED.

OR use the PAYPAL BUTTON ABOVE to pay your deposit for the next retreat.

Come along and join our merry band of mermaids and wood nymphs!

memoir writing retreats 2022


memoir writing retreats 2022

This retreat has come and gone. For all the fun, photos and a comprehensive rundown see HERE


Springbrook, Theosophical Society Retreat Centre . Gold Coast Hinterland among the big trees and rainforest with a view out over a secluded valley, and more peace and quiet and writing time than you can imagine. Heavenly! CHECK IT OUT HERE STILL A FEW PLACES LEFT!

memoir writing retreats 2022

Woohoo! You asked for it, you got it! Two nights weren’t enough for some retreaters, so due to popular demand and great good luck in being able to secure these wonderful just after Easter dates, we’re now offering this 4 night, 5 day retreat where the focus is on SOLITARY WRITING. I will offer two workshops, the first on arrival to connect like-minds and help people focus on their priorities, and one on the last afternoon to set intentions for our work, and ourselves, moving forward. We will also provide a supervised timed group writing room and Q&A sessions daily after lunch and a relaxation session every evening before dinner. Like all Relax and Write Retreats, PRICES INCLUDE ALL ACCOMODATION (in basic nun-style rooms with bathrooms shared between 2 women) AND ALL MEALS. Individual consults and feedback, plus massages will also be available at extra cost.

Contact me for the flyer and more info!



WAGED: EARLY BIRD $850, Normal $900

NOW OPEN FOR BOOKINGS. 15 participants maximum


memoir writing retreats 2022

Blissful Bali Writing Retreat

With  Kerstin Pilz PhD  and  Edwina Shaw

Oh yes! We had so much fun last year in Bali we’re doing it all again. This is not like the Bali you see filled with yobbos and noise, this is Bali at it’s beautiful magical best, high in the hills among the rice paddies, the sound of running water your companion as you write. Daily workshops, feedback, traditional blessing and massage, and so much more. Check out last year’s retreat HERE and find all the info and booking details on Kerstin’s site . BALI 2024 is all booked out already! You can join the waiting list or start saving your $$ for 2025. We’ll be back for sure!



memoir writing retreats 2022

Theosophical Society Retreat Centre SPRINGBROOK Gold Coast Hinterland

For a full rundown of this special retreat for those immersed in a major writing project, see HERE .

WORKSHOPS focus on feedback, self editing, structural issues, redrafting and the business side of writing. Best for those with a substantial amount of work done on a larger project or story collection. Glorious location in the rainforest with our own private waterfall just a short walk away. Fireside readings, and delicious home made vegetarian fare.



WAGED: EARLY BIRD $650, Normal $700

3 Workshops focused on THE SECOND DRAFT and SELF EDITING. Single rooms, share bathroom with one other woman. Great food!

memoir writing retreats 2022


memoir writing retreats 2022


WORKSHOPS focus on memoir, autobiographical fiction, personal essays. Lots of writing exercises. Best suited for those writing from life and those just starting out on their writing adventures. Come along and bring your writing dreams to life! A safe and gentle community to support you as you start. 4 WORKSHOPS! Get across everything you need to know to write your story.

Pay your deposit by August 31  for EARLY BIRD PRICES

UNWAGED: EARLY BIRD $550, Normal $600

WAGED: EARLY BIRD $700, Normal $750

memoir writing retreats 2022

Single rooms with bathrooms shared between two women 🙂

I hope you find a retreat that’s just right for you.  CONTACT ME for more info .

We have payment plans options for all retreats and if you’re not flash with cash, we’ll find a way to help you get there!

We always have a wonderful time! We’re a growing tribe of creative women. Come and join us!

Lots of love

You can book into any of the RELAX AND WRITE retreats for 2024 right now by dropping me a line and paying the deposit. Please specify which retreat you’re interested in. Participant numbers are strictly limited so I can give everyone the attention they deserve.

Contact me with your retreat preference and I’ll send you my details to pay by direct deposit – preferred.

Or PAY YOUR DEPOSIT HERE and email me with your retreat preference.

Come along and join our group of happy campers! Treat yourself to a retreat this year. You deserve some time and space for just you and your writing.

writing woman

Here’s what some of our retreaters had to say about their experiences.

