Technical help

I can't log in

The most fist-shaking of all technical irritants. Here’s your troubleshooting guide:

  1. If you’re trying to log in to your ONLINE COURSES ONLY please make sure you’re logging in here:
  2. If you’re logging in to the Interdimensional Creative Writing Wonderland for the first time, you will be prompted to set a password. If you’re an old hand at the ICWW but have forgotten your password, just click the reset password link when prompted.
  3. If you’re trying to log in to your account on but can’t, please try resetting your password.
  4. Alternatively, if you made your account BEFORE October 2017 and haven’t logged in since, you will need to make a new account.
  5. If you keep getting an error message on the CAPTCHA, please clear your cache and try again.
  6. If it keeps kicking you out and telling you to log in again, please clear your cache and try again.
  7. Disaster! Still nothing is working! Email [email protected]
The captcha keeps telling me I'm a robot

First, double check: are you actually a robot? If no, then please clear your cache and try again.

If yes, you are a robot then we apologise. We are an inclusive, equal opportunities writing school but sadly we cannot cater to robots just yet.

I can't see my courses on my dashboard

Eek. First off, make sure you’re logging in to to access your courses. Courses are not held on They’re here

If you can’t see them on the Interdimensional Creative Writing Wonderland but have paid your membership subscription for this month, please email [email protected] and we’ll leap into action with keenness and speed.

I've just enrolled on a course and I haven't got an email telling me what to do

Check your spam check your spam check your spam la la la.

You need to wait about five minutes for the email to come through. WE KNOW IT’S REALLY ANNOYING AND SORRY.

When you enrol there are three computers which need to talk to each other, which they do on a rolling five minute cycle. If you happen to book at the wrong end of that cycle it’s an interminable 300 second wait. We wish we could speed it up but we can’t. Go make a cup of tea and by the time you come back it’ll be there.

Course advice

How does online teaching work?

Our courses are a mix of text, images, videos and exercises.

Once you’ve enrolled, you’ll be a sent a link to your course(s). When you click it you’ll be taken to the course player where you’ll see a menu on the left-hand side detailing the different course sections and units, and on the right you’ll see the course content.

Make sure you set aside a bit of time each day to read, watch and do. We can’t stress enough how important it is to do all the exercises set in the courses. We’d love to be able to plug a cable into your brain and – voila! – an entire novel or short story collection comes out! Buuuuut we can’t, and to get the results you have to do the work. It’s supposed to be fun though, so try to enjoy it a little bit.

How much time will I need to complete a course?

String length etc etc. It depends on many factors. Each course has an expected duration which you can find on the course page, it’s typically about six weeks, but you can do it as quickly or take as long as you need. We recommend that you put aside at least an hour every day to work on your course. If you can do more, do more! We recognise that isn’t always possible and we do give advice throughout the courses on ways to carve out the time.

Do I have to do the course in order?

You don’t, but it won’t make much sense to do it piecemeal. You can dip in and out as time allows for as long as you have course access, but we do recommend you do it in the order we present the information to you.

Can I pay by cash or cheque?

Unfortunately not. All courses must be booked and paid for online before we can grant you access.

You can pay online using PayPal or Stripe, all of which are super secure.

Will I get published when I've taken a course?

We can’t guarantee that, unfortunately, but we have a pretty good track record with our writers. Head to our blog and check out the Wall of Fame to see the latest successes.

Can you really learn creative writing?

Srsly? No one questions musicians who go to music school. No one questions photographers who go to photography school. No one questions painters who go to painting school.

We teach techniques and theories, we offer exercises to focus ideas, we talk about great writers and the way they do things. It’s really not very controversial.

Can a get a refund on a standalone course?

If you’ve bought an individual course and you’re not happy with it for some reason we won’t be offended (well, we might be a little bit) – just let us know within 30 days of purchase and we’ll sling you a refund.

Retreat info

Can I cancel or transfer my retreat?

We know unforeseen things happen unforeseenly – you discover your husband has a mad woman living in the attic, you accidentally slash and burn the oil painting that was keeping you young and sexy etc and so on – so we’re as flexible as we can be when it comes to transferring and cancelling your retreat but also we can’t have you coming and going and treating this place like a hotel. There would be chaos. CHAOS I TELLS YOU.

Transferring retreat dates

Workshop dates can be transferred without charge up to 4 DAYS before the date of the workshop. So if your event is on Saturday, the preceding Monday is your last chance to transfer the date without charge. If your retreat is on Sunday, the preceding Tuesday is your last chance to transfer.

If you need to transfer your date during the 4 days leading up to the workshop, there will be a £10 surcharge.

