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.
Why you might want to attend a writers retreat
Whereas writer’s residencies are mostly about working in solitude, and conferences focus on networking and lectures, a writers retreat falls 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, writing.
They’re often pricey, but some offer scholarships (so always ask!), or you could create your own writing retreat with friends.
And remember: A writers 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.
The 37 writing retreats below take place in 2019; they range in price, location and focus — so hopefully you’ll be able to find one that fits your needs. (Hint: Though they’re in order by date, many organizers offer multiple retreats. So if there’s a 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 — but not 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.
Lastly, the author of this post and the team at The Write Life haven’t attended the retreats listed, so it’s imperative you do your own research before signing up. Ask to see testimonials or reviews, or search online for blog posts by past participants.
Leigh Shulman invites you to choose your own retreat dates — and join her anytime in January or February 2019 in Salta, Argentina.
Over eight days, you’ll enjoy intensive writing workshops, yoga, a massage and a private apartment in a bustling city center. Up to three people can participate at once, so grab two friends and book a date.
Cost: $1,800 per person (scholarships available).
Run by the Vancouver and Victoria Schools of Writing and hosted by writing coach and author Kathrin Lake, this retreat is quite economical — especially for Americans.
It offers group classes and one-on-one coaching in writing and publishing. Dates include January 7–13, January 21–27, February 17–23 and March 17–23, 2019.
Cost: $850 CAD (~$650 US) per person (does not include accommodation or most food).
This non-profit program will hold its 16th annual retreat from January 10-20, 2019, in the Mexican village of Tepoztlán. The program requires a writing sample for admission, and also offers financial aid.
It’s intended for “committed writers with projects underway,” as you’ll attend six three-hour workshops — with master instructors — in fiction, poetry, memoir or journalism.
Cost: $1,895 per person (does not include accommodation and some meals).
Bring your partner and niños along on Julie Hartley’s creative writing retreat from February 9–16, 2019.
You’ll stay on a working farm in the heart of the rainforest, with easy access to both hammocks and hikes. Each morning, you’ll participate in creative writing workshops, and each afternoon, you’ll have time to write or explore.
The week begins and ends with public readings — which your family is welcome to attend!
Cost: $1,399–$1,849 per person (does not include lunch or dinner); $340 per child (if sharing a room with two adults).
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 from March 7–10, 2019, it offers workshops, critiques and readings.
The organizers promise you’ll “find inspiration in the natural beauty that will surround you.”
Cost: $299–$399 per person.
Located in a 17th-century thatched house in southwest England, this retreat center runs a variety of programs throughout the year. (And also comes with two resident labradors that you can walk through the countryside.)
Aspiring authors might be interested in the “Pitch to a Publisher” weekend from March 7–11, 2019 or “Developing Your Novel” from June 17–21, 2019.
Cost: £459–£545 (~$595–$706 US) per person.
Interested in spending a week writing on the beach in Isla Holbox, Mexico, while making friends with flamingos and turtles?
This retreat from March 10–15 or 17–22, 2019, features writing workshops, daily yoga, body work — and “a community where, regardless of your writing background, you can explore the story you need to tell.” The hosts offer a June retreat in Maine and September retreat in Italy, as well.
Cost: $2,200 per person (does not include some dinners).
On this retreat in the Indian Himalayas, maybe you’ll find the solace you need to finish that important project.
It has three sessions in 2019: March 31 to April 10 for all writers, September 30 to October 10 for fiction writers and November 15–25 for non-fiction and poetry writers.
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. Plus, all retreats are airport-to-airport experiences to ensure participants safety and comfort.
Cost: $2,500 per person.
At this retreat, it seems like you get what you pay for: intimate workshops and panels with famous authors like Ann Hood and Chigozie Obioma.
Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to explore the incredible country of Iceland. It runs April 3–7, 2019.
Cost: 199,000–283,500 ISK (~$1,644–$2,342 US) per person.
From May 15-19, 2019, Carolyn Flynn invites fiction and creative nonfiction writers to join her on a Kentucky alpaca and llama farm 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 will even get to spend a day at the (horse) races!
Flynn also offers a retreat in Ireland in late May.
Cost: $1,995–$2,395 per person (some meals not included).
This spring, Julie Maloney is bringing her women’s retreat to the Jersey shore for the eleventh straight year.
If you join her April 26–28, 2019, you’ll participate in writing workshops led by her and bestselling author Jacqueline Sheehan.
