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Debbie Flint



Latest update and new dates to come stay at Retreats for You in Devon
20 April 2017

 
 

 

 Retreats for You ~ April 2017

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Hello!
Exciting news - see below for several new themed retreats and a chance to win a stay here.

Well it's been a hectic few months and the kitchen floor is now finished, the courtyard and garden are taking shape and the mini-gym is almost ready out in the revamped studio. The weather has been changeable to put it mildly. But some of our guests have already sampled nearly 22 degrees in the little sun trap outside and everything's even brighter now the trees have gone (as they were too close to the building apparently.)

 

 

A true summer sun trap and place to sit outside and write

 

And the whole cooking thing has been shaping up nicely! It's been vital to Wendy and me to continue Deborah's wonderful home cooked fayre. For Wendy that was easy. But when I first took over Retreats for You little did I know that just three months later, missus novice cook here would get a review like this one – from last week’s lovely guest Bobba Bell. 

“For anyone who went to Retreats for You before Deb became Debbie Flint, I highly recommend you go back. The house has kept all its lovely character and Debbie has kept all the welcoming traditions that provide a bit of structure while you beaver away at your work. Debbie is a relaxed and lovely host and a wonderful cook and can't do enough for you."

Wonderful cook. Never thought I’d hear those words! Wendy was away in France on hols and I took the helm, including a menu for a lovely vegan lady here too, and we had some super meals including bean and sausage tortillas with home made guacamole and coleslaw, or salmon fillet stir fry amongst others. And dare I say it – I’m actually enjoying doing it now! Hopefully you’ll experience ‘Debbie Does Dinner’ (!) at some point too?

So on to our news.

Below are your new retreats on offer for spring/summer and a little into the autumn!

  • Last call for people wanting to retain 2016 pricing – you will still only pay £80 per night if you book before May, even if you take a week later in the year.
  • Reminder for newcomers to this newsletter that the majority of weeks are Monday to Friday, and you will get full board including wine at dinner. Do let us know as soon as possible if you would like to book, pay £30 deposit by bank transfer, and secure your special offer pricing :-) Just emailThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

 

 

 

 

 

We even have some healthy eating and yoga weeks (26th June and 14th August) for writers. As well as a super social media skills weekend (7-9th July), photography skills weekend (4-6 August) and memoirs/first time writers week (August 28th). The two tutored weeks with super tutors (Sara Sarre from Blue Pencil Agency .com 5th June and Julie Cohen, 29th September) are filling up too.

Also the dogs have endeared themselves to all manner of guests, including self-confessed 'non-dog person' Nagmeh, who stayed recently! They aren't allowed in the sitting room or dining room but love a tummy rub and a gentle walk with visitors down by the river or on a trip to the nearby beach at Widemouth.

 

 

 

Facebook Page Updates  

Do follow the page, it's the best place to see more info and regular updates, plus news of special offers. (Click here and like the page.)

Am very pleased that so many returners are putting wonderful reviews on our Facebook page. observing that all the regular expectations are still being fulfilled and of course Wendy's home cooking and baking continues to please. One review from Nagmeh said -

"My first visit back since Debbie Flint took over and it was as great as it always has been. The changes have only made this an even more marvelous place. Debbie, Wendy, Daisy Dog and Gracie made me feel welcome and taken care of. Four days of thinking, writing, wonderful conversations, great food, and a sense of peace. Can't wait to come back again!

Do follow us on Twitter if you prefer - @retreatsforyou of course.

Share with us your writing news too, and we will do our best to include it next time.

Congratulations AJ Pearce!
In fact, one such piece of news is that superb author and RFY guest AJ has signed a super deal with Picador for her first novel, Dear Mrs Bird, to be released 2018. It's the story of an accidental agony aunt in WW2 and we remember fondly AJ talking of her story whilst she was here.

The book, to be a "super-lead" for Picador, will have a major launch and big budget marketing plan. Whoo hoo!