REVIEWS HEAVENLY HOI AN 2024 Here’s what some of our lovely retreaters had to say:

“Regardless of where you are in your writer’s journey, this writing retreat is for everyone. Emerging, mid-career or professional, there is something to be gained personally and professionally. For me this retreat offered an opportunity to connect with creative and intelligent co-writers who share a passion for story-telling, in an inspiring location. The facilitators were warm, dynamic, generous, authentic and engaging.” 

“I loved coming together with diverse writers sharing our knowledge and practice, bonding and cementing lasting friendships for future writing adventures. I loved it! I feel so blessed to have been part of the 2024 Heavenly Hoi An Retreat.”

Helen Weder

“Edwina and Kerstin were great, expertise plus interpersonal warmth, enthusiasm, encouragement, inspiration and more! Nothing was too much trouble for the beautiful staff and the food was delicious. The other participants were so easy to connect with and the yoga was a great balance between yin and yang. Loved the excursions too.”

Retreat participant

“Thanks Kerstin and Edwina for a lovely, immersive experience. Great to refresh on some topics and get a new viewpoint on others. The encouragement and advice was so valuable and the companionship of other participants and the fun excursions and experiences in another country were the ‘toppers’ on a wonderful retreat.”


“As a complete “ Rookie”,  writing my first memoir, I found the retreat such a godsend. All the helpful tips,  such as structure, setting scenes etc. etc. has been an enormous help. The fellow writers were also very friendly and encouraging. The setting, the workshops and the great catering made for a thoroughly enjoyable few days. 

The day after I returned from the workshop, I wrote one of the most difficult chapters,  that I had been reluctant to tackle. Thank you,  Edwina for such an amazing experience 🌺”

Dolina  Somerville (memoir retreat October 21 – 23 2022)

“A life changing weekend. I’ve come back with such a different view on my writing and feel really empowered generally. I had reached a point with this project where I felt like I was stumbling in the dark, and this retreat and all the amazing women guided me to the light switch!

I will definitely be back next year. I aim to arrive with my first published book.”

Erin Benjamin (memoir retreat participant October 2022)

“Memoir writing is not my thing, or so I thought. After last weekend’s Relax and Write Retreat, I am inspired to craft at least a ‘slice of life’. Edwina’s enthusiasm and encouragement are infectious. Connecting with others who aspire to put their lives on the page and sharing our experiences became an unexpected joy.” 

Raelene Purtill (memoir retreat participant October 2022)

“I came on retreat not expecting so many experienced writers and was a bit overwhelmed at first. But everyone was there for each other. It’s always great spending time in groups of women. The yoga, massage and food were excellent in a perfect location. Even the weather was good!” (memoir retreat participant October 2022)

“Edwina and Gay made everyone feel safe. It made the whole retreat so intimate and joyful and when big emotions hit, the group support was genuine and amazing. I’ll be back!” (memoir retreat participant October 2022)

“Edwina’s ability to create a safe, nurturing space allowed us to improve our technical skills of writing, gain clarity about our stories and confidence to release our voices into the world.”

Dolores Cummins (memoir retreat participant October 2022)

“I attended the Springbrook Relax and Write Retreat on 12-14 August, 2022.  This turned out to be an amazing retreat. As a new author, I had no idea what to expect. I met the most amazing group of authors, ranging in age from 20 to me being the oldest at 76. They came from all walks of life and stages of their writing; and I found them very supportive. One of the highlights for me was Edwina’s assessment of the first 10 pages of my manuscript and synopsis. We had sent these prior to the retreat, so she could assess them ahead of time. Then at the retreat, we met individually with Edwina for her to go over her suggestions with us and give us a written copy of this. I found this very helpful, comments on how to change to saying what I wanted to in a better way, specific feedback, picked-up on two important things which I had not realised were not clear to the reader, use of conjunctions rather than two words so it read more smoothly, and very positive. I left the meeting with Edwina feeling excited to continue editing my book. Another highlight for me was the atmosphere. My life has included a lot of stress and the whole atmosphere at the retreat was relaxed and accepting. Each morning when I woke up, I simply felt peaceful. And I made friends who I hope to retain for a long time. I would recommend this retreat to any author. What a boost to my journey in writing. Thank you, Edwina.”

Patty Sierra (Feedback retreat participant August 2022)

“This was my first writing workshop and there was initially some doubt as to whether I should do it because I am only starting out as a writer. I went and found it fully rewarding. I felt like a valued member of the group, and to me these workshops are not just about the skills and connections but the journey and self-identity. I gained confidence and more clarity about my future direction. I highly recommend Edwina’s workshops.”