For a more exotic getaway, Maloney also has a June retreat in Greece and a July retreat in Prague.
Cost: $890 per person for a private room (does not include one dinner).
Ever wanted to add visual elements to your writing? This “creative exploration” retreat features a resident writer and artist who will guide you through sketches and journaling amidst the beauty of Provence.
You’ll enjoy organic meals, evening movies and poolside glasses of wine, plus yoga and meditation each morning. Two sessions are available in 2019: May 7–14 and 16–23.
Cost: $1,950–$4,250 per person.
Making its debut on the list is this affordable retreat in Brittany, France from May 10–17, 2019. It’s taught by two British authors and welcomes writers of all kinds.
The retreat will “explore boundaries and cross-genres,” allowing you to be “inspired by spaces where history and present overlap, where nature and urbanity co-exist.” It includes workshops, tutorials, writing time and excursions.
Cost: £560–£750 (~$728–$975 US) per person, with a 10% discount if booked before December 15, 2018.
Looking for a place where your “soul and creative spirit will soar”? Travel to Prague from May 12–18, 2019.
At this retreat, 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.
This company also hosts retreats in Greece in April, and Italy in March and June.
Cost: $2,050–$2,500 per person (does not include lunch).
Spend a week at a historic villa in Tuscany — complete with your own private chef — at this women-only retreat from October 5-12, 2019.
After morning yoga or tai chi, host Kathryn Kay will lead group writing sessions; in the afternoon, group outings to nearby towns and sites. In the evenings, you’ll share your work and reflect on the day (over wine).
Cost: $2,700–$3,000 per person.
What is it with writers and Greece? Something about this country and its magical islands must really inspire.
This retreat — now in its 17th year — will take place on the island of Andros from May 22 to June 2, 2019.
Hosted by journalist and writer Kathryn “Kitsi” Watterson, it features workshops in the mornings, free writing in the afternoons and group dinners each evening.
Cost: $3,000 per person for a single room (does not include all meals).
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, as well.
Or, if you’d rather work in a group setting, Coia holds retreats in Mexico in February ($3,000) and Greece in May and June ($3,900–$4,400).
Cost: $1,800 per person for three days.
Stay in a luxurious villa with views of the Adriatic sea during this retreat from June 8–15, 2019.
You’ll enjoy creative writing and movement workshops, hiking and waterfall tours, and visits to castles and other historic sites. This year’s guest artist is Rahna Reiko Rizzuto, the award-winning author of two novels and one memoir.
Cost: $2,675 per person.
Want to explore Venice while sharing stories and making new friends? Pink Pangea co-founder Jaclyn Mishal will lead this women-only retreat from June 19–23, 2019.
You’ll stay in central Venice and participate in daily writing workshops and tours. The company also hosts retreats in other countries throughout the year.
Cost: $1,040–$1,385 per person (does not include lunch or dinner).
Picture a charming mansion by the ocean in Newfoundland, and something like Ochre House would probably come to mind. It’s hosting a writing retreat from June 9–14, 2019 for writers of all stripes.
Under the guidance of “extraordinary” instructors, you’ll discuss writing techniques and tools, as well as “the place of writing in one’s life.” The application deadline is January 18, 2019.
Cost: $935–$1,250 CAD (~$715–$956 US) per person.
If you’re on a budget, keep moving down the list. But if you want to dream a wee bit, scope this retreat, which is held in a beautiful Irish manor on a 200-acre private estate.
From June 16–22, 2019, you’ll participate in classes with two authors, a life coach, a literary agent and a yoga teacher, plus high tea each day.
Cost: $5,199 per person.
If you’re one of the many writers who love to run, you might enjoy this retreat, which will occur June 17–22, 2019 in rural North Carolina.
After a two-mile trail run each morning, you’ll have a full schedule of workshops, critique groups, writing time and social events. The culminating event is a 10K race through the woods!
Cost: $2,499–$2,899 per person.
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. She has three dates on the calendar for 2019: June 28–July 6, July 25–August 3 and November 29–December 8 (plus a late September retreat in Tennessee’s Smoky Mountains for $1,250).
Cost: $1,495–$1,895 per person.
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 from July 1–10, 2019. You’ll participate in workshops, intensive writing and one-on-one meetings with industry professionals.
Cost: $1,895 per person for a single room.
Spiritual writers will love escaping to the pristine Lake Annecy from July 20–27, 2019.
