Writers Retreats

Residential Retreats and Fully Coached Courses.





Welcome to Heaven.

All-inclusive writers' retreats and courses in a beautiful manor house in rural Dorset, not far from the sea. All the things you could ever want for your dream writing retreat; lovely rooms, log fires, personal writing space, great food, beautiful scenery, lively chat or rural solitude. Enjoy time with your fellow writers and tutor Louise Dean.

Your story starts here.

writers retreats

The Retreats Writers Will Love.

Suitable for all writers of any novel genre or form, short stories and non-fiction. Enjoy supported seclusion with your every writerly needs attended to as you push your work in progress forwards or start to write your masterpiece.

Peace and Plenty.


In the glorious West Country sits the stunning county of Dorset. Its coastline is the world famous Jurassic Coast; a Natural World Heritage site with beautiful beaches, ancient cliffs and craggy caves. It is perfect for those in search of rural idylls. The county of Dorset resonates with the romance of Thomas Hardy, Jane Austin and Daphne du Maurier all of whom used it as a backdrop in their works. Dorset enjoys some of the best weather in the UK as the West Country bathes in the gentle warmth of the Gulf Stream. It has green, rolling hills, romantic country lanes and a starkly beautiful coastline. The Vale of Marshwood is a very unique and special place still farmed in much the same way, with its ancient small fields, as it was during the Iron Age. The Vale’s remoteness brings a level of peaceful tranquility that is hard to find in England today and, with it, some excellent star-gazing on clear nights. Marshwood Manor is surrounded by green fields it is  only ten minutes from the coast at Seatown or Charmouth.


The Bridport Retreat ............ 6th- 11th November 2018.

Six day retreat for some serious writing. To coincide with the Bridport Literary Festival. Trips into Bridport for literary festival events available to those who feel able to tear themselves away from the writing. Enjoy some serious writing time and the like-minded company of other writers in the Manor in rural Dorset. Luxurious bedding and soft pillows for serious slumber. Includes home-cooked breakfasts and dinner, and homemade cake at tea time. Includes a one to one session with author and tutor Louise Dean. Rest, and write.

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The Full English Course .... 3rd - 10th February 2019.

A fully coached course with daily lessons and guest speakers to take your writing to the next level. Morning lessons with tutor and author Louise Dean will remind you of the obvious and wonderful and help you focus on realizing your highest ambitions. One to one afternoon sessions with Louise to explore your plot and concept and give feedback on your writing. Team evenings of food, fun and chat with like-minded writers. Guest speakers. Includes home-cooked meals. Crack your novel and find new inspiration.

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The Bridport Retreat .............. November 2019.

The six day writing retreat in 2019. To coincide with the Bridport Literary Festival. Dates tbc. Trips into Bridport for the literary festival events available to those who feel able to tear themselves away from the writing. Enjoy peace and plenty and the like-minded company of other writers in the Manor in rural Dorset. Luxurious bedding and soft pillows for serious slumber. Includes home-cooked breakfasts and dinner, and homemade cake at tea time. Includes a one to one session with author and tutor Louise Dean. Rest, and write.

Reserve your place

Ian Wallace. Dream Expert. Guest Speaker.

Ian Wallace is a best-selling author and popular broadcaster on the subject of dreams and the unconscious self. Our guest speaker on 'The Full English' Course 2019, Ian will be teaching a session on linguistic imagery, symbolism and mythopoesis, based on the dreaming process.


'Dreams don’t just happen to you, you actually happen to your dreams. You create everything in your dreams. Every person you encounter, every place you go, every event you experience is generated by your unconscious self. By understanding why you create your unique dream content, you invariably achieve a profound understanding of who you really are, what you really need, and what you really believe.'


Tim Lott. Co-Tutor with Louise Dean.

Tim will be joining Louise to co-tutor 'The Full English' course. After a career in journalism, Tim's first book, The Scent of Dried Roses, a memoir, was published in 1996 and won the PEN/JR Ackerley Prize for Autobiography. His first novel, White City Blue, (1999) a contemporary portrait of friendship and rivalry between a group of young single men, won the Whitbread First Novel Award. It was followed Rumours of Hurricane (2002), a portrait of working class life in Britain in the 1980’s, which was shortlisted for the Whitbread Novel Award. He has been a regular columnist for The Guardian. Having taught for The Arvon foundation and  Guardian Masterclasses, Tim is renowned for his inspiring and pithy writing and life insights.


Peace and Plenty for Writers



Private rooms in shared cottages. Some rooms have writing spaces (desk and chair) in the room. For those without, another private designated writing space will be allocated to each writer. Some rooms are twin, some double, some king and will be allocated on receipt of deposit on a first-come-first-served basis. Each bathroom is shared by no more than two people. Toiletries, luxury bedding, all towels and free wifi are available in all cottages. Each cottage has a utility room with washer and dryer at guests’ disposal.