Nina Curry-Powell (Feedback retreat participant August 2022)

“Thanks for a lovely weekend Edwina! It was such a wonderful change from my regular responsibilities and I really loved the beautiful surroundings and being able to have long chats about writing with other kindred spirits. I came home recharged, inspired and wanting to do it all again.”

Nikki Mottram author of soon to be released crime novel Crows Nest. (Feedback retreat participant August 2022)

“Thank you Edwina for another amazing retreat. Springbrook was the perfect setting in the rain, with the wood fire, delicious home cooked vegetarian meals and a fabulous group of women. I was glad I sent you the ten pages, two weeks before, as it prompted me to get writing and it made what you were teaching more relevant. I really appreciated your professional feedback and after our session I felt more confident to share my writing with others. The gentle yoga and relaxation sessions were such a treat, as was the bodywork session with Monique. Definitely feeling relaxed AND I’m writing! See you again next year.” 

Catherine Eadie repeat retreater (Feedback retreat participant August 2022)

“Edwina is a passionate teacher and storyteller. She has a warm, down to earth way of connecting with people that makes everyone feel welcome. Her workshops are fun, creative and engaging — full of practical, helpful advice, and the deeper questions driving characters and story, making it ideal for writers at any stage in their work. I liked how Springbrook in the winter feels like a private retreat — tucked away in the Gold Coast hinterland, surrounded by national parks and hiking trails, with yoga workshops and the most amazing vegetarian food! Also enjoyed the late-night chats and readings by the fire, meeting and connecting with such an interesting group of women writers, who all shared a passion for great storytelling. I have to say that as a teacher myself, I am in awe of Edwina’s style of teaching and her ability to create a true, nurturing spirit of openness and community. At the end of the retreat, I felt connected to my work in a deeper way and like everyone else, totally inspired.” 

Rebecca Belfield-Kennedy (Feedback retreat participant August 2022)

Edwina’s Springbrook writing retreat has been one of my favourite creative adventures as a long-term writer. We received the time and space in a nurturing environment to unpack our stresses and expand our creativity into new areas. The manuscript development workshops educated us on structure, acts, scenes, and timelines to develop a cohesive storyline and how to pitch our finished product. In perfect balance, the time spent exploring the story’s meaning and the overall aim of our writing goals is focused warmly and gently on the developing writer as they remember why they love to write. My time at the retreat has led to a refreshed love for my writing and renewed creative energy; thank you for this opportunity, Edwina.

Angela Reedman-Polinski (Feedback retreat participant August 2022)

“A beautiful space of learning, reflection, sharing and mutual honouring of our stories.”

Retreat participant October 2023

“This had been such a wonderful experience for me. I love being in community and experienced wonderful community this weekend. The writing workshops were inspiring, exciting and ignited my creative side again.”

“Thank you for all the inspiration, warmth, listening and LOVE.”

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Memoir Writing at Ossabaw Island Writers Retreat, March 11 – 16, 2022

March 11, 2022 @ 8:00 am - march 16, 2022 @ 5:00 pm.


Join us for our 10th annual Winter Ossabaw Island Writers’ Retreat, March 11-16, 2022.

Work with one of our critically acclaimed writers in a workshop limited to five qualified participants. Each day, participants will bring manuscripts of their work-in-progress to their assigned workshop group where they will read, discuss and receive feedback about their projects from fellow participants and the assigned group leader. Workshop manuscripts should be limited to 12 pages poetry/16-20 pages fiction or non-fiction.

All work and no play make for a dull day–therefore, writers will have plenty of time to rest, relax and explore the island during the morning and afternoons. In addition, writers will meet with their faculty members one-on-one to discuss their manuscripts in detail.

WORKSHOP PARTICIPATION: $2595 tuition covers six days and five nights lodging, meals, writing workshops, one-on-one manuscript consultations with nationally recognized authors, craft seminars, readings, visiting agents and publishers, ferried transportation to the island, and special hotel rates for those who wish to visit Savannah before or after the Retreat.

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The 8 Best Affordable Writing Retreats That Won’t Break the Bank

memoir writing retreats 2022

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Gift a friend (or yourself) what writers want most: time, space, and a place to focus.

memoir writing retreats 2022

Networking, hustle, and industry understanding are unfortunate burdens of the life of a young and working writer. But trickier still is finding solitude. Privacy, quiet, and uninterruption are crucial to the craft; if solitude is one of the challenges of writing, it is also essential.