At this retreat for aspiring book authors, host Debra Moffitt will help you “access your own inner wisdom and creative energy” through writing and meditation.
Cost: $1,699 per person.
Murphy Writing of Stockton University will hold its 10th international retreat August 1–9, 2019 in the coastal city of Dundee, Scotland.
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 over 20 hours of workshops, a session on freelancing, readings by local writers and an excursion to Edinburgh.
Murphy Writing also hosts a February retreat in Florida for $1,500–$1,700 per person.
Cost: $2,100–$2,300 per person (scholarships and early registration discounts available).
Itching to finally write that book? California sounds like the perfect place to get started.
Come with an idea, and you’ll get the “time, space and instruction needed to write and publish your book within a year.” This women-only retreat takes place from August 4–9, 2019. The organizers also host two retreats in France in June.
Cost: $2,000–$2,850 per person (does not include dinner).
This all-inclusive retreat will be held in Denmark from August 11–17, 2019.
You’ll stay in the shadow of Fredensborg Palace, a “magical setting” where you can “dream and create.” Both beginners and experienced writers are welcome.
Cost: $2,700 per person.
Travel with author and editor Henriette Lazaridis to her ancestral home in the mountains of northern Greece.
To apply, you must submit a 10-page writing sample. And before attending the retreat in mid-August (exact dates TBD), you’ll need to submit a sample for group critiquing: either 50 pages of a novel manuscript or two short stories.
Cost: $2,750–$3,500 per person (does not include all meals).
Let life on the Green River inspire your writing on this women’s retreat, which takes place August 25–30, 2019.
You’ll spend six days floating through Utah’s majestic canyons, going on guided hikes and writing under the guidance of Page Lambert — all while sleeping under the stars each night.
Lambert also hosts a Wyoming horseback writing retreat in June ($1,829).
Cost: $1,599 per person.
Learn to tell your story while escaping to the mythical Irish island of Inis Mór from September 1–8, 2019.
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!
Graham also hosts retreats in June and July, including one for memoir writers.
Cost: €1,550 (~$1,780 US) per person.
You’ll bike through rice fields, devour street food, complete daily yoga and sound bowl meditations — and, oh yeah, write — during this retreat in Hoi An.
From September 8–15, 2019, yoga teacher and writing coach Kerstin Pilz will guide you in group and one-on-one writing sessions — all while exploring “authentic Vietnam” to “ignite your creativity.” She also hosts a number of three-day weekend retreats for $650.
Cost: $1,650 per person.
As founder Malika Ali Harding puts its, “This gathering is designed for writers, book lovers, and foodies in search of communal solitude.” It takes place at a stunning lodge in eastern Sicily from September 13–17, 2019.
This retreat is more focused on activities — like horseback riding, pasta making and wine tasting — than on coaching or critiquing, but allows time for writing and reflection, too.
Cost: €2599–€3799 (~$2,959–$4,326 US) per person.
Because no one can get enough of Tuscany: Australian novelist Vanessa Carvale’s retreat will take place from September 14–21, 2019, 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 similar retreat in late April, as well.
Cost: $2,300 per person.
Find your words in a country that’s produced some of the greatest literary minds in history.
At this Donegal retreat from September 23–29, 2019, 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 Gaeilge language and Irish ceildhe dancing classes, concerts, an island boat ride and guided walk. The host offers more retreats in March (for travel writing), May, June and October.
Cost: €990 per person (~$1,128 US) with lodging and breakfast.
Boy does this sound dreamy! You’ll stay at a restored farmhouse in the mountains of Spain, enjoying morning hikes, afternoon free writes and evening writing workshops — all capped off with traditional dinners and wine.
The retreat, which welcomes beginners, is targeted at people writing a novel, memoir, workbook, online course or photography-based book. It takes place from October 6–13, 2019.
Organizers also host a retreat in Greece in June.
Cost: €2,100–€2,400 (~$2,400–$2,745 US), with a discount for booking before March 31, 2019 (does not include lunch).
Want to get away, but not too far away? Try this women-only retreat in Taos, New Mexico, hosted by author Jennifer Loudon from April 28 to May 4, July 28 to August 3 or October 27 to November 2, 2019.
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.”
Loudon also hosts a weekend retreat in Colorado in September for $1,800.
Cost: $2,205–$2,655 per person.
Which one of these looks most exciting to you? Which ones did we miss?
This post is updated annually. It was last updated in November 2018.
Photo via Pexels