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(accommodation suggestions to suit a range of budgets can be provided )


2019 dates will be available soon 

A Deposit of 30% now will secure your place.

Our distinctive approach is a combination of formal classroom teaching, together with personalised coaching specific to your writing project.

The cost of this exclusive retreat is £250, which includes the course fee, museum entry, all refreshments and lunches during the day, Buffet Supper on Monday 18th and Celebration Dinner on Thursday 21st. 

Travel to York, and accommodation are not included. Contact us for recommended places to stay.

Absolute Maximum of 12 places

Monday evening

6pm - 8.30pm. Welcome Meeting followed by a drinks reception and buffet supper. A chance to meet guest local writers 


9am-12noon. Visit to local Museum, including a curator talk, time for research and exploration to generate ideas for writing. 

Lunch 12.30 at York Explore library.

1.30pm-5pm (with breaks): Structured workshop, using material gathered earlier in the day. Free time for writing and one-to-one tutoring sessions. Readback and review session.

Evening is free for participants to enjoy the city.

Wednesday and Thursday

9am-12noon: Workshop session, investigating aspects of writing, including character, genre and story structure.

Lunch 12.30 at York Explore library

1.30pm-5pm (with breaks): Free time for writing, followed by one-to-one sessions with your tutor. Feedback and review session.
Wednesday evening is free.

Thursday evening: Midsummer Celebration Dinner at Rowntree Park Library.

Clara Challoner Walker

After a high-flying career in banking and with IBM, including postings in the Middle East, Clara focused on her lifelong passion for writing. She published her novel A Tapestry of Vice and Virtue and launched it at The York Literature Festival in 2015. She met fellow tutor Janet Dean on the Masters’ Course in Creative Writing at York St John University where they developed the Awakening The Writer Within concept.

Clara says: "Our approach is based on a coaching style. We help people discover what's inside and how to put it on paper. Over the past three years together, we have proved that we really can get people writing.”

Janet Dean

Janet had a long career in the public sector as an Executive Director working in London and Yorkshire. In 2005 she co-founded the Dean Knight Partnership which offers specialist advice for historic building projects and management consultancy. A member of York Stanza poetry workshop, and of the York Branch of Script Yorkshire, her novel The Peacemaker will be published in 2019 by Top Hat Books.

Janet says: "It's an understatement to say that we are very excited about the course on offer. We are also proud to be developing a group of writers who have attended our courses. By taking part, people will be joining our growing, supportive community."


Our retreats are held in the centre of the City of York in a historic, heritage location. The retreat location will be within a short walk of our selected restaurants and suggested accommodation options. 

If you would like to share accommodation with another guest, please let us know when booking and we can connect you with others in the group. 

All lunches and evening meals on the Monday and Thursday evening are included and are taken together to provide the opportunity for discussion and sharing of ideas. Guided walks are available on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, at no additional cost, and optional group meals, at additional cost, will also be available on these evenings.   

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