Need a book deal? List of agents? Plus – big 10th anniversary survey and draw to win a stay here! Also – final dates for 2018 to get away and write. New – dates released for 2019 including workshops and a weekend meeting a publisher!
Ten Years of Retreats for You!
Since our doors first opened in 2008, hundreds of authors, would-be authors and other guests have stepped through the doors of our 17th Century, Grade II listed house. Now, ten years later, we are bringing you a special opportunity to win a four night, full board retreat in 2019. And all you need to do is fill in this survey:
It is about the concept of two new en-suites for the biggest bedrooms upstairs – we need your thoughts, please. What difference does it make to your decision to book with us? The new bathrooms in bedroom 3 (Martin room) and bedroom 5 (Hewitt room)* should be finished this side of Christmas, and ready to start the New Year, if all goes to plan.
The survey is just four questions long, takes about three minutes, and right at the end, you can leave your info to enter the draw.
Thanks to all of you who have helped to make it a success over the past decade, and of course lovely founders Deb and the late Bob Cooper. BTW find out what Deb’s been up to in her new blog.
It’s been nearly two years since I moved to Devon and began the daunting task of picking up the reins at RFY, and after many little updates and refurbishments we seem to be doing ok!
If you’d like to book it’s via email, to get the best deals: [email protected]
Here’s to the next ten years…
Early Bird Offer
See below for the update on upcoming retreats this side of Xmas (Oct 15, Dec 3); I must admit we are pretty full.
STOP ~PRESS – Xmas wreath-making class and Xmas concert, two day stay 10-12 December; and a New Year weekend retreat just announced – Jan 3-7, Thu-Mon. Two places already gone.
But now here’s the big announcement – for 2019, everyone who gets these regular newsletters will have first refusal for the new dates listed below, keeping 2018 prices – exclusively available to my subscribers – no one else can book for the next seven days. So get in touch soon. Please note the March weekend retreat with a talk from commissioning editors is likely to sell out fast, so we are initially taking names for a waitlist, and will contact those at the top of the list first, so get in touch asap if you’d like to come. Other dates include yoga weekends, tutored workshops and a photography weekend.
Plus first come, first served, three weeks next year where the taxi is paid…
But first, a topic of interest to the vast majority of the writer guests who have stayed at Retreats for You over the last ten years…Looking for a book deal?
The published books on our shelves are always inspiring. And for many, our quest for publication continues. On Monday 10 Sept, at the monthly Freelance Women in Media group, I attended for the first time, to hear this month’s inspirational speakers and found out about the big publisher currently taking open submissions, see below. Phoebe Grant, author and Senior Commissioning Editor for Avon Harper Collins, acknowledged it may not be open for long. As with most publishers, it’s unusual to accept an MS directly from an author as they normally only accept via an agent. Plus, they’ve already taken on 7 new authors from this rare digital-first, ‘big-six’ opportunity. So why not give it a go? She also talked about getting her own books published – and said there are many good agents out there, along with several bad ones. So in the Q & A I joked could she give us a list…! But surprisingly, we got one – of some of Phoebe’s recommended agents – see below. As most new writers know, it’s always hard being in a slush pile, but worth trying a recommendation.
Kate Leaver, a writer/reviewer/ novelist as well as an author and freelance writer specialising in women’s issues and mental health, also did a short talk and said she got her agent via an approach on Twitter. So, it can happen. Know of anyone else who did it that way? By the way Jane Corry, also pictured, is flying high in the charts with The Dead Ex, my book of the week on my recent book review blog https://www.debbieflint.com/read-it-write-it-sell-it/item/895-book-of-the-week-jane-corry-s-the-dead-ex
Pitch to a Commissioning Editor There was also much talk about the need to stop life getting in the way of finishing our own books – so true! – and how writing retreats definitely help. Phoebe has agreed to come down to us in Devon for a weekend in March to repeat her information-packed talk (see below). Do sign up for the short-list for this retreat, or any others like it and I’ll keep you informed. I’m aiming to run three similar weekends with different speakers in 2019. Other dates and cost tbc.
