with Inga Simpson
26th Feb - 5th March
Explore the wild places of your imagination,
where writing meets the wonder of nature.
Nature writing has never been more relevant. How do we express, in words, our wonder for the natural world? How do we begin to write about our landscapes after the fires, the pandemic, the year we have had? How can non-Indigenous Australians write about connection to landscape and place?
At this Nature Writing retreat we will delve into the connections between identity, landscape, ethics and cultural change. Discover why rewriting our relationship with nature plays a critical role in this emerging and essential conversation.
Nature and story appeal to our hearts, and Nature Writing that acknowledges our innate love for the natural world can inspire us to care, to believe and to participate in the creation of a more beautiful world.
During the immersion in nature and writing we will explore a range of practices designed to strengthen your connection with nature, hone your observation skills, and convey your experiences through story. Aligning your external, physical landscapes with your interior, imaginative landscapes allows a greater intimacy with the natural world – and brings authenticity to your writing.
Throughout the retreat you will be learning and applying Nature Writing practices and techniques, developing new and fresh work while you are here. You will also have the chance to submit a short personal essay to Inga for feedback, and join in discussion regarding submitting your work for publication.
The daily writing workshops will explore practical techniques for writing about the natural world through a mixture of tuition, examples (including from works set in the Southern Highlands), writing exercises, and group discussion. We’ll cover evocative description, character and place, story and emotion, as well as research. We’ll also consider the challenges faced when writing with an environmental message, and the ethical issues to consider when writing nature in Australia today.
The program includes time and space for you to write as well as optional, complimentary sessions and field excursions.
You’ll receive written and verbal feedback from Inga on up to 5000 words from any genre submitted beforehand.
what others say about Inga & our writing retreats
"It is somewhere in the gaps between the observational nature writing and the memoir aspect, the telling of her life, that something subterranean and magical happens. Something powerful that takes hold of the reader and transports her to the forest floor in a kind of awe.”
Read more of what our past guests have had to say here.
Meet The Authors
LIMITED SPOTS AVAILABLE, DON'T MISS OUT!
WHAT TO EXPECT
On this retreat you’ll have the opportunity to write what you’ve always wanted to write. Your writing will be supported by Springfield’s signature creative ecology. Our retreat includes optional sessions of morning yoga, nature hike with a local guide, foraging and gardening, and making art with objects found in nature. Being on retreat in a beautiful natural place will bring insight to your work in surprising ways. Prepare to feel open and spacious as you tune into a different state of mind. Writing on retreat is so special. It initiates that altered state of mind we’re in when we’re writing. That’s when the magic happens. We’ll also take a break mid-week to refresh. You can use your free time to go even deeper into your writing, or take a break to enjoy the pool (weather permitting), treat yourself to a massage, visit one of the local villages, galleries or wineries, or simply sip a cappuccino, write postcards, and enjoy the gardens and views.
A DAY AT NATURE WRITING
6:30 - 7 : Optional gentle morning yoga
7:30 - 8:30 : Breakfast
10:30 - 12 : Morning Writers Studio
12:30 - 1 : Lunch
1 - 4 : One on one consults
Free / writing time
Optional daily massage
4:30 - 6 : Afternoon Writers Studio
6:30 - 7:30 : Dinner
Registered participants are invited to speak to the group about your writing project. You’ll have 10 minutes each to talk about your work. For example, you may choose to talk about what you’re writing, why you’re writing this particular piece, how long you’ve been working on it, what challenges you are currently facing, or what you hope to achieve at this Retreat. You may also use some of this time to read some of your work.
Please send up to 5000 words (12pt font, double spaced, numbered pages with your name as footnote) for Inga to read before the retreat. Only writing submitted by Monday 12th February will be read.
As numbers for this retreat are strictly limited (6-12) registration forms and deposit/payments must be received before your place is secured.
ROOMS, PRICES AND ACCOMMODATION
Accommodation is allocated according to availability and your first preference at the time of booking. We have two private bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms, if this is your preference please book early. If you choose to share we’ll pair you with a like-minded roommate, or bring a friend!
Please explore room options and descriptions here before booking.
$2,000* non-residential (includes all meals)
$2,500*pp shared room, shared bathroom:
(Avocado Room, Drover's Rest Rooms)
$3,000* private room, shared bathroom:
(Avocado Room, Indigo Room, Drover's Rest Rooms, Farm House Rooms)
$3,000*pp shared room with private ensuite:
(Rose Room, Blue Room)
$3,500* private room with private ensuite:
(Rose Room, Blue Room)
Close reading and feedback regarding your work (5000 words) by Inga
One:one consultation with Inga
Morning workshops exploring practical techniques for writing about the natural world
Afternoon workshops exploring character, place, story, emotion, and research
Writing exercises to generate new work
Discussion regarding the challenges and the ethical issues to consider when writing nature in Australia today
An opportunity to present and discuss your current project
The option to do a reading from your writing to fellow retreat participants
The option to develop a personal essay to submit to Inga for feedback after the retreat
Discussion regarding submitting your work for publication
Poetry Workshop with Kirli Saunders
Time to truly slow down and sink in to your writing in a beautiful country setting
Nourishment of organic farm to table meals made with fresh produce straight from our very own veggie gardens. Vegetarian and vegan options.
Truly slow down and amongst the countryside
A week of luxury accomodation
Optional daily gentle morning yoga
Optional massage, garden tours and bush walks
Beautiful workshop studio
Transfer to and from Bowral train station
Concierge staff and onsite laundry
IS THIS RETREAT FOR YOU?
This retreat is for writers with an open mind and a passion for the natural world. It is suitable for writers at all levels, whether interested in nature writing, environmental writing, travel writing, memoir, fiction, narrative non-fiction, short pieces or book-length projects. Content will be tailored to suit the interests and skills of participants – as well as the surrounding landscapes of the Southern Highlands.
Springfield is situated on traditional lands that were shared by people of the Gundungurra, Dharawal and Yuin nations. Springfield is only five minutes drive from Fitzroy Falls in Morton National Park.
We are 15 minutes from Bowral, Moss Vale and Robertson in the beautiful Southern Highlands of NSW. The energy here has been described as peaceful, still and even soporific, making it an excellent place for writers who want the quiet time and space needed to hear their writer's voice and sink in to the wonder of creative flow.