May 14 – 17, 2020

Tutored retreat for novel writers at Templeton House, Kintbury, Berkshire. Residential and non residential places available. Workshops, Q & A sessions and evening readings with award winning authors and a leading literary agent. Aimed at writers who are working on a novel and would benefit from some expert tuition and editorial help alongside the time and space to write in a tranquil and comfortable private home. Suitable for writers at all stages of their writing.

Yoga can also be arranged if enough writers are interested.

Details of the workshops and tutors as follows:

“The Writer’s Palette” with Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott

Author and screen writer Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott  will be giving a workshop on the writer’s palette. 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 in the mid of the reader evoking emotion and engaging the reader in a new experience. 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.

As a debut writer Kelleigh will also talk about her journey to getting published. There will be a Q & A session and an evening reading.

“Voice and Point of View” with Alice Jolly

Alice will be addressing the tricky issue of point of view in her afternoon workshop. 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?

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. She is also a tutor in creative writing at Oxford University. Her latest novel Mary Ann Sate, Imbecile charts the life of a 19th century servant in rural Gloucestershire during a period of tumultuous political upheaval. Shortlisted for the Rathbones Folio Prize, the novel is written in rolling free verse and has been described as a lyrical tour de force.

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. She will also give an evening reading.

“Agent Submissions – Synopses, Cover letters and Insider tips with Nelle Andrew

Many writers struggle with synopses and leading literary agent  Nelle Andrew from Peters, Fraser + Dunlop will address this in her afternoon workshop. She will also talk about the cover letter and how writers can stand out in the slush pile. Plus she will share her industry inside knowledge of publishing trends. Nelle recently signed two of the shortlisted authors for our First Novel Award and is actively looking for debuts. So if you are looking for representation this workshop will be invaluable.

Editorial One on One Sessions

In addition to the three workshops, resident 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 retreat.

Venue and Location

Kintbury is on the River Kennet between Newbury and Marlborough. An hour by train from London Paddington this charming village has its own train station (and pub!). Templeton House is located just outside the village in a quiet and beautiful spot with far reaching views over parkland. The house has extensive gardens, a tennis court and indoor swimming pool. Please be aware that it’s a private home not a luxury hotel. There are lovely walks along the canal and directly through parkland from the house. There is a yoga studio across the field from the house and a session can be arranged if enough writers are interested.

All meals will be prepared by our own chef with an emphasis on locally sourced ingredients and healthy food. Dietary requirements may be catered for within reason.

Accommodation and Costs

Comfortable accommodation with a range of prices to suit all budgets.  The cost includes tuition, meals and snacks. There will be limited alcohol provided but writers are welcome to bring their favourite tipple! There are a small number of non residential places for writers living locally. Please enquire for more details.

Bedrooms with twin, double or king size beds. All writers will have their own desk and a place to write. The larger bedrooms have desks in the rooms. The bathrooms are shared between two or three writers. There are a limited number of ensuite bedrooms. Please enquire for details.

Residential: Bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms from £850 – £1,150;  Bedrooms with shared bathrooms from £650 to £850

Non Residential: £450

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?

If you have any other questions about our retreats please fill out the form

£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.

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