Writing Retreats

Our retreats usually last 6-7 days and consist of at least 12 hours of workshops, instructor presentations, and individual conferences in addition to an excursion and  group meals. We require no credentials or application process, but if you have specific questions before you make a deposit, feel free to contact us.

Our retreats are for you if:

  • you want to deepen your relationship and commitment to your own writing practice
  • you want kind, constructive, high-quality feedback without the high price tag
  • you’re ready to be part of a robust and supportive literary community
  • you know you have a lot to offer your fellow writers and you’re willing to be generous with your time and experiences in a collaborative cohort
  • you’re ready to accept the possibility of radical growth
  • you want to step outside your ordinary experiences 

Whether you write poetry, fiction from flash to novel-length, or CNF, you are welcome. Each group is different, but regardless of the makeup, our generative prompts are always flexible for any genre. We usually find a logical 50/50 split for groups, so that you will be working most with your preferred genre. We always modify the program based on what participants most wish to work on, whether that’s generative writing, workshopping pieces, or a combination of the two. In addition to the workshops, there will be a la carte opportunities to learn from each other, as everyone comes with different skillsets. The facilitators will also lead optional presentations to enrich the week. 

Our retreats are led by our own staff, and sometimes with an additional guest facilitator who we know and trust. We’re always on hand with you in each location to provide constant support and help if needed. Our teams for each retreat have decades of experience leading and facilitating groups abroad.

We only travel to places we know. We understand that a retreat is a special investment in your writing that takes time and money; we respect that and do our utmost to ensure that you have a transformative experience. 

We try to price our retreats as reasonably as possible. Any revenue after costs are covered returns to the magazine, not to the leaders or any individuals. We thank you tremendously for helping to support Chestnut Review through your participation.

One of our recent retreat participants, Marijean, has written a great piece on Substack about her experience. Read it here.

And below is a selection of comments from our participants:

  • I wasn’t sure what to expect, as this was my first writing retreat, but I was so pleased with the progress I made on existing and new pieces. 
  • All of the writing activities were terrific. I very much enjoyed hearing everyone’s work, and I found the generative sessions extremely useful.
  • The generative sessions were a great way to start the day and fed the creative juices.
  • I would definitely attend another Chestnut retreat. All in all, it was a wonderful experience.
  • It was a perfect week, can’t think of any improvements.
  • Very delightful experience. Good way to mix travel, writing, and relaxing.
  • This trip has turned out to be one of my favorite vacations. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and it was great fun hanging out with the other writers. I can’t think of ways it could be improved.
Images from our past retreats
Wales Retreat, 2023

No Retreats Currently Open for Registration (2025 registration begins summer 2024)