Circle of Misse

Writing Courses & Retreats

A Writer Begins

A Writer Begins

If you’re just starting out or wanting to jumpstart your creativity, put pen to paper and learn to see the world through a writer’s eyes. Read more ››

A Writer Prepares

A Writer Prepares

Got a book in you? Let’s get it out. This course gives you the skills you need to turn your ideas and words into a manuscript. Read more ››

A Writer Progresses

A Writer Progresses

Take your current project to the next level with individually tailored expert mentoring, coaching and substantial feedback. Read more ››

A Writer Revises

A Writer Revises

This selective one-to-one intensive editing experience guides you through revising the completed draft of your book. Read more ››

Writing Retreats

Writing Retreats

You have a plan, you know where you’re going; you just need a refuge from your crazy life to actually do the writing. Look no further. Read more ››


Wayne, you take this really seriously, and that helped me to get so much out of it, including the determination to go on.

- Gaby (London, UK)

Every week in June and September, a handful of people at a time gather in an old French farmhouse in the southern Loire Valley to work on their creative writing. Some bring completed manuscripts, some brief half a rough draft, some three chapters, some a few notes and ideas, and some bring simply the desire or an aching curiosity to put pen to paper. Each week a couple of others who are that rare combination of excellent writers and exemplary writing teachers join them to help guide, coach and mentor the best work possible out of those present.

Carol's [Topolski] endearing and supportive encouragement allowed me to explore and develop a creative side that I didn't really think was there.'

- Lyn (Perth, Australia)

Add into this mix a couple of writers who come to retreat, to work alone on their projects, to enjoy solitude, but not isolation; to soak up the creative energy and be among kindred spirits while independently pursing their craft.

Fold into this dreamy scenario, two dedicated hosts and a support team who are there to make sure everyone eats the most amazing food, works in beautiful surroundings and is generally pampered and well looked after, and you have an extraordinary environment that truly brings out the best of everything in everyone. The best writing, the best ideas, the best relaxation, the best perspective.

‘The week with Emma [Sweeney] really helped me to reconnect with the emotional centre of my novel.’

- Claire (London, UK)

Past participants call it 'the Misse Magic'. And they mean it. There is something about the place. That’s why we started Circle of Misse. Having owned the house for almost 20 years, it had always been a place for writing, creativity and relaxation. Retreat and pilgrimage runs deep in the nature of the place. The Circle of Misse house sits on one branch of the historic Pilgrim’s route to Santiago de Compostelo. We continue the ethos of the Pilgrim’s way by being a way-station offering succour, guidance and encouragement as you venture out into your creative pursuits and projects.

Inviting you in seemed a natural thing to do.

A Writer Begins | A Writer Prepares | A Writer Progresses

A Writer Revises | Writing Retreats

Wherever you are, come find your way with us

‘I loved the sessions with Wendy [Vaizey] - she is so very sharp and insightful.’

- Hilary (Dublin, Eire)

We believe in building a community of writers at all stages of their writing journeys. The course titles embody that mission. Plus, being located on a feeder route of the Santiago de Compestelo Pilgrim’s route makes the metaphor even more apt.

We also believe in having a lot of fun. You’ll laugh (a lot), go on some great adventures, and be pampered and downright spoilt by the attention to detail and great food, and wine that freely flows at Misse.

‘Emily [Midorikawa] stripped my novel down, gave it a severe talking to, told me to lose Chapter One - yet I love her for it and know she's right. Quelle finesse!‘

- Julie (Lincolnshire, UK)

Over the years, as more and more past participants return again to make us a continued part of their creative process, and more and more new faces step through the door to leave as friends a week or so later, we believe even more in the Misse magic. A lot of amazing things happen here and lot of long-term friendships develop.

We provide that safe place you can escape to in order to get what you need to keep writing. We believe in you and do everything to help your reach your personal best.

Kirstan Hawkins Wayne Milstead Emma Sweeney Annie Kirby Annie Kirby Matt Morrison Carol Topolski Elizabeth Silver Wendy Vaizey

Besides having a great time, you’ll be challenged, motivated and inspired. Designed by graduates of the prestigious University of East Anglia Creative Writing MA, who currently teach at top writing programmes in both the UK and U.S. and are sought after writing coaches and mentors, Circle of Misse courses and retreats use proven teaching techniques, methodologies and mentoring pedagogies to bring out your best work and help you accomplish your writing goals. Practical, smart and fun. What more could you want?

‘Annie [Kirby] is an excellent tutor. Her feedback and encouragement has been invaluable.‘

- Victoria (London, UK)

And we couldn’t do this without our fabulous team of Writers-in-Residence who come here to support, encourage and push you to take your writing to the next level. Writers in residence include Annie Kirby, Emily Midorikawa, Matthew Morrison, Elizabeth Silver, Emma Sweeney, Carol Topolski, Wendy Vaizey, Kirstan Hawkins and Wayne Milstead.

Thank you to Liz [Silver] for your wisdom, empathy and encouragement, you've given me a way forward.'

- Margaret (Perth, Australia)

We understand that writing, like life, is not a destination, but a journey. And that’s what matters most of all: that you start your journey, are well-prepared and have all the help and support you need as you progress. That’s why we’ve carefully designed our writing programme to give you what you need when you need it. Our courses and retreats are more than just holidays, they are enriching experiences.

Whether it’s Begins, Prepares, Progresses, Revises or a Retreat, we look forward to seeing you this year.

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