Last month I joined the SCBWI Picture Book Retreat in rural Worcestershire to hone my writing skills and learn from a raft of writing and illustrating pros. It was my first writer’s retreat, or retreat of any kind in fact. I think, like many, my preconceptions of a retreat was full of negative connotations. Awkward meal times, bunking down with snoring strangers, barefoot hippy types who would surely try to convert you to something, stuff like that. But like most unfounded assumptions I was way off.
Mealtimes were delicious and a racket of chatter, always overrunning as conversations were reluctantly paused. We had separate rooms, phew. No new age conversions, only a collective hope that everyone else’s brilliance would rub off on each other by the end of the weekend. I’ll note that some of us, including me, spent time barefoot, the countryside demands that.