Writers Retreats.

The London Writers Urban Retreat.  With Dylan Thomas (Deceased)

We've all been there. You want to write. You really do.  And you dream of sitting on a sun-drenched Tuscan balcony, inspiration and fine wine flowing as you compose your opus maximus.

But there are bills to pay. There is washing up and cleaning to do. And the day job. And people to see. When do we ever get TIME to write?

But these are really just excuses. And you know that, don't you?  That's where we come in. Come and join us for just one Saturday a month for an Urban Writers Retreat. And be inspired, because our retreat is in coolFitzrovia in Central London - in the pub where Dylan Thomas drank. Near where Anthony Burgess was inspired to write 'Clockwork Orange'. Next to George Orwell's favourite boozer and the Prole’s Pub from ‘Nineteen Eighty Four’!  Pretty impressive, eh?

It's inspiring for us and we think it might be for you too! So join us for a bit of writerly 'tough love' from 11am (not too early - we're writers after all!) 'till 5pm - when the Literary Pub Crawl starts! There will be lots of power points for laptops. Regular soft drinks and tea and coffee.  We have old and new iPad chargers and a couple of spare iPad keyboards. And best of all, there's no wi-fi and the phone signal is not very good. So do the research before you come. Our day is all about writing!

Most of the retreats will be run by Nick Hennegan, our writer. A light sandwich lunch will be provided and we'll have some exercise books around if you need inspiration. But this is not a sharing or a writers group. It's for you to get your head down, forget the world and leave tired but satisfied on a writers high! There are no rules apart from that. And to force you to REALLY commit to allowing yourself time to write and attend EVERY month, there's a discount if you book for six months at once. And a bigger discount for 12 months.

You know you want to...!


The London Writers Urban Retreat - Dates 

All retreats are at the Fitzroy Tavern, Charlotte Street, London W1 

from 11am - 5pm. Full details will be sent with your booking.

Saturday 28th September 2013  

The Inaugural Meet - 11am - 5pm The Fitzroy Tavern, London W1

Saturday 26th October 2013  - (Halloween!) 11am - 5pm The Fitzroy Tavern, London W1

Saturday 30th November 2013 (St Andrew's Day) 11am - 5pm The Fitzroy Tavern W1

Saturday 28th December (we know - Xmas/New Year Party Special!) 11am - 5pm.

Sat 25th January 2014 

(Happy New Year - this'll be the year for that submission!) The Fitzroy Tavern W1

Sat 22 February 2014 11am - 5pm  (St Valentines Day)The Fitzroy Tavern, London W1

Sat  29th March, 2014 - St Patricks Day

Sat 26th April - St George's Day

Sat  24th May - May Day

Sat 28th June - Spring

Sat 26 July - Summer

Sat 30 August, 2014 - Seamus Heaney


£45 each session.  (That's £7.50 per hour. Not a lot for a professional retreat!)

6 Swinging Saturdays = £270 BOOK IN ADVANCE 10% discount - £243 Saving £27.  

12 Swinging Saturdays = £540 BOOK IN ADVANCE 15% discount - £459 Saving £81

And it's all tax deductible when you get your first advance!!!


GIVE A GIFT TO THE WRITER IN YOUR LIFE  6 and 12 months subscriptions available as Gift Certificates.Please contact us for details.


In the meantime, from our London Literary Pub Crawl Blog, here's some writing advice from non-other than George Orwell.

George Orwell on Writing - in the Newman Arms

Posted by Simon Plant on Monday, April 8, 2013 Under: Writers
One of the pubs we visit on the tour is The Newman Arms. It's a great pub and unusual in that it's one of very few pubs in the area still owned outright by a family, rather than a brewery. I'll go into more detail about the pub in a later post, but I love the place. And it's appeared in some famous films. But perhaps most famously it's where George Orwell used to drink and is widely believed to be the template for the Proles pub in his novel 1984. You can hear some of his description of the place if you come on our tour. 

We're also going to be starting writing retreats soon, so I thought you might like to see this extract from one of George's non-fiction books, Politics and the English Language, as I know many of you are writers too.

 George Orwell’s advice to writers:

Beware the octopus that has sung its swan song.’

 “Get one’s meanings as clear as one can through pictures or sensations. Afterwards one can choose– not simply accept – the phrases that will best cover the situation.”

In other words, get the movie in your head right and your thinking clear. Visualise every detail as you write. Or, fall foul of the octopus that has sung its swan song, a howler of a mixed metaphorical creature Orwell ridicules for our instruction. 

Orwell’s six rules for writing to cut out “humbug and vagueness.”

  • Never use a metaphor, simile or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
  • Never use a long word where a short one will do.
  • If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
  • Never use the passive voice when you can use the active.
  • Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
  • Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.

More in George Orwell, Politics and the English Language