A strange thing happened when I tried to write about the retreats I’ll be running on Isle Martin this year. As though possessed by the twin spirits of Brigadoon and the Scottish Tourist Board, I began waxing lyrical about the islands off the west coast of Scotland, using overcooked descriptions like the iconic whale-bone outline of the Outer Hebrides, and the haunting beauty of St Kilda, last outpost before the vastness of the Atlantic.
A soundtrack of evocative Celtic music played in my head as I wrote, and I swear I could smell the peat burning on the fire. As if that wasn’t enough, when I read it back to myself, it came out in Mel Gibson’s Braveheart accent. When I realised the spirits had me in their tartan-clad grip, I had a word with myself before I broke into the Skye Boat Song or worse, Donald Where’s Your Troosers?
Here’s the real deal. Last year, I ran Isle Martin’s first writing retreat and I enjoyed it so much, I’m doing it twice over in 2018. Isle Martin is stunning, the island is brimming with history and atmosphere, and it’s exciting getting in a boat and going to an island, especially one that’s off-grid, but here’s the really important bit: amid all this breathtaking stunning magnificence, we’ll have a great time. There will be writing, lots of writing, but there will be laughter too, and plenty of it. And as if that’s not enough, Em’s food is fantastic and there’s a constant supply of cake.
Check out the links below for more details, and if you’re interested in joining me on a remote island for a weekend of writing, laughter, cake, and maybe a dram or two, email me at email@example.com
I look forward to seeing you there.
*Price per person for the weekend, includes shared accommodation, meals, workshops, cake, and return boat trip.
Isle Martin is a community-owned island off the north-west coast of Scotland, approx. 3 miles north of Ullapool, run by the Isle Martin Trust. The amenities are simple, the island beautiful, the welcome warm. With over 18 hours between sunrise and sunset, great food, and inspiring company, Midsummer Write is the perfect opportunity to devote time to your writing. There will be workshops to help get you started and to keep you going, and an opportunity for one-to-one mentoring, otherwise you will be free to immerse yourself in your work. Above the Strandline will feature a mix of tutored workshops and free writing time For both retreats, you will have the option of a short 1-to-1 mentoring session. There is no electricity, on the island so leave your laptops and tablets behind and bring pens, paper and a sense of adventure. There is no hot running water so bring a flannel for a wash-down. We will however, have the luxury of flushing toilets, a warming fire and delicious meals cooked on the island using local produce.