Brighton Writers’ Retreat

One Day Writing Retreats In Brighton


First Sunday and third Saturday of the month

10:00 am – 4:00 pm


No distractions. No excuses. Just writing.

Look, we get it. We have the same problem. We make the grandest of plans – Booker Prize winning plans… Pulitzer winning plans! – but life gets in the way.

There’s always one more thing to do, or one more stupid thing to look at on the Internet. Before you know it, it’s gone midnight, you’re sitting in your pants eating Dairy Milk, and you’ve written 25 words. Ugh. That’s why we’ve developed our retreats, in which we turn off the wifi and make you get on with it.

Because the only way to get your writing done is to sit down and write.

What happens at a Writers’ HQ retreat?

Writing! More writing! Some more writing! A bucket-load of writing! Also much tea and biscuit eating.
Spend the day in a room with a bunch of writers, limitless caffeine and – horror! – no internet.
We’ll help you set your writing goals for the day and for the long-term, celebrate your successes, and break through blocks.
Write in timed sprints with lots of breaks for hot drinks, non-stop eating, literary chat and leg-stretching.
A score board, gold stars, general silliness and supportive competitiveness will help you reach your targets, break bad habits, and get your writing moving.
No distractions.
No excuses.
Just writing.

What’s included?

  • All the tea and coffee you can drink
  • Morning snacks, lunch, biscuits and cake
  • A supportive environment and gold stars
  • Lots of encouragement and the lovely warm glow of finally-getting-it-done satisfaction

Who are Writers’ HQ retreats for?

  • Everyone!
  • New writers! Emerging writers! Aspiring writers! Experienced writers! Not-sure-if-they’re-really-allowed-to-call-themselves-writers! (hint: if you write, you’re a writer)
  • Writers who want to tinker with some ideas or make a start on a brand new project.
  • Writers with a work-in-progress that’s stalled or been put aside while life takes over.
  • Writers who just wanna get shit done.
  • People writing fiction, non-fiction, scripts, academic texts, copy, articles, blogs, poetry, creative non-fiction, genre, high brow, low brow, and anything else that needs an alphabet shuffle.
  • People who want to drink tea and eat biscuits and write some words in a fun, supportive environment.

Anything else I should know?

  • Writers’ HQ retreats are strictly no sharing events! We want you to focus on writing your story instead of getting anxious about other people reading it.
  • There is no workshopping or taught element to the retreats. It’s just about the writing. For taught courses please check out our superduper range of online courses.

Your retreat-o-bots

Brighton Writers’ Retreat is lead by JO GATFORD and PAUL MACAULEY.

Jo Gatford is co-founder of Writers’ HQ and general writing machine. She is a human who procrastinates about writing by writing about writing. Her novel White Lies won the Luke Bitmead Bursary and was published by Legend Press in 2014. She’s also had a bunch of short fiction published, nabbed a (different) Arts Council grant to write the (shitty) first draft of her next novel, is attempting a screenplay adaptation of the first book, and is currently elbow-deep in an MA in Shakespeare because she’s a literary badass/masochist. Jo runs the Brighton Writers’ Retreat and is the queen of editing, swearing on social media, and flip-chart facilitation.

Twitter: @jmgatford

Paul Macauley is a writer, director and maker of things like stories, theatre and short films. His play ‘Bug Camp’ won the New Writing South Award for Best New Play at Brighton Fringe. He hosts a podcast on creativity speaking with writers, artists, musicians and others to inspire and encourage people to make stuff. Right now he’s writing about four different things (five including this, but now this is done so: tick. Next!)

Twitter: @paul_macauley


Getting here

Werks Central is a 10 minute walk from Brighton station. It’s a 5 minute walk from most bus routes stopping on North Street/Old Stein or Poole Valley.

There is limited parking nearby (on street parking varies from 2-4 hours) but all-day parking available at Churchill Square multi-storey car park.

The venue is fully accessible but please contact us if you need ramp assistance for the front step.


Werks Central, 15-17 Middle St, Brighton BN1 1AL


Time: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Cost: £37. Or book 3 for £99 (save £12)



£37 for one day


Save £12 and book 3 retreats for £99 >>

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