30+ Awesome Workshops & Retreats for Fiction Writers in 2018
Note: Don’t forget to check out our 2023 writing retreats list.
With the new year just in, you’ve got a new opportunity to invest in your career as a writer. One of the best ways to do this is by attending workshops or retreats where you’ll get guidance and critiques, often from hosts who are themselves, award-winning authors.
Aside from getting your creative juices running, writer’s retreats and workshops are also the perfect way to network with other authors and others involved in the publishing industry. You’ll get to ask the right questions and hear the answers you need for your latest literary work – and get yourself known.
Below are 30+ amazing retreats and workshops around the world that you can attend to glean advice and take inspiration from. Many of them offer financial aid of some sort. Also, make sure to check their other programs while you’re at it!
1. St. George Island Retreat for Women
Designed specifically for women writers, this retreat led by Adrian Fogelin is aimed at providing a supportive creative environment.
When? January 7 – 14 AND January 21 – 28, 2018
Where? St. George Island, Florida (USA)
How much? $575 for commuters OR $675 for in-residence participants
2. Writing Retreat in Mexico
This week-long retreat led by Kathrin Lake includes group classes, one-on-one coaching as well as readings. If you can’t make it in January, there are three other opportunities in the next three months, each starting on the third week of the month.
When? January 22 – 28
Where? Casa Creatividad, Manzanillo (Mexico)
How much? C$850
3. Setting and Description Workshop
This workshop has the benefit of zoning in on a niche aspect of your writing, including how to create a credible sense of time and place, as well as using descriptive elements to move the story forward.
When? January 27 – 28, 2018
Where? Shadyside, Pittsburgh (USA)
How much? $50
4. How to make a Web Series from Start to Finish
Pretty much everything is going online nowadays, and for those looking to make their way in the publishing industry, this could well be a start. Ginny Leise continues to hold this retreat in the beautiful setting of Costa Rica. There is also another workshop for turning your book into a film.
When? February 3 – 10, 2018
Where? Costa Rica
How much? $1050
5. Sunsets and Spices Writers’ Retreat
Who doesn’t associate India with immense beauty, history, color – and, of course, amazing food? You’ll also get in-depth guidance on your manuscript with award-winning novelists.
When? February 10 – 20, 2018
Where? Tamil Nadu, India
How much? €1200
6. Deep Thinker’s Retreat 2018
With one-on-one writing coaching available as part of the retreat, this 4-day event is well worth the slightly high-price.
When? February 23 – 27, 2018
Where? Destin, Florida (USA)
How much? $1349
7. Pele’s Fire Writer’s Retreat
What better place to get your creative juices flowing than on the beautiful island of Hawaii? You’ll also get to attend genre-specific workshops, and take part in critiques and discussions. There’s also time and space to do your own writing.
When? February 28 – March 6, 2018
Where? Hawaii (USA)
How much? $1299 – $2295
8. Wide Open Writing
Set by the sea, this pretty unique writing retreat puts you firmly in the middle of Mexico’s natural beauty. There are group and individual writing sessions, as well as feedback, and opportunity to explore the surroundings.
When? March 11 – 17, 2018
Where? Isla Holbox (Mexico)
How much? $1850
9. The Story Retreat
Aimed at an international audience, this retreat focuses on fiction, non-fiction, nature, and screenwriting tips. Workshops are also held at other locations internationally.
When? March 12 – 16, 2018
Where? Chiang Mai (Thailand)
How much? $1600
10. Write Away Venice
Let your creativity flow in La Serenissima, where her unsurpassed beauty, beguiling history, and captivating charm will bring forth your muse.
When? March 18 – 24, 2018
Where? Venice (Italy)
How much? $2350
11. Himalayan Writers’ Retreat
Set with the backdrop of the Indian side of the Himalayas in view, this 7-day event gives you the space to write, interact with published authors, and have good discussions.
