25 Incredible Writing Retreats to Attend in 2016

Writing Retreats 2016
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We update these resources once each year, so you may find that some deadlines have passed. Click through to each opportunity to find the most recent application information straight from the source!

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

Most of them are in beautiful locations (where, presumably, your creative juices will flow more easily), and offer a combination of tours, workshops and interaction with a small group of writers. They’re a great way to combine a vacation with inspiration, networking and of course, writing.

They’re often pricey, but some offer scholarships, or you could always create your own writing retreat with friends. And remember: A retreat is an investment in your career, as well as a vacation! 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.

We’ve compiled a list of 25 writing retreats taking place in 2016. They range in price, location and activities included, so hopefully you’ll be able to find one that fits your needs. We haven’t attended any of them, so it’s imperative you do your own research before signing up!

Unless otherwise noted, the prices include workshops, accommodation, activities and most meals — but not airfare to and from the destination.

1. Writing Retreats in Mexico

Run by the Vancouver School of Writing and hosted by writing coach and author Kathrin Lake, this affordable retreat includes group classes and one-on-one coaching in writing and publishing. Dates for 2016 are January 11-17 and February 16-22.

Cost: $767 CAD (~$575 US) per person (does not include accommodation or most food).

2. Under the Volcano

This program will hold its 13th annual retreat from January 14 to 24, 2016, in the Mexican village of Tepoztlán. It’s intended for “Committed writers with projects underway,” as you’ll attend six three-hour workshops on a topic of your choice. For 2016, topics include memoir, poetry, fiction and cultural journalism.

Cost: $1,795 per person (does not include accommodation or most dinners).

3. Sacred Expression Women’s Retreat

We love the sound and attitude of Aimee Hansen’s women-only writing retreats in Guatemala — and we bet you’ll love the price, too. She has six dates on the calendar for 2016: January 30 to February 7, March 26 to April 3, May 1-9, June 23 to July 1, August 21-29 and November 18-26. You’ll stay at The Yoga Forest on Lake Atitlan and enjoy daily yoga, meditation and writing sessions.

Cost: $895 per person.

4. TLC Writing Retreats for Women

Want to drum up some courage to tell your story? Check out these women-only writing retreats, which will be held at a resort in Loreto Bay, Mexico from January 31 to February 6 or April 24-30, 2016. You could escape the daily grind, focus on yourself — and even go on a whale-watching tour!

Cost: $2,795 per person.

5. Visual Mindscape Screenwriting Retreat

This weekend retreat might be the ticket for aspiring screenwriters. It takes place in Malibu, California February 5-7, 2016, and is hosted by award-winning screenwriter Bill Boyle, who will guide you through his “Visual Mindscape” method of screenwriting.

Cost: $470-$565 per person.

6. Ossabaw Island Writers’ Retreat

For more than 50 years, creatives have traveled to this island outside of Savannah to seek inspiration. Past participants include Ralph Ellison, Annie Dillard, Olive Ann Burns, Margaret Atwood, T.C. Boyle, Rosemary Daniell and Alice Walker. The retreat will take place March 4-9, 2016, and includes workshops and manuscript critiques.

Cost: $2,400 per person.

7. 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 in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains March 10-13, 2016, this retreat offers workshops, critiques and readings. The organizers promise you’ll “Find inspiration in the natural beauty that will surround you.”

Cost: $180 per person (does not include lodging).

8. Iceland Writers Retreat

Though this retreat is expensive, it seems like you get what you pay for: Intimate workshops and panels with world-famous authors like Steven Galloway and Cheryl Strayed. Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to explore the beautiful country of Iceland. It runs April 13-17, 2016.

Cost: 247,105-272,000 ISK (~$1,904-$2,096 USD) per person.

9. Proprioceptive Writing Retreat

In case you haven’t heard of proprioceptive writing (PW), here’s an explanation: “Not formal writing, nor stream-of-consciousness writing but a regular, disciplined practice that can deepen attention and free us to think, write, and speak with strength and clarity.” In this creativity retreat April 16-23, 2016, you’ll practice PW while staying at a traditional Irish bed and breakfast. All your meals and use of the B and B’s five acres of gardens are included.

Cost: €900 per person (~$978 USD).

10. The Taos 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 Loudon May 8-14, 2016. 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.”

Cost: $2,030-$2,430 per person.

11. Writers Retreat Workshop

For over 25 years, this retreat has been providing an “Intensive learning experience for small groups of serious-minded writers who are committed to improving and completing their novels for submission.” On a private Texas ranch May 12-19, 2016, you’ll participate in workshops, intensive writing and one-on-one meetings with industry professionals.

Cost: $1,895 per person.

12. Yoga & Writing: Creating Fearless Flow

To any yogi who writes, or writer who yogis, this retreat might sound like a dream come true. Host and teacher Karen Kenney promises her “Positive, love-centered approach to writing” will help you quiet your inner critic and create fearlessly. It takes place May 22-27, 2016 at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY.

Cost: $820-$1,695 per person.

13. Skyros Writers’ Lab

Get away to the Greek island of Skyros to attend writing classes at the Writers’ Lab. They offer week-long courses on varying topics from June to September. You’ll start every morning with yoga, attend a three-hour writing class and then enjoy all the island has to offer. In this pristine environment, you’ll “Navigate beyond old boundaries and emerge with pieces of writing of which to feel proud.”

Cost: £595- £1245 (~$899-$1,880 USD) per person.

14. Tuscan Writing Retreat

This retreat is hosted by writer and teacher Cary Tennis, who worked for Salon.com for 14 years. Join him in June 2016 in Italy, where you’ll attend writing workshops and explore the medieval hill town of Castiglion Fiorentino.