While residencies and fellowships are wonderful, most ask for applications and portfolios, and that can be prohibitive when you’re just starting out. Writing retreats are another means of getting away — and they can be done affordably, some even offering scholarships. Most bring together a small community of writers for a few days, so there is the opportunity for socializing and meeting the like-minded. Some involve travel to local sites or parks, or daily meetings to discuss the industry or the craft.

If you’re looking to get some peace and focus — or the best gift for your writerly friend this holiday season — here are some of the best writing retreats we found that won’t break your bank.

memoir writing retreats 2022

Wellspring House Retreat  — Ashfield, Massachusetts, $260-$280/week

Retired English professor Preston Browning is the co-director of Wellspring House with his wife, author Ann Hutt Browning. The Wellspring House is run exclusively as a retreat for writers and artists, and as such is open all year: winter rates (mid-November to April 1st) are $260/week for an individual, and $290/week for a couple. Normal rates are only slightly higher: $280/week for an individual, and $310/week for a couple. You can also choose to stay just one to three nights for about $60–$90 per night. Each stay comes with access to the large living room and kitchen, along with access to one of the two common bathrooms (in total, the house hosts about six rooms). And if you’re really looking to get away, this retreat will help you do it: while the house offers modern amenities like laundry, the website warns that the house has no cell phone service.

memoir writing retreats 2022

Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Retreat  — Colorado Springs, Colorado, $65-$399

The Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Retreat takes place in the foothills of the Colorado Rockies, at the Franciscan Retreat Center. Spanning three nights, it often contains special agent and author guests — in 2018, for example, Sandra Bond from the Bond Literacy and authors Heather Webb and Corinne O’Flynn will be there, leading talks and workshops, including a Publishing AMA by Sandra Bond. Residents can choose days only ($65 total, including meals), to stay and share a bedroom with one other resident ($299 total), or to have their own private bedroom for the duration of the retreat ($399 total).

memoir writing retreats 2022

God’s Whisper Farm Writer’s Retreat  — Radiant, Virginia, $195 + $25/night

At the God’s Whisper Farm Writer’s Retreat, writers stay on a farm containing goats, chickens, dogs, and cats. They can enjoy writing workshops, talks from writers, meditation sessions, open mics, and shared, home-cooked meals. All rooms have two bunks and cost $25/night, but if you want slightly more private accommodations, you can opt to stay at a nearby Airbnb or at Best Western. If you want to avoid fees altogether, there are also ten free campsites nearby. Keep in mind the $195 rate is an early bird rate; prices may go up if you book within about three months of the retreat, hosted in late June.

memoir writing retreats 2022

Kundiman Retreat, in partnership with Fordham University  — Bronx, New York, $375 + $25 application fee

In partnership with Fordham University, the nonprofit organization Kundiman offers a retreat for 36 lucky participants who apply. Kundiman, according to their site, aims to nurture writers and readers of Asian American literature. Keeping with this mission, top Asian American poets and writers lead the Master Classes and manuscript consultations at the retreat. The five-day retreat also includes reading, writing circles, and informal social gatherings, with room and board included in the subsidized tuition fee. Applicants can apply to either the poetry or writing track: as part of the retreat, poetry fellows get a free consultation on a 10-page manuscript, while fiction fellows get a free consultation on a 15-page manuscript.

memoir writing retreats 2022

‘The Moth’ Retreat for Artists and Writers , Cavan, Ireland, €300, or about $355 a week

If you want to submerse yourself in history during your retreat, try crossing the pond and attending The Moth Retreat for Artists and Writers, located at a house in Cavan, Ireland. According to the retreat website, Samuel Beckett went to school just a half an hour northwest of the home, while renowned writers like Seamus Heaney and Patrick Kavanagh all lived within an hour’s drive. The house itself is completely private, and includes a large studio, kitchen, and breakfast room downstairs, and a bedroom and bathroom upstairs. Fresh eggs are provided every morning, though you are expected to furnish your own meals. If you want to bring a friend or guest, that will cost you an extra 100 euros. Need a ride to the bus station or help finding other provisions? The publishers of The Moth are nearby and ready to help, according to the retreat website.

memoir writing retreats 2022

The Good Contrivance Farm Writer’s Retreat  — Reisterstown, Maryland, $550 for one week

