10 Empowering Writers’ Retreats for Women

10 Empowering Writers’ Retreats for Women

Many women feel that their writing lives can be made all the more challenging due to their lives as women.

Perhaps they are largely responsible for childcare or housework, putting their creativity on the backburner; perhaps they were not encouraged to follow their dreams and skills in the same way their brothers were.

Whether that sounds like you or not, there’s no doubt that many women writers like the idea of retreating from their everyday lives, and focusing on their creative work with groups of like-minded women.

These 10 fantastic retreats happen annually (or many times a year), in a variety of North American and international locations. There are itineraries to suit all kinds of interests, and budget-friendly as well as more luxurious options.

1. Pink Pangea Travel Writing Retreats

Pink Pangea is a community for women who love to travel, and in addition to holding online writing workshops, they run international writing retreats.

While travel writing is the primary focus, writers interested in a broader range of genres are encouraged to attend.

What’s special about Pink Pangea’s Travel Writing Retreats is that several are held throughout the year, in different locations all around the world: Costa Rica, Switzerland, Spain, Israel, Greece and Italy.

The prices are a bargain, definitely making Pink Pangea retreats one of the most affordable options.

2017 pricing: Starting at $895.

2. Sacred Expression Women’s Retreat

The Sacred Expression Women’s Retreat is held at Lake Atitlan, Guatemala a couple  times per year.

The retreats incorporate yoga, meditation, and spiritual and creative expression. Participants don’t need to formally consider themselves writers, just be interested in self-expression.

The organizer admits that this isn’t necessarily the best retreat for those who have a single project they want to focus on during the retreat.

The setting for the Sacred Expression Women’s Retreat is peaceful and inspiring, with calm Lake Atitlan spread out below the resort, and the pointed volcanic peaks rising behind.

2017 pricing: Starting at $1,245.

3. TLC Retreats for Women

The TLC Retreats for Women are held in various locations like Greece, Mexico and throughout the U.S..

The focus is mainly on writing, but there are other activities scheduled, including sightseeing and cooking classes.

Shorter, three-day retreats are held in various US destinations, which may be ideal for women who don’t have a big budget or a lot of time for international travel.

2017 pricing: Starting at $600 for shorter U.S. retreats; $4,200 for longer international ones.

4. Women Writing Retreats

Women Writing Retreats are held in European locations, such as London and Paris in 2017, and Dubrovnik, Croatia in 2018.

While these retreats specialize in instructing first-time writers, they are open to writers of all levels, and can cater to different needs. A balance of structured writing time and free time is given.

2017 pricing: Starting at $1,795.

5. Page Lambert Retreats

Nature writer Page Lambert leads some unusual and adventurous writing retreats for women.

On the schedule for 2017 and 2018 are writing retreats with white-water rafting in Utah, horse riding in Wyoming and cultural immersion in Peru!

Each retreat has a different type of writing and artistic focus too, but with such amazing adventures on the itinerary, participants will no doubt be inspired in new ways.

2017 pricing: Starting at $1,725.

6.  The Taos Writer’s Retreat

Led by writer and personal growth pioneer Jennifer Louden, these retreats are mainly held in Taos, New Mexico, but also sometimes travel to Mexico, California and other parts of the United States.

Jennifer’s retreats are for writers of all levels who work in various genres.

Unlike many writers’ retreats for women that include daily yoga/meditation or activities designed to be therapeutic, the Taos Writer’s Retreat is designed specifically to help women writers hone their craft and work on a project.

2017 pricing: Starting at $2080.

7.  Creative Revolution Retreats

Creative Revolution retreats are held in Nicaragua and Costa Rica. The Nicaragua retreat is held at a private resort, so you know that there will be very few distractions to writing!

The philosophy behind the Creative Revolution Retreats is that all women have an amazing story inside of them.

2017 pricing: Nicaragua retreat starting at $3,800.

8. Hedgebrook

Hedgebrook is technically a residency, as successful applicants are given a free stay on the peaceful country property for a period of two to six weeks, throughout the year.

The beautiful cabins where the residents stay are on Whidbey Island in Washington State.

