The richly atmospheric surroundings of Bolton Castle, relatively unchanged and unadorned since the 18th century, vividly convey its 600 years of history in the ownership of the Scrope family, prompting you to imagine life as it might have been. When completed in 1399 it was astonishingly comfortable by the standards of the day, with luxurious ensuite accommodation and heating in all rooms. Nowadays warm clothing is strongly recommended to supplement the roaring log fires!
In this inspiring & authentically historic atmosphere you will have the chance to write intensively, with the support of our tutors and a programme of talks, readings, group workshops and individual feedback sessions. Mornings will generally be spent in workshops, discussion and reading. After lunch in the Castle (or picnic if fine), the focus is on time for individual writing; on at least one afternoon, weather permitting, there will be the option to use one of the isolated estate shooting lodges (transport provided, or a brisk walk with an earlier start!). At the end of the day there will be a plenary session with an opportunity for feedback among course members. Evenings are free: the castle will be open until dusk if required, when it is spectacularly floodlit.
Alison Weir (www.alisonweir.org.uk) will be speaking twice, on Monday and Tuesday, about her latest book and about writing historical fiction, and course members will have a chance for detailed Q & amp;A with her. Anthony Quinn (www.anthonyjquinnwriter.com) and other tutors will also be speaking, delivering workshops and giving individual feedback on work done on the course and on submissions made before the course. One of the most popular forms of historical fiction is the crime novel, witness for example The Name of the Rose and the Father Cadfael series. Anthony Quinn will be particularly, but not exclusively, exploring this aspect during his visit.
If you would like to submit an extract of up to 2,000 words for feedback, please send it before the 1st September to email@example.com. There is no obligation to do so.
Aspiring and published authors are equally welcome.
Accommodation and Food
No accommodation is possible in the Castle. We strongly recommend our group accommodation, with facilities for up to 6 people in 17th century Hawthorn Cottage (3 private ensuite rooms, 1 double & 2 twin). 3 minutes by car from the Castle, or a glorious 35 minute walk along the dale, it is a delightful and extremely comfortable cottage (you can see details on Airbnb/Preston under Scar/Hawthorn cottage). There is a delightful sitting-room with an inglenook fireplace and stunning views, a stylish dining-room, and a well equipped shared kitchen.
What to bring
We recommend that you arrive on Sunday evening, in order to make a prompt and relaxed start on Monday morning at 10.00am in the Castle.
Writing materials, notebook, a copy of the short story or extract from a novel (not more than 2,000 words) that you have previously sent, laptop, warm indoor clothing and wet weather clothing for walking, also walking boots if you wish to explore on foot. Optionally, a book by another writer that you have found particularly inspiring.
There is no mobile phone signal inside the Castle.
Course fee: £485. (Includes lunches and tickets to 2 talks)
Residential fee: £730.