Dear Mrs Bird is set in wartime London in 1941. The plot follows protagonist Emmeline Lake who, amid the falling bombs, dreams of becoming a Lady War Correspondent. However, instead she finds herself employed as a typist for the formidable Henrietta Bird, the renowned agony aunt of Woman’s Day magazine. Mrs Bird is so resolutely against any form of Unpleasantness that she dismisses letters from the lovelorn, grief-stricken or morally conflicted in favour of those who feel their ankles are unsightly or have had trouble untangling a length of wool. But Emmy can’t bear to think of women with genuine fears and worries going unanswered, and soon decides the only thing for it is to write back secretly...

We look forward to including a copy on our shelves when it's published, it will take pride of place on our packed dresser full of books written by previous guests. Send us yours if you have one -
RFY, The Court, The Square, Sheepwash EX215NE. You'll also see several from AJ's mentor (and mine) the master of show-not-tell Julie Cohen, who is running another workshop here Sep 25th, and helped AJ get her MS to agent-ready standard - she was then snapped up by super agent Jo Unwin. Well done AJ we are proud of you! 

 

 

 

New Themed Retreats - Book Before May for 2016 Prices

So here are your dates!

There are no retreats during our kitchen revamp early May and it looks like the second half of May is all but booked up completely for our weekdays – last few spaces left, do ask. Several of the whole weeks in the summer and autumn have completely gone too. The new website – coming soon – will show availability, so watch this space.

By the way, is there any demand for weekends? Do email me back and let me know, on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Casting forward, exciting new dates have been added below.

Sara Sarre - competition Don't forget to enter the competition to win a stay hereand a critique, being run by Sara Sarre who is holding her editing workshop for ideal first chapters and submissions to agents on 5th June. Enter via Sarah's Blue Pencil Agency, details here. This workshop is part booked already so please let us know as soon as possible if you would like to join her. (5th - 9th June £440)

Contact Julie Cohen direct for her workshop for authors who have got to ‘the end,’ and want superb mentoring help – but I think she only has a few places left. Whether you’re writing your first novel or your twentieth, Julie Cohen’s guided retreat is time for you to write, reflect, and hone your novel to the best it can be. Julie will give individual feedback on each writer’s work in the mornings; the afternoons are free for you to write, walk, or find inspiration in the beautiful countryside; evenings are time to share work and conversation in front of the fire. This residential retreat is ideal for those who want some time for a special project, and to take their writing to the next level. 
More information here. (25th September £600 if booked soon)

Memoirs Week/Nervous& First-Time Writers Week (August 28th) Over the course of three workshops, we’ll look at the plot, story arc and theme of your memoir, talk about the importance of using imagery and sensory details to bring your story alive, and how dialogue and emotion are used to build tension and drama. We’ll also be discussing many of the rules that apply to fiction writing, for example, how to hook your reader, how to show and not tell, and how to write a satisfactory ending. There will also be a one to one session with Elaine, where you’ll have the opportunity to highlight and discuss any difficulties you are experiencing, and receive feedback on your first 10,000 words. 
Elaine is a freelance editor who works with both indie and traditionally published authors. The bestselling memoir ‘Wrong Place Wrong Time’ by David P Perlmutter was originally edited by Elaine and went on to receive over 500 four and five-star reviews on Amazon. Due to the success of the book, David was offered a publishing contract in 2016. (£440 if booked before end May)

Yoga and Healthy Menus for writers week, (26th June and 14th August) Local yoga expert Jennie from Nimblelimbs.co.uk is taking stretching sessions each morning before breakfast and each evening in order to stretch out after hours at a desk, and reconnect to your body for more inspiration. That same week we will offer an emphasis on healthy eating, (it’s optional, there will still be puddings!) but vegan, gluten free are covered with no added fee. So if anyone wants to feel more healthy and energetic, instead of feeling that mid-afternoon slump, this is definitely the week for you. Price for 4 nights’ full board including nutritious meals and yes, still wine at dinner if you want, is £99 per person per night or £90 if booked before the end of May. We advise early booking for these as they will be popular.