How about writing 25000 words or more in 4 days in like-minded company? Well fab author Nikki Moore came to RFY recently and did just that. See below. Also for an insight into a stay here, September guest Jess Meats has also given us a fab write up in her latest blog – read it here. She said the best thing was being in like-minded company and got even more words done than Nikki! Thanks Jess!
Our summer retreats have also featured a Wednesday tea rooms day, where you could take your cream tea with Devon clotted cream and scones up to your room or sit in the dining room enjoying the break. Running till end Oct and resuming next Spring.
We are filling up. We have limited spaces this side of Christmas. Two places left only, on Oct 15-19. Just reply if you’re wanting to bag one of them. Or the December week – with taxi from Exeter paid, Dec 3-7. With Christmas Decs and mulled-wine-o’clock… Then we are opening up our diary to a bright shiny new year with en suites in planning for 2019. Julie Cohen’s retreat with us on November 26th this year is full, but you can go on a waitlist by emailing [email protected] You can also ask her about other workshops too. Amanda Saint’s Flash Fiction week for Retreat West on Nov 12-16 is also taking waitlist requests which we are happy to pass on. But – you are the first to see our 2019 schedule – see below and get in touch by emailing us soon! And of course the wood burner in the lounge will soon be firing up for the longer, colder evenings…
– Writing for Therapy – we did a special blog about it for ‘Queen of Retreats’ which talks about how it can help you feel better to get your feeling out on paper. Or computer.
– Author Writes 25,000 words in 4 days at RFY – A lovely write up from successful author Nikki Moore who joined us for a four day retreat recently. Author of the ‘Love London’ series of novels, she’s written some awesome books herself and I’m looking forward to her next one being sent to us so we can add it to the shelves of former guests’ books in our dining room! Go here to read what she said about it.
– Uplit – it’s a new trend. Phoebe Morgan also said that stories with an uplifting ending are doing very well at the moment (she cited ‘Eleanor Oliphant’) – so perhaps rethink that final twist…?!
Hope your own writing is going well. If not, come on down on October 15th or Dec 3rd! And if you’ve already stayed here and there’s a copy of your finished work of art to add to our Author shelves, the address is below!
Phoebe said at the talk that two junior editors will get an initial read, and pass on their recommendations to Phoebe and Rachel. If someone’s enjoying a book particularly, it will be championed. Phoebe will then take it to an acquisitions meeting. Do follow their submission guidelines to the letter, please. Phoebe says, ‘At Avon HarperCollins, we are currently open to commercial fiction submissions, primarily in the crime, psychological suspense, saga and women’s fiction genres. Regrettably we cannot accept science-fiction or Young Adult submissions. We opened up to submissions in February and have since taken on seven exciting new authors who will all be publishing over the next year. We look forward to receiving more brilliant books!’
List of Good Agents given by Phoebe Morgan
- Hardman and Swainson
- Madeleine Milburn
- Curtis Brown
- David Higham
- HHB agency also got a mention but is not currently accepting unsolicited MSs
Other Useful links
– the Association of Authors’ Agents website is here, lists top agents in alphabetical order – many of the above appear here, with direct links to their websites and more info, so check it out.
– outstanding example of a covering letter, which got Jane Corry her publishing deal.
LATEST DATES, SPECIAL OFFERS AND THEMED RETREATS – just reply to this email to enquire – ([email protected])
October Mon 15 – Fri 19 – two places left, call soon
- Nov 22 & then 29, Amanda Saint and then Julie Cohen’s tutored retreats are waitlist only
- December Mon 3 – Fri 7 –NEW!! – just opened – full board to include tasty Xmas treats plus mulled-wine-o’clock! If coming by train, arrive on the 1.04pm at Exeter St Davids (on 10.33am from Paddington) for special taxi deal – transfers included to and from RFY / Exeter.
