“It feels more like a salon than a retreat”: In which a playwright on the Queer Writers Retreat explains why it was valuable to him and we learn why a ‘queer’ retreat may be useful after all


queer books, fairy lights

I received this lovely feedback from a guest (playwright) of the Queer Writers Retreat 🙂

…realising I’ve barely touched my work since [attending Queer Writers Retreat] and have started to hanker for an ‘away’ space, I’m really starting to get a sense of the value of the opportunity. I’m not a writer by habit but I’m a writer at heart, and that I think is a big part of my problem!

Having a space dedicated to that work and to have other writers working around me gave rise to a relaxed focus. Working alone I find I lack either one or the other in that equation. Luckily all the other writers were of similar minds. In the intimacy of the workspace, this became quite important. I was wondering about the need for a specifically ‘queer’ workshop and realise that aspect probably had a large role to play in creating that sense of ease. I was worried that a queer writing group might be a bit self conscious and seem unwelcoming to people who don’t identify as LGBTI and also whenever I see ‘queer’ anything I’m always half expecting ‘worthy’ and possibly ‘divisive’. However, the sense of openness was important to the work, it turns out. I can see the value in sticking to the label. I’m also 100% sure you couldn’t be unwelcoming. All fears allayed.

It feels almost more like a salon than a ‘retreat’, considering it now. It was a great day – and now I’m going to transcribe my play…”

I was chuffed to bits that he said it was like a salon! 🙂 That’s what I was aiming for – not just a space to write, but a space to share your work and discuss writing and build a community and eat, drink, laugh and be merry.

The next retreat is on Saturday 11th January and there is an earlybird discount of £10 if you book by Christmas Eve. So if you’re still looking for a Christmas present, or you want to pre-empt your New Year’s Resolution to write more – then click here to book. 

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