Bringing writers and publishers together

A Writers’ Retreat will be one of the many ways writing and literature are explored in this year’s Festival of Chichester

After the success of her second Writers’ Retreat last year, Katy Lassetter, of Chichester Copywriter, will bring Sussex authors and publishers together in a beautiful location this July. The idea behind these writing weekends is to inspire want-to-be wordsmiths to unlock their creativity and put their pens to paper, Katy explained.

On July 5-6, Chichester Copywriter’s third Writers’ Retreat will be held at Tortington Priory Barn in Arundel.

“This comfortable, modern building (winner of an English Heritage Award) nestles in the shadows of an atmospheric thatched Grade II Listed Building and offers views across to Arundel Castle and Arundel Cathedral.”

As Katy explains, she selects picturesque spaces that help writers to free their minds: “This year’s venue offers a lavender garden, courtyards and two wild ponds.

“Whether they opt for a day place or the entire weekend, attendees will receive a full programme of interactive creative writing workshops and informative tip-filled talks run by authors of a range of genres including fiction (for children, young adults and adults) poetry and non-fiction.

“These Writers’ Retreats offer something for writers of all stages and ages.

Abbie Headon (Poetry First Aid Kit, Summersdale Publishers Ltd, 2013) managing and commissioning editor at Summersdale, will provide a guided tour of a book’s lifecycle, from proposal through to publication. She will cover topics such as editing, cover design and format choices and invite questions on all aspects of publishing.

“Other authors giving workshops include Cathy Watts (Sandies in the Beach Huts, 2008; Hello Again Sandies!, 2009; Watch Out for the Sandies, 2011; The Woodies by the Ponds, 2012 – all published by Pomegranate Press). In fact, Cathy’s fourth book is set at Tortington Priory Barn’s ponds and summerhouse. Her two-hour workshop will consider how the natural world inspires writing.

On the Sunday, Mark A Radcliffe (Gabriel’s Angel, Bluemoose, 2010; Stranger Than Kindness, Bluemoose, 2013) will lead a workshop of writing exercises to help writers to develop characters and enhance their fiction.

Anyone interested in promoting their writing and building their online profile will also get the chance to ask Katy about social media marketing and/or copy-editing in an informal Q&A session.

“Each Retreat has received excellent feedback from participants, many of whom have gone on to gain places in writing competitions and publish their work.”

Caroline Auckland, one of last year’s Writers’ Retreat attendees, said: “I attended the last Chichester Copywriter’s Writers’ Retreat in 2013. It was a wonderful experience, varied and inspirational. The mix of targeted writing sessions combined with the outdoor free session resulted in a very comfortable but stimulating environment.”

This year’s Writers’ Retreat is part of Festival of Chichester.

Story Massage project founders Mary Atkinson and Sandra Hooper will share their experiences of creating a non-fiction eBook on the Sunday. Mary has been involved with the two previous Writers’ Retreat:

Tickets are from £85 per day and £165 for the weekend (if booked by May 17). To see the full programme of talks and workshops, visit: http://tinyurl.com/CCWritersRetreat2014. Contact Katy Lassetter on: 01243 533421 or email: Katy@ChichesterCopywriter.co.uk for further information or to book your place.