Another solitary retreat you could try is run by The Good Contrivance Farm, and is hosted in a contemporary loft apartment in the farm’s main barn. The Good Contrivance Farm is a non-profit that aims to preserve and restore historic farms in Maryland. To apply, send in a résumé and writing sample (space is booked on a first-come, first-served basis). Once booked, you’ll enjoy private use of the apartment, which includes great views of the farm, a full kitchen, 1.5 baths, a small library, and free WiFi. You can stay up to 4 weeks, with discounted rates the longer you stay (going as low as $450 per week if you stay the full four — though add $100 a week if you plan on having a second person stay with you.) Proceeds of the retreat all go to the non-profit.

memoir writing retreats 2022

The Watering Hole Winter Retreat  — McCormick, South Carolina, $299–$399

The Watering Hole Winter Retreat is focused on building community among its 42 hosted poets. The retreat has no traditional classrooms, and aims to provide more publishing opportunities for poets of color, according to its site. Facilitators and speakers include renowned National Book Award winners, MacArthur Geniuses, recipients of the NAACP Image Award, and more. Interested writers can apply with a cover letter and three poems, and the site mentions that preference is given to applicants who are members of The Watering Hole Facebook Group and those who follow the organization’s Facebook fan page. During the fellowship, writers stay at modern cabins at Hickory Knob State Park.

memoir writing retreats 2022

The Mariandale Center’s Life Writing/Memoir Retreat  — Ossining, New York, $350

The Mariandale Center is a quiet spot in Ossining, New York that hosts retreats and other programs. Included in the writing retreat are daily workshops, craft discussions, writing prompts, feedback on writing, and time to work on projects. Writers can also enjoy walks near the mountains and river. For this particular retreat, which spans three nights, all meals are included, and writers of all genres and experience levels are welcome.

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memoir writing retreats 2022

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Focusing on your craft doesn't have to break the bank

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7 Writing Residencies That Are Family-Friendly

These retreats welcome writers who are also parents, by offering child care funding or letting you bring your kids along

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memoir writing retreats 2022


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memoir writing retreats 2022

memoir writing retreats 2022

Creative Writing Essentials with Steve Trumpeter (In-Person)

Join us in person! This class will focus on learning to identify and understand the craft elements that comprise the building blocks of compelling, engaging narratives.

memoir writing retreats 2022

Writing about Travel: Getting Started & Getting Published with Dipika Mukherjee

In this class, writers will work on narrative arcs in different kinds of travel stories, from the thought-provoking to the stunningly gorgeous, and will be expected to workshop at least one travel-related article during the course of the four weeks.

Get Your Novel Out the Door

Novel Foundations with Joseph Scapellato

In this five-session course, you’ll explore a series of important foundational elements of novel- writing—and you’ll actively apply these elements on the page.


memoir writing retreats 2022

How to Work Deep Material: Strategies for Ongoing Projects with Reginald Gibbons

This workshop is about acquiring a method for thinking with what psychoanalysis calls our “object world.”--both for the sake of beginning new work and revising work that could be taken deeper, and finding our way forward in work that's in progress. All genres welcome.

memoir writing retreats 2022

Dialogue Workout with Joseph Scapellato

This one-session course will take you through a rigorous but playful back-to-the-basics study of dialogue in fiction.

memoir writing retreats 2022

Manuscript CPR: Reviving Dead Work with Kat Falls

In this interactive session, we’ll go over how to see your manuscript with fresh eyes, get to the heart of what’s not working, and come up with strategies to fix it. This workshop is for anyone struggling with a messy draft or looking to revive an abandoned project.


memoir writing retreats 2022

PJ Seminar: A Master Class on Writing Suspense with Patricia Dunn

Suspense isn’t just for thriller and mystery writers. In any genre, in all stories, suspense is key to engaging our readers and forcing their hands to turn those pages.

memoir writing retreats 2022

PJ Seminar: A Master Class on Discovering Your Historical Novel with Samantha Silva

All writing is some mix of invention and discovery, but the historical novel demands it.

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Put your responsibilities on hold for a while as you join us on one of our many writing retreats. We’re pleased to once again partner with Ragdale, as well as various other organizations, to provide time, space, and inspiration for your writing. Our instructors and locations will change year to year, and we’re excited to continue to grow our offerings.

For over 100 years, Ragdale has provided the time and space for artists and writers to delve deeply into creative endeavors, and today it has a tangible energy that feeds your work from the moment you arrive.

“One of the unique features of Ragdale is its unbroken continuity as a center for art and creativity. It has been, without interruption, the home of artists.”   – Arthur Miller, in the Introduction to  Ragdale: A History and Guide  by Alice Hayes and Susan Moon.

