Guided Writing Week
Rushay is an Arts & Crafts country house set in its own gardens and grounds, with nine beautiful bedrooms across the house and cottage. With three further sitting rooms, the house provides plenty of space for quiet work and reflection. It stands a mile from the Dorset coast, on the edge of the Marshwood Vale.
Whether you are a beginner or an experienced writer, we want to inspire you, and fire your urge to work and create.
Jason Goodwin is an award winning writer, whose works of fiction and non-fiction have been translated into more than 40 languages, including Albanian and Korean. He won the coveted Edgar Award for Best Mystery Novel but the roots of his writing are in travel and history. He also writes a monthly column for Country Life Magazine.
Jason has taught creative writing at West Dean College, and given masterclasses at the South Bank and The Guardian.
Rushay writing week 8-14 November 2021
The writing programme
In association with the Bridport Literary Festival, a week of private writing, mentoring and conversation begins at 4pm on Monday with your arrival at Rushay, when you’ll be introduced to the house and the surrounding area of West Dorset, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Jason will lead an hour’s discussion every morning at 10am, covering character, dialogue, plot, pace, setting and research. He’ll be talking about different forms, like fiction, memoir or travel writing. The session is voluntary but it will involve writing exercises you might find helpful.
Above all we want to inspire you to progress with your own work, whether it’s fiction or non-fiction. Whether you are a new writer or an established one, we think that you will draw energy from the relatively informal mix of support, guidance and peaceful writing time.
You won’t have to lift a finger all week. No cooking and no washing up. Supper from the best fresh local ingredients will be served in the dining room at 7.30 for 8 every evening. Breakfast and lunch will be set out for you at 8am and 1pm, with snacks, tea and coffee available all day to power you on.
Among the well-known authors discussing their work at the Bridport Literary Festival. we’ve picked five talks by Max Porter, Natasha Brown, Boris Starling, Jonathan Coe and Horatio Clare, along with a movie screening – connected to Jonathan Coe’s novel – in Bridport’s classic Electric Palace cinema. There’s some bold fiction, a debut novel, fiction entwined with fact and a memoir in the mix, which I hope we’ll all learn from and enjoy. There’s no need to read any of the books yourself – but of course you can if you like! And all the events leave room for questions from the floor.
There’s no further charge for tickets.
Weather permitting, we’ll have some (guided) walks in the surrounding countryside: solvitur ambulando is a writing precept, ‘it is solved by walking.’ You might also want to explore the Dorset/Devon borders, or go fossil-hunting on Charmouth’s famous Jurassic beach. Bridport and Lyme Regis are each under fifteen minutes away by car, and Charmouth has two pubs and a café.
All the rooms are king size or doubles, except for the attic bedroom which is a four-bed room, suitable for groups, and a twin in the cottage. They are all set up with writing desks and power outlets, with lovely views, and there is fibre broadband and wifi throughout the house and cottage and much of the garden, with good 4G phone reception on all networks.
There is ample parking at Rushay, and a taxi from the nearest railway station (Axminster) costs about £15. Axminster is on the Waterloo-Exeter mainline.
(to include transport to the festival events, full board and tuition)
Master bedroom and green bedroom (king size beds) £950
East, West and French bedroom (double beds) £850
Cottage bedrooms (2 doubles, 1 twin) £750
4-dorm singles £450
Jason is available for one-to-one consultancy sessions, reading and discussing your own work. You’ll need to submit a chapter or up to 3000 words in advance. Fee tbd.