There is a games room on site, plenty of parking and hosts available 24/7. There are charming pubs close by. Bridport is packed with wonderful cafes and restaurants if you are going to an event at the literary festival.


Home-made Food

All meals are home cooked using local ingredients.The cottages are stocked on arrival with tea, coffee, milk, fruit teas, full fruit bowl, full biscuit tin. Breakfast and supper is delivered to the cottages. Breakfast basket includes bread, croissants, butter, jams, eggs, juice, cereal, yogurts and one or two other treats. Lunch is left up to you. There are fridges in the cottages if you wish to bring food or snacks or there are pubs nearby if you wish to get out. Cake will be available at tea-time 4pm in the cottage kitchens. Supper will be delivered to alternate cottages each night so all guests can come together at the end of the day. Two courses plus cheese board. Sparkling water is provided but guests are welcome to bring their own alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks. Guests are asked to share the clearing after supper. All cottages have dishwashers. Dietary requirements can be accommodated.


A Writers' Environment

The Manor is set in 13 acres of garden and woodland for total peace and quiet and stunning scenery. It has it's own licensed shop on site. The cottages have large, communal sitting rooms with log-burners and tv but we ask that tvs/laptops/radios are only used with headphones when other guests may be writing. Writers will be at leisure to keep their own hours, writing sleeping, walking as they wish. Breakfast and supper and tea will be at fixed times but all are optional. Massages/treatments, personal trainer sessions are available if any guests wish to book them. Romla Ryan, the proprietor, is a writer. She is an accomplished cook and has 4 years experience in hosting yoga retreats and bootcamp weekends. Her husband Julian shares her passion for the beauty of the Marshwood Vale and providing their retreaters with a blissful stay in their lovely home and cottages.

Louise Dean. Your Tutor.

'Louise is a supportive and insightful tutor and her lessons brim with enthusiasm, knowledge, and years of experience.' Jo Martin.

Experience the energy of inspirational writing coaching that takes into account the world of your writing. Funny, irreverent and encouraging, Louise Dean has a passion for helping writers' books take shape, fast. Read what writers say about her teaching below and at our testimonials page. Enjoy in depth help in one to one sessions and take your writing to a whole new level with her unique teaching methods on The Full English fully-coached course.








Louise Dean's novels have been published internationally by Penguin, Simon & Schuster and others. Man Booker longlisted. Winner of The Society of Authors Betty Trask Prize, Winner Le Prince Maurice Prize. Nominated for The Guardian First Book Prize, the Dublin IMPAC Literary Award. An Oprah Book Club choice. Louise is an inspiring coach. Your success story starts here. 

"The support and love I've received from Louise and the whole Kritikme Krew has been phenomenal. As for confidence in my writing, I know I am a much better writer than I was."

Anna Pye

"This time two months ago, to the day, I sat down and started a draft. This morning, I finished it. Thank you, Louise! 60 days. I have you and your brilliance to thank for that."

Louise Tucker

"I have looked for help with my writing process before but Kritikme is the only actual help I have ever found. Its the combination of so many factors - Louise's dazzling expertise at every level of the novel-writing odyssey. It's like going to a very good school where the head truly has a calling."

Ann Hodson

"Louise listens, encourages and gives good critical feedback not some airy fairy feedback but something that makes sense...she’s all about getting it done. She explains how and why things should be done in a certain way - it finally fell into place for me. That dream of writing a novel isn’t a dream anymore."

Ros Try-Hane

"Louise certainly knows her stuff and my style of writing has improved dramatically. I have achieved so much more than I thought I was capable of. "

Viv Singfield

"Your guide knows what lies ahead, but has retained her thirst for the unexpected, she is discovering just as much as you are. I managed to leave the inner critic behind very early in the process. That's down to Louise. I don't know how she did it, but it's the first time ever."

Sam Hudson

"Louise has been there and done that, and she knows what you are experiencing every step of the way. "

David Hogarth

"Wow! Louise is a gifted facilitator. This course has made me really think about what I want to achieve with this book and has given me the confidence to stretch myself far more than I thought possible."

Sara Bailey

"I feel alive, inspired and creative again. That’s all thanks to Louise. "

Lindsey Pitt

"With Louise, you have a fabulous tutor, mentor and friend all in one."

Janice Cumberlidge

"Louise is a supportive and insightful tutor and the daily lessons brim with enthusiasm, knowledge, and years of experience."

Jo Martin

'A significant voice in British fiction.' The Observer.

Louise Dean has taught for the Arvon Foundation on novel writing and short stories and spoken on writing at Hay on Wye, Brisbane, Galle and Edinburgh Festivals, on BBC1 News and BBC Radio 4 and more.


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