Springbrook turned on another weekend in the clouds for our memoir retreat and cloaked our cosy cabins in mist and magic perfect for writing and learning about writing and sitting around the fire at night sharing our writing with like-minded women. And what a lovely gentle group of writerly souls it was. The special magic of women, listening to and supporting each other, brought new friends together and formed new writing groups to cheer each other on.
We feasted on warming wholesome home-cooked meals prepared with love and care by our super-cookie and talented writer, Gay Liddington, who’d just completed the first draft of her own memoir, so she had more to share than just food! In the mornings we relaxed with gentle yoga and, as a special treat on Sunday, Dolina gave us all complimentary relaxation acupuncture treatments! Heavenly! Our lovely masseuse Ann gave luxurious hot oil massages late into the nights, so we were all well and truly blissed out and feeling pampered as we went to sleep with our electric blankets, listening to rain pattering on the roof.
Workshops got us thinking about our projects in different ways (GO DEEPER!) and got new writers putting words on the page. I’m always happily surprised by the beautiful stories that emerge from these sessions. A highlight for me was Saturday night readings around the fire. So many unique and fascinating stories. Dolina’s dead dog with oozing eyes wearing bonnet and booties may never leave my mind! I just love seeing the look on writers’ faces as they share their work and have their voices heard and affirmed. YAY!
Here are some reviews from the weekend:
“A life changing weekend. I’ve come back with such a different view on my writing and feel really empowered generally. I had reached a point with this project where I felt like I was stumbling in the dark, and this retreat and all the amazing women guided me to the light switch!
I will definitely be back next year. I aim to arrive with my first published book.”
Erin Benjamin (retreat participant October 2022)
“Memoir writing is not my thing, or so I thought. After last weekend’s Relax and Write Retreat, I am inspired to craft at least a ‘slice of life’. Edwina’s enthusiasm and encouragement are infectious. Connecting with others who aspire to put their lives on the page and sharing our experiences became an unexpected joy.”
Here are a few other comments from our feedback form:
“I came on retreat not expecting so many experienced writers and was a bit overwhelmed at first. But everyone was there for each other. It’s always great spending time in groups of women. The yoga, massage and food were excellent in a perfect location. Even the weather was good!” (retreat participant October 2022)
“Edwina and Gay made everyone feel safe. It made the whole retreat so intimate and joyful and when big emotions hit, the group support was genuine and amazing. I’ll be back!” (retreat participant October 2022)
“Edwina’s ability to create a safe, nurturing space allowed us to improve our technical skills of writing, gain clarity about our stories and confidence to release our voices into the world.”
Dolores Cummins (retreat participant October 2022)
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, these retreats are only as good as the women who come along and these women were the cream of the crop! It was an absolute delight to host this lovely gentle group who nurtured and supported each other so beautifully. How lucky am I that running these retreats is my job?
Bloody lucky! That’s what!
Three more retreats are planned for next year.
June 2 – 4 Magnetic Island – Elements of narrative
August 11 – 13 Springbrook – Feedback and revision retreat for those with some writing under their belts
October 20 – 22 Springbrook – Memoir and Life Writing
So what are you waiting for? Book your spot for next year now! Great Christmas present idea for writers – tell your family!! We always have a wonderful time.
I love these retreats, they are such a joyful part of what I do and I get to meet the most incredible inspiring women and make new friends every time!
Thank you to my wonderful helpers, especially dear Gay, and all the women who make these retreats so rewarding and so much fun.
Lots of love,