This 6-week course will help you to write more mindfully to bring more depth to your characters, plots, world-building and prose.
Suitable for writers of all levels, it will help you connect more deeply to your writing and find ways to overcome staring at a blank page not knowing where to go next, or feeling stuck when it comes to editing stories you’ve already drafted.
You can use the course materials to develop your novels and short stories and the mindfulness skills you’ll learn can be used outside of writing too!
When is it happening?
Next date TBC
Where is it happening?
In a private forum space on our brilliant community platform. If you’re not already a member you’ll also get access to the wider community from the moment you book until the course ends and we have loads of live events you can attend plus recordings of past events to watch. So lots of additional resources to help develop your writing.
How much does it cost?
In the spirit of mindfulness, please pay what you can afford from the three options below. You will get the same course no matter what you pay and we trust you will honour the course tutor’s commitment and knowledge by paying what you can afford.
What writers have said about the course
A really interesting course. I am ready to take on the challenge of seeking out the positives again (a skill learnt, but cast by the wayside for a while) – both in life and in writing. Thanks so much, Amanda, for giving us such food for thought.– Geraldine
I have very much enjoyed this course. It has given me the chance to go back and re-work a few of my stories more thoughtfully, and to work from inside. I appreciate how this course has helped strengthen my confidence in my voice and to see the potential in my stories. It has also helped me to read others’ stories in a more thoughtful and open way.– Fran
Who’s teaching it?
Amanda started Retreat West in 2012 and expanded to include the award-winning Retreat West Books (Most Innovative Publisher 2020 Saboteur Awards) in 2017. She has been designing and teaching online courses, and live workshops, for many years and has worked as an editor on hundreds of manuscripts. As a publisher, she brought 24 books into the world. These included novels, memoirs and single author short story collections. She also published three charity anthologies supporting organisations helping refugees, those caught in domestic violence and modern slavery, and the environmental activist organisation, Earth Day Network.
She’s the author of two novels As If I Were A River (2016) and Remember Tomorrow (2019). Her short stories have been widely published; long/short listed in the Mslexia Flash Fiction Competition, Fish Flash Fiction Prize, Ink Tears Short Story Prize, Cranked Anvil Short Story Competition, Flash 500 and V300; and won the Editor’s Choice Prize at 101 Words.
Amanda is currently working on a flash fiction collection, has just completed a novella-in-flash and is starting work on her third novel. She is also training to be a Mindfulness Teacher and Counsellor and has been practising mindfulness, qigong and meditation for many years.
What will you learn?
Each week there will be a workshop posted with discussion content about mindfulness practice and how it can be applied to writing. There will be readings, exercises and prompts related to the discussion and you can post work you create from the prompts and exercises on the forum for feedback from Amanda and your fellow writers (this is optional and if you prefer not to post then that is fine!).
The content will be online for you to access 24/7 so you can fit it around your life and work when suits you best.
- Workshop 1: Developing a mindful writing practice and writing with awareness – we’ll spend the first week looking more deeply into how we write mindfully and bring our full attention to every aspect of our practice.
- Workshop 2: Voices – we’ll focus on the characters in our stories and how we find their authentic voices and let them tell their stories through us.
- Workshop 3: Storylines – ways to make sure the stories we tell have the spirit of mindfulness guiding them so they are sincere, genuine and have heart driving them.
- Workshop 4: Worlds – this workshop will bring the worlds of our stories to life by immersing ourselves more fully in the world we live in and the ones we create on the page.
- Workshop 5: Words – we all know that words have power and this week will show how the words you choose for each sentence really matter and by applying mindfulness to our stories at the editing stage, we can deepen the emotion our readers feel when our stories reach them, and that we feel when we write them.
- Workshop 6: Mindful inspiration and imagination – this final workshop will look at ways we can find inspiration from living more mindfully and use our imagination to create stories with positive messages even if the subject matter is hard.