- December Mon 10 – Wed 12 – TWO DAY STAY for non-writers (and writers) to include:
- Xmas wreath making class with churchparkflowers.co.uk, take your own away.
- free ticket to the local Xmas concert where Debbie Flint and Barry ‘the singing councillor’ Parsons will be serenading everyone with White Christmas and a selection of festive tunes. Back by demand after August’s success, and again in aid of the church roof fund. Tues 7pm
- wine at supper both nights
- from dinner Monday (check in from 3pm) till breakfast Wed – £217 per person (4 places left)
NEW DATES FOR 2019 –
Early Bird offer – one week exclusive availability to subscribers of this newsletter only – New en suites to be completed? Hope so! Provisional bookings for Spring being taken – pick a date and ask us about it.
- Monday to Friday retreats every month, 2018 prices of £95 pppn held if you book as soon as possible (will be going up to £98 or if you opt for en suite, £115 per night). Full board including lunch Monday to lunch Friday, inc wine at supper; all hot drinks and snacks, homemade banana bread and flapjacks etc Dietary needs catered for inc veggie, vegan, gluten free, dairy free etc.
- Weekend offer – New Year 2019 resolution to get that novel written? Join us for healthy eating weekend January 2019 – Thursday 3 – Monday 7. £95pppn if you book by December 17th. Voucher available if it’s a gift. Two places already gone.
- TAXI INCLUDED Selected weeks for train passengers with transfer incl – arrive by train at Exeter St Davids by 1.04pm (eg the 10.33 from Paddington) on the Monday and Taxi is included (needs three passengers minimum to book – first come first served.) – specific dates only including weeks commencing Monday Feb 4, March 18, April 8, May 27 (no others currently planned) NB trainline has low prices atm for those journeys.
- Yoga weeks with healthy eating Waitlist possible – email us to book or be alerted when we confirm yoga weeks, tbc April 15, July 15, Aug 12, Oct
- Photography Weekend – Spring 2019 TBC – email us to go on the waiting list.
- ‘Just Write’ weeks in 2019 – email us to let you know as soon as we fix dates for state roughly when you would like to come and we will tell you what’s available. You just come and write your story, poetry, thesis, or whatever; we do the rest – no chores, no cooking, just me-time for you to enjoy.
- BLOCK BOOKING FOR WRITING GROUPS – you block book and collect money, book five places and your sixth one is free. £50 deposit now each (or £125 for tutors bringing their own students) Balance payable one month before the retreat date. Several weeks available for hire in 2019 – email us now.
SPECIALIST RETREATS 2019:
- Pitch to a publisher weekend – incl talks from Harper Collins commissioning editors Phoebe Morgan (Avon) and Charlotte Mursell (HQ) March 7-11th. Includes talk and one-to-one pitch session afterwards. More info below** NB Waitlist being taken initially due to popularity – pls email us immediately if you are interested, no payment at this stage. Cost tbc , min £429 early bird fee (rising to min £459 later)
- Alison May – tutored workshop June 17th-21st – Developing Your Novel – for anyone with a novel in progress, or just starting; incl in depth one-to-one tutorials as well as optional workshops. £545 if you book before 2019 . More info direct from Alison – ask us to put you in touch.
- Julie Cohen – tutored workshop, date tbc – always sells out early – please email us asap to go on list for when date is announced and we will let Julie know.
- OTHERS TO FOLLOW – stay signed up to our newsletter to get first refusal and early bird offers.
Debbie (and Wendy and team)
07949052208 text me for urgent enquiries, or just email [email protected]
Do come and try us out – no chores, full board, wine at dinner. Picturesque, cosy, inspirational thatched house in North Devon. Very affordable as well, given what is included! You just have to lock yourself away and get that book done!
From £95 pppn (yes really!) 2018 PRICES Do email us to book – [email protected]
Deposit of just £50 secures your place, the rest payable on or before arrival.
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Retreats For You
Beaworthy, Devon EX21 5NE
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