Cost: $1,799-$2,199 per person.

15. Pink Pangea Travel Writing Retreat

Want to explore Venice while sharing stories and making new friends? Check out this retreat, which will be led by Pink Pangea co-founder Jaclyn Mishal June 11-15, 2016.

Cost: $895-$1,195 per person (does not include lunch or dinner).

16. Greece Writer’s Retreat

Julie Maloney has hosted writing workshops for more than 10 years, and this summer, she’s bringing her wisdom to the Greek island of Alonnisos. If you join her June 14-23, 2016, you’ll write each morning and have adventures each afternoon.

Cost: $1,995 per person (does not include lunch or most dinners).

17. Natural Balance: Finding Harmony Through Writing, Yoga & Music

Spiritual writers will love escaping to the pristine beauty of the Swiss Alps June 19-26, 2016. The retreat isn’t for working on a specific project; rather you’ll use writing and music to “Access your own inner wisdom and creative energy,” in addition to practicing yoga, meditation and breath work.

Cost: $1,295-$1,450 per person.

18. Creative Revolution Writing Retreat

Female travelers, rejoice! This women’s writing retreat is hosted by the Nomadic Chick herself, Jeannie Mark, and The Future Is Red’s Leigh Shulman. It will take place at a beach resort in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua July 9-16, 2016, and includes daily yoga, meditation and writing workshops — and of course, abundant opportunities to relax on the beach.

Cost: $1,899-$2,299 per person.

19. Get Away to Write — Scotland

This writing experience will take place from July 28 to August 5, 2016, in the university town of Dundee. It’s hosted by award-winning poet Peter E. Murphy, but is open to nonfiction and fiction writers as well. You’ll enjoy a week of writing and “Get to know the real Scotland.”

Cost: $1,995 per person.

20. Writers Who Run Retreat & Race

If you’re one of the many writers who love to run, you might enjoy this retreat, which takes place August 3-7, 2016 in rural North Carolina. After a two-mile trall run each morning, you’ll participate in workshops, critique groups and social events. The culminating event is a 10K race through the woods!

Cost: $950 per person.

21. Hamlet’s Hideaway

This all-inclusive retreat will be held in Denmark from August 14 to 20, 2016. You’ll stay at Liselund Castle, where you can “Let your creativity flourish in a historical Danish setting fit for kings and queens of centuries past.” Both beginners and experienced writers are welcome.

Cost: $2,500 per person.

22. Autumn in Tuscany

How does spending your days writing at a farmhouse in Tuscany sound? This retreat will be from August 28 to September 3, 2016 and includes writing workshops, daily yoga, body work and all meals (even wine!). While here, “You’ll be invited to awaken the connection between your life experience, your senses and your deepest writer self.”

Cost: $2,150 per person.

23. Your Beautiful Writing Life Retreat

Because we can’t get enough of Tuscany: This retreat will take place September 10-17, 2016 at a villa a few miles from the historical city of Florence. Though it doesn’t include lunch or most dinners, it does feature one-on-one sessions with both a life coach and a literary agent.

Cost: $2,137-$2,350 per person.

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

Learn to tell your story while escaping to the mythical Irish island of Inis Mór September 4-11, 2016. In addition to writing workshops with host Irene Graham, you’ll enjoy guided walks and tours of the remote island — and even a pony trap ride!

Cost: €1,195 (~$1,300 USD) per person.

25. Weaving Words and Women

This 12-day all-female Peruvian immersion will take place from September 30 to October 11, 2016. You’ll observe women weavers, inspiring you to “Open the pages of your journal and weave your own tapestry with words.” Rather than staying in one location, you’ll visit several different places in Peru, including the iconic Machu Picchu.

Cost: $3,500 per person.

Which one of these looks most exciting to you? Which ones did we miss?

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  1. Susan!

    Thank you so much for including our Creative Revolution Retreat in this list. I absolutely love the way you describe it.

    For anyone who wants to know more, btw, feel free to ask. Or you can also join some free writing webinars we’re hosting every week in November.

    People can sign up for webinars or listen to past ones here: http://creative-revolution.com/webinar-resources/

    And again, thank you! I am on pins and needles excited for February to arrive.


    • Thanks for sharing, Leigh!

      TWL Assistant Editor

      • Hi there,
        Cost is a problem with Writing Retreats admittedly! – not just the cost of attending one, but also organising one: the cost of the speakers, their flights, the accommodation (we rented a twelve bedroom house) and the catering (freshly cooked local food to inspire).

        At http://www.achapteraway.com we offer five-days full board and accommodation for £1000 in a manor house in beautiful SW France.

        Novel & Memoir course June 12th – 19th 2016, or Novel & Historical Fiction course, July 6th – 12th.

        HOWEVER, we are running competitions to offer TWO FREE places (inclusive of tutorials, food, accommodation, but not travel costs to France) to writers of talent and merit over the coming year and to start with, on the two courses above.

        The first two candidates of merit to submit work will win.

        There will be a reduction of £100 for any reader of this article.

        Please contact me for details and to submit your work. Don’t let the fact you can’t afford a retreat put you off – we are currently looking for writers of talent to introduce to our literary agents.

        We work with leading UK literary agents including Andrew Lownie and Jonathan Pegg, as well as many UK University professors and published authors of acclaim.

        Look forward to seeing you in France!


    • Another retreat to add is a brand new one coming to the scene in 2016. Writers Who Run (or Walk) Retreat in western North Carolina with a focus on novel writing. 5 days, 4 nights in woodsy setting with morning trail runs (or hikes), 2 morning workshops each day, Daily Mile Markers, 2 hours of writing time, and Roundtable critiques for First Page, First Chapter, and Synopsis. Last day finale is an actual running race on the trails! 6 miles. Non-runners will hike with each other and soak in the beauty of the forest. First year inaugural price is only $950. Includes lodging and all meals and race entry fees. Visit http://www.writerswhorun.com for more info and to register.

