Writing Retreats

Conversations and strategising sessions with Isobelle

Writing is inevitably a lonely business, but in my life, the companionship of other writers has been invaluable.

Conversations and strategising sessions with writers, the comparison of ideas and the need to express and explain a project and its challenges, philosophising about writing are a vital part of the process of creation, for me. I come from such sessions refreshed and creatively stimulated, and it is a joy to write in that state.

I have run many workshops and mentorships in many forms and it struck me that it would be lovely to take the essence of this creative companionship and build an intensive mentorship around it, that would take place in a location I have found strikingly beautiful and endlessly stimulating.

— Isobelle Carmody

  • Peregian Beach (Queensland) - 5 day retreat - August 2022

    When: 1-5 August, 2022 (dates TBC)
    Cost: $2,500 (or $2,300 if you self-cater)
    Deposit upon application: $300

    The retreat includes 5 weekdays at the start of August.

    This retreat costs $2,500 including my mentorship, food and 5 night’s accommodation (August 1-5 (tbc)).
    ($2,300 if you opt out and self-cater.)

    During the week, most of your time will be spent working alone on your piece. Mid-afternoon each day, I will meet with each mentee to talk about your writing, and project. In the evenings, we will read from the works in progress or other writing and discuss it. We will listen to some essays about writing, too, which we can also discuss. There is a wonderful beach close by where you can walk, a television where we will only watch slow tv, a swimming pool and plenty of space to work in.

    I will work on your pages during your stay, as I speak with you and hear you talk about your work and read, so that I can identify strengths and weaknesses in your writing and in your approach. On day 3, I will spend an hour going over your report, and help you to work out a plan to continue after the retreat.

    All meals, tea and coffee will be supplied, but we can also go to a coffee shop mid-afternoon if the mentees would like it. You can help yourself to breakfast from a selection of muesli, bread or pastries, and yogurt, homemade jams, butter, and fruit. Lunch will be homemade soup with bagels or garlic bread, wraps or salads, which you can eat together or carry away. Dinners will include main and desert. BYO alcohol. You will receive a prospective menu and can protest or add a yum to anything on it, for any reason, and I will tweak it.

  • Peregian Beach (Queensland) - 3 day retreat - August 2022

    When: 7-9 August, 2022 (dates TBC)
    Cost: $1,500 (or $1,300 if you self-cater)
    Deposit upon application: $300

    The retreat includes 3 days (1 weekend and 2 weekdays) at the start of August.

    This retreat costs $1500 including food and 3 night’s accommodation (August 7,8,9, tbc).
    ($1300 if you opt out and self -cater.)

    During the retreat, most of your time will be spent working on your piece. Mid-afternoon, I will meet with each mentee to talk about your writing, and project. In the evenings, we will read from the works in progress and discuss them, listen to some essays about writing, which we can then discuss. There is a wonderful beach close by where you can walk, a television where we will only watch slow tv, a swimming pool and plenty of space to work in. I will work on your pages during your stay, as I speak with you and hear you talk about your work and read, to help me identify strengths and weaknesses in your writing. On day 3, I will spend an hour going over your report, and help you to work out a plan to continue after the retreat.

    All meals, tea and coffee will be supplied, but we can also go to a coffee shop mid-afternoon if the mentees would like it. You can help yourself to breakfast from a selection of muesli, bread or pastries, and yogurt, homemade jams, butter, and fruit. Lunch will be homemade soup with bagels or garlic bread, wraps or salads. Dinners will include main and desert. BYO alcohol. You will receive a prospective menu and can protest or add a yum to anything on it, for any reason, and I will tweak it.

Logistics

This large and wonderful accommodation near the beach can fit two mentees, three if two are willing to twin share. There will be a saving involved, of course.

Retreat will be largely vegetarian, but you can opt out and self-cater some or all days if you prefer once you see the menu. We can also agree on 4 nights catering and one night out at one of the local restaurants, and the cost will be adjusted.

Journey to and from the Retreat is the responsibility of the mentees. If outside Brisbane, you can fly into Brisbane Airport.

Then there are these options for travel from Brisbane to Peregian Beach:

RECOMMENDED, FASTEST

Train
2h 14m
A$85 – A$108

SECOND FASTEST, SECOND CHEAPEST

Bus
2h 37m
A$27 – A$46

CHEAPEST

Train, bus, line 620 bus
3h 17m
A$15 – A$21

To plan your public transport journey, visit Translink.

Drive
1h 27m
A$16 – A$23

I am happy to collect and drop anyone using public transport from the David Low Way drop off. Otherwise, there is onsite parking for a car or hire vehicle.

Applications:

Prospective mentees pay $300 when they apply. This is non-refundable because you are asked to submit between ten and twenty pages of the text, and a half page outline of the project you want to work on. I will be able to decide if this retreat will serve you well from what you send. It is not suitable for writers without a project in the works or solidly ready to go. I will write a report on the pages you send, whether the retreat is suitable for you. Or not, if you are accepted, and the $300 will be deducted from the cost of the retreat.