Thursday 6 September 2012

How to Run a Writer's Retreat: Part Two

As I said in this post, I will be answering all your questions about the Homeric Writer's Retreat & Workshop, in a series of posts. Tune in every Thursday to get some answers. I'll be posting until I run out of questions.

Sarah Fine asked: What are the goals of a retreat? Seems like it would be to get away and get a lot of writing done, but judging by those pictures, I have to wonder how that was possible with such excellent surroundings and company!

The goal of a retreat differs depending on who is running it and what kinds of workshops are being held. As was explained in How to Run a Writer's Retreat: Part One, this retreat was very 'how to get published' oriented, rather than, 'let's relax in paradise and pen a masterpiece'.

Okay, it is paradise on Ithaca, there's no denying that fact, and there was free time to write, but that was not the main purpose of the Homeric Writer's Retreat & Workshop. It was basically like an educational vacation: lots of learning mixed with interesting and fun excursions and some time to relax.

I do know that many attendees got a lot of writing done when they returned home, so the retreat proved to be a motivator and the trip an inspiration.

So if you're looking for a retreat to attend, make sure you choose wisely. Personally, I'd prefer to attend one from which I'll leave with a whole bunch of new information and motivation to keep writing. If I wanted peace and quiet to write, I don't need to pay someone else to get that. I'd just book myself a holiday and become a recluse for a while.

How about you? What do you look for in a writer's retreat? Do you want to learn new things, or relax and write? Or how about a mixture of both? (If you want a mixture of both, the Homeric Writer's Retreat & Workshop is for you. To find out what's happening in 2013, check back at the website.

Got any more questions? Leave them in the comments, and I'll be sure to answer them in my future posts.


  1. That makes sense--I guess I had an overly simplistic idea of what retreats are. Thanks for answering my question, Jessica!

  2. So true! you can't go to Greece or pay that much money for to travel to another country and then hole up and write for the entire weekend! Sounds fantastic!

  3. Yeah, if I'm going to pay money, I'd want to learn something!

  4. I've never been to a writer's retreat. BUT! My family may be getting a cabin on a lake in the next few months and i figured maybe i could host a little one for my writer friends here. Maybe in the winter with the fireplace roaring and the snow falling

  5. Ohhhh, I would have loved to be at that retreat! I've been to a couple of writing retreats. One was just for having writing time (we did a lot of talking and eating, not as successful as hoped). ;)

  6. I look at retreats as an energizing effort. You focus on one thing, you learn something, then you put it into practice. Some of your questions get answered, new ideas spring up. I like that you had samples requested in advance so your work(the attendees') benefits from a professional eye.

    In Greece, the location would lure me, I'd want to sketch and explore. Nice to know that was allowed for as well.

  7. I just love the photograph at the top of this post - brought a smile to my face. Plus, it's inspiring.

  8. Good distinction, Jessica. I think I'd like to try both a writing retreat and a publishing-related one. Both on the Mediterranean!

  9. How very cool! Love the report and the photos!


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