Day Places now available on our Tutored Writing Retreat
Tutor : Dr Alice Little
Dates : Tuesday 12th September to Sunday 17th September 2023
Location : Nutsford House, Exmoor
For further information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Develop your voice and get inspired to write at this guided writing retreat in the homely, beautiful surroundings of Nutsford House on the edge of Exmoor. Workshops and support from tutor Alice Little, combined with acres of inspirational private gardens and woodland as well as the rugged beauty of Exmoor itself, will give you both the ideas and the motivation to write. Workshops will be low pressure, accommodating and nurturing so that you feel able to produce your best work. They’ll also cover a variety of techniques so you develop a range of writing skills. You’ll leave this week with the seeds of many pieces and the foundations of a writing practice to enjoy for a long time.
We have two non-residential places available. These include the full workshop programme, personal feedback from Alice our tutor and a dedicated space to write in the afternoons aided by a delicious homemade lunch, coffee and cake. Day places are 9.30am to 6pm, with a 9am start on the first day (Wednesday). You are welcome to join the group for a meal at a local pub (not included in the price) and are invited to stay for dinner on Saturday evening with our guest speaker.
The group will be small and supportive (max 7 people). Please get in touch if you would like to discuss taking part or if you have any particular requirements.
Alice is an experienced tutor and author of short fiction. She has had five collections of short stories published and has a sixth collection due out in 2023 from Holywell Press. She teaches creative writing for Exeter College and Lady Margaret Hall at the University of Oxford, is a mentor at Oxford Writing Mentors, and runs workshops for Didcot Writers, Blewbury Writers, and Meeting Minds at Oxford University.
In the beautiful surroundings of Nutsford House, it makes sense that we should think about how we can bring the natural world into our writing. This is one of Alice's favourite themes, and one she has explored with many writers over the last three years as Writer in Residence at Wytham Woods. Since taking up this residency in 2020 Alice has been exploring how to use the natural world as both a setting and to drive plot in fiction, and has taught workshops on how to bring climate change into all kinds of stories without the text becoming didactic.
In addition to writing fiction, Alice is a researcher in music history at the University of Oxford and works with the Oxford Centre for Life-Writing at Wolfson College. There, she regularly runs workshops on writing memoir, creative non-fiction, and using diaries and other forms in both fiction and non-fiction writing. She is looking forward to working with participants on the retreat to develop their own projects and ideas.
Nutsford House is a peaceful haven for writing. It is also Amanda and James’ home which they share on a permanent basis with their dog, two cats and a library of books, and on a temporary basis with Bed and Breakfast guests. So, they enjoy welcoming visitors and making them feel at home.
Nestled in the Brockey Valley on the edge of Exmoor, this 1920s house has been recently restored to combine its original grandeur with 21st century convenience. It stands in 10 acres of landscaped gardens and private woodland, tucked in amongst trees and babbling streams, with the wilds of Exmoor rising above it.
The south facing, light-filled house has five bedrooms and three bathrooms, and there is plenty of space throughout the house to relax and write. The dining room serves both as a grand venue for communal dining and a space for collaborative workshops. The library is a quiet spot for reading or writing
And, if you can’t find inspiration in the house, the grounds are all yours to explore. The landscaped gardens are a delight for horticulturists and the woodland a calm escape for wildlife enthusiasts. During your stay, you are bound to see our amazing red deer who regularly pass through the woods.
There is walking right from the front door and the small town of Dulverton is only a couple of miles away, where you’ll find shops, pubs, two bookshops and a wellbeing centre.
With guest speaker Hazel Prior
Hazel is the author of three novels with her fourth book due out the week of our retreat! Her second book Away with the Penguins was selected by BBC Radio 2’s Book Club and Richard & Judy’s Book Club and it is a number one bestseller in ebook and audiobook. Her books have been translated into 18 foreign languages. Hazel’s work is inspired by her love of nature and both her first and forthcoming novel are set here on Exmoor.
We are delighted that Hazel is joining us for an informal dinner. She will read us an extract from her new novel Life and Otter Miracles, share her journey as a writer and answer questions. Hazel says “It took me ages to actually write my first novel and even more ages to get it published, but that is apparently normal. Three books in and I am still amazed that this dream came true.”
You can read more at hazelprior.co.uk where you can also pre-order Hazel’s new book.
£325 for day places (available)
£695 for bed and breakfast at nearby Middle Upcott Farm B&B (available)
£695 for a single room with double bed in the house (fully booked)
Course at a glance
Arrive in the afternoon, settle in, enjoy dinner together and the tutor’s introduction to the week.
Morning workshops led by tutor. Afternoons are your time for writing. Late afternoon trip to bookshops in Dulverton. Dinner in the evening.
Morning workshops led by tutor. Afternoons are your time for writing. Late afternoon one to one tutorials at Nutsford House. Dinner in pub in Dulverton (at own expense).
Morning workshops led by tutor. Afternoons are your time for writing. Late afternoon trip up onto the moor. Dinner in the evening.
Tutor leads the final workshops in the morning. Afternoons are for your own writing. More one-to-one tutorials in the late afternoon. Everyone gathers in the evening for a final dinner with guest speaker Hazel Prior who will read from her new novel and answer questions from the group.
The week comes to a close after breakfast - departures by 11am.
Course in detail
14.00 to 16.00 - Arrival. We’ll show you to your rooms and offer light refreshments.
16.15 - Welcome talk from your hosts, Amanda and James. This will cover practical and domestic arrangements for the week
17.30 - First group workshop. Your tutor will introduce herself and outline plans for the week.
19.00 - Dinner
The rest of the evening is free for you to relax and prepare for the week ahead.