Susan Elderkin returns for her ever popular Spring Writer’s Retreat on 13th to 17th May 2019.

This very special retreat will explore the use of poetry to give greater intensity in writing -how poems can help take us to more subtle and complex places, and the resulting stories pack a greater emotional punch. We’re excited to welcome Guest Speaker Bruce Coffin, who will also lead the group in morning readings. The daily morning workshops will investigate how to capture with accuracy what we see in the world around us, then bringing emotion and meaning to bear on it. And the afternoons as always will offer time to yourselves to explore your own projects or simply relax.

With accommodation on one of our comfortable bedrooms, home cooked meals in the dining room, and time to explore the local area, these retreats offer a perfect mix of productive writing and a relaxing environment.

For more information have a look at the flyer here, or contact us for more information on, or

Sponsored by the Buddy Holly Educational Foundation, the Chris Difford Songwriting Retreat is like no other writer retreat. With over 30 successful or up and coming artists from all over the world staying in the house or around the village, the retreat provides an amazing opportunity for artists to collaborate with one another to write new songs and create new friendships in a relaxed setting.

During the week–long intimate retreat, each day Chris, himself a two time Ivor Novello Award winner, organises the artists in to small groups. They head off to various parts of the house or gardens and write all day, breaking for relaxed lunches on the south facing terrace and dinners in the Coach House.

In the evening the artists all gather after dinner to show and tell in the Coach House, or if the weather is good, play acoustic performances in the courtyard. Late nights are spent playing together around the fire pit. And on the final night they perform a concert of the best songs in East Pennard village church.

We’re delighted to announce details of the latest creative writing retreat with novelist Susan Elderkin, which take place between Monday 12th and Friday 16th November 2018.

This autumn retreat will explore ‘finding the plot’ – how to create character-driven plots and sub-plots, and how to let those plots give our stories real pace and momentum. If you already have a writing project on the go (short stories, a novel, a memoir, or something as yet undefined) this retreat offers a brilliant opportunity to make great strides with it.  And if you don’t yet know what you want to write, you’ll almost certainly see a project taking shape by the end of the week.

These retreats are a wonderful chance to immerse yourself in your writing project for five days while being looked after in true Pennard style. The days are based around morning workshops in the drawing room led by Susan – expect to work hard, learn loads (from one another as well as your tutor), and have a lot of fun! On Wednesday night we are pleased to welcome Guest Speaker Tessa Hadley, winner of the Hawthornden Prize for her novel The Past and twice long-listed for the Orange prize. At least one of the workshops this week will be inspired by her work

As usual the afternoons are left free for you to write in a quiet corner of the conservatory, lose yourself in a book, or meander in the beautiful grounds – feel free to come and see the cider apple harvest which is in full flow. The evenings generally find everyone gathering for drinks and conversation around the fire – or perhaps reading out that day’s newly written story. All guests will have their own room and delicious healthy meals are all included, with the option of morning yoga. Now in its sixth year, these popular retreats run twice a year and have become a Pennard fixture – we love welcoming back familiar faces and meeting new aspiring writers each year.

More details about the retreat can be found on the flyer here. These retreats tend to book up fast so do get in touch if you’re interested – email Susan on or contact Harry on

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