Cotswolds Writing Retreat




A literary experience you’ll never forget! Here is the date for the next Writing Retreats in the Cotswolds with Kate Forsyth:

Sunday 23 April to Monday 1 May 2023 **BOOKED OUT**
Sunday 24 June to Monday 1 July 2024 **NOW AVAILABLE**

Nearly ten years ago, I was asked to devise an inspirational retreat that would combine practical classes on the art and craft of creative writing with all the fun and fascination of a literary tour. I was given complete freedom as to where and when the retreat would be run. My only brief was to make it the dream trip of a lifetime for all the writers out there who needed a jolt of creative energy and fresh motivation. 

So I sat down and listed all the things that would make it a perfect retreat for me. This is what I wrote:

  • Kindred spirits 
  • Workshops that would challenge, provoke, and stimulate new ideas 
  • Literary pilgrimages to places where beloved authors once lived and worked
  • Time to think and dream and read and write
  • Castles, old churches, circles of standing stones, bluebell woods and wildflower meadows
  • Optional visits to art galleries, museums, and the theatre 
  • Fabulous feasts in fabulous places

Where in the world would fulfill all of these dreams? I wondered.Of course! Oxford, the city of dreaming spires. Home of one of the oldest universities in the world. The place where Lewis Carroll wrote Alice in Wonderland, and where C.S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien met in the local pub each week to read their work out loud. Percy Bysshe Shelley, Dorothy Sayers, Robert Graves and Dr Suess all studied there. So too did Susan Cooper and Philip Pullman, two of my favourite children’s fantasy authors.  We could walk in their footsteps, we could see the local landmarks that inspired them, we could read their books again.


And the rolling green hills of the Cotswolds, with its charming villages of thatched cottages and old manor houses, was only twenty-odd miles away. We could explore Warwick Castle, one of oldest castles in the world still standing, we could visit Shakespeare’s grave, we could stay in a 16th century half-timbered inn with ancient oak beams and a fireplace big enough to roast a dragon in …


Our next retreat runs from Sunday 23 April to Monday 1 May 2023 but is now fully booked.

Our 2024 retreat dates have just been released:  Sunday 24 June to Monday 1 July 2024

Springtime! The most enchanting time to explore the Cotswolds.  The gardens will be full of pear blossom and daffodils, and there will be an enchanting carpet of bluebells under the beech trees. Lambs will be frolicking in the meadows and, if we are lucky, fawns will be taking their first steps in the forest. 

And every morning we will delve deep into the art and craft of creative writing, including building character, creating suspense, controlling pace, plotting, dangerous writing, and rediscovering your creative vitality. 

It’s going to be amazing …

For all details, visit Better Read Tours:

What You Will Learn
For seven days, Kate will share with you all the secrets she has learned about writing stories which fire the imagination, touch the heart, and keep readers turning the pages long into the night.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • Storytelling patterns and structures
  • Research techniques to help you bring your story to life
  • The importance of voice, and how to find it
  • Building characters that are vivid and vital
  • Creating a strong sense of time and place
  • Suspense and the art of surprise
  • How to connect to your creative flow, and consistently find the time and space to write the story you’ve always dreamed of bringing to life

For seven days, from 9am to 12noon, you will write, read, listen, learn and discuss all aspects of creative writing, from first discovering your story to finding a publisher.

Jenny Gordon
Better Read Literary Tours
[email protected]


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