When? April 1 – 8, 2018
Where? Uttarakhand (India)
How much? $1,400 (international participants) OR Rs49,000 (India residents)
12. Iceland Writers Retreat
Intimate workshops. Panels with famous authors. Unspoilt natural scenery. Trips into the countryside. What more could you ask for? And that’s just a small taster for your creative juices!
When? April 11 – 15, 2018
Where? Reykjavik, Iceland
How much? ISK208,000 (without accommodation) OR ISK299,000 (with accommodation)
13. Las Vegas Writer’s Conference
Aimed at writers of all levels, there are several workshops available to attend during the 3-day event. There’s also the opportunity to join discussions and pitch work to agents. For an extra $250 you can attend a workshop with renowned author Jane Friedman on Sunday the 22nd of April.
When? April 19 – 21, 2018
Where? Las Vegas (USA)
How much? $300 – $500
14. The Belize Writer’s Conference
Aimed at fiction, creative non-fiction, and memoir writers, you’ll get to take part in workshops, master classes, and critique sessions. And there’s also Yoga!
When? April 23 – 28, 2018
Where? Ak’bol Yoga Retreat, Ambergris Caye (Belize)
How much? $1,729
15. Readers and Writers at Sea
A wide focus is available in this retreat, including an in-depth focus on mystery, fiction, romance, travel, and poetry. You’ll have access to several authors providing workshops and tips on marketing your work.
When? May 6 – 20, 2018
Where? Various locations in Spain
How much? $999
16. Visual Mindscape Screenwriting
With top tips from none other than award-winning screenwriter, Bill Boyle, this retreat is a not to be missed opportunity for budding screenwriters out there.
When? May 14 – 21, 2018
Where? Galway City, Galway (Ireland)
How much? $3,499
17. Novel-In-Progress Bookcamp and Writing Retreat
As a 6-day residential program, this is the perfect opportunity to attend classes, writing clinics and have your work critiqued. You’ll also have the space to write in a calm setting.
When? May 20 – 26, 2018
Where? Cedar Valley Retreat Center, West Bend, WI (USA)
How much? $430 – $1,375
18. Writing with Care
Aimed at writers of all genres, this useful retreat is led by highly knowledgeable instructors. You also get to talk about writing techniques and the tools you need to be successful.
When? June 10 – 15, 2018
Where? Newfoundland (Canada)
How much? C$750 – C$2000
19. Odyssey: The Summer Fantasy Writing Workshop
If writing fantasy, science fiction or horror is your thing, then this is the retreat for you. You’ll get top tips, weekly lectures by guest authors, and group/personal critiques.
When? June 4 – July 13, 2018
Where? Saint Anselm College, Manchester, NH (USA)
How much? $2,235
20. Juniper Summer Writing Institute and Institute for Young Writers
Although a little pricey, you do get to take part in discussions and writing exercises, as well as evening readings by writers and faculty members. Covers a range of genres including poetry and fiction. For more info:
When? June 17 – 24, 2018
Where? University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA (USA)
How much? $1,600
21. Colgate Writers’ Conference
In this 7-day event, you can take part in morning talks and workshops, as well as attend readings and talks on publishing and storytelling. You’ll also have access to award-winning writers and poets.
When? June 17 – 23, 2018
Where? Colgate University, Hamilton, NY (USA)
How much? $750 – $1800
22. Spirit of Writing Intensive Workshop
Whether you’re already established or just starting out in your writing career, this is the perfect setting to start developing your skills and your manuscript(s). Taking an in-depth focus on characters, plot and setting and the like.
When? June 25 – 30, 2018
Where? Shadyside, Pittsburgh (USA)
How much? $200
23. French Alps Writing Retreat
Aimed at aspiring authors, and hosted by Debra Moffitt, you’ll be helped to tap into your inner creativity. There’s also plenty of workshops and opportunities to exchange ideas, against the backdrop of the French Alps.
When? July 1 – 8, 2018
Where? Lake Annecy (France)
How much? €1299
24. DISQUIET International Literary Program
Although not entirely focused on fiction writing, you will be able to attend workshops, lectures, readings and critiques in this genre as part of this 2-week event. Full and partial scholarships to attend are available.