If you book a retreat and do not attend, unfortunately there is no option for refund or date transfer.

To transfer your date, please email [email protected] with the subject TRANSFER RETREAT DATE.

Cancelling retreat dates

If you need to cancel a single retreat booking please do it 7 DAYS before the date of the retreat in order to get a full refund.

Cancellations made after this cannot be refunded. Sorry.

To cancel your retreat, please email [email protected] with the subject RETREAT CANCELLATION.

3 retreats for £90

You can cancel your entire 3 for £90 booking up to one month after purchase, as long as you haven’t attended any retreats already. There are no partial refunds available.

To cancel your 3 for £90 booking, please email [email protected] with the subject 3 FOR £90 CANCELLATION.

Is there any teaching on the retreats?

There is no taught element during the retreats. REPEAT: THERE IS NO TAUGHT ELEMENT DURING THE WRITING RETREATS.

Writers’ HQ writing retreats are about having the time and space to sit and write. That’s it. No distractions, no excuses, just writing.

We do run courses though so if you’re looking for teaching have a look at our online courses.

There is, of course, always plenty of writerly chat during the day and you are more than welcome to ask the retreat leader questions, which depending on their experience they may or may not be able to answer.

Wait, you just write? Couldn't I do that at home?

You could, but do you?

Besides, not everyone has the luxury of being able to write at home. People with long working hours, crazy families, or a million other distractions find that writing at home just doesn’t work for them. For many, time and space to write is hard to find. We want to make it a little bit more accessible.

Who leads the retreats?

A crack team of badass writers!

Do I have to be writing fiction?

Nope. You can write anything you like. WHQers are novelists, short story writers, playwrights, essayists, academics, marketing bods, copywriters, bloggers, students and anyone who puts words on a page and also spends way too long looking at Twitter when they should be writing.

Can I pay by cash or cheque?

Unfortunately not. All retreats must be booked and paid for online before we can reserve your place.

You can pay online using PayPal or Stripe, all of which are super secure.

Will you feed me?

Writers’ HQ is peopled by a bunch of people who get a cold sweat on at the possibility of under catering. You will be fed, and then some. Pastries in the morning, sandwiches and salads and dips and crisps and many yummy things for lunch, cake and biscuits in the afternoon and all the tea and coffee you can mainline. No one leaves a WHQ retreat hungry.

When you book, you’ll be asked if you have any dietary requirements so just let us know your vegan-free gluten-full sugar-loving needs.

Can I park nearby?

Most likely. It’s one of our requirements when scoping out new venues.

Check your specific retreat venue details for more.

How do I book my 3 for £90 retreats?

Here’s how you book your 3 for £90 retreats:

  1. Once you’ve booked your 3 for £90 retreats, we’ll send you a coupon code. You do have to be a bit patient waiting for this code because we have to make them by hand because the technical hoozit that was supposed to do it automagically DOES NOT WORK. Repeat: Writers’ HQ is almost as abysmal at technical projects as the UK Government. So. We have to make your code by hand which might take us half a day or so.
  2. Go to the page of the retreat you wish to attend (all our retreats are here) and click ‘book now’ as though you were booking a single retreat.
  3. At the checkout, use your coupon code in the coupon code box and it will deduct 100% of the price of the retreat (because you’ve already paid for it!)
  4. Checkout
  5. You are now booked on the retreat

The Big Question

Can’t I just email you and tell you what retreat I want to go to like in the olden days?

I mean you COULD but we’re really getting busy here at WHQ and we don’t want to keep you waiting while your email makes its way to the top of the Never Ending Inbox of Doom.

It’s just kinda better all round if you could get on board with our new automated, robotic, futuristic, AI, T-101 (the sent-to-save-John-Connor version, not the hellbent-on-killing-Sarah-Connor version) booking system.

Membership help

Can I cancel my subscription?

Yes you can! Just go to My Writers’ HQ which is top right of all pages. If you can’t see it, scroll up to the top of the page and it will magically appear. Then select ‘My Membership’ > Subscription and press the big cancel button.

This will stop THE NEXT payment coming from your account. You will still have course access for the remaining duration of that 30 day cycle, so if you cancel your subscription 5 days into your 30 day subscription cycle, you will have course access for another 25 days and then nada. Blackness. Darkness. The cold abyss of the netherworld. Or at least that’s how it should work. If it doesn’t give us a yell on ye olde [email protected] email address.

A super important point: we CANNOT offer partial refunds on subscriptions. This means if you cancel part way through the month, we cannot part refund that month. Soz McGoz


We’re still writing the rest of this section! Find more here, or email [email protected]