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The writing process is a delicate one. As writers, we are constantly caffeinated and connected to our laptops, often forgoing regular sleeping hours for the sake of making deadlines or catering to our most creative writing hours. It’s important as an author to gauge when your work process needs a reset. The insidious nature of routine eventually wears on creativity causing our greatest fear: writer’s block and a stagnation in productivity. That’s where travel comes in. 

There is no better way to reset your literary vision and refuel your inspiration than escaping to a gorgeous and relaxing writers retreat. These unforgettable creative escapes are easily the greatest annual investment professional writers can make to sharpen their craft. Writing retreats are like vacation and social spa time for the creative part of your brain — which as storytellers, we use nearly every waking hour. Toss in the company of other talented writers and a beautiful global destination exuding inspiration, and this is an idea you can’t refuse. 

Here are five incredible writing retreats which give writers a welcome reason to escape to a creative oasis this summer, because #TreatYoSelf. 

Alonnisos, Greece – Women Reading Aloud Writing Retreat   

Nothing goes better with your morning cup of coffee than a morning breeze from the Aegean sea. Julie Maloney of Women Reading Aloud hosts an annual retreat in Greece for writers of all levels and genres. Write in the AM and adventure the gorgeous seaside landscape of the Greek island of Alonnisos in the afternoons. Post-writing activities include kayaking, hiking, yoga sessions and exploring the glorious food culture of Greece. But honestly, being in Greece is activity enough for us. 

Tuscany, Italy  – Wide Open Writing  

A trip to Italy cures a multitude of ills, and writer’s exhaustion is no exception. This magnificent and renowned Italian creative retreat is a refreshing apertivo of writing and soul searching, and where better to do that than under the Tuscan sun? This rustic and picturesque farmhouse retreat nestled among the pastrol emerald hills of Tuscany has a full itinerary of writing workshops, daily yoga and eating (plus definitely drinking) your way through Italy’s Chianti wine region. Guaranteed to transform your writing process, the concise description of this retreat would simply be heaven on earth. 

Marrakech, Morocco – Moroccan Caravan Writers Retreat

As one of the hottest (both literally and figuratively) destinations of 2016, Morocco is the current “it” vacation of global jetsetters and creative types alike. Hailed as one of the most life-changing travel experiences, we foresee this African oasis maintaining its dream destination status for years to come. The highlight of the trip: Journeying through the Sahara desert and exploring your craft in relation to mystical cardinal directions. From admiring the splendor of Marrakech’s architecture to diving into the rich pool of Morocco’s vivacious culture, this 14-day adventure is our #1 writers retreat pick. The next Moroccan Caravan isn’t happening until February 2017, but secure your spot this summer for months of golden and inspiring anticipation. 

Switzerland – Swiss Alps Retreat

With hidden turquoise lakes and endless hills that not even Julie Andrews could resist running through, the Alps are undoubtedly one of the most enchanting places on earth. If you’re an outdoorsy music-loving author with an affinity for yoga, this writers retreat is your dream. From soulful morning stretch sessions to expressing your stories through songwriting, this retreat aims to help you access your creative energy in ways you never tried before. Spend your downtime taking long hikes through Alpine trails and surrounding yourself with earth’s greatest source of inspiration: nature. 

Reykjavik, Iceland – Iceland Writers Retreat

The epic trip to geographically marvelous Iceland is one every writer should take. With a mystifying landscape that appears from another world, Iceland is an endless feast for the imagination. From touring the iconic Golden Circle to reflecting on your craft in glowing blue geothermal hot springs, this writers retreat will lead to the rediscovery of your passion and connect you to your greatest ideas yet. Soak up the country’s literary legacy and indulge in creative advice during intimate workshops hosted by award-winning fiction and non-fiction writers from around the globe. 

Thailand, Greece, India & Nepal – The Story Retreat

Having coached hundreds of storytellers throughout the world, Michael Burns continues his passion for helping curate the best new stories with his destination writing retreats. No application necessary, Michael and his team strive to connect with writers at all levels in some of the world’s most beautiful locations. A hybrid model of instruction and free-writing time, this retreat will not be one you want to miss in 2018 as separate 5-day retreats will be held in Chiang Mai in Thailand, Sifnos in Greece, Kathmandu in Nepal and Goa in India.

And if you prefer to stay closer to home, here are 5 stateside retreats to enjoy:

North Carolina, USA – Writers Who Run Retreat & Race

For those of you writers always on the run, this retreat is your perfect match! Get your creative juices flowing (literally out of your pores) with a two-mile run each morning and then absorb spectacular writing inspiration in the retreat’s intimate workshops. Unleash your inner competitor with the grand finale event – a 10K race through North Carolina’s dense and awe-inspiring forests.

Laramie, Wyoming, USA – Literature and Landscape of the Horse

A deep-rooted love for animals and passion for writing fuse in this dream retreat set in the spacious and rolling landscape of gorgeous Wyoming. This retreat encourages authors to explore their craft while reconnecting with the animals which have been vital and adoring companions to humans for centuries: horses. Writers spend five days in a cozy cabin and absorb the charm and captivating inspiration delivered by country life in the Midwest. Best part: Your own special horse is included in the retreat price.

Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, USA – Monterey Writer Retreat

This breezy Californian retreat will remind you why the West Coast is the best coast – hands down. Writers are transported to the same coastline where famed authors like John Steinbeck and Robinson Jeffers discovered inspiration for their most celebrated literary and poetic works. From fiction and creative nonfiction to screenwriting, every type of author is welcome on this sunny Big Sur dream escape. Writers will stay at the glamourous Vagabond House – psst, it was once listed on Condé Nast’s Gold List.