Located in Lake Forest, Illinois, Ragdale has a spectacular setting that offers the best of nature and architecture. We are honored to partner with Ragdale to offer writers a place to retreat and workshop.

In 2024, we’re pleased to offer 4 retreat dates:

Feb. 19-24 (week long) – JULIA FINE April 12-14 (weekend) – TARA BETTS June 10-15 (week long) – MEGAN STIELSTRA & EIREN CAFFALL Sept. 23-28 (week long) – instructor TBD

memoir writing retreats 2022

UPCOMING RAGDALE RETREAT DATES (click each date for more options)

Special week-long master workshop: february 19-24, 2024 with julia fine (only 1 spot left).

As part of Ragdale’s series of Master Workshops, StoryStudio is proud to offer a week-long experience, led by Julia Fine . Spots for the retreat are first come, first served, limited to 10 attendees. Click below for different rooms and prices. Details on the theme ( “Trusting Your Instincts” ) can be found on each room page.

The Retreat’s Theme: Trusting Your Instincts You can read every craft book, follow every formula, and hew to every rule, but at a certain point as writers you will have to rely on your gut feeling. An editor might love a passage in your book, but something in you says it just isn’t hitting. Your intricate outline tells you to take the story in one direction, but a little voice keeps leading you off track. What should you do? How do we honor both the work and our feelings surrounding it?

This week, we’ll hone our instincts so that we can feel comfortable trusting them. We’ll look at how to set up for success with prewriting and prep work that still leaves room for creativity and play, talk candidly about changing gears when something isn’t right, and dig deep to find the truths we’ve been avoiding. Writers should come away from this retreat with a strong sense of how and when to follow their gut, and an assortment of tools to help them do so.

Weekend One: April 12-14, 2024 with Tara Betts (ONLY 1 OVERNIGHT SPOT LEFT)

Ragdale and StoryStudio Chicago are pleased to announce our first weekend retreat of the year this spring, April 12-14, with author Tara Betts. Spots for the retreat are first come, first served. Click below for different rooms and prices. Details on the theme to come.

Special Week-Long Master Workshop: June 10-15, 2024 with Megan Stielstra AND Eiren Caffall

Ragdale and StoryStudio Chicago are pleased to announce the second week-long experience of 2024, led by two instructors: Megan Stielstra AND Eiren Caffall . Spots for the retreat are first come, first served, limited to 10 attendees. Registration will open later in 2024.

Special Week-Long Master Workshop: September 23-28, 2024 (Instructor TBD)

Registration will open later in 2024.

If I could return to Ragdale for another StoryStudio retreat tomorrow, I would! It was the perfect combination of craft talks, writing time, prompts, community, student readings, time to wander the prairie, time to WRITE… Margaret G
THANK YOU for one of the most special, productive, joyous, cozy writing experiences of my life. Sunshine B.
Chef Linda was absolutely incredible. The grounds, facilities, and access to nature trails were amazing. The new Shearer studio exceeded expectations. Debbie L.
I loved that there was a LOT of independent time. How wonderful and freeing to let go of looking at the clock and just paying attention to my body and what I needed/felt in the moment. Julie L.

memoir writing retreats 2022



memoir writing retreats 2022

North Beach Writers’ Retreat

We are on hiatus for the summer of 2023, both in-person and online. thank you for your interest. check back for updates this fall, click on the links below for updated information.

We continue offering online classes, and we hope you will consider joining our growing community of writers to challenge yourself and focus on your writing.

2022 In-person Retreats

memoir writing retreats 2022

North Beach Retreats in poetry, memoir, and mixed genres are held at a lakeside lodge in or near Park Rapids, Minnesota. Participants stay at the lodge and the days are split between group instruction and private time to write, reflect, and relax.

“ The facilitators and participants were inspiring, knowledgeable, positive and encouraging for all. I loved the quality of the food, the extra activities, Itasca was a highlight as was the reading in town on Saturday night. “

Workshops (coming soon)

memoir writing retreats 2022

North Beach Workshops are one-or two-day classes and are held in Park Rapids, Minnesota. These sessions allow us to focus closely on particular topics and aspects of writing in the various genres.

“ I was impressed with the quality of instruction, the relationship of facilitators and participants. I’d definitely go again! Thanks for an inspiring and productive time. “

Online Classes

memoir writing retreats 2022

A number of online classes are offered at various times during the year, allowing participants to access both instruction and a community of writers without the costs or complications of travel.

