Ireland Writing Retreat on the Wild Atlantic Way – June 12-16, 2022
A generative and restorative writing retreat at Delphi Resort in County Galway, Ireland
Facilitated by Carolyn Dawn Flynn, the Story Catalyst, and writer and poet Jona Kottler
Let the soul-stirring beauty of Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way be your inspiration for this generative and restorative retreat for writers of fiction and creative nonfiction. Whether you’re writing essays or a book-length memoir, whether you’re writing short stories or a novel, this retreat is designed to help you deepen and refine your work-in-progress, emerging with clarity and vision.
Acclaimed writer and TEDx speaker Carolyn Dawn Flynn and award-winning American writer and educator Jona Kottler are your facilitators.
We will provide a mentored critique, individual consultations and group talks on story architecture, narrative flow and craft points such as dialogue and scene-building—all in a soul-stirring setting in the Connemara mountains of County Galway, Ireland, along the Wild Atlantic Way.
Every day will launch with a series of prompts for writing with intent, building pivotal and memorable scenes that are the vital underpinning of story.
Situated on Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way, this retreat is in the Connemara region along Ireland’s only fjord, close to the City of Galway, a short distance away from Ireland’s adventure travel city, Westport.
The retreat offers time to generate new, focused pieces and a strategic plan for your work-in-progress.
From The SoulFire blog
‘Just Beyond Yourself’: The Calling to Belong Again Took Me to Ireland
It’s nearing 10 o’clock at night on my first day in Ireland after being away for 36 years. When I last set foot on Irish soil, I was a young woman about to embark on a career as a journalist and author. Now I am an empty-nested woman who does not know how to write the...
How Retreats Give You Permission to Be a Writer
In this guest blog post, we hear from Jonatha Kottler, co-facilitator of the 2020 Ireland Writing Retreat along the Wild Atlantic Way, to be held June 21-25, 2020. I had wanted to go on a writing retreat for a long time. It wasn’t because I knew what to expect—maybe...
Sign up by March 15 to get early bird rate
ABOUT DELPHI RESORT
From warm Irish hospitality to exquisite food, outdoor adventure to ultimate relaxation, Delphi Resort is the place to escape to, to enlighten your lust for life, awaken your senses and truly embrace Ireland’s magnificent landscape and scenery, all from the comfort of the 300-acre resort.
Delphi Resort is located in the heart of the scenically breath-taking Delphi Valley, near Leenane, Connemara, Co. Galway, Ireland. With its stunning scenic location, Delphi is a world apart and a haven for romantic getaways, special occasions, adventure-filled family holidays and wellness escapes.
Situated just 10 mins from Leenane, Connemara, 30 mins from Westport and 80 mins from Galway City, Delphi Resort is surrounded by magical scenic drives along the Wild Atlantic Way. If looking to explore the area, Kylemore Abbey and Connemara National Park are located just 30 mins away, with Louisburgh and Croagh Patrick just 20 mins away – making Delphi Resort the perfect base for those that want to get settled at the resort and for those that like to travel and see the sights! Free car parking is available at the resort for guests and visitors.
THE WRITING RETREAT INCLUDES:
- 4 nights/5 days lodging, breakfast and dinner Delphi Resort near Leenane, Ireland (Lunch provided on “artist’s date” field trip day; lunch on your own other days)
- Morning workshops on writing craft, including one hour focused on your work
- Time to write
- Mentor critique and strategic plan
- Story mapping and scene-building exercises
- Individual consultations with a mentor
- Group consultations on scene-building and story arc
- Writing prompts and free time to write on your own
- Opening Summer Solstice ritual
- Time to stroll along the fjord and hike the mountains of Connemara
- Time to enjoy a spa treatment (including one free hour of hot tub soak and discounts on other spa treatments)
- “Artist date” field trip and writing time (optional) with a Yeats theme (special location to be announced!)
- Optional meditation walk-and-talk on Irish myth, poetry and the soul
EARLY BIRD RATE by JANUARY 15 – Hurry! This retreat fills up fast!
Single occupancy $2,295
Double occupancy $2,195
PRETTY EARLY BIRD RATE by MARCH 15
Single occupancy $2,495
Double occupancy $2,395
AFTER MARCH 15
Single occupancy $2,595
Double occupancy $2,495
NONREFUNDABLE DEPOSIT OF $995 secures your spot.
REMAINING BALANCE to be paid by MAY 1.
Email below for details, to register or to be put on the interest list for future retreats.
Pay your deposit on EventBrite here to secure your spot.
