Birthplace of literature...
- Discover the magic in your story in daily writing lessons with best-selling author Kate Forsyth.
- Soak up the atmosphere in the local pubs of Oxford, where C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien regularly met and shared their ideas.
- Visit the prestigious Oxford University, home of countless museums and galleries, ancient colleges, and … Hogwarts Library! (Otherwise known as the Bodleian Library).
- Immerse yourself in the area’s history and wander the pre-historic ruins of the Avebury stone circles, a sacred site to ancient and modern pagans alike.
- Walk the streets where Shakespeare once trod and soak up the atmosphere whilst being based in the medieval market town of Stratford-upon-Avon.
- Be inspired by the natural beauty of the Cotswolds, one of England’s most picturesque tourist destinations.
A literary tour
Join author Kate Forsyth for a week in the beautiful market town of Stratford-upon-Avon – the birthplace of William Shakespeare – at a writing retreat designed to help you re-discover your creativity and joy in writing. You’ll love this unique experience. Spend your mornings talking, listening, laughing and playing with words with Kate and your fellow students. Spend your afternoons exploring one of Britain’s most beautiful (and literary) landscapes.
Explore Oxford, the “city of dreaming spires” and Stratford-upon-Avon. Visit the Bodleian Library, which featured in the famous Harry Potter films. Wander through some of England’s most beautiful gardens, and have a restorative ale in the pub where C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien first shared their enchanted worlds. Be inspired by the romantic setting of castles and yew mazes, mysterious circles of standing stones, and haunted manor halls.
You’ll be staying in the picturesque 17th century Shakespeare Hotel, which is situated in the heart of the medieval market town of Stratford-upon-Avon, where you will write every day and there will be plenty of free time for you to dream and imagine and ponder and play.
In the afternoons you will be able to write in the solitude and quiet of your own room, or you can enjoy the beauty around Stratford-upon-Avon. You could also join the others in the group to discover the most fascinating historical and literary sites that Warwickshire and the Cotswolds have to offer.
The writing course
Stories set in the past can take your readers into another world. But what tools and techniques can you use to capture their imagination?
Many writers have leapt into the bestseller lists with their cross-genre tales of history, mystery, romance and magic. These include authors such as Philippa Gregory, Diana Gabaldon, Carlos Ruiz Zafon, Joanne Harris and Kate Mosse. They write stories that stir the imagination, touch the heart, and keep readers turning the page long into the night.
Each genre of fiction has its own conventions and characteristics, which can sometimes seem like unbreakable rules. By combining different elements of different genres, however, the writer can create ground-breaking novels of great freshness and originality.
Whether you are writing a medieval supernatural thriller, or a time travel romance, or exploring the cobwebby corners of forgotten history and mythology … you’ll discover a whole new world of writing in this course.
Stratford-upon-Avon - home of Shakespeare
You will be staying in the village of Stratford-upon-Avon, and one of England’s most popular and diverse villages. Visitors are drawn to the historical and natural beauty of this quintessential medieval English market town.Over centuries it has been a creative and artistic hub that has attracted esteemed writers and artists. Visit famous sights, such as Shakespeare's birthplace, Holy Trinity Church where his body rests, the Royal Shakespeare Company theatre, and the River Avon.
With more than 800 years of history, Stratford-upon-Avon also has all the shops, pubs, restaurants and modern conveniences you could hope for, without losing any of its period charm. You can walk along the river or sit and watch the swans glide by. Visit the butterfly farm, take a ghost tour or see a play performed by the Royal Shakespeare Company.
There will be many opportunities to explore other parts of the surrounding area. The Cotswolds, Cheltenham Spa and Worcester are all within easy access. Local produce and good restaurants make Stratford-upon-Avon a wonderful place to eat and drink.