Whether you’re a successful novelist or just someone with a really good idea for a story, a writing retreat could be just the thing that you need to get that story on paper.
A writing retreat is a cross between a writer’s networking event or conference and a writer’s residence: the former is about making connections and learning new skills, while the latter focuses more on solitude and the act of writing itself.
Portugal, thanks to its great weather, beautiful scenery, and reputation as a must-visit travel destination, is quickly becoming host to more and more retreats for just about every kind of interest including startups, digital nomads, yoga and meditation, fitness bootcamps, and of course writing retreats.
Disquiet International Literary Program
The Disquiet program is run by a group of North American writers with ties to Portugal. It is a collaboration between several companies and organisations including Dzanc Books in the United States, the Portuguese Centro Nacional de Cultura and the Luso-American Development Foundation.
Disquiet offers a two-week writing program in Lisbon that combines workshops with practical writing time and socialising. They also offer a 10-day residency program, which takes place on the Azores.
Yoga & Creativity Retreats
Although they don’t necessarily focus specifically on writing, yoga retreats, and especially yoga and creativity retreats, can be a great way to jumpstart your creativity. These retreats focus on relaxing and clearing your mind, which is something every writer needs regardless of whether they’re starting a new project or stuck in the middle of one.
Alternatively, Create Your Own Retreat
Writing retreats can be expensive, and one alternative is to simply create your own. All you really need is a group of fellow writers who want to go on the retreat with you. The accommodation can easily be sorted through Airbnb, Wimdu, or any of the other number of property rental websites. As for the inspiring talks, you may not be able to attract the same calibre of speaker as some of the more expensive retreats but you could budget for communal talks for course websites like Masterclass.com or just share your favourite Ted Talks.