Creative Writing Retreat

Sunday 12th April 2020

9.30am - 4pm


...A single word separates people who say they want to write fiction, and those who actually do it.

People often say…

“I want to write fiction.”

What professionals say is, “I want to write successful fiction.”  


New and developing writers - those who have not yet published and those wanting to

take their writing to the next level.


In an encouraging, comfortable workshop setting, this Writing Retreat will crunch down some of the industry secrets I’ve learned over 20 years about what makes writing successful. You’ll get practical tricks of the trade from successful authors who consistently write best sellers - and you’ll use them immediately. So each time you learn a new element of the craft, you will achieve writing success.


In this first retreat, you'll learn how to develop dynamic characters and compelling plots with an emphasis on generating powerful scenes.  The aim is to help you to develop effective, moving, surprising, and well-crafted writing.



Claire Vorster

Professional Writer & Teacher.

Claire Vorster has helped thousands of adultsteachers and students to learn the craft of successful writing. She is a teacher who loves to help students succeed.

For over 20 years, Claire has worked for publishers, businesses, magazines, and online markets in SE Asia, the US and Europe. Recently, Claire has been invited to schools to read Ellie Sparrow and the Great Fire of London - the first in her series of children’s fiction.

Her experience includes ghost writing, editing and product development for diverse publishers, the International Baccalaureate, UK universities, SME to multinational companies and charities. Claire is a member of the Oxford University Press Research Forum.

Writing Retreat Details

What makes the Success Stories Academy Retreat so unique?

It's the combination of a laser-like focus on developing dynamic writing skills in an elegant and relaxing setting. On one hand, our program taps the creative abilities of all students. At the same time, students have a wonderful opportunity to support and engage in each other’s work with positive guidance and practical structure.

What will the morning & afternoon sessions include?

Backstage Pass -- Sometimes, the hardest thing is getting through the door. These activities are designed to get you ‘in the zone.’ They will be fun, inclusive and motivational. We’ll complete one or two simple writing exercises to help you warm up your creative abilities.

Access All Areas -- Roughly 30-45 minutes devoted to teaching you tools of the trade, during which you’ll dive deeper into skills practice. The exemplar is used to highlight specific techniques that drive successful writing. Practice tasks focus on: drafting a narrative arc; crafting sensory description; writing dialogue; creating authentic characters; building dramatic tension; using a thesaurus; and writing similes and metaphors. Activities also focus on developing an author’s voice.

The Stage -- Valuable time to spend on a longer piece. This is your opportunity achieve wriing success. You’ll combine your brilliant ideas with top-secret tools and be free to find your own voice and story,

Students may work at a table, one of several; at a kitchen counter; on a couch; or at a desk. If the weather is fair, students may also sit beside the Sawkill Creek in a comfortable Adirondack chair.

Coaching & Review – During writing time, coach Claire Vorster is available to meet with students for coaching and directed feedback. After, students share their new work, together (one - to - one), in a structured and supportive session.

Be specific, what am I going to learn?

01 Making it count -- A promise that involves action is better than a wish.

Here you’ll define what success looks like for you in relation to your time on the Success Stories Retreat. To do this, you are going to answer a few questions, and make a promise to yourself.

02 The art of the plot -- The difference between a story idea and a workable plot can be summed up in three words. In this module, you’ll learn what they are and start applying them. You’ll study how famous authors and film makers avoid bad plots and produce great ones. And start writing your own.

03 The art of character -- Great characters are not simply what they do, but what they want to do, need to do, long to do and cannot do.  That’s what will keep you, and your readers hooked. You’ll learn how to avoid the mistakes that make readers abandon books and to produce characters your readers will miss after they finish your story.

How to Book

Places on the April 12th Retreat are limited to 12 people. 


Your investment for the One Day Retreat is EUR95, this includes course materials and morning refreshments.


1.  To reserve Your place, a deposit of 50% is payable - 45EUR .

2.  The balance of fees - 50EUR - is due 7 days before the date of the Retreat. A payment reminder will be sent by email.  Naturally, we cannot guarantee to hold a place unless fees are paid.


Please pay your deposit by Bank Transfer: