The Plot, People and Place Retreat

The Plot, People and Place Retreat

27th January – 2nd February 2020

Voley Farm, Parracombe North Devon

Ensuite twin room: £850 all inclusive / £800 for Retreat West Author Members – SOLD OUT

Twin/double room with shared bathroom: £800 all inclusive / £750 for Retreat West Author Members – 4 rooms available (ONLY 1 REMAINING)

Mezzanine room with shared bathroom: £700 all inclusive / £650 for Retreat West Author Members – SOLD OUT


See the cottages on the Voley Farm website


Join us for a 6-night tutored writing retreat at Voley Farm in gorgeous Exmoor National Park in North Devon, where you’ll have writing workshops, a one-one to discuss your work, time to write and explore the stunning surroundings, great home-cooked vegetarian food, delicious wine, and also get to make new writing friends.

What will you learn?

There will be four three-hour workshops during the retreat, plus a 1-hour one-to-one with the tutor to discuss your novel. It’s designed for writers who are starting a new novel or have a rough draft that needs revising.

Tutor: Amanda Saint

Amanda Saint is the author of two novels, As If I Were A River and Remember Tomorrow; the publisher and commissioning editor at Retreat West Books (shortlisted Most Innovative Publisher 2019 Saboteur Awards); and an experienced writing tutor. She has designed and tutors her own online courses, and also designed the Ultimate Novel Course with novelist and screenwriter, CM Taylor, which they deliver together in partnership with Jericho Writers. Amanda has been teaching at writing retreats and literary festivals for several years and as an editor has worked on hundreds of manuscripts across many genres.

During the retreat workshops, Amanda will show you how to:

  • Plan your novel and identify your themes.
  • Develop an easy 10-point plot aligned to story structure to guide your writing and editing.
  • Create complex, believable and memorable characters the live and breathe your themes.
  • Use character relationships to drive the story forward and develop intrigue.
  • Make sure where your action takes place is more than just a setting and can be used to highlight your themes, develop your characters, and support your plot.

What’s included?

You’ll get 6 nights in your own room in a four-star holiday cottage in a beautiful setting with walking tracks all around. The stunning southwest coast path is just a 10-minute drive away for those that come by car. You’ll be in either Mole Cottage or Brambley Bottom.

All meals are included and will be vegetarian. If you have meaty needs feel free to bring your own (you’ll also need to cook it too)! We can cater for vegan and gluten-free as well.

What you’ll get:

  • Breakfast will be help yourself from the well-stocked kitchen that will be waiting for you in your cottage.
  • Lunch and dinner will be homemade delicious and healthy meals eaten together.
  • Tea, coffee, cold drinks and snacks.
  • Wine in the evenings.
  • 12 hours of workshop writing tutoring plus 1 hour one-to-one mentoring.

You’ll arrive on the Monday (anytime from 3pm) and spend the first night getting settled in and getting to know your fellow retreaters. Classes and 1-1s will take place Tuesday to Saturday, and on Sunday you’ll depart after breakfast by 11am.

Ongoing mentoring and editorial help
£720 (£100 deposit then balance payable as one lump sum or over 5 equal monthly installments of £124) / £660 for Retreat West members (£100 deposit then balance payable as one lump sum or over 5 equal monthly installments of £112)

Writers that come on this retreat have the option to book an additional 6-month mentoring package with Amanda to follow on from the retreat. During the 6 months you will receive:

  • Weekly emails with writing advice, prompts and motivation to help you complete your draft.
  • Monthly reviews of 2,500 words plus a 30-minute call with Amanda to discuss progress.
  • An editorial report on the full MS you write (up to 70K words) to help you revise it, plus a 1-hour call to discuss the report and where you go next.

How do you get there?

The nearest train station is Barnstaple, which is about 14 miles away, and a pre-booked taxi from there should be around £25.

If you are driving, then there is plenty of parking at Voley Farm.

You can get more detailed travel information on the button below.

Voley Farm directions


How do you book?

Retreat booking only: You pay a £100 non-refundable deposit now to book your place on the retreat and the balance is due on or before 15th December 2019. You can pay in installments up until then just let us know when you’ve paid your deposit if you would like to do this and we can set up a payment plan for you. Book the room you want using the buttons below.

Mentoring booking: You’ll pay a £100 deposit after booking onto the retreat and full payment of the balance of the mentoring fee, or the first monthly installment, will be due on 1st February 2019. After you have chosen your room, email us to let us know you would like the mentoring package too and we will send payment details.

Retreat cancellation policy: If you cancel before 15th December 2019 then a full refund will be given minus the £100 non-refundable deposit. If you cancel at anytime after that we will refund the fee (minus deposit) only if we can re-sell the space. In the unlikely event that the retreat is cancelled, you will receive a full refund of all money paid.

Book using the relevant button below to pay the deposit through PayPal (you don’t have to have a PayPal account and can pay with a credit or debit card) and after completing your payment please provide your name and email on the next screen you are taken to.

Book Twin/Double room