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with Stephanie Bishop 


Sunday November 8 - Sunday November 15th


Springfield is delighted to partner with 

The Stella Prize

to offer an exciting new retreat with Stephanie Bishop: 

Belonging and Place in

Narrative Fiction and Memoir 


During this retreat we will dive deep into place and belonging and consider how human life occurs in relation to place: the place that is our home, the place of childhood, secret places, wild places, places of discovery, the places we long to see. In both fiction and memoir, place is essential; it grounds the narrative, generates action, creates atmosphere, adds layers and texture, and can become a character in its own right. Moreover, as writers, the exploration of place is often a source of great creative energy. 


This retreat will offer you the chance to further develop this dimension of your work through writing exercises, discussion and private consultations. Throughout the week you will have the chance to work on new material, address specific challenges in your current project, and explore new strategies and techniques.



  • Close reading and feedback regarding your work (5000 words) by Stephanie

  • One:one consultation with Stephanie

  • Morning workshops exploring ideas of belonging and place in narrative fiction

  • Afternoon workshops exploring strategies and exercises for the editing and revision of new material

  • Poetry session with,  Kirli Saunders, a proud Gunai woman, poet and storyteller.

  • An opportunity to present and discuss your current project

  • The option to do a reading from your writing to fellow retreat participants 

  • Time to truly slow down and sink in to your writing in a beautiful country setting 

  • Swimming Pool 

  • 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 


This retreat is for writers and aspiring writers at all levels, with intent to work on a novel, memoir, short story or personal essay collection. Previous publication is not a requirement. You will need a print-out of your work in progress, a sense of adventure and a true willingness to experiment.


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. 

Meet The Author


Stephanie Bishop

Stephanie's first novel was The Singing, for which she was named one of the Sydney Morning Herald’s Best Young Australian Novelists. The Singing was also highly commended for the Kathleen Mitchell Award. Her second novel, The Other Side of the World  is published by Hachette Australia, Tinder Press (Headline, UK), Atria (Simon & Schuster, US) and Fleuve Editions (France). It was named Literary Fiction Book of the Year at the Australian Book Industry Awards 2016 and was the winner of The Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction 2015. It was shortlisted for the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards, The Indie Book Awards and the NSW Premier's Literary Awards as well as being longlisted for the 2016 Stella Prize. Her third novel, Man Out of Time was published in 2018 and was longlisted for the Stella Prize and shortlisted for the Christina Stead Prize for fiction.

Stephanie’s writing has appeared in the London Review of Books, the Times Literary Supplement, The Monthly and the Sydney Review of Books, among other publications. She has received Fellowships to Yaddo, Asialink and Oxford University, where she was a Visiting Scholar at the Centre for Life Writing. She holds a PhD from Cambridge and is currently a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of New South Wales. 

Stephanie is currently working on her fourth novel, Outro. This is a sister novel to The Other Side of the Word. It is about art, power and the legacy of maternal love.

Tad Souden Film & Photography (4 of 12).

Poetry Workshop with Kirli Saunders

Join award winning writer and artist Gundungurra raised Gunai Woman, Kirli Saunders to explore the connection of language to land through poetic prose writing prompts and tailored readings. 

Kirli Saunders is a proud Gunai Woman and award-winning international writer of poetry, plays and picture books. She is a teacher, cultural consultant and artist. In 2020, Kirli was named the NSW Aboriginal Woman of the Year. 


Kirli created Poetry in First Languages, delivered by Red Room Poetry. Her debut picture book The Incredible Freedom Machines was shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards and CBCA notables. Her poetry collection, Kindred was shortlisted for the ABIA 2020 Book Awards. Her verse novel, Bindi (Magabala Books) was the inaugural winner of the WA Premiers, Daisy Utemorrah Award and was recently released.

Kirli has four forthcoming titles and her poetry features in anthologies published by Magabala Books, UQP and Penguin. Kirli is the winner of the University of Canberra ATSI Poetry prize (2019). Kirli has been shortlisted for the Nakata Brophy prize in 2018 and 2020. She is an esteemed judge for the 2020 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards and QPF Val Vallis Award.

Kirli’s was a finalist in the Contemporary NOW prize, and her artworks works have been commissioned for Wollongong Gallery, Shoalhaven Gallery and Curio Gallery. With the support of Australia Council for the Arts, she will hold her first solo poetic arts exhibition Returning in 2021.

As a playwright, Kirli is co-creating Dead Horse Gap with Merrigong Theatre and South East Arts. Her first Solo play, Going Home has been supported by Playwriting Australia, and will take the stage in 2022.



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. 


6:00 - 11:00.       Personal writing time

7:30 - 8:30           Optional gentle morning yoga 

7:00 - 9:00         Breakfast 

11:00 - 12:30      Morning Writers Studio exploring ideas of belonging and place in the creative process

12:30 - 1:30         Lunch  

2- 4                         One on one consults 

1:00 - 4:00.       Free / writing time

12:30 -  4:00.    Optional daily massage 

4:00 - 5:30        Afternoon Writers Studio exploring strategies and exercises for the editing and revision of new material

6:00 - 7:00        Dinner 

7:00 - 8:00        Salon

Read what our past guests have had to say

“This week at Springfield has been a joy. The atmosphere of calm generosity gives you a way to approach your writing that is similarly kind.  Gentle Magic.”  

Belinda Castles, Sydney

Read more of what our past guests have had to say here


  1. 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.

  2. Please send up to 5000 words (12pt font, double spaced, numbered pages with your name as footnote) for Stephanie to read before the retreat.  Only writing submitted by Monday 26th October will be read.

  3. As numbers for this retreat are strictly limited (6-12) registration forms and deposit/payments must be received before your place is secured.



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)

*plus GST

Sold Out: 

Avocado Room

Drover's Rest Rooms

Rose Room

Blue Room

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