Last year I wrote about my first solo writer’s retreat, and since then, I’ve been planning another. Today I’m sharing a list of affordable writer’s retreats for 2019.
The thing about a good writer’s retreat is that it can be insanely productive in a number of ways. Obviously, you have the ability to get a lot of writing done. (I mean, that’s a given, right? Who goes on a writer’s retreat to conquer their laundry or catalog their stamp collection?) But one of the things I really enjoyed about my writer’s retreat was how refreshed it made me feel. There’s something about disrupting a routine and looking at your work from a different perspective to make you feel really capable of tackling your projects.
(I’ve written about how travel can do this for you too.)
But I’m not crazy. I know that you can’t just pick up and go to wifi-less location to write for a week whenever you feel like it. Retreats cost money, and if you don’t have paid time off, taking that time for a retreat can be next to impossible.
LET IT BE KNOWN THAT THIS BLOG ISN’T ABOUT HIGHLIGHTING THE IMPOSSIBLE WITHOUT GIVING YOU SOME SOLUTIONS!
Today, I’m sharing a list of affordable writer’s retreats. May we all take some time, get away, and write our little hearts out in 2019!
Affordable Writer’s Retreats 2019
Good Contrivance Farm Writer’s Retreat
This writer’s retreat is really interesting for a number of reasons. Firstly, you need to click over there and take a look at the place you’ll be staying. Seriously. I would move into that barn loft immediately. And you can also book this for a solo retreat, or for you and one other person. To get in, you must submit a writing sample as well as a resume, but admission isn’t competitive.
If you’re interested in writing your book at this place, know that you have to book at least two nights. And while I know not everyone can get away for weeks on end, the more days you book at once, the cheaper the rate gets. (Rates start at $90 per night, but go as low as $480 per week for one person if you book for 4 weeks.) If you’re looking for an old house vibe with modern amenities, and feel like taking a retreat 25 miles outside the hometown of Edgar Allan Poe is for you, then check out Good Contrivance.
The Writer’s Colony
There is a special place in my heart for the Writer’s Colony, and honestly, if they let me move in, I’d totally do it. Who doesn’t want a 24/7 writing retreat?! The Writer’s Colony is in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, and can host eight writers with their own private rooms and bathrooms at the same time. And if you’ve never been to Eureka Springs, then you absolutely need to book a retreat here because the views from this place are crazy. The hills, the trees, the victorian architecture — it’s totally worth the $75 a night (that includes lunch and dinner). There are also a ton of places within walking distance in Eureka Springs, so if you want to step away from your writing for a bit, there are a lot of options of places to visit.
On a side note, I’m just going to put it out into the universe that I want to host a retreat here with some fellow writers. So, hey Universe, it’s your girl, Marisa. I want to host a retreat at the Writer’s Colony for some fellow writers. (And if you’re a writer who wants to partake in this, let me know in the comments!)
St. Francis of the Woods
This is another place that I’ve gone before, and I can’t get over how amazing it is. If you want a more unstructured, lower writing expectation and higher spiritual retreat opportunity, this is your place. I visited this place in August of 2018, and I wrote about my solo writer’s retreat and even filmed a vlog about it. There are several cabin options at St. Francis of the Woods, and most of the cabins can house more than one person. So if you need a location for you and a couple of friends, look no further. It’s also far enough away from the city that it’s super quiet, but close enough to the city that it’s easy to hop in the car and grab some snacks at a nearby store.
St. Francis of the Woods is a nonprofit, and the suggested donation per night is $40 per person. I definitely recommend this location for those who want some nature at their retreat. Seriously, it’s a working farm with some awesome walking trails. But it is in Oklahoma, so beware of rattlesnakes, tarantulas, and the meanest horseflies you’ll ever meet. Also, bring bug spray with DEET for ticks.
Is this a cop out? The answer is no. Here’s why: I don’t know where you live, and I don’t know your budget. But I do know that the best writing retreat comes in under your budget, and you don’t spend like 80% of the time you took off work getting to your destination. Also, I don’t know what you want. Like, I prefer retreats with no wifi, but maybe you really need it. And I like to have access to my own kitchen to make myself some cheese snacks when I get hungry, but maybe that’s not you.
A writer’s retreat doesn’t necessarily have to be at a retreat-specific place. And there are all manner of little gems hidden on Airbnb. I recommend picking the place you want to go, and then narrowing down your choices by budget and amenities. Also, I love that Airbnb shows you what the places look like on the inside. It’s good to know what kind of desk situation you’re getting into.
