Memorable Experiences Inspiring Creativity
In addition to writing guides and guest authors hosting practical training workshops and book readings, at 'Ireland Writing Retreat' you will also enjoy a splendid, spirit-enhancing immersion in local Irish tradition and culture.
Here are just some of the experiences you’ll enjoy alongside other participants from countries such as England, Australia, Ireland, Scotland and the United States.
‘Magical Mystery’ Welcome
Every year, to help kick-off the week, ‘Ireland Writing Retreat’ organizes something special on the very first day. This mysterious activity is uniquely different each time, always kept top-secret and always guaranteed to be a wonderful surprise for everyone.
There’s only one way to find out what captivating treat is in store.
Traditional Donegal Thatched Cottage Experience
There’s no better introduction to laid-back rural Irish life than a visit to a traditional thatched cottage, complete with red half-door and panoramic views over the Atlantic Ocean on the rugged ‘Wild Atlantic Way.’
While there at the 100-year-old ‘Teach Mhuiris,’ you’ll enjoy basic Irish dance and Gaeilge language classes with the incentive being a delectable afternoon tea that includes assorted home-made scones and jams and healthy desserts made from carrageen (seaweed) and a little taste of ‘fairy juice’ to help wash it all down.
Tour of Intriguing Irish Castle & National Park
No trip to Ireland is complete without a visit to one of its many authentic castles and an afternoon spent at Glenveagh National Park means you’ll relish not only a comfortable bus ride along gorgeous mountain scenery to a towering lakeside castle but also a personal guided tour inside through spacious rooms furnished with classic, centuries-old furniture and impressive paintings and sculptures.
“The week was wonderful and was so well organized by our kind and energetic hosts Columbia and Sean, that we all enjoyed ourselves in spite of the weather.
I met some delightful people, relished the workshops and got some writing done. The visits to Teach Muirish was marvelous and I could have listened to that wonderful bean an ti tell her stories forever. We had a lovely afternoon in Glenveagh and on another beautiful afternoon had a boat-trip out to Gola, a magical offshore island visited by few: here we were lavishly entertained with a sumptuous chowder and home baked bread and cakes. We did a good bit of walking too through fantastic terrain.”
Norma MacMaster, author from Ireland
"Ireland Writing Retreat is an unforgettable creative adventure that blends daily writing workshops with amazing excursions that highlight the history, culture, language, music and beauty of Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way. It’s an inspiration."
Eileen Moon, journalist and creative writer from New Jersey, USA
"I was honored to be a part of the 2015 ‘Ireland Writing Retreat’ at which organizers did an amazing job anticipating - and meeting - the creative needs of everyone who attended. We delved into the finer points of novel writing, song lyric composition, dramatic reading and forensic editing - the critically important element of the writing process that involves nit-picking every word. There were walks throughout the wildly picturesque and pastoral area - plus Irish dancing. The ‘Ireland Writing Retreat’ is the best of both worlds: business AND pleasure."
John DeDakis, former CNN senior copy editor, Washington DC-based author of three mystery novels and writing trainer at ‘Ireland Writing Retreat’
Music and Dance Jamboree
Having learned some of the basic steps in Irish dancing at Teach Mhuiris, you’ll revel in a fun-filled, warm-hearted evening of lively music at a local ceili dance, mixing with many local people, men and women, young and old. There’s also live music every evening to listen to right there at the retreat’s location, the charming boutique hotel, Teac Jack.
Performers include singer-songwriter-guitarist, Pat Gallagher, who has produced many excellent CDs, the songs from which have become musical hits nationally and internationally. His record, ‘Las Vegas in the Hills of Donegal,’ surged to the top of the Irish charts, making him an overnight sensation. This particular song has since become a staple of Irish folk singers’ repertoires from Boston to Brisbane, Seattle to Sydney.
Remember also, not far away is ‘Leo’s Tavern’ where famous singer, Enya, and her sister, Moya Brennan, who sings the haunting theme song in the movie ‘The Last of the Mohicans,’ first sang with their father, Leo, and formed the band, Clannad.
Gola Island Expedition and home-style lunch
Cited as a place that helped inspire Robert Louis Stevenson to write his exhilarating adventure, ‘Treasure Island,’ you’ll enjoy a ferryboat-ride on ‘The Cricket’ to Gola, one of a basket of enchanting islands 25-minutes off the Atlantic coastline.
Here you’ll savor a delicious home-made ‘island-style’ lunch topped off by a leisurely walking tour, comprising magnificent cliffs, a picturesque harbor and an old school-house. Local people will describe their experiences of growing up on the island and explain changes that have happened in everyday life down through the generations.
While heralding the end of an exciting week at ‘Ireland Writing Retreat,’ the last evening also ends on a high note, a wine and food evening filled with stimulating conversation, jokes and impromptu bouts of singing that usually lasts into the ‘wee hours.’
Please note that some changes in the schedule may take place due to inclement weather or other interesting opportunities that might present themselves for your added enjoyment.