When? July 1 – 13, 2018
Where? Lisbon (Portugal)
How much? $1,950
25. Mystical Spirit: Yoga, Myth, Magic & Writing
This is quite the all-encompassing event, with workshops and critiques for a range of genres, including fiction, humor, mystery, romance, sci-fi/fantasy and Young Adult amongst others. There are also tours of the local environs.
When? June 24 – July 1, 2018
Where? West Ireland
How much? $2,175
26. Get Away to Write – Wales
One of the hot genres covered by this retreat is fiction writing. You’ll have access to workshops, guidance to publishing, as well as trips to see the local scenery (all very inspiring).
When? July 7 – 14, 2018
Where? North Wales
How much? TBC
27. The Creativity Workshop
In the beautiful setting of the Czech capital, this workshop is a well-rounded writer’s experience for inspiration. There are other workshops available under this company around the world.
When? July 9 – 13, 2018
Where? Prague (Czech Republic)
How much? $1,395
28. Hamlet’s Hideaway
In an all-inclusive retreat, you’ll get to go on a summertime retreat and stay near the Fredensborg Palace in beautiful Denmark. It’ll be a truly enchanting experience, without the dark psychology of Hamlet himself.
When? August 12 – 18, 2018
Where? Fredensborg (Denmark)
How much? $2,500
29. Autumn in Tuscany
Italy’s immense history and natural beauty are all the inspiration you need. It’s time to spend a week in the beautiful setting of Tuscany in writing workshops and yoga.
When? September 2 – 7, 2018 AND September 9 – 14, 2018
Where? Tuscany, Italy
How much? $2,650
30. Write on the Sounds Writers’ Conference
Focusing on many different types of fiction writing, this is quite a frenetic event, with up to 8 sessions per day, workshops as well as critiques, and a writing contest.
When? October 5 – 7, 2018
Where? Edmonds, WA (USA)
How much? $80 – $155
31. Western Caribbean Writing Retreat Cruise
A writing retreat with a twist – because you’ll be floating around the Caribbean on a cruise! You’ll also, more importantly, get to take part in workshops, writing sessions and networking events with all the right people.
When? October 13 – 20, 2018
Where? The Caribbean Sea
How much? $1,750
Most of these retreats and workshops might come with quite a hefty price-tag, but you will come away with a wealth of benefits to give your writing that edge. You’ll also get to see some pretty awe-inspiring landscapes that might well be the inspiration for your next book! With publishing executives also in attendance, you’ll also find the industry contacts you need to really make your writing career work. Happy travels!
Let us know if we missed any important events and we’ll probably add them if we feel they’re applicable! Note that the prices and dates were accurate at the time of publishing, and are reviewed regularly for changes. Lastly, don’t hesitate to ask any of the organizers if they offer financial aid, discounts or fellowships.
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Suzanne BullerJanuary 30, 2018
Writers retreat #2 . Kathrin Lake provides a fun, supportive learning retreat. I have gone to several of her retreats and come away each time having learned something new. She figures out what your strengths are but gently encourages you to go beyond that. I would highly recommend this retreat.
Megan Mulrine SaukulakNovember 27, 2018
Awesome list! How about a 2019 Fiction Writers’ Retreat list?
I’m hosting a Writers’ Workshop Retreat in Bali, January 19-28th! I’ve been searching most of my life for the perfect place in nature to seclude myself and write, and I found the most AMAZING location, in the foothills of Bali’s holiest mountain, where every private bungalow has a stunning view into the rice-terraced valley. This writers’ retreat is all about overcoming writers’ block–I’m a writer and editor and also a meditation teacher, so we’ll have 10 days of meditations for creativity, free writing time all day every day, and a group workshop every evening. I’m also providing private one-on-one editing sessions, 2 day trips when a change of scenery is needed, 3 meals a day, 2 massages, and tons of other creativity-enhancing activities.
Dates: January 19-28th, 2019 (10 days!)
Cost: $2000 (all-inclusive except for airfare & alcohol)
Location: Bali, Indonesia