Writers' Retreats.


All-Inclusive Writing Retreats and Writers' Residential Courses Courses With Private Rooms.






Join the next retreat

Welcome to Writers' Heaven.

Our writers' retreats and courses are set in a beautiful manor house in rural Dorset, not far from the sea. All the things you could ever want for your dream writing retreat; lovely private rooms, log fires, personal writing space, great food, beautiful scenery, lively chat or rural solitude. Enjoy time with your fellow writers and tutor Louise Dean.

Your story starts here.

writers retreats
writers retreats

'The retreat really does what it says on the tin. I get away from daily distractions and focus on production. I have done a general overhaul of my manuscript, adding missing pieces plus some fresh ideas. Dinner is a winner every night. So write on my fellow literary spirits! Enjoy our time together in these hallowed grounds of creation.'

Babar Javed.

"The standard of the writing is so high and the teaching is so focused on your personal needs. It was completely different to any other writing retreat or course I had been on. It is wonderful to find such camaraderie whilst going through the very personal, isolated experience of writing your first novel.The undisturbed writing time, the formal and informal discussions with Louise, and the great conversations with the other writers on the retreat. The lovely sofa with blankets, perfect for reading... I completed my synopsis and found inspiration and focus to help me progress with my story. I was also hugely inspired by the other writers. I have returned home with a whole section of my head and space in my life unexpectedly dedicated to my story."

Gabrielle McLaughlin
(The Bridport 2018)

"Meeting the other writers and having one-on-one time with Louise was invaluable. It made me feel part of a group, gave me a stronger sense of belonging to the community, and reinforced my joy and excitement for my own novel. The Bridport Retreat has left me feeling warm and fuzzy for my novel again. Musings with the other writers over tea & cake gave me a much better understanding of how the writing can work. I feel inspired and excited now for my plan to get this novel of mine to the next stage."

Niki O'Callaghan
(The Bridport 2018)

"This was by far the most productive writing 'class' that I have attended. Its magic lay in the particular mix delivered of close guidance and individual progression. I was very pleased with the momentum achieved on the retreat, which continues to drive me at home. An all round excellent experience."

Babar Javed
(The Bridport 2018)

"The retreat was a lovely mix of great conversation, quiet contemplation, gorgeous food, and serious writing. It was a special experience too to hear everyone read their work out loud, warmed by the poetry of lamplight, blankets and log fires."

Hannah Dolby
(The Bridport 2018)

"A really wonderful retreat in the gorgeous Dorset countryside. A perfect peaceful environment for writing; a beautiful room of ones own and acres of living space. A safe and encouraging place to share work and insightful conversations with fellow writers, sustained by great food. Louise Dean’s as ever generous spirit (and spirits) guided us all throughout and Romla Ryan’s epic hospitality and log fire left us warmed and renewed for the task ahead."

Charlotte Purchas
(The Bridport 2018)

The Bridport Retreat 4-10 November 2019. £695.

The 6-day writing retreat. Enjoy peace and plenty and the like-minded company of other writers in the Manor in rural Dorset. Luxurious bedding and soft pillows for serious slumber. Includes breakfasts and home-cooked dinners, and homemade cake at tea time. After-dinner readings. Benefit from a one to one session with author and tutor Louise Dean to make a plan for your path to publication. Rest, and write. Just ten places to guarantee writers pace and the attention their work deserves. Book now for early easy payment plans.

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The Full English Course 2-9 February 2020. £975.

A fully 7-day coached course with daily lessons and guest speakers to take your writing to the next level.  Morning lessons with an award-winning author  will remind you of the obvious and wonderful and help you focus on realizing your highest ambitions. One to one afternoon sessions with author Louise Dean to explore your plot and concept and give feedback on your writing. Team evenings of food, fun and chat with like-minded writers. Guest speakers. Includes home-cooked meals. Crack your novel and find new inspiration.       

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Peace and Plenty For Writers.


In the glorious West Country sits the stunning county of Dorset. Its coastline is the world famous Jurassic Coast; a Natural World Heritage site with beautiful beaches, ancient cliffs and craggy caves. It is perfect for those in search of rural idylls. The county of Dorset resonates with the romance of Thomas Hardy, Jane Austin and Daphne du Maurier all of whom used it as a backdrop in their works. The Vale of Marshwood is a unique and special place with its ancient small fields much as it was during the Iron Age. The Vale’s remoteness brings a level of peaceful tranquility that is hard to find and some excellent star-gazing on clear nights. Marshwood Manor is surrounded by green fields it is  only ten minutes from the coast.


All-Inclusive Residential Writing Courses.

writers retreats


Private rooms in cottages. Some rooms have writing spaces (desk and chair) in the room. For those without, another private designated writing space will be allocated to each writer. Rooms will be allocated on receipt of deposit on a first-come-first-served basis. Each bathroom is shared by no more than two people. Toiletries, luxury bedding, all towels and free wifi are available in all cottages. Each cottage has a utility room with washer and dryer at guests’ disposal.

