The Plotting Retreat

Plot that novel right from the start!

The Plotting Retreat

17-21 November 2017, West Bay, Dorset


Join us for a writing retreat with masterclasses at a fantastic spot in a thatched cottage right on the beach in Bridport’s stunning West Bay, which is at the end of the famous Chesil Beach and part of the World Heritage Jurassic Coastline. You can see info on the house here.

Richard Skinner, novelist, head of the Faber Academy Fiction Programme, and long-time colleague of Retreat West will be hosting the the Plotting workshop, which will take place on the Saturday morning and is made up of one long plotting exercise, in which you’ll be writing automatically, drafting, redrafting, editing & finishing—essentially, the whole writing process in one go. Richard will also be looking at the role of secrets in your piece. The workshop will involve lots of individual writing and reading aloud in pairs as you go.

The second workshop with Retreat West founder, novelist and short story writer, Amanda Saint, will build on the work started with Richard and look at how you can still work creatively within your plot to allow characters to have their freedom. The third one will be an interactive feedback session on work that you have created during the first two workshops so you can ensure you’ve really got to grips with it all.

The retreat starts on Friday (arrival between 4pm and 6pm) and we leave on Tuesday (departure 10.30am). Outside of workshops, the time is yours to read, write, walk and enjoy the area.

What’s included in the cost for the retreat?

  • One 3-hour author-led workshop with Richard Skinner
  • Two 3-hour author-led workshops with Amanda Saint
  • All food and drink – three home-cooked vegetarian meals a day (gluten-free will be catered for but I’m afraid we don’t have the facilities to cater for other severe food allergies), dessert with dinner every night, biscuits, fruit, wine with dinner, unlimited coffee and a selection of teas.
  • Other than the en-suite room, bathrooms are shared (4 between 8 rooms) and you will need to bring your own towels and toiletries.

Travel is not included in the cost and the nearest mainline train station is Dorchester South. There is a local bus service from there direct to West Bay or it is a 25-minute taxi ride. I can provide taxi details and connect you with other retreaters to share costs. If you’re driving there is parking at the cottage.

Booking T&Cs

  • £150 non-refundable deposit due on booking
  • Get a £20 discount for paying in full on bookings made before 31st July 2017
  • Balance due by 23rd September 2017
  • If you cancel after 23rd September 2017 a refund (minus your deposit) will be given only if we can re-sell the space
  • Cancellations at any time before 23rd September 2017 will be refunded in full minus the deposit amount of £150
  • In the unlikely event that retreat is cancelled you will get a full refund of all monies paid