Francesca Capaldi Burgess and Elaine Roberts invaded Ramsgate for a writing retreat last week with fellow writers Elaine Everest and Natalie Kleinman
Our writing retreat had been planned for quite some time: we had picked our house, packed our things and brought plenty of wine.
It was a week to celebrate. We had just entered an ice cream parlour when Elaine Everest discovered she’d made it to number 16 in The Sunday Times Bestseller List, so we had the biggest ice cream ever seen, followed by champagne, of course.
Some of us were writing: Francesca wrote the second part of her serial for People’s Friend and Elaine R started her second novel. Elaine E and Natalie were busy doing edits. We each picked a space in the house to work in, though some of us could be found from time to time on the balcony in the sun, and even across the road on the terrace of the snack bar. We worked hard, but we managed to enjoy the glorious weather, the view of the sea, eating and drinking. We spent a hilarious hour one afternoon sitting by the marina, coming up with book titles, eliciting some funny looks from people close by.
On Thursday, the four of us travelled up to London for the Romantic Novelists’ Association (RNA) summer party, where the contenders for the Joan Hessayon Award gathered and the overall winner was announced. This year it was Clare Harvey, author of the Gunner Girls, and our congratulations go to her. This wonderful event gives you the opportunity to catch up with old friends and make new ones. The established writers are always willing to give advice and share what they have gone through to get where they are. It makes you realise everyone experiences something similar so you’re not on your own. It was a good night, which obviously involved more food and wine.
It was soon time to pack up and return home. It was an enjoyable week, but as someone famous once said, “There’s no place like home”.
Have you ever been on a writing retreat? Does the scenery or area distract you, or are you prolific in your writing? Let us know your views.
You can also read Francesca’s post on the advantages and fun of writing retreats here