Life Writing Retreat – Start Your Story

Life Writing - Start your Story

Do you want to be a writer?  Not sure where to start?  Or do you want to return to writing after a time where 'life has got in the way?'

Join us for this fabulous three-day retreat, that will offer a distraction-free break, as well as tutored time to kick-start or reignite your writing journey.

This will be held in the heart of beautiful Harrogate, a spa town on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales, that has inspired the likes of Barbara Taylor-Bradford, Alan Bennett and the Bronte sisters.  It is also home to the Harrogate Crime Writing Festival.

What's included in your retreat?

  • A comfortable en-suite room (sharing available at a reduced cost)
  • All home cooked, locally sourced meals (special diets catered for)
  • Tutored writing workshops with published poet, novelist and creative writing teacher, Maria Stephenson (
  • Life Coaching Sessions with Life Writing Coach, Ali Standen (
  • Both group and one-to-one sessions with Maria and Ali
  • Lots of time and space to be immersed in your writing
  • Afternoon tea at the Swan Hotel (where Agatha Christie disappeared to for 11 days in 1926)
  • Further activities (e.g. mindfulness/relaxation, woodland walk)
  • Optional post-retreat programme of set writing tasks and personal development activities

When:  Tuesday 19th February 2019 (arrival from 3pm) to Friday 22 February 2019 (departure around noon)

Where:  Acorn Lodge, Studley Road, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, Tel: 01423 525630 (

Cost:    Own en-suite room £460        Shared room or room with private bathroom £405   (prices fully inclusive)

Booking: Download the application form here: Application for Life Writing Retreat

To request the programme or more information, contact Maria or Ali


About Your Hosts:

Maria Stephenson

Maria is the author of Poetry for the Newly Single 40 Something and Don't Call Me Mum.  A further two crime novels she has written are coming soon.  She has been leading writing courses, workshops and retreats for five years and is described as an inspirational and encouraging teacher.  She holds Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and has an MA in Creative Writing.



Maria be working with you on the following:

  • helping you to 'live' as a writer
  • identify your writing aspirations
  • generating ideas to begin and follow several writing projects through to completion
  • identify aspects of your life that you will write about
  • developing a variety of writing skills

Ali Standen

Ali, along with partner Phil, is the proprietor of Acorn Lodge.  She is a qualified teacher of Psychology and an experienced life coach with an advanced diploma from the Coaching Academy.  She has written short stories for many years and is nearing completion with her debut novel.  She is described as a motivational and uplifting coach.



Ali will be working with you on the following:

  • the emotion behind creativity and writing
  • the story behind a feeling
  • what's been stopping you getting started?
  • what are your strengths, skills, knowledge and attributes
  • confidence building and goal setting

We can't wait to work with you - places are strictly limited to ten so book your place today!

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