The retreat is designed for those who wish to explore memoir writing while held in the beauty and magic of the West of Ireland ~ a land whose people respect and embrace their rich literary tradition.
If you are drawn to immersing yourself in local culture, unpacking once and nesting in a home base, blending daily excursions in the gorgeous County Mayo landscape with guided reflection and intimate conversation, and sharing your writing with a small group of like-minded writers, Memoir Tours: Ireland is for you.
Unlike writing retreats that rely on writing prompts and group feedback to inform your writing, our approach draws its strength from working one-on-one with a supportive mentor, letting the land, the people and the events of the day spur your creativity, and allowing yourself to be open to what your life experience has to say.
If you are looking for a retreat that relies on writing prompts to get you writing, this may not be the right setting for you. On the other hand, this may be just the opportunity you’ve been waiting for to explore writing from a different perspective.
While our focus is memoir writing, if you are writing in another genre, or you are just beginning to explore writing, you are very welcome and our staff will help you find your next steps.
A typical Memoir Tours: Ireland day begins with a self-prepared breakfast in your cozy cottage. We provide everything you need—brown bread, jam, butter, rashers, fresh eggs, porridge, fruit, tea, and coffee—to set your day off to a fine beginning. Before we embark on the day’s adventure, there is the opportunity to participate in a yoga class or meditation circle. Each day offers time for writing and reflection, blended with time “awakening the muse” as we walk and feel the fresh Irish breeze off the Atlantic. You can choose to keep writing if you’re on a roll and would prefer to stay behind. Guest authors and presenters are scheduled throughout the ten days.
Depending on activities planned, we may lunch together in the main cottage or grab prepared picnic baskets as we head out the door. From here, each day takes on a different flavor: some evenings may find you kicking up your heels at a local pub music session, feasting together on locally-catered or foraged foods, or retreating to your cottage fire for quiet reflection, writing and perhaps a sip of Irish whiskey.
While we have a carefully planned schedule and every detail tended to, there is a bit of magic that happens when a group comes together. We like to leave room to follow the thread of conversation and connection. Also, the unpredictability of weather in the West of Ireland requires that we take advantage of sun breaks or avoid being caught in a downpour. For these reasons, we intentionally do not publish a full itinerary.
Each night, we announce with great fanfare the next day’s plans— among those plans are stunning and sacred destinations including Rosserk Abbey, Mary’s Well, Bartragh Island, the Ceide Fields and Downpatrick Head. And, yes, there is daily designated writing time.