  2. Sucks. I can’t afford any of them.

  3. Carolyn Boyles says:

    The Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum and Educational Center in Piggott, Arkansas (yes, the Ernest Hemingway–he had a house there) holds three writers retreats each year. The instructor varies.

    The website is http://www.hemingway.astate.edu

    Hemingway wrote parts of A Farewell to Arms in his studio in Piggott.

    The cost of the retreat does not include accommodations or food. It’s cheap compared to those listed on this website and you don’t need a passport.

    For those of you who are old movie buffs, the movie that made Andy Griffith famous, A Face In The Crowd, was filmed in Piggott, Arkansas. In the movie, it’s Pickett, Arkansas.

  4. Patricia Patterson says:

    I have attended the TLC Writing Retreats and recommend them. I was lucky enough to attend three retreats in different places. I love getting away to write, learn, and experience the uninterrupted peace and beauty. I came away with a renewed confidence in my writing. Tammy Coia is an experienced writer and teacher who shares her love of life and adventure.

  5. Sorry to sound pathetic, but what about those of us who can’t afford to pay a grand or even a few hundred bucks? Are there are any free ones, especially for women who have survived abuse and/or are currently in an extremely …horrible situation? Are there any grants or ‘scholarship’ type programs? Thanks in advance….

    • Hi Eve — we wrote about writing residencies (usually low-cost or free) and grants for writers (money to fund your writing) in separate posts. Let us know what you think, and best of luck with your writing journey!

      TWL Assistant Editor

      • Hi Heather– Yes, retreats are usually pricey, but a good investment in your career. However, when you have to choose between paying your bills and going to a retreat, of course you have to be practical. I’ve put together several retreats that only some can afford. BUT I’m offering FREE attendance to 5 people for my Visual Mindscape Screenwriting Retreat with award-winning screenwriter Bill Boyle. If you’re a screenwriter, TV writer or even a playwright, you may want to enter for a chance to win this fantastic retreat. Here’s the link to enter: http://www.miaterratours.com/enter-to-win.html

    • Or suffering from Fibromyalgia or any other chronic pain disease. At least take a percentage off of their choice of retreat. I would love to go to Tuscany, France or Ireland. I just have a book inside of me that wants to come out but I need help getting the beginning down on paper. Or something like that. LOL.

  6. Are there any writing retreats held in the United Kingdom?

  7. Susan, thanks so much for including our “Peru Weaving Words & Women” 2016 retreat! I know that’s more than a year away, but this gives everyone a chance to save a little money every month. My 2015 offerings include the “Literature & Landscape of the Horse” retreat in Wyoming this June, and “On the River of Discovery with Women of Influence” in Utah, September 2015. Couldn’t pass up the chance to mention them. Thanks again, Susan! Page Lambert

  8. Just wondering if there is a workshop for poetry writers.

  9. Dear Susan, Here’s a link to the video summary of the 2014 French Alps, Exploring the Voice of Your Soul (retreat: http://www.awakeintheworld.com/#!travel-/c146f ). It gives a good idea of the place, the good food, and the diversity of the group.

    I’m open to answering any questions about it — or putting those of you who are interested and want to know more, in touch with some of the 2014 participants. The group bonded so much that we continue to meet by phone once a month.

    Thanks for including it in your 2015 retreats!

    Debra Moffitt

  10. Such a wonderful list and love to see my friends from Wide Open Writing listed here! Yay! Thank you for your consideration – I’d like to share that I’ll also be offering a week-long workshop at Omega in Rhinebeck, NY in May 2015: Yoga & Writing: Creating Fearless Flow. http://www.eomega.org/workshops/yoga-writing#-workshop-description-block

  11. Ooooh, I love this post!!! Incredible writing retreats. Here’s a great post on how to pick a great writing retreat: gatelesswriting.com/the-truth-about-writing-retreats/
    And I’m partial to the gateless method of doing writing retreats that include bodywork, fabulous organic food and are based on brain science that says in order to make our work soar, we need to learn where we shine, where the strengths are and how to lean into our innate talent. http://suzannekingsbury.net/writing-retreats/
    xxxooo, S.

  12. What about Yoga and Creative Writing in Italy with editor from going OM Melissa Carroll?


  13. Nice retreats for the Elite . Yes they can be valuable and helpful. But most of us are starving artists.

  14. Here’s another incredible writing retreat:

    “Writing at Sea” – Pangaea Exploration – April 4 – 13, 2015 – Dominican Republic to Florida

    ‘Writing at Sea’ offers the remarkable opportunity to expand your creative writing skills while sailing through some of the most breathtaking parts of the Bahamas. During this 10-day voyage aboard S/V Sea Dragon, you will be provided with a unique space to create new writing that cultivates an awareness of our marine environment and takes into regard the ecological challenges humans place on the oceans.


    This expedition will combine facilitated discussion; hands-on sailing experience; and practical workshops on writing fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, and environmental journalism.

    Pangaea Exploration is offering THREE $500 grants to writers to join the “Writing at Sea” expedition

    Writers participating in this voyage will also get the opportunity to submit work to the online blog of Whole Terrain, the award-winning journal of reflective environmental practice. Exceptional pieces of writing may also be chosen to be published in the print journal of Whole Terrain. Writers will also get the opportunity to publish blogs via the Pangaea Exploration website.

    For more information about the writing grants and to apply, please visit: http://panexplore.com/grants/
    Applications are due on February 14th, 2005.

