17 Reasons to Attend Writing Retreats

You’ve got a manuscript to finish, obligations and a million ‘to-dos’ on your list, so why would you drop everything to attend writing retreats?

Benefits of Writing Retreats

  1. Inspiration – creativity is contagious; by surrounding yourself with other writers, you’ll be motivated to write.
  2. Productivity – this is not a holiday or time off from work; this is focused time for your writing. Good writing retreats will send you home with pagepublishing seminars and pages of words on the page. Your words.
  3. Deadlines – most retreats offer the opportunity to share your work; which means you’ll need to have something ready to share.
  4. Contacts – you’ll meet fellow writers, influencers and industry professionals at these gigs. You might gain a contact who can help you get your manuscript read by your favourite publisher, or a well-known author who will endorse your next book. Best of all, you’ll make true friends, people who understand your passion for stories and encourage you through your journey.
  5. Professionalism – attending writing industry events shows you take your career seriously, this is something to add to your writing CV.
  6. Role17reasons Models – we all need a hero sometimes, you can be inspired and learn from mistakes and successes of established authors.
  7. Industry Knowledge – there are so many lesser know steps and details in the path from writing to publication, you’ll be amazed at the tips you pick up.
  8. Publishing Options – In today’s market, there are many ways to become a published author, learn all the choices available to you.
  9. Pitching – many events will provide the opportunity for  you to pitch your story to an agent or publisher. This could actually be your big break!
  10. Socialising – you need to practise your people skills.
  11. Marketing Advice – ‘the moving finger writes, and having writ, moves on’ (Omar Khayyám); except writers can not simply move on to their next project, they must find ways to promote and sell their work. This is a specialised skill and it’s smart to get advice from experts.story structure workshop
  12. Writing Technique – writers should always aim to improve their technique; workshops can help you sharpen your writing skills.
  13. Ideas – you’ll come away with a dozen new novels just waiting to be written.
  14. Escape – getting away from daily routines and obligations will give you a chance to breath again and refresh your creativity.
  15. Confidence – you’ve invested a lot of time into writing, these events help confirm your choices rid you of self-doubt.
  16. Tech Tips – if you’re not savvy in the ways of the online world you miss out on many marketing opportunities, learn how to ‘build a platform’ (no hammer and nails required).
  17. Reward – after all the work you’ve put in, after everything you do for everyone else, don’t you deserve this?

Charmaine Clancy co-cordinates the yearly Rainforest Writing Retreat (RWR) with Anthony Puttee, founder of Book Cover Cafe. Together with a cast of esteemed presenters, each experts in their field of writing, editing or publishing, they lure writers to a location set in the beautiful Australian rainforest, where guests will spend three days networking, learning from masterclasses, pitching their manuscript and most importantly, writing.

writing retreats 2015



January the first—the most motivational day of the year—the day we are filled with confidence that this will be the year we achieve our SMART goals. We all start out with such good intentions. Why are some goals achieved and others forgotten? It comes down to the way we plan our SMART goals.

2015 goalsSMART is an acronym that acts as a mnemonic technique to help you remember the rule for goal setting. Here’s how that looks:

SMART goals:

  1. Specific — If your goal is too general, it’s harder to keep an image of the end result in mind. ‘I want to be a writer’ is too general, ‘I want to write everyday’ or ‘I want to finish the first draft of my novel’ is more specific.
  2. Measurable — Can you keep track of your progress on this goal? If your goal is to finish edits on your novel, break the goal down into steps that you can tick off. Perhaps the first is to contact at least ten people to read your draft, or you could break the novel into areas that need addressing, such as characterisation, setting, plot problems, dialogue, etc and work through one at a time.
  3. Achievable — Make the goal somethinBest writer's retreatg that is within your grasp. Don’t choose things your can’t control, such as games of chance, and don’t aim higher than your ability. Producing ten novels a year might sound great, but would be near impossible to fit into your life schedule.
  4. Relevant — How will this goal add effect to your current life? If you’re currently in your final year of study in the field of science, choosing a goal such as touring with a rock band would only distract you from your current achievements.
  5. Time-bound —  Setting deadlines to achieve goals greatly increases the chance of success.

But even the SMART goals template is not enough to endure duration needed to achieve the goal. You need more. You need to ask one major question about your goal.


If you have a clear purpose, a reason for all this hard work (and any good goal is hard work), then you’ll stay focused and motivated until you reach your goal. But wait. There’s more.

Editing goalsKEEP IT SIMPLE

You have many aspects to your life, your work, family, interest, health, etc. You have to do it all, it’s not like you can just stop caring about your health because you want to write a novel. Still, you need to prioritise your goals, set ONE big goal for the year. All your other goals still exist, you can make them to-dos or set monthly goals. For example; SMART goals slim downI’m embarking on SMART goals write a novela whole health and fitness routine goal with my family. It’s got to happen, it will  happen. I’m also teaching, learning, writing, editing, and running an amazing writer’s retreat (see the bottom for a link for more info on that). But I need ONE clear goal for 2015. And I need to commit. I also want it to be challenging.

Publish THREE novels in 2015!

What are your SMART goals for 2015? Can you choose ONE main goal? And the big question — WHY do you want this?
Keep a visual of your goal handy and remind yourself why you’re doing this every day!

Is your goal to attend a writing retreat in 2015?

The Rainforest Writing Retreat held it’s first event in May 2014 — 0ur aim was to provide a supportive environment where writers could come together, relax, mingle, write and learn. It was an amazing success. 2015’s retreat will be even better. Click on the image below (or go to: www.RainforestWritingRetreat) to find out more about this incredible three day retreat, filled with writing masterclasses from popular authors and industry professionals, laughter, good food, and the opportunity to pitch your manuscript to a highly sought-after publishing house. All this, and the costs are kept to a minimum to make this retreat accessible for all writers.

Best Australian Retreat for writers