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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.
The 31 writing retreats below take place in 2017; they range in price, location and activities included — so hopefully you’ll be able to find one that fits your needs.
I 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 (often shared), activities and most meals — but not airfare to and from the destination.
This program will hold its 13th annual retreat from January 12-22, 2017, 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 2017, topics include memoir, poetry, fiction and cultural journalism.
Cost: $1,795 per person (does not include accommodation or most dinners).
I love the sound and attitude of Aimee Hansen’s women-only writing retreats in Guatemala — and I bet you’ll love the price, too.
You’ll stay at The Yoga Forest on Lake Atitlan and enjoy daily yoga, meditation and writing sessions.
So far, she has two dates on the calendar for 2017: January 7-15 and July 7-16.
Cost: $1,195 per person.
Bring the niños along on this creative writing retreat from February 4-11, 2017.
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: $1,345-$1,819 per person (does not include lunch or dinner); $290 per child (if sharing a room with two adults).
Want to drum up the courage to tell your story?
This women-only writing retreat will be held at a resort in Loreto Bay, Mexico from February 19-25, 2017 — and features more than 25 hours of workshops.
You’ll escape the daily grind, focus on yourself and even go on a whale-watching tour!
The hosts also have retreats in Greece and other U.S. locations throughout the year.
Cost: $2,795 per person.
5. Pele’s Fire
Experience the real Hawaii during this Big Island retreat from March 21-27, 2017.
You’ll enjoy generative and genre-specific workshops, guided conversations, readings and individual manuscript feedback, plus quiet writing time.
The 120-acre seaside retreat center features a pool and jacuzzi, and a “full”schedule” of yoga, meditation and movement classes (one per day is included in the price).
Cost: $2,295 per person.
This retreat might be on the expensive side, but it seems like you get what you pay for: intimate workshops and panels with world-famous authors like Sara Gruen and David Lebovitz.
Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to explore the incredible country of Iceland. It runs April 5-9, 2017.
Cost: 289,000 ISK (~$2,528 US) per person.
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 April 6-9, 2017, 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 (includes meals but not lodging).
On this retreat in the Indian Himalayas from April 9-16, 2017 or August 20-27, 2017, you might just find the solace you need to finish that important project.
Three published authors will guide you through everything from discussions to long walks, bonfires, yoga and pottery.
Cost: $1,150 per person.
Get away to the Greek islands from April 22-29, 2017, and “unleash your creative potential.”
At this retreat, you’ll enjoy writing workshops, one-on-one mentoring sessions and nightly group dinners, all while staying in a boutique hotel by the sea.
Cost: $1,495 per person (does not include lunch).
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 creative retreat from April 29 to May 5, 2017, you’ll practice PW while staying at a traditional Irish bed and breakfast. All your meals and use of the B&B’s five acres of gardens are included.
Cost: €900 per person (~$978 USD).
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 30 to May 6 or July 30 to August 5, 2017.
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: $2,000-$2,500 per person.
For 30 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 from May 6-13, 2017, you’ll participate in workshops, intensive writing and one-on-one meetings with industry professionals.
Cost: $1,840 per person.
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 22-26, 2017 at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY.
Cost: $820-$1,695 per person.
Itching to finally write that book? Paris sounds like the perfect place to get started.
This all-female retreat, which focuses on first-time writers, will take place from May 29 to June 2, 2017. It’ll include writing sessions, creativity sprints, and group feedback and support.
Cost: $1,695 per person until February 14, 2017 (does not include breakfast or dinner).
Let horses inspire your writing on this women’s retreat, which takes place May 29 to June 3, 2017.
You’ll partake in rides across Wyoming’s wide open spaces, and writing under the guidance of Page Lambert — all while staying in a riverside cabin and enjoying the hot tub and saloon every evening.
Cost: $1,725 per person.
If you can only get away for a few days — and are itching to tell your story — check out this affordable weekend retreat in the mountains of Pennsylvania from June 2-4, 2017.
Even if you don’t have any writing experience, memoir writing coach Jay Speyerer will help you get your story on the page.
Cost: $599 per person (price increases after February 2, 2017).
On this small group trip run by Lara Dunston and Terence Carter of Grantourismo Travels, you’ll not only dive deep into Cambodian culture — you’ll leave with a working draft and photographs.
You’ll travel through Cambodia from June 9-18, 2017, experiencing markets, cooking classes and temples, and writing and photography workshops, coaching and support.
Cost: $2,155 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 11-15, 2017.
You’ll stay in central Venice and participate in daily writing workshops and tours.
Cost: $895-$1,359 per person (does not include lunch or dinner).
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, 2017, you’ll write each morning and have adventures each afternoon.
Cost: $2,050 per person (does not include lunch).
If you’re one of the many writers who love to run, you might enjoy this retreat, which takes place June 19-24, 2017 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: $1,499-$1,899 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 15th year! — will take place on the island of Andros from June 24 to July 4, 2017.
Hosted by poet and author Linda Lappin, it features workshops in the mornings, free writing in the afternoons and group dinners each evening.
Cost: TBD (last year’s rate was $1,600; does not include lunch).
A “characterful manor house” in Southwest France will be your home during this retreat from July 2-8, 2017.
Two bestselling authors will teach you everything they know about creating a novel — from developing characters and themes to driving plot and narrative — and two literary agents will also answer questions and offer advice.
Cost: £950 per person (~$1,162 US) if booked before December 2016.
This women’s writing retreat is hosted by The Future Is Red’s Leigh Shulman.
It will take place at a resort in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua from July 8-15, 2017 and includes daily yoga, meditation and writing workshops — and of course, abundant opportunities to relax on the beach.
Cost: $3,800-$4,200 per person (price increases by $1,000 in 2017).
This writing experience will take place July 11-18, 2017, in the cliffs of northern Spain.
It’s hosted by award-winning poet Peter E. Murphy, but is open to nonfiction and fiction writers as well. It includes workshops, writing time and excursions to Barcelona.
Cost: $2,149 per person.
Spiritual writers will love escaping to the pristine beauty of Chamonix, at the base of Mont Blanc, August 6-12, 2017.
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 breathwork.
This year, host Debra Moffitt is also offering the option to attend virtually at an early-bird rate of $299.
Cost: $1,295 per person (increases to $1,450 after March 31).
This all-inclusive retreat will be held in Denmark from August 20-26, 2017.
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: $2,500 per person.
How does spending your days writing at a farmhouse in Tuscany sound?
This retreat is from September 3-9, 2017 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: $2,500 per person, with a $100 discount for signing up before 2017.
Learn to tell your story while escaping to the mythical Irish island of Inis Mór from September 3-10, 2017.
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: €1,295 (~$1,421 USD) per person.
Cruise to writing success on this nautical retreat from September 10-17, 2017.
You’ll participate in workshops, writing sessions and parties — and also make land in three different Caribbean ports: Cozumel, Mexico; Georgetown, Grand Cayman; and Falmouth, Jamaica.
Cost: $1,750 per person.
Because we can’t get enough of Tuscany: This retreat will take place in September 2017 at a villa a few miles from the historical city of Florence.
It’ll include workshops, professional development and coaching, and optional offerings like art and cooking classes.
Cost: $2,600 per person (does not include all dinners).
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 takes place October 27-29, 2017, and includes workshops, readings and one-on-one manuscript critiques. (There’s a longer session in the spring, as well.)
Cost: $1,095 per person.
Which one of these looks most exciting to you? Which ones did we miss?