Retreat. Just the word brings to mind a break from regular life. Growing up, retreats were often at our summer camp, but they always felt a bit too structured for my free-spirited taste. As an adult who works 12 hour shifts (or more) for a local hospital, these five writing retreats all sound incredibly appealing. So today’s blog post is one where I hope you’ll allow me to dream a little bit, because attending these may not be in the cards. But who knows? The year is still young! Here are five 2023 writing retreats I wish I could attend.
The Rocaberti Writers Retreat – France, Italy or Spain
Taking place in locations across Europe, this particular retreat aims to pair attendees with mentors who’ll take a look at retreat participants’ works and other programs. This retreat caters to both scriptwriters and novelists, and offers an array of workshops and writing opportunities. Everything is included during the stay – room, board, meeting spaces – and uh, did I mention all of this happens inside friggen castles?! Do you have between $6,000 and $10,000 to attend this lux retreat? However, this retreat has sponsors. Is this normal? Or does it make it sound like a scam to you? It’s taking me forever to save for tuition to go back to school this year. Unless I win the lottery (that I never play), this particular retreat will remain on my wish list indefinitely.
Cruising Writers – Western Caribbean Cruise
Based out of Houston, Texas, this is another unique retreat offers writers the opportunity to hone their craft on a cruise! I thought it would be as expensive as the above retreat, but the one coming up in April is just under $2000. Of course, travel costs to get to the port on the Texas coast is up to you, but it’s definitely closer to home than Spain or France. It is rather amusing I find this one so appealing. Why? I’ve had a fear of the open ocean since childhood. Loads of family members have gone on cruises, and I have yet to do so. River cruises are more my style, because I can see land. Disasters can happen anywhere; I just like my odds on a river more than in the ocean. How’s that for an overactive writer’s imagination?
2023 Creative Writing Retreat – Tuscany, Italy or Colorado Springs, CO
I hope you won’t mind my doing a little roasting of this particular retreat! For $3640 you, too, can write in Tuscany. The one thing that’s baffling me about these retreats is how EXPENSIVE they all are. If money wasn’t an issue you’d better believe I’d sign up in a hot second. Unfortunately, if you were interested in this one, it’s ALREADY fully booked and it’s January. When does this particular retreat take place? September! I’d never heard of the author leading this retreat until I realized I have, in fact, seen some of her titles. While I love the idea of writing someplace other than my home or usual cafe, I’m not sure I’d ever be able to swing almost $4,000 (plus extra travel expenses) to participate in this one. Call me pessimistic all you want, but we all have our “perfect setting in which to write” dream.
White Mountain Book Writing Retreat – Franconia, NH
Of all the retreats I’ve looked at for this blog post, this is the one that’s the most appealing. There are various pricing options based on available accommodations, and this one is in a state I’ve never visited – New Hampshire. Not only that, but this one takes place over my birthday weekend! You better believe I am incredibly tempted by this. I actually did a Google Map search to see if I’d even be brave enough to drive the routes there. That is a highly debatable topic of discussion in of itself. Still, this one’s getting bookmarked. I must note that they have a very basic website and hardly any social media presence. Plus, there’s no “contact” section. Funny how the one most appealing to me has the least amount of information.
Rebirth Your Book – Lancaster, PA
The closest retreat to where I live, this one is undoubtedly more tempting than the last one mentioned. Located just four hours or so from Pittsburgh, Lancaster is well known as the heart of Amish country. While this particular retreat is in Pennsylvania, there are other retreats of the “destination” sort. However, I just found out after further research, that they’re claiming not to have it this year due to ‘rona. And I am extremely disappointed. Why? Because the one in Costa Rica is still on, as are the retreats in Tuscany and Dubai. Excuse me? Just when I thought I’d found some normalcy again, I’m met with mismatched information. Sadly, the Rebirth Your Book retreat will have to remain on the wish list.
There you have it – the five writing retreats I wish I could attend this year, with some pessimism woven throughout. Even as a child I was stuck between the dream world and the logical. I think this post is a perfect representation of my attempt at both. Have you ever been on a writing retreat? What was it like?