“ The participants were an exceptional group and interacted well. LouAnn Muhm is a wonderful teacher/poet whose suggestions, critiques and resources are very helpful and approachable. She is encouraging of our work and very respectful when “mucking about” in our poems. I really learned the value of critiquing poetry and this is changing the way I think about my own poetry. “

Email [email protected] for information


LouAnn Shepard Muhm   is a poet and teacher from northern Minnesota.  Her poems have appeared in Antiphon, Alba , Red River Review ,  Eclectica , Pirene’s Fountain , and CALYX , among other journals and anthologies, and she was a finalist for the Creekwalker Poetry Prize and the Late Blooms Postcard Series. Muhm is a recipient of Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grants in Poetry in 2006 and 2012, and was chosen as one of two Artist Fellows by Region 2 Arts Council of Minnesota in 2016.   Her full-length poetry collection Breaking the Glass  (Loonfeather Press, 2008) was a finalist for the Midwest Book Award in Poetry. Muhm was awarded an MFA in poetry from Sierra Nevada College in 2016.  She also serves as an associate instructor of English for Lake Tahoe Community College in South Lake Tahoe, California, and taught poetry writing online for The Loft Literary Center 2011-2018.


Tanya Stafsholt Miller has an MFA in memoir and poetry from Minnesota State University, Moorhead and MA in English from Bemidji State University.  Her poems and memoir essays have appeared in The Talking Stick, Bombshells: War Stories and Poems by Women on the Homefront, Red Weather, The Minnesota English Journal and others. She won a scholarship to the Northwoods Writers’ Conference in Bemidji, MN. Most recently, she was one of twelve writers chosen to attend the Pelee Island Book House writers’ retreat with Margaret Atwood and Wayne Grady. She currently teaches writing classes in Park Rapids, MN, and is an adjunct instructor at the University of Minnesota, Crookston.

memoir writing retreats 2022


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Applications are still open for Arts Camp and Arts Academy. Programs fill quickly—submit your app today!

Writers retreat.

Why Attend the Writers Retreat

Nestled deep in the woods between two lakes, Interlochen College of Creative Arts' five-day Writers Retreat is a true writer's dream. Spend your days writing new material, attending presentations by award-winning faculty, and enjoying lakeside lunches and evening readings while making friends and connections in the literary world.

Select your concentration from four unique courses, each grounded in different craft concepts with an emphasis on generating new work—appealing to both advanced and beginning writers alike. Courses descriptions will be posted in December.  

Generate new material across an array of genres, or apply new knowledge to your existing drafts as you gain skills in the classroom and write independently during “off” hours. Attend provocative presentations by faculty, as well as readings by faculty and participants. Enjoy the beauty and inspiration of the Interlochen campus while making connections in the literary world that will last for years to come.

2024 Writers Retreat Faculty: 

  • Ignatius Valentine Aloysius

Patricia Ann McNair

Anne-Marie Oomen

Lesley Alicia Tye

Mary Kay Zuravleff

  • Faculty workshop descriptions can be found below.

2024 Guest Speakers:

  • Desiree Cooper

2024 Writers in Residence

Fleda Brown

Christine Maul Rice

Course Dates: Sunday, June 9 to Friday, June 14, 2024 Registration Fee: $695 Early Registration Fee:  $626 (Early Registration Ends March 1, 2024) Michigan Writers Registration Fee:  $600 Registration Deadline:  Sunday, June 2, 2024 Register Here   K-12 Educators:  Earn 22 State of Michigan SCECH clock hours by attending the 2024 Writers Retreat.

Anne-Marie Oomen and Katey Schultz ICCA Creative Writing Scholarship.

C. Joanne Grabinski established the Anne-Marie Oomen and Katey Schultz ICCA Creative Writing Scholarship to honor the founding Artistic Director of the Writers Retreat, Anne-Marie Oomen, and former Artistic Director of the Writers Retreat, Katey Schultz, in recognition of their vision and leadership in creating opportunities for adult writers to develop and hone their creative practice. The Oomen-Schultz scholarship is awarded annually to (one or more) eligible participants in the Interlochen College of Creative Arts (ICCA) Writers Retreat. The scholarship funds awarded will cover the applicant’s registration fee for the retreat. Award is competitive and merit-based. Apply Here

Gary Gatzke

Please bring materials to take notes and work on writing assignments. In workshops, you will usually use journals and pens, but a laptop can be handy during the week. A USB Flash Drive (memory stick) is also recommended. Printers and Wi-Fi will be available.