And please pass it on to a writer you love! If you refer someone to this retreat and that person signs up, you get $100 off of a future retreat.
carolynflynn.com | Known as The Story Catalyst, Carolyn Flynn is winner of the 2014 Rick Bass/Montana Prize for Fiction; author of “Resurrection,” published in Fourth Genre; semifinalist for the 2016 Elixir Press Fiction Prize for first novel. See her TED talk, “Tell a Better Story, Live a Better Life” here.
jonathakottler.com | Jonatha Kottler is an American writer and educator from Albuquerque, NM, recently based in Scotland.
Her work has appeared in Nasty Women and in publications including The Guardian and NY Magazine.
She works with the Lighthouse Writers Workshop and is completing her first novel. She teaches in the honors program at the University of New Mexico and is in the MFA in Writing program at the Institute of American Indian Arts. She serves on the board of directors of the New Mexico Humanities Council.
THINKING ABOUT IT? WANT TO MEET US AND ASK QUESTIONS?
Join us at 6 p.m. Mountain time on Thursday, Feb. 24 for a live call where you can tell us about your project and get all the answers to your questions.
SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE BY APPLICATION
Are you a resident of Ireland? One generous partial scholarship is available.
Are you a resident of the UK? If you live in Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales or England, please apply! We have one partial scholarships available.
Are you an alumni or student of the Spalding MFA in Writing or Institute of American Indian Arts MFA in Writing program? We offer one partial scholarship to Spalding friends (because Carolyn is an alum and it was one of the top decisions she’s ever made) and IAIA friends (because Jona is completing her degree there and considers it one of the top decisions she’s ever made).
Are you a journalist? We offer one generous partial scholarship to a journalist, because Carolyn has been a working journalist since she was 17 and was a longtime journalism academic at the University of New Mexico. “I know your work ethic. I know your commitment to the truth,” she says. “If you have a culturally resonant book idea, then I want to help you get it out into the world.”
TO APPLY: Please send a one-paragraph synopsis of your project and the first 10 pages. Tell us how you qualify for a partial scholarship and how this will help you get momentum for your project.
Send via the email form below.
If you are awarded a partial scholarship, we’ll send you a coupon code that you can use for checkout on EventBrite.
Apply for one of our partial scholarships here
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s included in the tuition?
Morning workshops on writing craft, including one hour focused on your work
Time to write
Mentor critique and strategic plan
Story mapping and scene-building exercises
Individual consultations with a mentor
Group consultations on scene-building and story arc
Writing prompts and free time to write on your own
Opening Summer Solstice ritual
Time to stroll along the fjord and hike the mountains of Connemara
Time to enjoy a spa treatment (including one free hour of hot tub soak and discounts on other spa treatments)
“Artist date” field trip and writing time (optional) with a Yeats theme (special location to be announced!)
Optional meditation walk-and-talk on Irish myth, poetry and the soul
What’s not included?
Airfare and transportation to Delphi Resort. The resort does provide a taxi service from Westport, and other arrangements can be made. Please arrange through Delphi.
What are the accommodations like?
This is a four-star resort with many amenities included in the rate.
The resort includes options for single or double occupancy. Villas are available at a higher rate. Hostel is available at a lower rate.
Check out the accommodations here.
What kind of food will be served?
All breakfasts and dinners are included in the rate. Boxed lunch provided on “artist’s date” field trip. Lunch on your own other days.
Delphi Resort is a wellness spa, and the restaurants can accommodate any dietary needs. Lunch is available at the resort restaurant, a small cafe on the grounds or in the nearby town of Leenane. Boxed lunches also can be ordered for those who are using the afternoon as an adventure walk-and-write.
Please let us know ahead of time of dietary needs.
We picked the place because we knew they would take care of you and the food would be delicious!
When should I arrive?
We begin at 5:30 p.m. June 12 with a Summer Solstice ritual, but you are free to arrive earlier to take in the area. The group rate can be extended to three days before the retreat or three days after.
May I check in late?
Yes, just let the resort know. And let us know, too. Upon registration, you’ll receive our personal email and cellphone so you can let us know of any flight or travel delays.
May I check in grumpy?
When I arrange the flight, what’s my best city destination?
Most definitely choose Shannon Airport, because it’s the closest.
You may opt to fly into Dublin, London or Edinburgh if you’re planning to travel before the retreat.
Here is a link for more information about Shannon Airport.
Is it necessary to rent a car?
You can get to this retreat and enjoy it to the fullest without renting a car.
Delphi Resort does offer taxi service from Westport, and there is public transportation (by train) available from Shannon or Dublin to Westport. This MUST be arranged in advance and MUST be arranged through the hotel.
That said, to get the full experience of Ireland and the Connemara region, you’ll probably WANT to rent a car.
For those who sign up by the early bird deadline (Feb. 15) and who want to arrange a car share (with a mentor or with another participant), we will make every effort to facilitate that, but please know there are no guarantees.
What should I pack?
