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2024 Writing Retreats Mark Our Tenth Anniversary


When we first moved to Donegal, little did we know we would establish international creative writing retreats, but so enchanted were we with the natural beauty and energy of the place, that’s exactly what we did.


It was a life-changing decision, one that has brought us much joy and satisfaction, not just in helping support you as writers re-ignite your unique voice, but immersing you in the rich rainbow of arts, culture and history of Ireland’s most northerly region.

We then decided to expand our reach beyond Ireland. To the South of France. And to Paris where this autumn we will host what some call our ‘Literary Legends Retreat.’ This might be your last chance to experience the City of Light with us so why not treat yourself in October to a memorable week. We think you deserve it. Don’t you?.

And now we’re on the verge of celebrating our 10th birthday next year. And we really want you to join us.


To mark the occasion, our retreats will offer extra special treats, including commemorative gifts for all participants.


If interested to celebrate with us, please book your place early as we can only take a maximum number of participants at each retreat. Having had to turn several people down this year due to full capacity, we do not want to disappoint anyone, especially on our tenth birthday.


Please find our list of writing retreats for 2024 with details on each.


WHEN - March 25-31, 2024


WHERE - Majestic Pyrénées Orientales in the rolling wine country of French Catalonia. At the foot of Canigou, the sacred mountain of the Catalans. Accommodation in single, ensuite rooms with breakfast at the attractive family-owned, boutique hotel Villa Lafabregue.


WHAT - A blend of practical workshops on both fiction and non-fiction writing including such subjects as character development, memoir writing and dialogue, with hands-on story critiques (including participants’ works-in-progress), plus bespoke cultural excursions, live entertainment and authentic experiences of local wines and foods.


This article recalls what participants enjoyed in previous such retreats: Dragons, Sea Adventures and A Centuries-Old Mystery


WHEN - May 20-26, 2024


WHERE - Donegal, the most northerly place in Ireland, on the scenic ‘Wild Atlantic Way.’ Known as the ‘Forgotten Land,’ this beautiful coastal region is a center of traditional Irish music, ancient historic sites, thatched cottages, castles and, most important of all, faeries and inspiring Celtic legends.


WHAT - Practical workshops on the art of travel writing plus a special focus on travel photography, a combination often required by magazine, newspaper and travel website editors. The course also includes excursions to places of special interest, both historical and cultural and invited speakers in diverse tourism sectors. This course is suitable for those who love travel and enjoy writing accounts of their adventures for family and friends; those who already host their own travel blog and want to improve its quality and reach; those interested in launching their own travel blogs; and those who would like to write articles for travel outlets or expand their existing portfolio.


This course will be hosted by Sean and Columbia Hillen.


Sean has worked in the field of international journalism for the last 40 years, ten of which have been in the travel sector. You can read some of Sean’s articles - illustrated by Columbia's photographs - on World Itineraries and JustLuxe. Sean’s travel articles have also appeared in such diverse publications as The Times of London, The Irish Times in Dublin and Time magazine, New York.


Columbia will host workshops on travel photography. Her work has featured in more than 500 articles highlighting unique details of hotels, restaurants, specific city and regional tourism destinations and entertainment events worldwide.


Collectively, Sean and Columbia’s travel experiences encompass more than 50 different countries.


This article recalls what participants enjoyed in previous such retreats: "My experience at Ireland Writing Retreat was life-altering…”

WHEN - June 17-23, 2024


WHERE - Donegal, the most northerly region of Ireland, on the scenic ‘Wild Atlantic Way.’ Known as the ‘Forgotten Land,’ this beautiful coastal region is a center of traditional Irish music, ancient historic sites, thatched cottages, castles and, most important of all, faeries and Celtic legends.


WHAT - A week-long, creative writing holiday with a difference – scenic walks, fascinating talks and daily practical writing and editing workshops – all in a land that time forgot, in probably the most beautiful part of Ireland of, an awe-inspiring landscape of islands, castles and thatched cottages. Plus lively, traditional Irish music performances; tuition in the Gaelic language and Irish ceildhe dancing lessons.


This article recalls what participants enjoyed in previous such retreats: Chocolates, Irish Music, A Castle And A Thatched Cottage Make Donegal Retreat A Memorable One


WHEN - September 23-29, 2024


WHAT - A week-long, creative writing holiday with a difference – scenic walks, fascinating talks and daily practical writing and editing workshops – all in a land that time forgot, in probably the most beautiful part of Ireland of, an awe-inspiring landscape of islands, castles and thatched cottages. Plus lively, traditional Irish music performances; tuition in the Gaelic language and Irish ceildhe dancing lessons.


This article recalls what participants enjoyed in previous such retreats: Success in Donegal, Now Paris Here We Come

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