5 Reasons Why Writing in Brighton Is The Nuts

Hey. You. Brighton writer. What’s good? Here in the city of weird creatives, sparkly rainbows and the most uncomfortable pebble beach imaginable, we like to make ART. Which is why it was the perfect place to launch our very first writing retreat many, many moons ago. That’s right (write?), Brighton Writers’ Retreat was the very first of our now infamous UK-wide legion of procrastination-busting, productivity-boosting wordy lock-ins, and will always have a special place in our hearts.

But why is Brighton the place to be for writers? Well, here are five great reasons:

1. A bazillion Brighton coffee shops to write in

Many of Brighton’s digital freelancer open plan flexible working spaces also serve coffee to the public. You can kickstart your nervous system AND feel like you’re in an Apple store all the while typing untruth-bombs framed by a window. Passers-by will think ‘look at that genius’ while you are actually thinking ‘what’s another word for “said”?’

Or, if you’re after a more homely vibe, shout out to local faves Small Batch and Pelicano, Rust and Meanwhile, who let writers hang out and sip latte fumes for hours.

Gif of Sylvester the cat pouring coffee into a much with shaky hands.

2. Write by the sea in bonny Brighton

The cold wet thing at the end of the country? Brighton backs onto that. Bodies of water can be both very calming and dramatic as fuck, so a remedy there for the mallow or manic writerly brain.

In the summer there’s people and boats and wee in it and in the winter you can stare out moodily across the vista that has inspired a kabillion ‘the old West Pier with some starlings in silhouette at sunset’ pictures.

A timelapse photo of Brighton beach turning from day to night with a thunderstorm in the dark.

3. Inspire your writing with the Brighton Festival

Basically, in May, a bunch of artists get bussed in to entertain the city for a month. Pop-up venues bloom like mushrooms in the darkness of your dreams and everywhere there is music and art and words and weird stuff that doesn’t fit into any category but which you’ll remember because it made you feel angry/odd/sexy.

Soak up the inspiration, take part in the literary offerings of the Brighton Festival or stage your own work at England’s biggest festival Fringe.

4. Join the buzzing Brighton writing community

Okay <deep breath> so there’s writers groups and live literature nights like and poetry open mics and scratch nights and readings at independent bookshops and BRAAP BRAP (AIRHORN) Big up the Brighton & Hove Libraries! They’re dropping mad books (actually they’re very careful with their stock) and keeping it real (by curating literary events and seasons) and all the shit (they have printers you can use when you can no longer get away with using the one at work on the sneak).

Gif of a man in a pink shirt and sunglasses leaning on a pair of library security gates saying, "What's up with all these books?"

And, OBVIOUSLY, there’s the best writing retreat in B-town (possibly the world): our very own Brighton Writers’ Retreat. Spend the day in a room full of likeminded creatives, all tapping or scribbling away at their WIP, while your host plies you with caffeine, biscuits, sandwiches and gold star stickers. This is how the literate truly live. BOOK YOUR PLACE NOW >>

5. Brightonians (and writers) just don’t give a fuck

Cast aside your self-doubt. People literally ride bikes naked here. They get in the sea on Christmas morning. They burn clocks and they pierce and ink and dye and paint everything and they eat weird plant shit and they care even if no one else does. The whole place turns into a rainbow on an annual basis. Apparently, in Brighton, anything is permissible, so please go ahead and smear onto a page the idea that’s in your melon and be another sparkle in the glitter burst of what-the-hell-was-that and do not give a single fuck. Okay? Boom.

Gif of a man in a shiny gold lycra bodysuit dancing in the Brighton streets with a little old lady in a neon pink coat and a homeless guy drumming on the ground with a stick.
literally a scene in Brighton

Want a piece of this? Come and write with us in Brighton and make all your wordy dreams come true.

Want to be a better writer?

Or just to laugh at bum jokes? Either way, you need the famous Writers’ HQ newsletter. You know what to do – put your thing in the thing.