Conflict & Resolution Clinic with Ignatius Valentine Aloysius In this workshop, we’ll dive deep into the art and practice of writing compelling conflicts and exploring meaningful resolutions. We’ll look at examples in literature as we explore different conflict types, experiment with escalation, tone, and action (or inaction), and find strategies to achieve transformative resolutions. What is the right type of conflict for your chosen form, and can you tease tension within it to hold the reader’s attention to the end? Learn how conflict and resolution can help shape your characters’ worldviews and their outcomes for better or worse. All genres and all levels of experience are welcome. If Oscar Wilde once said, "The heart was made to be broken,” let’s find all that can embrace its true self.

A Sense of Place with Patricia Ann McNair “A place belongs forever to whoever claims it hardest, remembers it most obsessively, wrenches it from itself, shapes it, renders it, loves it so radically that he remakes it in his own image.” -Joan Didion. In this workshop, we will explore the impact of place on our narratives. From Grandmother’s kitchen, to newfound galaxies, to the colorful streets of Havana, Cuba, stories set firmly in the places they inhabit lure readers in and connect them with memory, metaphor, movement, and more. Whatever you are writing—nonfiction travel pieces; small town narratives; stories of journey and destination (imaginative or realistic); domestic, home-tied tales, etc.—a sense of place is essential to the creation. Through reading and writing activities we will discover new work and reinvigorate ongoing material. Open to all genres and levels of experience.

The Inspired Habit: Daily Practice, Experimentation, and Discovery with Anne-Marie Oomen How can inspiration be a habit?  Isn’t inspiration a moment of such sudden newness it is associated with life-giving breath—that sudden gasp of understanding? Oh that’s it! It even rises from the Latin noun, inspirare , meaning to "blow into, breathe upon. The word connotes light and flame, even inflammation. Metaphorically, the sudden understanding associated with inspiration always seems like an inhalation of literary oxygen, changing colors in the mind like oxygen changes the color of blood. Something coming to life.  Feels pretty miraculous. But what happens if, instead of waiting to be struck , we writers nurtured inspiration with daily practice and simultaneous experimentation? In this workshop we will consider how inspiration operates not as a rare moment of enlightenment, but as an experience we can build into our daily literary endeavors. I’ll be riffing on Twyla Tharpe’s book “The Creative Habit” but offering a twist toward the literary and the personal. We will explore how experimentation might help us produce new and exciting work. We will even take a field trip! For all levels of experience and skill, open to all genres. Special note: For those who attended Anne-Marie’s “Cross-training” class in 2023, some similar exercises may be explored again.

Adaptations: From Page to Stage & Screen with Lesley Alicia Tye: "The cinema has no boundary; it is a ribbon of dream." - Orson Welles This workshop is for writers looking to adapt their fiction or nonfiction to the stage or screen. Through exploration of examples and specific structure tools, participants will come away with practical ways to approach adaptations. Participants should bring work with them that they want to adapt, and will get a chance to work at both a scene level of adapting, as well as on larger outlines for full length scripts. 

Building Character with Mary Kay Zuravleff “The baby born to Alice had Paolo’s dark brows and golden eyes—surprising, maybe, until you remember that all humans look pretty much alike.” Edith Pearlman, Honeydew In this workshop, we’ll practice techniques for creating vivid and original characters. We’ll choose physical traits that help determine plot and resonate with the story; write believable dialogue that also reveals character; and discover character “tells” that show emotion like bluffing or betrayal. We’ll read, write, and share in a supportive environment. Come populate your fiction with a cast worth remembering!

2024 Writers Retreat Faculty

Patricia Ann McNair

Artistic Director of Writers Retreat, Instructor of Creative Writing, Interlochen College of Creative Arts

Anne-Marie Oomen

Instructor of Creative Writing, Interlochen College of Creative Arts

Lesley Tye

Instructor of Creative Writing and Film & New Media

Mary Kay Zuravleff

Ignatius Valentine Aloysius


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  17. Memoir Writing at Ossabaw Island Writers Retreat, March 11

    Join us for our 10th annual Winter Ossabaw Island Writers' Retreat, March 11-16, 2022. Work with one of our critically acclaimed writers in a workshop limited to five qualified participants. Each day, participants will bring manuscripts of their work-in-progress to their assigned workshop group where they will read, discuss and receive ...

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