  15. Writing in Ancient Ireland – with Irene Graham
    Set on the western shores of Ireland on Inis Mor, one of the Aran Islands, this Fiction and Autobiographical Fiction Writing Workshop and Retreat evokes creativity, the heart of your story…and your sense of self.

    Eat gastronomical delights, stay in high-end accommodation at the foot of Dun Aengus Fort, enjoy walks to ancient sites with a Celtic scholar, and let the raw beauty of this ancient landscape nuture your soul, and your writing.

    Another Retreat, Memoir Writing – is nestled beside The Cliffs of Moher, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean…you can read all about that here…

  16. Great list!

    I’d like to add the Mokulē‘ia Writers Retreat on the North Shore of Hawai‘i, May 3–8, 2015. This annual retreat is led by Constance Hale, author of Sin & Syntax. Lodging and meals are included in the cost.

    “The Mokulē‘ia Writers Retreat is an annual gathering that brings three dozen writers of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, essays, and memoir to the North Shore of O‘ahu for a week of intimate workshops and one-on-one coaching. The retreat is high-level and professional — but also low-key and tuned in to the beauty of the surroundings. We foster an exchange in two directions — between islanders and mainlanders, published writers and budding writers, Native Hawaiian artistry and mainland publishing.”

    More details are available on the retreat Web site: http://campmokuleia.com/retreats/writers/

  17. Wonderful list, Heather. I’m late to the party but wanted to let anyone interested know that we still have spaces available for the 2015 IRELAND WRITER TOURS, one tour in August, and one in September. These are unique week-long writers’ conferences facilitated by best-selling authors with private editing sessions, group workshops and classes, combined with guided tours of Ireland. It all comes at a great price that might cover an edit OR a vacation ($1,625 USD). Each tour is limited to 12 participants to ensure personalized attention. Further info on FB, Twitter and our website: http://www.irelandwritertours.com. Thank you.

  18. Barbara Barnes says:

    I know others have mentioned this, but..the prices of these things! How could struggling writers afford any of them? Seems a total mis-match between what is offered and the people who would need it. Just saying.

    • Barbara,

      You make a good point. I run the Creative Revolution retreat mentioned above, and we do try to make the retreats as affordable as possible. Most of the cost for us covers food, lodging and all the other extras of the retreat itself. It is cheaper than a regular vacation but still costs.

      That said, not all writers are struggling. Many, also, are transitioning from full time jobs to writing, so they have the income to support a retreat but not the experience of writing. For others, a retreat is a good investment for a career. A semester long writing class costs even more.

      But of course, retreats aren’t for everyone, and many writers create their own retreats, too.

    • Barbara,

      It is a big investment, but one well worth planning ahead for. I run the Rainforest Writing Retreat in Australia and I get a lot of writers talk about how much they’d love to do this, but can’t afford it. We’re all in that situation at times and my advice is to plan to give this to yourself one day (we also run ours at cost just to provide a service for other writers, but it is still a big expense). You deserve this. Maybe not this year, but maybe next year or the one after.
      You will make the most amazing connections at a retreat, and you’ll push your career forward. Every retreat would see success stories emerge from that experience.

      I really want to run one on a fancy train one year (a mystery retreat!), but it’s out of my affordability to set it up just yet (all these venues require big deposits), but I’ll work toward it!

    • I will agree and say that these retreats are [mostly] very expensive, as they do not include the cost of missed work, airfare, etc. That said, for most people, one of these retreats is a “special” thing and not a yearly choice. If you choose the right one carefully and do the work, it will sustain you for some time to come.
      I started running workshops this summer, and I’m always stretched between how much it is costing me and how much to charge. I have patrons who can subsidize my costs [sometimes].
      Recently I taught in Paris in a very prestigious location; I was aware that most people who attended did not live in Paris and had to pay for a hotel and flight, so I figured out other creative ways to fund the class.
      But a writing retreat has to make the instructor money too, otherwise they are just giving their work away.

      The best thing, I think, to look at are not testimonials on websites or ads for retreats that make you feel good–but retreats run by writers with accomplishments that you appreciate. Go look at what they have published–do you think they are worth what they are charging? Do you see a published platform and writer who you feel can lead you and teach you, and be worth the money you just saved and spent? If you don’t see the kind of work you’d like to be crafting–or at least enough work of quality to admire–then choose a retreat by someone else.
      This always helps me decide if a conference or other event is worth my time.

      Another alternative is to look at events run thru convents and monasteries or retreat centers. They often have lower rates, and include meals and rooms for 50-75 a night, which over a three day stay is very affordable indeed. Services are not usually mandatory and they have programs for people who cannot pay oftentimes.
      I’ve gone to some of the best classes in convents and retreats–and appreciated the quiet from the world.


      • Hey AGA,

        Lovely to see you here! 🙂

        I wanted to add. Yes, retreats like the one I run are more expensive than many other ways of writing. That said, we find some really amazing places, get good prices and choose our locations based on creating a retreat that is affordable. It is also going to be less than if someone went on a vacation to the same area and paid for food and lodging on their own.

        And as far as choosing a retreat. Yes. Choosing a retreat based on writers whose writing you love is a good guide, but it’s also important to remember that not everyone who writes well also teaches well. They’re too very different skills.

        In that sense, it’s important to find a retreat that has a philosophy that fits your needs. For example, our retreat caters specifically to women who want to start writing or step up their writing. Most are in non-writing professions, and many want to travel. We also place a huge focus on self care as a way to support creative energies.

        We’ve found, too, that once people join our webinars and get to know us online, they want to work with us in person. We give a lot of ourselves to the women with whom we work, and we love doing it.

        But every writers wants something different. We’re not right for everyone. But the women who are right do not regret the money they spend on our retreat. We work incredibly hard to make that a reality.

