Under Rough Ridge

2021 Writers' Retreat

Writer's Retreat 2021

The fabulous Under Rough Ridge Writers' Retreat is back in action for 2021. A heads up containing dates, costs, and other useful information is outlined here. Our places are filling up fast, so you'll need to hurry if you want to be in on it! The first step is to email your interest to mike @fylm.co.nz and then pay your deposit once you get a confirmation reply. Look forward to seeing you in the wonderful Ida Valley.

1. Dates

The Retreat will run from the evening of Saturday 25th September to Saturday 2nd October.

2. Registration Fee

The fee for the entire week is $350.00. Of this, $125.00 is payable as a non-refundable deposit to secure your slot in the retreat. In past years we’ve had people pull out close to the start of the event, which is why we’re now asking for this deposit. The remaining $225.00 will be payable two weeks preceding the retreat. The bank account for the deposit is BNZ ‘Under Rough Ridge’ 02-0912-0290143-002. For those paying, please indicate your name in the payment details.

3. Format

As with last year’s retreat, the main focus is providing you with time and space to work on a long-form project with the help of wonderful surroundings and a team of published authors who all live in the Ida Valley. You may write on whatever you want, but we have a theme of memoir and creative non-fiction in terms of our speakers. There will be some communal meals, plenty of opportunity for discussion, great visiting speakers, and a marvellous final party to round things off.

4. Speakers

Our invited speakers this year are:

Diane Comer

Diane Comer was born in Italy and grew up in the Dominican Republic, Belgium and the United States. She studied nonfiction at the University of Iowa and received her PhD from the University of Canterbury. Her essays have been published in AGNI, The Georgia Review, Fourth Genre and elsewhere and were noted in the Best American Essays Series. She has received fellowships for creative nonfiction from the Colorado Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts. Prior to migrating to New Zealand with her in family in 2007, she taught at universities in Sweden and the US. Otago University Press published The Braided River: Migration and the Personal Essay in 2019. She teaches academic writing, memoir and personal essay at Victoria University of Wellington. 

Barbara Sumner

Barbara Sumner is an author and filmmaker. Her back catalogue of achievements includes producing three highly acclaimed feature documentaries including the Oscar-nominated This Way of Life, a career in journalism, event production, television, bringing up four daughters and graduating from Massey University's Master of Creative Writing program. Barbara has written non-fiction, several novels, and is the author of the highly acclaimed memoir and commentary Tree of Strangers.  Barbara lives with her husband Thomas Burstyn in Hawke’s Bay with a curmudgeonly ginger cat. She spends her time reading, writing, walking, and corrupting her grandchildren with wild ideas about life, love, and imagination.

These two talented women will provide plenty of inspiration and energy for us, and we’re delighted to have them.

5. Accommodation

There are many different accommodation options in the village of Oturehua and the surrounding area. These will be listed on the website in due course, along with the proposed timetable for the event.  You will be responsible for your own meals during the retreat, apart from those that are provided as communal experiences.

From the 2020 Retreat...

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