Creative writing retreats, workshops, critiques and competitions

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Creative Writing Retreats

Up your word count and learn with great authors on residential writing retreats.


Online Creative Writing Courses

Get writing with the online courses.


Get your work read by top literary agents, win cash prizes and get published in the creative writing competitions.


Discover great new authors and read great stories with Retreat West Books.

Photo Flash Challenge

March 5, 2018
Photo Flash Challenge #1   Challenge: Write a short story based on the photo provided. It must be no more than 300 words (fewer is fine). You can write on any theme/genre but no children’s stories and nothing explicit please. Send your entries to competitions@retreatwest.co.uk by midnight on Sunday, 25th March.  Include your story entry and a brief author bio in the body of the email.  A maximum of two entries will be accepted per person. Finalists: Up to five finalists will be selected and made available for public vote by no later than Monday, 2nd April. Voting will be open for one week (the last vote to be counted must be posted by midnight on Sunday, 8th April).  Anyone signed up to Retreat West will be able to vote by leaving a comment with the title of their favourite story. Prize:  The overall winner will be announced on Monday, 9th April and will receive one free entry into a Quarterly Themed Flash Competition, in addition to online publication on the Retreat West website. Depending on the level of response, we hope to run further challenges and collect together the winning stories in a “Hall of Fame” section.

Welcome to the new social media interns!

February 27, 2018
I’m thrilled to welcome Kelly Rebecca and Phil Sobell to the Retreat West team as the new social media interns – they were both so full of great ideas that I couldn’t choose between them. They will be working with me this year to bring lots more great content, writing challenges and competitions to Retreat West and I will be helping them to develop their writing. Kelly has been working with the Hastings Writers Group over the past year, which led to the publication of her first short story ‘Nancy Riot’ in the 2017 anthology ‘Strandline 11’. It has also encouraged her to write more regularly and her first novel, based on her own experiences with a neuro-functional disorder, is now fully drafted. She also has a YA fantasy/ thriller novel in conception, as well as a whole host of half planned tales eager to find their way onto the paper. She said: “I’m ‘looking forward to working with Retreat West to further the wonderful work it does equipping and encouraging writers across the country. I am also excited to see where the experience leads my own writing journey.” Phil has been writing short stories (mostly science fiction with a bit of horror and fantasy) for several years and found Retreat West while seeking to progress with his creative writing, he said: “It’s great to be involved with Retreat West in the new internship position, and I look forward to taking advantage of the novel writing course to progress with my planned SF novel.” Over the coming months both Kelly and Phil will be providing new writing prompts, challenges and chances to win books, free entry to our competitions and more. Let them know in the comments below if there’s any area of fiction writing you’d like prompts and challenges for. Already Retreat West has a new Instagram page, which you can follow here: https://www.instagram.com/retreatwest/ to get exclusive offers and challenges.