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Our residential writing retreats

Our Midsummer 2024 Residential retreat:
Holy Rood House, Sowerby Road, Thirsk, North Yorkshire 

Arrival before dinner on Friday 14th June 2024
Departure after breakfast on Monday 17th June 2024

Prices (deposits of £100 being taken now):
Fully inclusive prices in single rooms from £390 (including all meals, tuition, materials, accommodation and the use of all facilities, library, art room and gardens in Holy Rood House)
NOTE - a non residential option is available, for those within reach of Thirsk, at the fully inclusive price of £190 and non-writing partner options may be available on request


Our midsummer residential retreat in Thirsk, North Yorkshire, builds further upon our previous successful retreats in the UK and Europe. Ideal for those looking to start, or develop their writing or to finish a writing project. The programme will include insprational materials, prompts, guidance and discussion with peace, quiet and time, coupled with on-site support as required, together with gardens and a fully equipped art room in which to explore and expand your creativity.

The programme will be based on our previous, very popular and successful workshops and will feature a range of inspirational media, creative opportunities and  prompts; all of which you may choose to develop throughout or after the retreat. Each day there is an opportunity for optional one to one feedback or ideas generation sessions.  Our retreats have been enjoyed by new writers, prose writers, poets, the inxperienced and published authors alike and a wealth of outstanding feedback has been received. 

Our many previous retreats in Europe, York and beautiful Bronte country have all been outstanding successes wherein groups of writers have spent time meeting like minded others, conversing, sharing and developing existing and new writing projects, all while discussing ideas and enriching their skills. Our 2024 June retreat will be held between Friday evening and Monday morning to respond to our participants' requests that participation is enabled for those working full time.     

All facilitation, support, accommodation, breakfast, dinners and lunches are included in our prices and wine with dinner us available at cost.

There will be the opportunity to visit the local town, both in the daytimes and in the evenings, to enoy the local riverside walks, the parks and visit local hostelries sites and venues of interest to writers, including the World of James Herriot. 

Your workshop facilitators

Clara Challoner Walker

After an  international career in banking and IBM,  Clara refocused in 2014 on her lifelong passion for writing and shortly thereafter fulfilled her desire to set up her own business, Cosy Cottage Soap Limited.


Under the  Ings Press imprint, Clara 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 and through which they have now hosted over 20  events, both face to face and  virtually, in the UK and abroad.  

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 years we have worked 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 and Non-Executive Director working in London and Yorkshire. She is a qualified coach and mentor and an experienced facilitator. Janet spends most of her time writing, teaching writing and supporting other writers. She is a member of York Stanza poetry workshop, and of the York Branch of Script Yorkshire. As Janet Dean Knight, her novel The Peacemaker was published in 2019.

Janet says: "It's an understatement to say that we are very excited about the courses 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."



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