September 25 – 27, 2020

Due to the ongoing pandemic, our retreats have been cancelled for the time being. However, the September writing weekend will move online. The three workshops with our guest tutors will go ahead as scheduled via zoom. Writers will also have a one on one editorial session with one of our editors. Please get in touch for more information.

The cost will be £300 for all three workshops and a one on one session with an editor. The workshops may also be booked individually at a cost of £50 per workshop. Spaces will be limited so that where possible tutors can interact with the group.

“Point of View and Narrators” with Alice Jolly – Friday September 25

As a writer, do you know when you have changed view point? Why have you changed view point and are you sure you need to?“ Point of View” seems to get writers in more of a tangle than any other technical issue. In this workshop, author and creative writing tutor Alice Jolly explains how to get it right. Alice will also talk about her experiences of being traditionally published as well as by Unbound, an independent, crowdfunding publisher and answer your questions about getting published.

Alice Jolly  is a novelist, playwright and memoirist who has won both the V S Pritchett Memorial Prize for short stories and the PEN/Ackerley Prize for autobiography.

“Agent Submissions – Synopses, Cover letters and Insider tips” with Nelle Andrew – Saturday September 26

Think of your submission package as a job application for your book. You not only want to apply to the right people, the ones who have a passion for the books you write, but you want to present your book in such a way that they will easily see what your book has to offer.  Leading literary agent Nelle Andrew discusses the dos and don’ts of submitting to agents, how you can make your submission stand out from the pile, and what you should be asking a potential agent. The workshop will include your cover letter, how to write a clear synopsis and the tools you need to hone your elevator pitch. She will also share her industry knowledge and talk about what publishers are looking for.

Nelle Andrew was nominated for Literary Agent of the Year at The British Book Awards 2018, and was a Bookseller Rising Star (2016) whose career includes discovering Sunday Times, and New York Times bestsellers; award winning novelists as well as several Richard and Judy Book Club Picks. She’s also a published novelist in her own right.

“The Writer’s Palette” with Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott – Sunday September 27

Whether describing everyday events, love and loss, complex plots or mystery drama, when used effectively, the writer’s palette paints a vivid and vibrant picture. Author and screen writer Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott ‘s workshop on the writer’s palette will give writers the tools to create evoke emotion and engage the reader in a vivid experience. As a debut writer Kelleigh will also talk about her journey to getting published. The session will include a Q & A session.

Kelleigh’s background in screenwriting gives her work a very visual and strong sense of place and time and her characterisation highly nuanced. Her debut novel Swan Song, a fictionalised reimagining of the later life of US author Truman Capote tells of the writer’s last years in the voices of the society women or “Swans” whom he befriended and then betrayed. The novel won this year’s McKitterick Prize, was longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction and shortlisted for the Goldsboro Award.

Editorial One on One Sessions

In addition to the three workshops, writers will have a one-on-one session with a BPA editor to work on any problems they may be experiencing. Writers are asked to submit their synopsis and a 3,000 word extract ahead of the weekend.

Please check our terms and conditions before booking.


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Frequently Asked Questions

What can I expect from a BPA retreat?

An opportunity to stay in a privately owned home that is stylish and comfortable with a creative and inspiring atmosphere. Stunning gardens and extensive grounds with a swimming pool and tennis court. Delicious healthy food cooked by our chef with local produce. Workshops and talks from renowned authors, agents and publishers. A one on one editorial session with a BPA editor as well as help and advice as needed. Evening readings and advice on submissions and pitching to agents.

Writers are free to work on their novels for most of the day with afternoon and evening events. You can join in as much as you want. 

How many writers and editors are there on the retreat?

The group is small – generally no more than ten writers.  We try to ensure a group of like minded writers at similar stages in their writing. There are two of us from BPA and our cook. We are always available for help and advice throughout your stay.

What are the rooms like?

Writers have a choice of rooms at different prices from huge en suites to smaller characterful single rooms with shared bathrooms. Sharers can be accommodated at a discounted rate.  All the bedrooms have their own desk and chair. Most rooms have lovely views over the gardens.

What’s included in the cost?

Boutique style accommodation, three meals a day plus afternoon tea, a one on one editorial session, tuition and talks from guest tutors. Alcohol is not included.

Need more information?

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£300 deposit to secure your place. Contact us to check room availability. The balance is payable 8 weeks prior to the retreat start date.
Check our terms and conditions before booking.

Retreats Deposit 2019

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