Looking to find a writers retreat, but aren’t sure how to choose the right one? Getting away to focus on your writing can help you finally finish your novel, refine your craft, or connect with other authors and editors in a positive environment.
But there are several things many writers forget to ask themselves before selecting a retreat. Make the most of your time—and your money—and consider these points:
3 questions for writers looking to find a writers retreat:
1. What do I want to accomplish at the writers retreat?
Take time to see how a writers retreat is structured to ensure its aim matches up with your own goals. For instance, see if participants are meant to start at the beginning of the book-crafting process and just generate ideas or if it’s more about helping to finish a story. Some retreats are geared toward having writers leave with a marketable book draft, and others simply offer a chance at uninterrupted writing time. Some offer all of these elements.
Do you need help with a specific stage of your project? Do you want an educational component in honing your craft, or are you just looking for a place to write without being disturbed? And, are you looking for a social component, where you can meet other writers?
2. What level or target audience is the writers retreat pitched at?
Is this a retreat meant to help total beginners who don’t have much writing experience or don’t even know where to start? Or is it geared toward people who consider themselves practiced writers who are looking to become a published author?
Also see what kind of approach an instructor may take at the writers retreat. Some prefer a very abstract or spiritual technique, looking to “tap into your inner creativity,” but others give more clear and structured guidance. Knowing what would gel best with your personality can be a helpful way to hone in on exactly what kind of retreat would benefit you the most.
3. What’s included for the cost?
Wanting to get the most for your dollar can take over the retreat-selection process, but, it’s not always about the cost—it’s about what you’re getting out of it. Over the years, I’ve seen aspiring writers opt for more cost-effective writers retreats, but then find that the price of the retreat does not include room or meals.
Does setting matter to you? If a price initially seems out of your budget, consider if the retreat is being held somewhere you find especially relaxing and beautiful. See if other bonuses are included, such as inspiring side trips, receptions, or custom-made workbooks.
And, how much individual attention do you want? Some retreats operate more like a large class and others prioritize more one-on-one sessions that allow your instructor to get close to your writing and help you directly. Generally, the smaller the retreat, the more individual guidance participants get. Some instructors include one-on-one follow-up consultations even after the retreat has ended.
Have any questions on how to find a writers retreat that’s best for you? Ask me in the comments below.