        • Hi Leigh,
          Well it’s certainly true that not everyone who can write well can teach well. I’ve thought a lot about this, having been to a few courses where the instructor was wonderful, but couldn’t help me get my writing plan on course. They are two very different skills, as you say, but personally, why not go for both?

          For myself, if someone asked me for advice, I would tell them their instructor must have a writing track history they appreciate, as well as testimonials of on their manner and friendly approach. That is the perfect pairing, in my view. One without the other means I might feel motivated but not walk out with a skillset I need. I ask myself: is what this teacher done reflect any aspect of my own goals? Can they give me the skillset to reach them? Have they reached their own? I want to get better. I want to walk out shining, which some writing in hand that I love.

          I agree that a retreat or course must also have a philosophy which suits your needs. There’s nothing worse than showing up to a yoga writing retreat if you hate yoga., or a retreat which asks so much of you creatively that you are too tired to create.

          As for my comments on cost, those addressed the comments I read–there were many asking what is less expensive. I’m sure every retreat on this list has done it’s finest to be economical, and they aren’t cheap to run. My suggestions were more directed towards people who cannot afford several thousand dollars to go write, no matter how much they would like to. I have supported your retreat and publicized it in the past, so I’m not addressing your retreat in particular–or really any retreat here in particular..

          Many instructors also provide short courses, or webinars–like yours. I have agreed to teach one workshop in Paris each year for practically nothing–it is such an expensive city; other workshops I teach are quite expensive. I like to provide a little something for free or very cheaply once a year.

          But as I mentioned above, self led retreats at convents, Buddhist centers, monasteries–or asking a few friends to come–also makes for a great retreat. A good friend of mine has a retreat at her house once a month for writers–everyone comes and writes. There are many ways to have a retreat.

          To combine a retreat with a travel experience is a lot of work. My retreats in foreign lands are in the thousands next year. As we both know, the cost of details, food, hotel–it is adds up.

          All the more reason to choose your retreat carefully: a teacher you relate to and admire, who writes beautifully, has successes you can apply to your own plan, and who you can lay your writing life down in front of with confidence that they will gently help you shape with it care….you’ll get where you want to go!


    • Hi Barbara (in case you’re still receiving these responses)

      I hear you, which is why we selected accommodation with a wider range of rooms (and therefore prices) for our retreat in Cambodia this year, which will be our second.

      My writer-photographer husband and I are hosting a 10-day retreat in late May 2016 Siem Reap, gateway to Angkor Wat, including almost all meals, all activities, experiences, tours, transport, guides, plus creative workshops, starting at US$1,200 – and I must say, participants will be staying in absolutely beautiful, intimate boutique hotel properties, eating in Cambodia’s best restaurants, and doing some phenomenal experiences, most of which they couldn’t arrange on their own. Some participants are getting US$700 flights so for US$2,000 it’s a bargain and that’s what we intended.

      We are not only covering writing, however, we’re covering writing opportunities, pitching, and blogging, as my husband and I have not only had a very long and successful career as writers for print (scores of guidebooks, including many first editions, and hundreds of stories for magazines, newspapers etc), we also run a popular blog, do online work (at the moment we’re doing a series of long-form narratives and video clips for the site of an Australian broadcaster) and we’re writing a cookbook. Writers who leave our retreat should be able to make their retreat costs back by publishing a few stories – and we’ll tell them how to do that.

      If you look at it that way, as has been said below, it’s really an investment and if you made the right choice about which retreat to do, and which is right for you, then it should be a good investment that pays off.

  19. Great list 🙂 I missed quite a few of these though (darn it!). Do you happen to have any other recommendations for retreats in Autumn/Winter?

  20. For those of you who are disappointed that they missed the past retreats, there is an amazing writers retreat coming up August 8-15, 2015 at the award-winning Jungle Bay Dominica which has been named among the top retreat properties in the world by Conde Nast Traveler magazine and Huffington Post:

    Unleash Your Creative Power Writing Retreat
    August 8-15
    Jungle Bay Dominica (in the Eastern Caribbean)
    email: retreats@focis.life

  21. We just finished our 2015 Rainforest Writing Retreat set in the beautiful Lamington Park in Australia. It was an amazing three days of super-intense workshops, gorgeous view, personal pitching sessions and loads of advice on writing, editing and publishing!

    We had an absolute ball and can’t wait to get back for the 2016 RWR!

  22. This is a terrific resource for writers’ retreats! I wanted to let you know about several screenwriting retreats I’m offering at Mia Terra Tours & Retreats (www.miaterratours.com) that may be of interest to your readers. Award-winning screenwriter and top consultant Bill Boyle will be leading Writers on the Water Screenwriting Retreat (a 5-day screenwriting voyage on a brigantine to Catalina Island), Visual Mindscape Screenwriting Retreat (3-day mini retreat in Malibu), and Nosara Screenwriting Retreat (at a gorgeous yoga resort in Costa Rica). Geoff Harris, former VP of Story and Writer Development at NBC, will be leading our TV Writers Room Workshop. Please visit our website for details. Thanks!

  23. Sylvia de la Sancha says:

    Thank you and looking forward to being on your email list :-).

  24. Hi Susan,
    Great list! I’d like to add one… I started The Phuket Paradise Writers’ Retreat three years ago in Phuket, Thailand. This year’s will take place Oct. 23-30. There’s still space if anyone can get away to write in paradise with us 🙂 You can find more information here – http://www.globalwritingsolutions.com/Writers_retreat.html

    Happy Writing,

  25. Hi,
    For those looking for a writing retreat immersed in an Irish cultural experience, you might want to check us out at irelandwritingretreat.com
    Looking forward to answer any questions you might have.

