Island View Writers’ House – A Unique Writing Residency in South Australia
A Unique Writing Residency in South Australia
If you need time away to prioritise your writing, Island View Writers’ House in Clayton Bay, South Australia, provides you with solitude, quiet and gorgeous views.
Inspiration finds itself in places of beauty, just as hard work demands the hours; this is a place where you can have both. Honour your craft by giving yourself time and space to think writing and practice writing, whether you choose a self-led residency or a focused residency.
For optimal thinking and writing time, consider having your residency fully catered. This means you don’t have to think about what you’re going to eat and, more importantly, don’t have to stop writing to cook a big meal. For $40 per night you will find stocks of fruit, muesli, bread, eggs, yogurt, soups, cheese and cold meats for breakfast and lunch, and you’ll get a cooked meal for dinner.
Both writer’s rooms are furnished with a single bed and desk, and there are writing nooks throughout the house, on the deck, in the front and back yards and, of course, by the water. There’s also a walking path along the bay where you can open your mind and consolidate thoughts, maybe spot an echidna on the way.
We’re situated where Lake Alexandrina returns to its River Murray course and becomes a bay before becoming an ocean and then whole of the world. Located thirty minutes south of the Langhorn Creek wineries and thirty minutes east of Goolwa’s beaches, Clayton Bay is a tranquil, untapped gem. Just ask the local pelicans.
Work to your own schedule with no interruptions. Just bring your paper and pen and get to work. For those who prefer to focus solely on writing, self-led residencies can be catered.
$140 per night or $180 for fully catered
(add on $20/person if more than 1 person)
*Note that both rooms are equipped with a single bed and writing desk. If you’d like to organise for a third or fourth person to come, there is a futon in a quiet sitting area and another in the lounge room.
If you’re after guidance and inspiration, consider a focused residency. I offer mentored residencies and personalised workshop residencies that will support your process and strengthen your writing.
I am a multi-published writer as novelist of literary fiction, poet and lyric-essayist. My work has won or been shortlisted for major awards as well as been reviewed on ABC’s The Book Club with Jennifer Byrne and in the New York Times. My novel Jean Harley was Here has been optioned for a 7-part television series and I am co-writing the script. I have also edited anthologies and worked as an editor of literary journals, as well as judged awards, sat on panels for grants and presented at writers’ festivals around the country. I received a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Adelaide and I’ve taught creative writing courses at Flinders University and led writing workshops through the University of Adelaide and various festivals and organisations. My knowledge of writing is varied and vast, spanning several forms, and I know the industry well. I’d love to work with you on your writing.
* If you prefer different lengths of stays or hours of focused time with me than listed below, I’m happy to accommodate.
1. Mentored Residencies
Writing can be a solitary exercise and writers sometimes need to talk things through. A Mentoring Residency involves discussing your project and discovering pathways to completion.
You might want to talk about pesky stumbling blocks you’re experiencing or bold ideas that you’re not sure how to contain. You might want to debrief frustrations or share epiphanies. With this residency you are given the opportunity to pick my brain on how to unlock creativity or which steps to take toward publication. Mentoring is all about working through development with someone who’s been there and has had success, so it can be all of these things or none of these things – the Mentoring Residency is about whatever you feel you need. The most rewarding conversations often start with a focus then move toward discussion in which concepts come forth organically and surprisingly. There’s so much in the writing process to talk about!
These residencies begin with me reading 10 pages of your prose or 5 of your poems to get an idea of what you’re doing. During your 3-day stay at Island View Writers’ House you’ll have 3 / 1-hour sessions with me. If you want something more in-depth, see “Manuscript Assessments” and consider combining the two.
Cost: $660 or $750 for a fully catered residency
*Do you have a LONG-TERM PROJECT in mind? A novel or memoir, a chapbook of poetry? This is the kind of mentoring I like best. Consider booking in for 3 x 3-day residencies over the course of twelve months for a $200 discount.
2. Personalised Workshop Residencies
Grab a friend and enjoy a practice-led retreat. This residency is specifically tailored to your needs, and is for two writers (or three or four, but remember while the house will sleep four writers, there are only two bedrooms).
Do you need help with character or setting? Do you want to write about the body or place? Do you want to know about the business of writing, like publishing or grants? Tell me what you’d like to work on and I’ll design the content to suite your needs. During your 3-day residency at the Writers’ House I will lead you in a single 3-hour workshop. You’ll have plenty of free time to continue working on the exercises or on your own writing once the workshop is through, or you may choose to enjoy the water or some of our nearby wineries.
Cost: total cost $660 for non-catered residency
(please add $20 per additional person per night, and if you’d like it fully catered it’s an extra $40 per person per day)
Take your experience a step further and begin your residency with immediate feedback.
Before you come to the Writers’ House I’ll read your work and comment on it, suggest edits and highlight possibilities. Once you get to the Writers’ House you’ll find a reader’s report on your desk and you’re ready to go!
$180 for 6 poems or 6,000 words of prose
$475 for 20 poems or up to 40,000 words of prose
$700 for manuscripts of up to 50 poems or up to 70,000 words
Larger manuscripts can be negotiated.
*Please note that as this is a writing retreat, we encourage only guests who will be writing.
*In most cases dogs are allowed, but please let me know upon booking.
Announcing Two Island View Writers’ House Fellowship Residencies
Applications are open for two fellowship residencies:
- The Mentored Residency for Novice to Early-career Writers June 1-4
Novice to early-career writers are invited to apply to the Mentored Residency, where you will receive two 1-hour sessions of mentoring with your host, Heather Taylor Johnson, over your 3-day stay.
- The Self-led Residency June 1-6
Established writers are invited to apply to the Self-led Residency, where your only requirement is to advance your current work-in-progress during your 5-day stay.
These residencies are on a fellowship basis, meaning there is no cost to the successful applicants. To compliment the time and space needed to fully focus on your project, the residencies are catered, with basics for both breakfast and lunch, plus a cooked dinner. In the expectation that the two successful applicants come together for the evening meal during the overlap of their stays, Island View Writers’ House encourages mutual inspiration and support through writerly companionship. Travel expenses are not included.
Deadline: April 12
- A 1-page project description of what you plan to work on during the residency
- A 1-page statement about yourself as a writer
- A sample of your writing, up to 5 pages
Applicants notified by May 1
Please direct any questions and submit your application to firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘Island View Writers Residency’ in the subject heading. Good luck!