Coventry: we are IN you.
Coventry Writers’ Retreat is smack-bang in the middle of town, overlooking the ancient cathedral and priory ruins. But why is Coventry such a great place for writers? Well, here are five rather excellent reasons to start you off…
1. Walk in the footsteps of giants
Holy Trinity Church (where our retreat is held each month) was George Eliot’s local, and the classic Middlemarch was based on the city of Coventry.
You’re also just a hop, skip and a jump (okay, a long train journey) away from Stratford, stomping ground of our fave dick-joke peddler, Shakespeare himself.
2. City of Culture 2021
Coventry will be the city of culture in few years, and preparations are already underway to prove just why it’s a hotbed of creative talent, including a poetry exhibition Humans of Cov, based on human rights articles, which will showcase writing throughout the city (one of them by our very own Cov rep!).
In the meantime, pop along to Waterstone’s Coventry for an author talk, or check out one of the plays at the Belgrade. There’s also the Kenilworth Arts festival with Kenilworth Books, which brings national superstars into the local limelight, and plenty of talks and exhibitions at the Herbert Art Gallery to help inspire any weary writer’s blocked brain.
3. Inspiration abounds
From a time-travel series of shenanigans involving the bombing of Coventry Cathedral during the Blitz (To Say Nothing of the Dog) to the mysterious giant tunnels perfect for car chases (The Italian Job), there’s plenty to inspire in Coventry. The problem will be finding something that hasn’t already been written about. Our Cov rep has her eye on the famous nude Warwick Rower’ Calendar, in more ways than one.
4. Write in comfort
Coventry is full of places to write, such as Fargo Village’s trendy cafes, Big Comfy Bookshop, and Esquires Coffee at the lovely Coventry Transport Museum, where there are plenty of nooks and crannies to settle in with a batch for a day of tip-tapping at your keys.
5. Share your work
If you’re feeling brave, check out the Fire & Dust poetry open mic nights at the Big Comfy Bookshop or Scratch Nights at The Tin as well as plenty of other ways to get involved with local writing events. Indie publisher The Emma Press in Birmingham also holds regular calls for submissions, and Writing West Midlands offers a whole range of courses and events.
Not interested in any of that stuff and just wanna buckle down and focus on your own writing? Fair enough – book your place at the next Coventry Writers’ Retreat and write until you’re all written out.