  26. Thought you’d like to know about this little gem:

    Writing With Care
    May 6-21, 2016
    Ochre Pit Cove, Newfoundland, Canada
    $675- $925
    Rates include accommodations and delicious, heathy meals with vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options available.

    Award winning dramaturge Lois Brown leads this unique retreat, providing one-on-one guided reflection and time to write in a spectacular and comfortable setting.
    Participants are encouraged to bring consciousness to the habitual in order to be open to transformation.

    Who should apply:
    Writers working in any field: fiction, non-fiction, scriptwriting, poetry, journal writing, academic writing or any one interested in exploring the creative process through writing. It can be very helpful for those who need to present publicly such as authors on tour or academics presenting papers.

    The Church at Ochre Pit Cove is a converted church that has been gorgeously renovated to include a spacious studio, living area and beautiful accommodations.

    Space is limited. Apply early!


  27. I’m so grateful to find the Women’s Sacred Expression Retreat I guide on this list as number 3! I look forward to meeting more amazing women to explore our truths and stoke our soul voices in 2016! Susan has mentioned dates for late January & March. I will also be adding more retreats later in the year, so do check in on my website (www.thestorytellerwithin.com) or sign up for the newsletter if your heart or your pen or your curiosity or your courage pulls you to join a women’s sacred circle!
    Much love xo Aimee

  28. Thank you so much for including our Visual Mindscape Screenwriting Retreat with award-winning screenwriter Bill Boyle as number 5 in this article! We’re honored!

    We’re offering a special holiday price for commuters. You can attend the Visual Mindscape Screenwriting Retreat for $275, a $100 savings over the regular price, if you register by Christmas. Go here to register: http://www.miaterratours.com/vm-holiday-special.html

    If you don’t live in the Los Angeles area, you can register as a commuter for this low price and then contact me at info@miaterratours.com to reserve a sleeping room at the retreat center. You have a choice of single or shared accommodations that include meals.

    Happy holidays to everyone!
    Diana Osberg
    Mia Terra Tours & Retreats

  29. Thanks so much for including Creative Revolution in this list again for 2016. Our 2015 retreats were absolutely amazing, and it’s even more gratifying watching our participants stretch their writing practice and publish their writing.

    And also, we just put out an early bird special for the Nicaragua retreat today! Depending on which room you choose, it’s 15 percent off the regular price through the end of January.

    Anyone interested can sign up at that price here: http://tinyurl.com/h5buupf

  30. I am running a reasonably priced novel writing retreat in France in June http://www.frenchgiteholiday.com

  31. Thank you to Susan Shain and The Write Life Team for posting my writing retreat – The Creative Writer’s Workshop: Fiction & Autobiographical Fiction (#24) in the 2016 list, most appreciated.

    I’m looking forward to welcoming another group of international writers to the incredible island of Inis Mor, the Aran Island off Galway in Ireland next Sept, to dig deep into developing your manuscripts so you go home knowing how to complete your novel. Of course the retreat offers a lot more in addition to the writing workshop….

    And you can also stay on the island for an extra week to work on your memoir in my Memoir Writing Retreat Workshop. In fact no one ever wants to leave this mythical island!

    Thanks again to The Write Life Team…congratulations on your website, you’re doing a great job! Irene G.

  32. If you can’t get away to attend (or can’t afford) a writing retreat, start one in your own town. I did! Three years ago I started the Annual Phuket Paradise Writers’ Retreat. It’s held the last week of October leading into National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). If anyone’s interested, let me know!

  33. Another retreat that has been running strong for three years is the WOWretreat. Week Of Writing focuses on picture books and is set in the rustic country setting of waterfall country in Helen, Georgia. Surrounded by nature walks through the Appalachian mountains and sightseeing in the sweet Germantown of Helen, this week long retreat features a strong line up of agents, editors, and authors. Prices are all inclusive. More information is available at http://www.wowretreat.net .

  34. How great to know that there’s so much creativity going on out there! I’m running creative writing retreats in a fabulous villa in Umbria with some of the best food and wine in the world. These courses are for that moment in your life when you need some real luxury and indulgence, mentally, creatively and physically. Accommodation, meals and all tuition and materials cost around £1850 for the week, not including flights. More formation can be found on my website at http://www.writemyself.co.uk

  35. The Salt Cay Writers Retreat May 23-28 takes place on a private island in the Bahamas. Students get individual feedback and group instruction from #1 NYTimes bestselling authors and top literary agents, along with plenty of free time to write in a gorgeous and inspiring setting.

    2016 faculty includes authors Lee Child, Tea Obreht, Ann Hood, and Lorenzo Carcaterra, and agents Jeff Kleinman, Erin Harris and Erin Niumata (Folio Literary Management) and Kristin Nelson (Nelson Literary Agency.

    $2,450 before Jan 30; $2,950 after.

    More information at http://saltcaywritersretreat.com/

  36. The Nosara Screenwriting Retreat will be May 7-14, 2016 at the beautiful Bodhi Tree Yoga Resort in Costa Rica, set on over 8 acres of stunning grounds only steps from the Pacific Ocean. This idyllic environment is the perfect place for writing, relaxing and renewing the spirit of inspiration. Info at: http://www.miaterratours.com/nosara-retreat.html

    Bill Boyle, award-winning screenwriter and master of visual storytelling, will guide a small group of screenwriters in a week-long immersion into the craft of screenwriting, with classes, one-on-one coaching and lots of quiet time to write. Bill has become one of the most popular script consultants in the industry. Creative Screenwriting Magazine rated him among the top 10% of screenwriting consultants. He lectures at universities and film schools throughout the United States and Canada, has taught at UCLA Extensions and is quickly gaining a worldwide following, with clients in North America, Australia, Germany and the United Kingdom.

