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 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 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 2018; they range in price, location and focus — so hopefully you’ll be able to find one that fits your needs.
Unless otherwise noted, the prices include workshops, accommodation (often shared), 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, I haven’t attended any of 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.
This non-profit program will hold its 15th annual retreat from January 11-21, 2018, in the Mexican village of Tepoztlán. (With some special festivities for its quinceañera!)
It’s intended for “committed writers with projects underway,” as you’ll attend six three-hour workshops — with master instructors — on one of the following topics: fiction, poetry, memoir or investigative journalism.
Cost: $1,895 per person (does not include accommodation and some meals).
If you have frequent flyer miles, this affordable retreat on the stunning islands of Zanzibar might be the perfect way to kick off the new year.
Taking place from January 18-21, 2018, it’ll use creative nonfiction and poetry to explore the idea of saudade, which the leaders define as “that inexplicable feeling of longing.”
Cost: $470-$550 per person.
Run by the Vancouver School of Writing and hosted by writing coach and author Kathrin Lake, here’s another economical retreat.
It offers group classes and one-on-one coaching in writing and publishing from January 22-28 and February 19-25, 2018. Once those retreats fill, March and April dates will be added.
Cost: $850 CAD (~$681 US) per person (does not include accommodation or most food).
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. So far, she has two dates on the calendar for 2018: January 27 to February 4 and July 6-15, plus two more in Tennessee (October) and Montreal (May).
Bring your partner and niños along on Julie Hartley’s creative writing retreat from February 3-10, 2018.
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).
This 10-day all-inclusive writing retreat in Southern India will give you time to work on your projects — and also to explore the vibrant local culture.
The price includes all meals (Indian food!), four writing workshops, a one-on-one session with one of the novelist hosts and three daytrips. It takes place from February 10-20, 2018.
Cost: €1,200 per person (~$1,419 USD).
7. Pele’s Fire
Experience the real Hawaii during this Big Island retreat from February 28 to March 6, 2018.
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: $1,195-$2,925 per person.
Interested in spending a week writing on the beach in Mexico, while making friends with flamingos and turtles?
This retreat from March 11-17, 2018 features writing workshops, daily yoga — and “a community where, regardless of your writing background, you can explore the story you need to tell.”
The hosts offer an Italy retreat in late April, too.
Cost: $1,850 per person (does not include some dinners).
Find inspiration and friendship in the redwoods: This newish retreat has sessions from March 14-18 or 21-25, 2018.
Both dates feature literary agents, yoga, organic meals and wine, as well as organizers who want to give “emerging voices in fiction” the “space and time to write within a community of similarly motivated artists.”
Cost: $2,347-$2,597 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 March 15-18, 2018, 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.
On this retreat in the Indian Himalayas from April 1-8, 2018, you might find the solace you need to finish that important project.
The organic farm’s resident facilitators — a psychologist and an author — will guide you through everything from discussions to long walks, bonfires, yoga and pottery.
Cost: $1,400 per person for a single room.
This retreat is on the expensive side, but it seems like you get what you pay for: intimate workshops and panels with famous authors like Lauren Groff and Hilton Als.
Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to explore the incredible country of Iceland. It runs April 11-15, 2018.
Cost: 299,000 ISK (~$2,842 US) per person.
Julie Maloney has hosted women’s writing workshops for more than a decade, and this spring she’s returning to the Jersey shore for the tenth straight year.
If you join her April 27-29, 2018, you’ll participate in writing workshops led by her and bestselling author Jacqueline Sheehan.
For a more exotic getaway, Maloney also has a 10-day retreat in Greece each fall.
Cost: $890 per person for a private room (does not include lunch and some dinners).
Escape to the charming Irish city of Galway from May 14-21, 2018, where you can work on the next great screenplay.
You’ll receive guidance from Bill Boyle, an award-winning screenwriter who will “teach you how to create a powerful, visual narrative that will viscerally engage the interest and imagination of your readers.”
Cost: $3,499 per person (does not include all meals).
On this small group trip run by Lara Dunston and Terence Carter of Grantourismo Travels, you won’t only dive deep into Cambodian culture — you’ll leave with “enough content to craft a compelling story, series of blog posts and/or a strong set of images.”
Dates run from May 20-27 or July 1-8, 2018, during which you’ll experience markets, cooking classes and temples, as well as writing and photography workshops, coaching and support.
Cost: $2,955 per person.
Itching to finally write that book? Croatia sounds like the perfect place to get started.
This all-female retreat, which focuses on first-time writers, will take place from May 21-27, 2018. It’ll include writing sessions, creativity sprints, and group feedback and support.
Cost: $1,395-$2,195 per person (does not include breakfast or dinner).
For 31 years, this retreat — in one form or another — has been providing an immersive learning experience for people writing novels.