There is a games room on site, plenty of parking and hosts available 24/7. There are charming pubs close by. Bridport is packed with wonderful cafes and restaurants if you are going to an event at the literary festival.

writers retreats

Home-made Food

All meals are home cooked using local ingredients.The cottages are stocked on arrival with tea, coffee, milk, fruit teas, full fruit bowl, full biscuit tin. Breakfast and supper is delivered to the cottages. Breakfast basket includes bread, croissants, butter, jams, eggs, juice, cereal, yogurts and one or two other treats. There are fridges in the cottages if you wish to bring food or snacks or there are pubs nearby.All cottages have dishwashers. Cake will be available at tea-time 4pm in the cottage kitchens. Supper will be delivered to alternate cottages each night so all guests can come together at the end of the day. Sparkling water and wine is provided but guests are welcome to bring their own alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks.  Dietary requirements can be accommodated.

writers retreats

A Writers' Environment

The Manor is set in 13 acres of garden and woodland for total peace and quiet and stunning scenery. It has it's own licensed shop on site. The cottages have large, communal sitting rooms with log-burners and tv but we ask that tvs/laptops/radios are only used with headphones when other guests may be writing. Writers will be at leisure to keep their own hours, writing sleeping, walking as they wish. Breakfast and supper and tea will be at fixed times but all are optional. You can schedule your one-to-one hour with author tutor Louise Dean to discuss steps towards publication of your work. After dinner readings of first chapters test your work live. Get the feedback you need to make big decisions and take a huge leap towards getting that novel done.

Louise Dean. Your Tutor.

Experience the energy of Louise Dean's coaching.

'I remember Louise telling us on the first evening, ‘this week you’re going to walk the walk: you’re all writers,’ and the ripple that went around the room, the collective intake of breath.'

Emylia Hall. (Author of A Heart Bent Out of Shape, The Sea Between Us and The Thousand Lights Hotel.)




Louise Dean's novels have been published internationally by Penguin, Simon & Schuster and others. Man Booker longlisted. Winner of The Society of Authors Betty Trask Prize, Winner Le Prince Maurice Prize. Nominated for The Guardian First Book Prize, the Dublin IMPAC Literary Award. An Oprah Book Club choice. Louise is an inspiring coach. Your story starts here. 



"Louise is exceptionally intelligent, talented and literate and always wholeheartedly encouraging."

Helen Callaghan
Author of 'Dear Amy' and 'Everything is Lies'.

"Louise's dazzling expertise at every level of the novel-writing odyssey. It's like going to a very good school where the head truly has a calling."

Ann Hodson

"Louise listens, encourages and gives good critical feedback not some airy fairy feedback but something that makes sense...she’s all about getting it done. She explains how and why things should be done in a certain way - it finally fell into place for me. That dream of writing a novel isn’t a dream anymore."

Ros Try-Hane

"Louise certainly knows her stuff and my style of writing has improved dramatically. I have achieved so much more than I thought I was capable of. "

Viv Singfield

"Your guide knows what lies ahead, but has retained her thirst for the unexpected, she is discovering just as much as you are. I managed to leave the inner critic behind very early in the process. That's down to Louise. I don't know how she did it, but it's the first time ever."

Sam Hudson

"Louise has been there and done that, and she knows what you are experiencing every step of the way. "

David Hogarth

"Wow! Louise is a gifted facilitator. This course has made me really think about what I want to achieve with this book and has given me the confidence to stretch myself far more than I thought possible."

Sara Bailey

"I feel alive, inspired and creative again. That’s all thanks to Louise. "

Lindsey Pitt

"With Louise, you have a fabulous tutor, mentor and friend all in one."

Janice Cumberlidge

"Louise is a supportive and insightful tutor and the daily lessons brim with enthusiasm, knowledge, and years of experience."

Jo Martin

"I remember Louise telling us on the first evening, ‘this week you’re going to walk the walk: you’re all writers,’ and the ripple that went around the room, the collective intake of breath."

Emylia Hall.
Emylia Hall. (Author of A Heart Bent Out of Shape, The Sea Between Us and The Thousand Lights Hotel.)

Tim Lott. Tutor and Author.

Tim joined Louise to co-tutor 'The Full English' 2019 course. After a career in journalism, Tim's first book, The Scent of Dried Roses, a memoir, was published in 1996 and won the PEN/JR Ackerley Prize for Autobiography. His first novel, White City Blue, (1999) a contemporary portrait of friendship and rivalry between a group of young single men, won the Whitbread First Novel Award. It was followed Rumours of Hurricane (2002), a portrait of working class life in Britain in the 1980’s, which was shortlisted for the Whitbread Novel Award. He has been a regular columnist for The Guardian. Having taught for The Arvon foundation and  Guardian Masterclasses, Tim is renowned for his inspiring and pithy writing and life insights.

Tim Lott

Ian Wallace. Dream Expert. Guest Speaker.

Ian Wallace is a best-selling author and popular broadcaster on the subject of dreams and the unconscious self. Our guest speaker on 'The Full English' Course 2019, Ian will be teaching a session on linguistic imagery, symbolism and mythopoesis, based on the dreaming process.


'Dreams don’t just happen to you, you actually happen to your dreams. You create everything in your dreams. Every person you encounter, every place you go, every event you experience is generated by your unconscious self. By understanding why you create your unique dream content, you invariably achieve a profound understanding of who you really are, what you really need, and what you really believe.'


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