    Package includes:
    • Screenwriting program
    • Bill’s online courses Creating a Narrative in the Here & Now and The Pulse of Dialogue (to take prior to the retreat)
    • Bill’s book The Visual Mindscape of the Screenplay
    • Round trip airport transfers from Liberia Airport to Bodhi Tree Resort
    • 7 nights’ accommodations at Bodhi Tree Yoga Resort
    • Daily breakfast, lunch and dinner (beginning with dinner on Saturday, May 7 and ending with breakfast on Saturday, May 14)
    • One group tour with resort transfer

    The cost of the retreat is $3599 (5% discount if paid in full at booking).
    Reserve your spot by January 10 with a $500 deposit (or full payment).
    Register at: http://www.miaterratours.com/register-nosara.html

  37. Thank you very much for including the Iceland Writers Retreat in your list of retreats to attend in 2016! I know there are (understandably) a lot of comments of cost here, and I just wanted to add that we run a writing competition to attend the IWR free of charge, and this year also offered an Alumni Award (funded by our alumni, but open to all) that was granted based on both merit and financial need. Our places are now filled for the 2016 Retreat, but we hope to be able to offer both of these awards again for the 2017 event. With thanks and best wishes, Eliza Reid, Co-Founder

  38. I’d like to throw our Tuscan screenwriting retreat into the mix. Been doing it since 2008 and our alums have gone on to win contests, get agents and move their careers forward. Would love to see some of you there this summer!


  39. These writer’s retreats are all great and taught by well-qualified writers.
    However, the one thing that virtually ALL freelance writers struggle with is selling their stories. Let’s face it: most writers prefer to write, but really suck at marketing.
    The catch is: If you can’t sell your stories, you don’t get to write them.

    Here are some details of my upcoming marketing workshop. It’s the only marketing workshop that you’ll find anywhere in the world. And yes, it’s expensive. Right now it’ll cost you just under $1,000. However, if you learn how to sell your stories, you’ll earn this back within a few weeks.

    The Complete Travel Writer’s Marketing Workshop

    Final Call: Holiday discount extended for 1 more week.
    We’ve extended the holiday discount until midnight, January 10th.
    This means you can still save $250 off the regular workshop price if you register this week.
    We only have 7 seats left so if you want to attend this workshop, I’d recommend you do it now.
    And since we really want to fill all these seats this week, we have one final offer: you can bring a friend for half price. If you register this week, that means 50% off the holiday discount – a huge savings of almost $500!


    Bring a friend for half price is perfect for:
    – Couples who want to work at this travel writing game as a team, as my wife and I do (as writer and travel photographer).
    – People who have a friend interested in getting into travel writing. Invite your friend and share the savings!
    – People who feel more comfortable attending a workshop with someone they know – here’s your chance to bring a friend or supporter.

    **If you want to bring a friend for half price, please email me today at PitchTravelWrite@gmail.com and I will reserve 2 spots for you and take care of the payment process.**

    After midnight on January 10th the workshop goes up to the regular price.
    Act now before you miss out on the savings!

    To qualify for the discount, you must be a subscriber to my free weekly PitchTravelWrite.com newsletter/ezine. You can subscribe here:

  40. Susan, thank you so much for this article, what a wonderful list! Those who are looking for the opportunity to discover the joy of writing (or perhaps rediscover it), in a beautiful little village in the Champagne region, along with a small group of other writers (whether experienced or novice) may be interested in my writing workshop/retreat, Writing from the Heart…in the Heart of France. I seek to provide a nurturing, nonjudgmental environment in which participants are encouraged to find “the time, the courage, and the inspiration” to write about “whatever is most important to YOU!” There are sessions coming up in April and May of 2016. Details available on my website.

  41. If you’re working on your memoirs or would like to learn how, I’ve put together a memoir writing retreat, Stories of Your Days Memoir Writing Retreat, with award-winning writer Jay Speyerer. Join us June 3-5, 2016 at the Ligonier Camp & Conference Center, in the beautiful Laurel Highland Mountains of Western Pennsylvania, to discover and begin to write the stories of your days.

    Whether you want to record a personal history just for you and your family, publish a book about your heritage, or do something in between, Jay Speyerer will help you uncover the key moments of your life (so far) and teach you how to get them on the page for yourself, your loved ones and posterity. Known as “Pittsburgh’s Mark Twain,” Jay Speyerer has been a speaker, a writer, a trainer, and an educator for more than 30 years, successfully helping people achieve their goals in memoir writing.

    For more information and to register, please visit: http://www.miaterratours.com/memoir-writing-retreat.html

  42. Being a part of a community is always great for both emerging and established writers. Genius germinates in groups – and fortunately there’s an abundance of Writers Retreats for every taste and budget. http://www.WriteAwayEurope.com offers Creative Writing Retreats in Captivating Locales in Europe (Spain, Greece, Italy, France & Czech Republic), led by published writers and publishing professionals, ranging from 1-3 weeks and regularly also offers regular merit-based Fellowship Awards. Writing is a journey – enjoy the scenery!

