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 writing holiday, 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.

Writing Holiday

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 (
  • Full two day programme of 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:  Monday 1st April 2019 to Thursday 4th April 2019

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

Cost:    one night £245 - two nights £325 - three nights £405  (Prices fully inclusive)

£55 surcharge for single en-suite room - two 'day only' places available at £175



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

To request the programme (available from mid-March) or ask for more information, contact Maria or Ali

About Your Hosts:

Maria Stephenson

Maria is the author of Poetry for the Newly Single 40 Something, Don't Call Me Mum and An After Dinner's Sleep. 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 (e.g. planning, characterisation, setting, dialogue, show, don't tell, editing, presentation) 

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!


Reserve Your Place

Or click below for more information

3 thoughts on “Life Writing Retreat – Start Your Story”

  1. Hello,

    Is there a course price without a room? I only live 20 miles away and have childcare responsibilities so wouldn’t be able to stay over.

    Many thanks,


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