It’s switching locations this year, and will be held on a 15-acre retreat center outside of Boise from May 22-31, 2018. You’ll participate in workshops, intensive writing and one-on-one meetings with industry professionals.
Cost: $1,895 per person for a single room.
Want something a little different?
Schedule your own private retreat with Tammi 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.
If you’d rather work in a group setting, Coia also holds retreats in Greece, Hawaii and California.
Cost: $1,050 per person for three days.
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 10-14, 2018.
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: $895-$1,359 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 10-15, 2018 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.”
Cost: $750-$1,000 per person (single or double occupancy available).
At this four-night weekday retreat in the English countryside, you’ll learn from novelist and screenwriter C M Taylor.
In an intimate setting, you’ll have classes that focus on all aspects of scriptwriting: genre, theme, act structure, character arc, dialogue and action. It takes place from June 18-22, 2018.
Cost: £595-£625 per person ($784-$824 US) for a single room.
If you’re one of the many writers who love to run, you might enjoy this retreat, which will occur June 25-30, 2018 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 16th year — will take place on the island of Andros from June 27 to July 7, 2018.
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: TBD (2016’s rate was $1,600; does not include lunch).
Spiritual writers will love escaping to the pristine Lake Annecy from July 1-8, 2018.
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: €1,299 (~$1,538 US) per person (increases after March 31).
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 7-14, 2018 and includes daily yoga, meditation and writing workshops, an in-room massage — and of course, abundant opportunities to relax on the beach.
Cost: $2,500-$3,800 per person.
Aimed at fiction writers, memoirists and poets, this retreat will take place July 7-14, 2018 near a quiet lake in Wales.
It’s hosted by award-winning authors Peter E. Murphy, Roberta Clipper and Christine E. Salvatore and includes over 20 hours of workshops, guidance on publishing, organic meals and trips to castles and the coast.
Cost: $1,920-$2,295 per person.
Travel with author and editor Henriette Lazaridis to her ancestral home in the mountains of northern Greece.
Before the workshop from July 16-21, 2018, you’ll need to submit a sample for group critiquing: either 50 pages of a novel manuscript or two short stories. You’ll also need to apply to the workshop with a 10-page writing sample.
Cost: $3,250 per person (does not include breakfast or most dinners).
This all-inclusive retreat will be held in Denmark from August 12-18, 2018.
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.
Let life on the Green River inspire your writing on this women’s retreat, which takes place August 27 to September 1, 2018.
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.
Cost: $1,899 per person.
Learn to tell your story while escaping to the mythical Irish island of Inis Mór from September 7-14, 2018.
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 other retreats throughout the year, including one for memoir writers.
Cost: €1,550 (~$1,361 US) per person.
Looking for a “truly idyllic environment to hone your writing talent”? Travel to Tuscany from September 15-22, 2018.
At this retreat, you’ll enjoy writing workshops, one-on-one mentoring sessions and nightly social hours, all while staying in a 17th century Italian manor.
This company also hosts retreats in Venice, Prague and southwest France earlier in the year.
Cost: $1,850-$2,400 per person (does not include lunch).
You’ll bike through rice fields, devour street food, complete daily yoga and sound bowl meditations — and, oh yeah, write — during this retreat outside Hoi An.
From September 21-28, 2018, yoga teacher and writing coach Kerstin Pilz, PhD, will guide you in group and one-on-one writing sessions — all while exploring “authentic Vietnam” to “ignite your creativity.”
Cost: $1,550 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 24-30, 2018, 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.
Cost: €990 per person (~$1,173 US) with lodging and breakfast.
Because we can’t get enough of Tuscany: Vanessa Carvale’s retreat will take place from September 24 to October 1, 2018, at a villa a few miles from the historical city of Florence.
It’ll include workshops, one-on-one coaching and even an on-site pasta making class.
The host also holds two retreats in Australia.
Cost: $2,895-$3,095 AUD (~$2,279-$2,436 US) per person (prices increase November 15, 2017).
Cruise to writing success on this nautical retreat from October 13-20, 2018.
You’ll participate in workshops, writing sessions and parties, network with an agent and editor — and also make land in three different Caribbean ports: Cozumel, Mexico; Georgetown, Grand Cayman; and Ochos Rios, Jamaica.
Cost: $1,750 per person.
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 in October 2018 and includes workshops, readings and one-on-one manuscript critiques. There’s a longer session in the spring, as well.
Cost: TBD (last year’s rate was $1,095 per person).
Want to get away, but not too far away? Try this women-only retreat in Taos, New Mexico, hosted by author Jennifer Loudon from October 28 to November 3 (who also hosts additional sessions in the spring and summer).
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: $2,155-$2,555 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 2017.