Photography weekend (4th - 6th August) - £220 per person including dinner Friday through to mid-afternoon tea on Sunday. Authors, bring your partner and let them go off on a photography workshop whilst you write :-) if you share a room there is a special price, email for details. Local award-winning photographers have availed themselves to RFY in order to bring you a series of special photography workshops. This first one will focus on Dartmoor landscapes, and some studio work, in the case of inclement weather. For information about our photography experts and about this weekend email us. TWO PLACES ALREADY GONE

QVC viewers' week inc optional Bodyblade sessions and Till the Fat Lady Slims chats (19th June and 21st August.) Due to popular demand from the people on my social media, we are specialising in two separate workshops for people who love watching the nation’s Premier shopping channel. These are already half booked. Please note writers can come this week it's not exclusively QVC, just ask Wendy who has not got a clue about shopping telly… :-)

To be confirmed – July 7,8,9 - Social media marketing weekend featuring David Perlmutter social media Guru, on how to sell more books! dont miss your chance to up the ante with the various social media platforms to gain more sales, rather than lose followers from one of the top examples in the field.

To come - Psychic weekend? Seeking a local psychic to come and take the readings, including evening suppers, this will be when retreats are not being run. More information soon - but if you would be interested in booking an appointment let us know!

Other Options - 

Hiring Retreats for You - writing groups. We already have two fully booked weeks this summer where a writing group has opted to take over! If you would like to discuss this, we need a minimum of six people, but we can take overspill into the lovely pub opposite, up to another three or four. They will have bed and breakfast opposite and then join us for the rest of the day including lunch and dinner. There is a small supplement to stay in the pub but their bedrooms have en suites. Email to discuss.

Canine Companions. We have one downstairs bedroom which is able on occasion to accommodate small friendly dogs, especially canine companions - Medical Detection Dogs and their owners have stayed here with great success. There is a £30 optional supplement for cleaning if needed. Balance has to be paid two weeks before the retreat commences. Dogs must be able to get on with two feisty but friendly resident labradors. 

Exercise and treats during your stay - similarly, the two resident labradors are very happy to go walkies, once you realise where the walk is down by the river Torridge, you are welcome to borrow one or 2 to accompany you on a stretch your legs break from your writing. The mini gym will also be available to use at your own discretion and includes a Pilates machine, elliptical strider, and urban rebounder amongst others. Plus the studio is also now available as a place to go and write, giving you a lovely view of the garden. We also have garden locations to write in when the weather is warm, it's quite a sun trap out there! Watch the sunset with your glass of wine at 'wine o'clock' - we bring you a glass around 6pm. 
Plus we have a deluxe massage chair to help to promote your back for 15 minutes, situated in the corner of the lounge. We can also put you in touch with a local massage therapist or beauty expert should you wish, just ask in advance of your stay.

The Rooms are Named! If you’ve ever visited, which room did you stay in, do you recall? Well for the purpose of the website booking system, the rooms have now got names – all after people who lived in the house in bygone times, from 1930s back to the early 1800s. They are called the George Room, the Jones room, the Martin room, the Dufty room, and the Hewitt room, plus the TV room when it’s converted, will be the John Slee room (rhymes with TV room!) Find out why these were chosen and who these people were in a special post on our Facebook page here. (don’t forget to ‘like’ the page!)

New Website Coming Soon with booking facility – it will show availability and themed weeks, allow you to pick your room, from the following – we named them, finally!

Full itinerary is at the bottom of this email.

 

 

 

"Spent a lovely 5 days in deepest Devon at Retreats for You. A 16th century thatched former Inn provided an ideal location to do some quality writing. With Debbie and Wendy making sure everyone was suitably fed and looked after, this was a very productive break I'd recommend. Sheepwash is off the beaten track, with a community shop and pub: I was expecting Linda Snell to appear looking for pantomime volunteers.” - John Hobson, March 

I arrived with a huge list of writing to do, including PR strategies, copy for my website and things that need concentration. The working hours were punctuated by lovely refreshments, picturesque dog walks and hours of sharing our life experiences in front of the blazing log burner. The other guests and I are now friends and we have agreed to make this an annual event - but I must confess that I am sure I will want to come back more often that . Highly recommended especially if you have been before and are not sure about the new management as I can vouch for their expertise.” - Christina, Bowden PR, March & April! 