Hedgebrook is best suited to experienced writers or those who have a significant work in progress, as the application process is competitive.

9. The Kentucky Foundation for Women Retreats and Residencies

The catch with the Kentucky Foundation for Women Retreats and Residencies is that only women resident in the U.S. state of Kentucky can apply.

However, the retreats and residencies are open to women artists of all genres who are committed to feminism and social justice.

Participants are hosted in Hopscotch House, a renovated old farmhouse on a 10-acre property, a classic Kentucky ranch.  

10. Storyknife Writers Retreat

The Storyknife Writers Retreat is one to put in the watch-this-space category!

Fundraising for the construction of the six properties is ongoing, but Storyknife hosted its first writer-in-residence in 2016.

The retreat property is located in held in Homer, Alaska, and come with gorgeous mountain views.

As this retreat is not yet fully operational, no costs have been announced yet.

Whatever your motivations for seeking out a writing retreat, you will likely find one that suits your needs.

Retreats are an investment worth taking from time to time, as you’ll get a chance to reset your creativity, be newly inspired and meet good friends.

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17 comments

  • Gwynn says:

    Another option are the two annual retreats facilitated by Writescape (www.writescape.ca)in Ontario Candada. Spring Thaw Retreat (3 or 5 days) takes place every April and Turning Leaves (3 days) in October or early November. Includes optional workshops and creativity sessions and manuscript feedback.

  • I’ve been thinking about a retreat for a while… don’t supposed The Write Life could publish a list of for Men-only writing retreats?! 🙂

  • Thanks for mentioning Storyknife. This year we’ll have four month-long residencies. When we get all six cabins built, we’ll have room for 42 women writers each year! #WomensStoriesMatter.

  • Jill says:

    May I also suggest for women The Bali Triple Goddess Magic Writing Journey this May 8-15? http://www.BaliMagicWritingJourney.com

  • Aimee Hansen says:

    Elen, I opened this post to read it and found the Sacred Expression Women’s Retreat (my offering) listed among the recommendations. Thank you for sharing experiences that bring women together to explore through writing and empower each other with their voices. I’m very grateful that you included my event in this article!

  • Wan Bartee says:

    An attention-grabbing discussion is value comment. I think that you should write more on this subject, it won’t be a taboo subject however generally individuals are not sufficient to talk on such topics. To the next. Cheers

  • There is a wonderful retreat this year planned in the magical village of Lydbrook in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, UK. Sept 1-8 2018

    Participants will:
    Take part in one-on-one meetings with a developmental editor
    Enjoy author talks and daily workshops to strengthen your techniques
    Sit in on a published author & editor panel
    Writing strategies to be learned:
    Embodying the life of your characters
    Breaking through blocks using prompts
    Writing across genres
    Other Activities
    Work on your current WIP or begin a new one.
    Take a morning or evening yoga class amidst castle ruins
    Do some sightseeing,
    Have fun and Write! Write! Write!

    http://scribblersink.com/#/writing-retreats/

  • These sound wonderful! I’d like to add to the list, if I may, another source for women’s writing retreats is Spirit Mountain Retreat in Idyllwild, CA.

    On March 2-4, 2018, Katya Williamson is leading a retreat workshop titled, “Always We Begin Again:
    A Woman’s Writing Workshop of Discovery”

    Come share in the supportive group atmosphere of like-minded women who are also intent on learning to speak their truth while getting closer to their unique styles of writing.

    Spirit Mountain Retreat is an ideal setting for quiet contemplation and an intimate gathering of circle unlike any other in Southern California.

  • Loma says:

    May I add to your wonderful resource with another writing retreat for women only. A Writer Within holds retreats in a gorgeous villa in Tuscany. The groups are small, 8-10, and the instruction is outstanding. Kathryn Kay, author of The Gilder, has been leading writing workshops for women since 2001. Kathryn has a unique and effective teaching style that instills confidence and promotes growth. This retreat welcomes women writers of all ages, genres, and levels of experience.
    A Writer Within offers an all-inclusive, luxury retreat that includes unlimited inspiration and is worth every penny!

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