Oklahoma has a lot of really lovely state parks that are ideal for small retreats. And while I can’t guarantee that your state has as many lake cabins and state parks with cabins as Oklahoma does, it’s definitely worth looking into. I love getting out into nature, and there are so many places with different types of views that I would be a terrible friend if I didn’t share this with everyone.
In the past, I’ve held a blogging conference at Sequoyah State Park with an awesome group of ladies. And the cool thing about that park is that they had a lodge house with multiple rooms for a big group as well as cabins and hotel rooms. I would also like to put it out into the universe that I want to hold a group writer’s retreat at these floating cabins at Lake Murray in Oklahoma. So, hey Universe, it’s your girl, Marisa. I want to host a retreat at the floating cabins at Lake Murray in Oklahoma.
Where’s Your Writer’s Retreat Destination for 2019?
Are you planning a retreat? What’s you favorite way to get away and get some writing done? Are you interested in any of the group retreats I want to host? How many times have you wasted a few hours on Airbnb just looking at adorable places to stay and write your book? Let me know in the comments!
I would love to do a writer’s retreat someday, preferably out of Nevada and out of the desert. I love desert living, but my creative soul needs a fresh perspective if I want to stay active on my blog this year. Going to a new to me coffee shop recently did help, thankfully. A change of scenery no matter how small often gets my brain functioning again.
That’s such a good point! I love going to new coffee shops to get a fresh vibe for writing.
ooh, i’m going to send this list to my brother! he lives in ATL but might be interested in getting away!
Oooh! I bet there are tons of fun places in Savannah, GA, too!
You have such delightful ideas about life and writing. My daughter found your blog one day and sent it to me, saying “Mom you will love this site.” Proudly, I replied that I read your posts through Oklahoma Bloggers, and that I’m had lunch with you once. So please keep writing and sharing creative useful ideas.
Thank you so much, Letty! And that’s so funny that your daughter found my blog too.
Thanks for compiling this list! There is good science behind the notion of changing your environment to enhance creativity. Definitely going to be looking into some of these options.
That’s great, Ben! If you visit one, come back and let me know how it was.
I know what you mean about Writer’s Colony. I was there once years ago and would love to return. So if you’re looking for people who are interested–count me in!
Yes! Okay. Retreat planning commences!
If you do a writer’s retreat in Arkansas, let me know! I would def come if it’s in the summer! Not in August, but June or early July! Love the idea!
Thanks, Peggy! I’ll definitely keep that in mind. I’m thinking some stuff is about it happen…
I’m internet-shopping today for a writer’s retreat and Arkansas would be perfect. It’s driveable (I’m in St. Louis). So if you do put one together, I’ll have to check back in!
If I do, I’ll definitely start posting/emailing/social media-ing about it. But if you need one sooner rather than later, you can always book a solo retreat at The Writer’s Colony. It’s such a great place.
Being a Louisiana girl, one would think that I have been to Arkansas. No such luck. Count me in for a retreat.
Sweet! I’m definitely in the planning stages for something.
Wow! The one in the image is gorgeous! I long for any moment I can just be alone with my laptop but unfortunately, it doesn’t happen that often. Hopefully someday soon, I can take a writers retreat to one of these locations now that I know of a few options. Thank you for sharing.
Thanks, Tiana! And I’m planning on doing a post about how you can create your own writer’s retreat at home, so stay tuned!
Hey, I know I’m reading this late but if you haven’t already, I would definitely be interested in going to the writing retreat in Arkansas 😊 if you end up having one please DM me on Instagram @j.a.bookish.mom
I’ve been looking for a group of writers to attend one with. I’ve also been wanting to plan one of my own in here in Indiana at a beautiful place called Spring Mill Inn. Anyone can DM me if interested! 🙂
You’re definitely not too late! I’ll definitely DM you if it ever happens, and you should DM me if you ever organize your Spring Mill Inn retreat!
Hi there – I really enjoy reading your blog – though I’m based in Toronto, Canada: quite far away! I’m a published writer (YA fiction and a poetry collection) and I run retreats for writers, too. Mine are more like holidays – inexpensive as far as holidays go, but certainly further away, and therefore a bit more expensive. We have an annual retreat at a biodynamic farm in the rain forest in Costa Rica, and we’re expanding in a few months to offer writing retreats at a tiny urban lodge in Merida, Mexico. You can find details here: https://www.centauriarts.com/retreats/creative-writing-retreats-and-holidays/
This sounds so amazing, Julie! I’m definitely going to be looking into these. Thanks for the link!
I’ve driven past the Writer’s Colony in Eureka Springs many times. I’d love to participate in a group retreat there. Thanks for the great article!