Every day in Ireland brings new kind of weather. It’s often said that in Ireland, you can experience all four seasons in one day. For that reason, we advise dressing in light layers. And definitely bring rain gear.
For outdoor adventures, the resort recommends wearing removable layers, as mornings may be cool and warm quickly. Wear hiking boots or shoes that are lightweight and well-vented with traction; avoid sandals or anything open-toe. Also wear good wool or synthetic hiking socks; we advise against cotton.
Bring a sweater or jacket for evenings on the patio.
Bring a swimsuit for the hot tub.
Pack sunscreen, and a water bottle that you fill up and drink from constantly. It’s vital to stay hydrated.
That soft Irish mist can be deceptive when it comes to the sun. Definitely bring a sun hat and sunglasses. And expect the sun to be up late as we near the Summer Solstice. That’s part of the allure of the northern latitudes in summer.
That said, we’ve seen it all in this region when it comes to weather.
Do be prepared to go outdoors in all weather. If you have an aversion to rain and wind, consider that a retreat on the west coast of Ireland, even in the summer, might not be the right fit for you.
What kind of physical condition do I need to be in?
The official hikes are mild to moderate. Yoga and nature walks are available at Delphi Resort during unstructured time at your own expense.
If you are over 50 or have a medical issue, it’s advisable to get travel insurance.
What about the spa treatments?
Spa treatments are available at the resort, at your own expense, during unstructured time in the afternoon.
As a participant at the retreat, you do receive on free hour in the hot tub, and then you receive a discount on any other spa treatments you may book.
Spa treatments include facials, warm Himalayan salt massage, vibrational sound therapy, Thai massage and cranial sacral therapy.
We advise you to book your treatment ahead of arriving to Delphi.
You will receive a schedule for the retreat ahead of time so you can make this choice.
Please do not schedule your treatment during official retreat programming time. We are building a supportive and invigorating community of writers, and with that comes both the responsibilities and privileges of being a member. You will receive one hour of discussion on your work, and you will be expected to participate in discussions for the other workshop participants.
And remember to pack your swimsuit if you’re planning to enjoy the hot tub.
What about the adventure activities?
Adventure activities are available at the resort, at your own expense, during unstructured time in the afternoon. You do receive a discount on all adventure activities as a participant at the retreat.
We advise you to book your treatment ahead of arriving to Delphi.
You will receive a schedule for the retreat ahead of time so you can make this choice.
Please do not schedule your adventure activity during official retreat programming time. We are building a supportive and invigorating community of writers, and with that comes both the responsibilities and privileges of being a member. You will receive one hour of discussion on your work, and you will be expected to participate in discussions for the other workshop participants.
Do tell. What are the other amenities on the site?
Walking trails, and a host of outdoor adventures, including ziplining and sea kayaking.
On the grounds, there is a beautiful library, a fireplace, a gift shop and cafe.
And of course, the spa. Remember, a one-hour soak in the hot tub is included, and the view is to die for!
What are your COVID practices and policies?
We also expect you to understand that everything about this pandemic is rapidly evolving and could change in directions we cannot predict.
What we can say now is that we will ask all retreat participants to present proof of vaccination and/or a COVID-free test. (It’s likely that Ireland and the airlines will expect you to this anyhow in order to fly and enter the country.)
We also expect you to observe the resort’s social distancing and masking guidelines while in public areas.
What is your smoking policy?
No smoking allowed
What is your refund policy?
While we recognize that life has its disruptions, we have a strict refund policy. We must do this because we commit to a contract for accommodations, food and other costs once bookings are taken for a retreat. In addition, we incur costs when we are required to re-advertize the retreat when bookings are cancelled.
So here’s the policy, and make sure you read carefully!
All deposits are non-refundable and cannot be held over to future retreats.
If you cancel within three months of the retreat, the remainder of your payment (minus the deposit) will be refunded ONLY if a replacement is found to take your place. Naturally, you probably know that it becomes increasingly difficult and less likely as a retreat approaches to find substitutes who can both pay and travel at short notice.
No refunds are possible if you cancel within two weeks of the retreat.
If you register as an early bird, you do have more options. Though we cannot refund your deposit, you may receive a one-hour consultation with one of the retreat mentors.
If we have to cancel, all payments will be returned in full.
Is there a pub nearby?
This is Ireland! Yes, of course there are great pubs! And, we’ve already scouted them out for you. There will be one evening when we will all go into Leenane together. The town also has a great gift shop.
Ocean has scattered her dream of fleets,
The Spanish prince has spilled his gold
And failed her…
The only legend I have ever loved is
the story of a daughter lost in hell
And found and rescued there…
And some time make the time to drive out west
Into County Clare, along the Flaggy Shore,
In September or October, when the wind
And the light are working off each other…