I LOVE the idea of a PhD/academic week! I'd have never finished my PhD without Retreats for You.” - Adam Barker, RFY Facebook page

See more reviews on our Facebook page here.

 

 

 

I do hope to hear from you soon and if there's anything specific you want to ask just emailThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. especially about the last minute offer for Monday 24th as we have had a last minute cancellation. Or call us on 01409231252.

Best wishes,

Debbie Flint, and Wendy, hosts of Retreats for You
 


ITINERARY
(NB NEW WEBSITE WILL HAVE BOOKING SYSTEM, LAUNCHING END APRIL)

APRIL

24th – Monday 24th to Friday 28th – ONE LAST MINUTE PLACE AVAILABLE

28th – 2 or 3 nights weekend - £160/£240 –
Friday 28th to Sunday 30th or to Bank Hol Mon 1st May  - ALMOST FULL


MAY – we are renovating the kitchen cabinets and have selected dates only 

15th - FULL - block booking for an academic writing group - TBC

22nd – 4 nights – Mon 22nd to Fri 26th - FULL

29th May – 4 nights to Fri 2nd June - £320 - ALMOST FULL


JUNE

Sara Sarre – First Chapter Workshop
June 5th – 10th 2017 (four nights) 

 

 

 

 

Specialising in character development, plot and structure Sara Sarre has a track record for getting writers to a publishable standard and finding agents. Your first chapter is what will sell your novel time and time again: to your agent, your publisher, the marketing team and eventually to your reader. It needs to be good. The week’s workshops will be dedicated to getting the first chapter right, especially the vital opening line and first paragraph. Plus a one to one. We’ll look at how to hook your reader and to get your characters to leap off the page. Along with this, we’ll discuss the submission process and how to summarise your story.

£430 Monday lunchtime to Friday lunchtime, June 5th – June 9th

Including bed, breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea/coffee/cake, dinner and wine in the evening. There will be three afternoon workshops and each participant will receive an hour long, one to one session. Follow up with promising authors. Places are strictly limited in the main house. Own room and shared bathroom. Limited overspill (inc en suite if needed) available in the pub opposite but we suggest guests get in touch as soon as possible to indicate an interest. £50 deposit, balance payable 2 weeks before retreat begins.

Sara Sarre founded Bluepencil Agency in 2015. Her short stories have been published, broadcast and shortlisted but editing is her passion. The Bluepencil Agency team are always on the lookout for brilliant new talent to share with selected literary agents.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

JUNE cont...

19th - 23rd - QVC viewers / Bodyblade week (and writers welcome) - 4 nights £320 

26th – a yoga/healthy eating week for writers - 4 nights - £360 


JULY

3rd – FULL - currently block booked out to a writing group

8/9th, Sat/Sun - weekend - £495 - Sell More Books! David P Perlmutter social media marketing workshop for writers

17th-21st July - £320 

Other dates – just ask
 

AUGUST

Fri 4th- sun 6th - weekend - (dinner fri till 4pm sun) - Photography Weekend - £210 per person early bird booking offer - increases to £260 after May. Incls wine at dinner too!

7th to Fri 11th Aug – writers week - nearly full

14th-18th - Yoga and healthy eating week for writers - 4 nights, £360

21st-25th - QVC viewers / Bodyblade week (and writers welcome) - 4 nights £320 

28th - memoir and nervous/first time writers themed week.

Other dates – just ask

SEPTEMBER

11th-15th - Academic writers' retreat. Help on hand from Debs Steele PhD, MA, workplace writers all welcome. £340

25th-29th - Mon to Fri - tutored retreat with the brilliant Julie Cohen (Joanna cannon and AJ Pearce are former attendees to Julie's workshops or mentoring) - nearly full


How to book 

Email us to book whilst new website is being finished, ETA end April.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Check out the website too. Www.retreatsforyou.co.uk
01409231252

 

 

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