Waialua, Hawaii – Camp Mokule’ia Retreat

The best retreat is the one that includes hula dancing, and this is it! The Mokule‘ia Writers Retreat encourages authors to explore their craft by adventuring through Hawaii’s breathtaking volcanic landscape and by mindfully experiencing the unique tranquility of Hawaii’s island life. The camp stretches 40 acres and authors are joined by dozens of other budding writers, so be prepared for the most beautiful networking event of your life.

Newport, Rhode Island – Cambridge Writers’ Workshop

Have you always daydreamed of charming coastal life on Rhode Island but never had a chance to experience it firsthand? Here is your glorious, picturesque and everything-you-ever-dreamed-of chance. Nestled directly on the coast with plenty of time for sailboat watching, this stunning location will surely inspire your greatest summer hit (especially if you’re a beach-read type of author).

We expect you to stop reading now and to book your dream retreat immediately. Go ahead; you know you want it. 


Kortney Gruenwald (1)


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2017-12-01T15:29:37+00:00May 17th, 2016|The Best Writing Summer Ever Issue|

7 Comments

  1. Derek Murphy August 30, 2017 at 4:42 am - Reply

    Last year we rented a castle for Nanowrimo and got featured in CNN – this year we’re doing it again, a medieval fortress in Austria this time. If it’s a good fit for your audience, we’d love to be added to your list! http://www.creativcastle.com

  2. Julie Hartley October 12, 2017 at 11:23 am - Reply

    I am the director of Centauri Arts in Canada and we run a writing retreat at a beautiful rainforest lodge in Costa Rica every February. Writers attend alone, with friends or with family members, and there are plenty of sightseeing options nearby for accompanying guests who choose not to take the writing classes. http://www.centauriartsacademy.com/writing-classes-and-retreats-for-adults.htm

  3. Michael Burns November 2, 2017 at 7:25 pm - Reply

    These sound incredible. I’d LOVE to go to Iceland and write. It seems so inspirational. I used the same principle (finding places with energy and mystical tranquility) to develop a brand new series of writing retreats debuting next year (2018) called The Story Retreat. It’s open to anyone (there is currently no application process) and it’s a five-day retreat with a mix between instruction and free time. Our locations for next year are Chiang Mai (Thailand), Sifnos (Greece), Kathmandu (Nepal), and Goa (India). More online and how you can be a part at our website: https://www.thestoryretreat.com/

  4. Bobbi Lerman December 21, 2017 at 11:06 am - Reply

    There is a wonderful retreat this year planned in the magical village of Lydbrook in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, UK. Sept 1-8 2018

    Participants will:
    Take part in one-on-one meetings with a developmental editor
    Enjoy author talks and daily workshops to strengthen your techniques
    Sit in on a published author & editor panel
    Writing strategies to be learned:
    Embodying the life of your characters
    Breaking through blocks using prompts
    Writing across genres
    Other Activities
    Work on your current WIP or begin a new one.
    Take a morning or evening yoga class amidst castle ruins
    Do some sightseeing,
    Have fun and Write! Write! Write!

    http://scribblersink.com/#/writing-retreats/

  5. Kim January 5, 2018 at 2:58 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the list, BookSparks! Adding one more “heaven on earth” in Italy! I’ve hosted this one twice before and it has been magical.

    2 Week Poetry Retreat in Italy with Kim Addonizio–National Book Award Finalist, author of 12 books (7 poetry collections)

    June 4-18, 2018

    Everything but airfare is included: Room, amazing meals, trips to surrounding hill towns and literary sites, group and individual feedback. Once you are at La Romita, there’s nothing to do but read, write, enjoy, and occasionally stop to look at each other and say,”I’m so happy right now.”

    Web site (Scroll down under “2018 workshops”to see “Freeing the Angel.”) http://www.laromita.org

    My web site: http://www.kimaddonizio.com

  6. Lisa Porter January 10, 2018 at 12:19 pm - Reply

    What fabulous options writers have these days! This is fantastic.

    If you’re looking for an affordable and highly reputable retreat, check out Writing With Care in Ochre Pit Cove, Newfoundland, Canada, June 10-15, 2018. Award winning mentors Lois Brown and Lori Clarke provide one-on one guided reflection and plenty of time to write in an inspiring setting. Participants are encouraged to bring consciousness to the habitual in order to be open to transformation.

    Beautiful rooms, delicious food, spectacular scenery. June is the season for whales and icebergs! Don’t miss this amazing opportunity.

    http://ochrehouse.ca/writing-with-care

  7. Iris Mathews April 9, 2018 at 5:00 am - Reply

    Thank you for this information Booksparks.
    Having moved to the beautiful Loire Valley Region of France with it’s Chateaux, Vine yards and historic cities towns and villages. We have lovingly renovated a two bedroom cottage,
    “Le Tremblay, Loire Writers Retreat” and from June 2018 we are offering our tranquil cottage as a year round writing retreat for an individual or a couple. The cottage can be booked from one week to a four week period, as self catering, half pension or a full pension basis.
    If you can imagine yourself in a beautiful serene environment in rural France with the buzzards soaring, pheasants calling, the sound of the wind trembling through the trees, taking time to breathe enjoying a glass of local wine, then “Le Tremblay Loire Writer’s Retreat is the place for you.
    http:/www.loirewritersretreat.com

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