Author Inspiration · Blog Post

10 Simple Steps to Hosting a Writing Weekend

Over the weekend I hosted a writing weekend for eight local writers. We all write across an array of different genres, have different goals for our writing, and are at different stages in our writing ‘career’ but we all share a love of writing. We used the weekend to not only get down as many words as possible, but to network, learn, inspire each other, and let our hair down with people who understand why we do what we do.

Here’s some photo’s from our weekend away…

Although it’s a big weekend I always come home inspired and ready to finish the story I’m working on. The best part? Organising a writing weekend is so easy! It’s so easy I thought I would share how we organise our weekends away so you could do the same with your own group of writers in 10 simple steps.

  1. Pick a location: Many people work, have children, and lead busy lives so we chose a location not too far from home. A small beach town an hour and a half away. Also keep in mind you might want somewhere with a nice view to help relax and inspire everyone who attends.
  2. Decide how long to stay: Most places require a minimum of three nights stay, so we chose the minimum as not everyone can take a week off to write as much as we’d love to.
  3. Decide where you’ll stay: A house is not only usually the most affordable option, it also means you can invite more people along to help keep costs down. Make sure there’s enough bed’s for everyone or that the house has the option to BYO bed if necessary. Also, make sure there are plenty of power points and places for people to sit and write.
  4. Invite people: Once you’ve picked accommodation and checked it’s availability it’s time to invite people to join you. Keep in mind the amount of beds available!
  5. Schedule your weekend: The best way to ensure you all get the most out of your writing weekend is to create a writing schedule. Keep in mind as well as writing you’ll need time to eat, refresh your minds, and time for discussion. Check out the schedule we used and adapt it to what suits your group.
  6. Set Goals: It helps if everyone goes into the weekend with a goal on mind. A word count they want to reach, a story they want to plot. Whatever their goal, write them all out on a piece of paper and hang them up so you can all encourage each other to achieve them.
  7. Share the Schedule: Make sure everyone knows what the schedule will be for the weekend. Not everyone will want to follow it exactly as it’s written, but it will give everyone an idea of what to expect over the weekend and help them plan out how they will attack their current WIP while away.
  8. Pack your bags:  Obviously you know how to pack your essentials, but make sure along with your laptop, pens, and writing pads you take some spare power boards and extension leads. There is nothing worse than being in the middle of an action packed scene and your laptop turns off mid sentence.
  9. Enjoy the writing weekend: Make the most of your time away focusing on writing and enjoy being surrounded by people who love creating stories just as much as you do. Make sure you spend time getting to know each other too. Who knows what you can learn from them?
  10. Reflection: When the fun is over look back over the weekend and reflect not only on if you reached your goals, but also what worked and what didn’t. That way you can decide if you need to make changes for your next writing weekend to make it even more successful.

Writing weekends are a great way to network, learn, and be inspired as well as smash out a heap of words on your current WIP. My goal is to host two per year and I can’t wait for the next one. Have you been on or hosted a writing weekend? I’d love to hear your tips and idea’s in the comments.

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