  43. UPDATE: Thank you for including our Visual Mindscape Screenwriting Retreat in Malibu as #6 in your blog post above. Several of your readers attended last weekend and loved this mini-retreat with Bill Boyle. Bill will return to mentor screenwriters in more retreats and workshops, including a two-day Visual Mindscape Screenwriting Workshop in Tucson (TBD in July 2016) and a magical screenwriting retreat in the “land of heart’s desire” at a gorgeous historic country house in Connemara, Co. Galway, Ireland, October 9-15, 2016. This retreat is already partially booked, and we’re only taking 6-10 screenwriters. Please take a look at the details here: http://www.miaterratours.com/ireland-screenwriting-retreat.html

  44. What a wonderful selection of amazing retreats/places! I’m actually hosting one in BALI in August 2016: http://soulcuisine.co.nz/writers-retreat-bali-2016/
    I hosted it last year and it was so much fun! Check it out – it’s very reasonable too 🙂

  45. We are based in beautiful Gascony, SW France and run literary retreats for aspiring novelists.

    Although we are a small company we are working with a team of highly professional literary agents, University Creative Writing tutors and published authors who are all widely known in the profession.

    We have two amazing courses coming up in June, run by literary agent Andrew Lownie, author Liz Jensen (whose book ‘The Nineth Life of Louis Drax has been turned into a movie) and Amanda Hodginson published author in 22 languages and fellow at Suffolk University.

    Each course is delivered by different tutors according to genre. See website for details.

    A small company, with a big heart- we offer a unique opportunity to have your book read by a literary agent and to receive a critique on your work in person.

    We would love to welcome you to ‘A Chapter Away’ – a creative break from your everyday lives.



  46. La Muse in the south of France is definetely one that should be on here in the future! It’s a fantastic place to get away and write, with no set routines and in the most beautiful and idyllic setting. John and Kerri welcome any artist, not just writers and painters and poets. They’ll welcome any kind of art from knitting to baking and cooking to Yoga and hiking . To book your summer getaway, go to http://lamuseinn.com/

  47. I have another to add! My writer/photographer husband and I are holding two retreats a year, following the success of our first last year.

    Our Cambodia Culinary Travel Writing and Photography Retreats will be on in Siem Reap (our home) in May and September each year. We still have some spots left for May, starting on the 22nd for 10 nights, and September is almost sold out, despite the fact we haven’t even finalised dates yet.

    We have decades of writing experience with a hefty body of work (Delicious, Australian Gourmet Traveller, The Guardian, CNN etc), a successful blog, we’re currently writing a cookbook, and producing a series of long-form narratives and videos on Asian food for an Australian broadcaster. I also have a decade’s experience teaching writing and film at university, industry and vocational levels.

    We’ve got an itinerary crammed with immersive experiences that are aimed to stimulate and inspire – from a moat-side sunset picnic at Angkor Wat to temple scrambles, market walks, cooking classes, street food tours, village visits, and countryside excursions, and a three day trip to Battambang. All activities enable opportunities for participants to get up close and personal and engage with locals. These are all punctuated by workshops and downtime to reflect upon the experiences – and write!

    I note the concern above about prices and we had this feedback last year, so we’ve chosen accommodation with a range of different room types, and therefore a range of different prices, starting from US$1,200 which is pretty incredible considering that includes 10-nights’ accommodation, all meals but two, all classes, tours, activities, and experiences, transport, guides, etc.

    More info on the link and then there’s another link with pics from last year’s tour -> http://grantourismotravels.com/2016/01/28/cambodia-culinary-travel-writing-and-photography-retreat/

  48. Writers might also be interested in La Muse Writers & Artists Retreat in southern France, where I am now. This is a wonderful and affordable retreat set in a village in the mountains bordering Spain, where writers and artists gather for one, two or three week (or longer) retreats in an 11th Century, 7-bedroom house owned by writers John Fanning and his partner Kerry. It is self-catering and we have the freedom to work at will, but with guidelines for quiet times. I love it here: it keeps me focused, and is inspiring, beautiful and even magical, especially at night under the massive stars. #lamuseinn.com #retreats #France

  49. Thank you again, Susan, for including my Visual Mindscape Screenwriting Retreat in your “25 Incredible Writing Retreats to Attend in 2016” article. I had several of your writers attend because they read about this retreat in your article, and I still get a lot of visitors on my site from it.

    I have recently re-branded as Mia Terra Retreats and have a new retreat website with lots of wonderful new offerings for 2016/2017, including “Stories of Your Days Memoir Writing Retreat” on June 3-5, 2016 in the beautiful Laurel Highland Mountains of western Pennsylvania. For info, visit: http://www.miaterraretreats.com/ligonier-pennsylvania-memoir-writing-retreat/). You may find my new homepage at: http://www.miaterraretreats.com. The old site will be viable for a while longer, but I am fazing it out, so be sure to bookmark the new site.

    Thank you all for reading this. I’ve enjoyed being a part of this community of writers and love reading all the articles.

    Diana Osberg

  50. I want to show my video experience from one volcano island in Greece

  51. Thanks so much for compiling this list, it is a great to get an overview of workshops in interesting places around the world.

    I would like to share an invigorating and nourishing writing retreat that I’m co-leading this fall in Umbria. It is called Women Writing Italy (http://womenwritingitaly.com) and runs from Oct. 9- Oct.15, 2016 We will be writing in an absolutely breath-taking hotel in the vineyards of Umbia, where you get to set aside time every day to finish that novel, biography, website, or blog; and then share your daily progress. We all have a writing project that we’d like to finish, this is the place to do it!

    Please contact me at aquaid@gmail.com if you have any questions.

    Thanks, Allison Quaid.

  52. I find it extremely hard to construct dreams in writting. However, immaculately tainted English is my birth right. I swear solemnly, I just heard Debra, Suzanne, Liz, Elizabeth talking about some retreats. Just like you all great people out there; oneday perhaps I would be able to send my second language English for retreats.
    My apology, I’m new on the block kind of nervous and sensitive.

    Anyway, hope you all doing fabulous out there. My first twiking, ” is that sound like my first time in blogging experience?”

    I’m O (not made in China but close though)
    I’m motivated. I hope publishers still funding rookies!


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