This month Awakening The Writer Within celebrates its fifth birthday! Our first weekend writing retreat was held from the 19th to 21st June in the beautiful setting of Kilnwick Percy in East Yorkshire. We had six writer participants, of all levels of experience, and two guest tutors, crime and thriller writers and sisters Danuta Reah (also writing as Danuta Kot) and Penny Grubb.
We ate in the splendid Kilnwick Percy Hall, slept in the cosy annexe and wrote in a delightful summer house next to the delicious café. Our writers responded to writing by authors as diverse as Charles Dickens, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Carol Ann Duffy and wrote atmospheric and engaging pieces inspired by their surroundings or drawn from people they knew or experiences they once had.
Since then, two of our writers from that first course have gone on to publish books – John Fieldhouse (writing as Brooke Fieldhouse) has published The Gilded Ones, a quirky drama with a touch of magic realism, and Paul Chapman has published several books in his wonderful Spinach series.
We have hosted five week-long retreats in South West France, another in York, three half day workshops in the North York Moors National Park and another in central York. To celebrate the achievements of all our writers, we have marked our five year anniversary with the publication of First Awakening, a collection of poetry and prose written by participants from across all our retreats and workshops, with some contributions and an introduction from both of us. The anthology is available to buy from our online shop.
And in response to the global lockdown during the pandemic we have moved our retreats and workshops online for 2020. In May we held a retreat to replace our planned course in France, and starting on the 4th July we have a series of four summer and autumn Saturday afternoon workshops which are on sale for only £20 for the block, or £5 each. These can booked from our online shop and discounts are available if you also purchase a book. Do check the dates and join us, we would love to see you there.
Best wishes and happy writing,
Clara and Janet