MG/YA Writer's Retreat

Mar 15, 2024 - Mar 18, 2024

Holland House Retreat Centre, Main Street, Cropthorne, Pershore, Worcestershire, WR10 3NB SATNAV users please use WR10 3ND for car park;

The SCBWI MG/YA retreat returns to Holland House on the banks of the beautiful River Avon. Good food, fabulous venue, hanging out with writers, learning your craft - it could hardly get better. For a brilliant chance to benefit from an in-depth manuscript feedback, book a 1-1 with Jo or Kathy. A massive bargain at £30 each. Book early as places are limited and highly sought after. This year, we’ll be concentrating on VOICE – what’s yours, where can you find it, and why you should trust it - and we’ve got multi-award winning YA author Kathryn Evans to help us! This event MUST be booked by clicking the BOOK NOW! button (below) to book a ticket to secure your place and optional 1-1.

MG/YA Writer's Retreat

Voice workshop and Peer crit group – with cake!

Voice workshop: Kathryn’s workshop aims to build confidence in your authorial voice AND the voices of your characters in order to develop a believable and engaging story readers will want to read. Through a series of exercises and acting techniques (don’t worry, no-one will make you pretend to be a tree!) we’ll access our own unique authorial voices, pin down those of our characters, and learn techniques for developing both. Peer crit group – with cake! Peer critique groups with delegates writing in the same age group/genre, to discuss your work and problem solve in a relaxed and supportive atmosphere.

Professional 1-1 Reviews

1-1s with Kathryn Evans (in person) and Joanna Moult of Skylark Literary (via Zoom) These will be available at a cost of £30 each.

Limited number of funded Zoom 1-1s available for writers writers traditionally underrepresented in children’s publishing

And that’s not all! In addition, there will be a limited number of funded Zoom 1-1s available for writers traditionally underrepresented in children’s publishing (BAME, LGBTQ+, socio-economically marginalised and writers with a disability). If you would like to be considered for the Retreat 1-1 scholarship, please contact Susan on for further details. We recognise all diverse experiences, including (but not limited to) LGBTQIA+, BAME, gender diversity, people with disabilities, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities. We subscribe to a broad definition of disability, which includes but is not limited to physical, sensory, cognitive, intellectual, or developmental disabilities, chronic conditions, and mental illnesses (this may also include addiction). Furthermore, we subscribe to a social model of disability, which presents disability as created by barriers in the social environment, due to lack of equal access, stereotyping, and other forms of marginalisation.

Key Dates and Costs

Here’s what you need to know: DATES: 15th to 18th March 2024. PLACE: Holland House, Cropthorne, Pershore. COST: Single room: £396 SCBWI members (£416 non-members) Shared twin room: £361 SCBWI members (£381 non-members) A DEPOSIT OF £50 PAID VIA THE PAYPAL LINK WILL SECURE YOUR SPOT. BALANCE TO BE PAID AFTER CHRISTMAS VIA BACS. STRICTLY NO REFUNDS. ADDITIONAL 1-1 WITH JO OR KATHY: £30 THIS EVENT MUST BE BOOK THROUGH THE LINK BELOW! PLACES ARE LIMTED SO DO NOT DELAY.

Terms and Conditions

You can pay in full or a £50 deposit now to hold your place, with the balance payable by 31 January 2024. You will receive an email after paying from Susan via with balance payment instructions. Please pay promptly or you will forfeit your place - so set yourself a reminder! Please note that no refunds can be offered. Late payment will mean forfeiting your deposit and your place will be allocated to the next applicant. No exceptions. If you require a payment plan, please contact Susan at as soon as possible. You will also be liable to pay for your 1-1 by BACs by 31 January 2024. 1-1s will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis subject to availability. Please specify your preference at time of booking. Slots are limited and your slot will be confirmed after booking. We regret that we cannot guarantee first choices.

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Kathy Evans, Author

After 15 years of seriously trying, Kathryn Evans - stalwart of SCBWI, endless encourager of other people’s creative journeys - gave up trying to be published. Six months of misery later, she opened the laptop again, but this time allowed free reign to her own voice. The novel born of that freedom was More of Me. Published by Usborne, translated into multiple languages, and with film rights optioned, that first ‘weird creepy novel with a sci fi twist’ was nominated for the Carnegie Medal, won the EIBF first book award (the only YA novel ever to do so) and the SCBWI Crystal Kite. Kathryn went on to write Beauty Sleep which won the 2020 CrimeFest award and was shortlisted for the Steam Prize. Kathryn is part of the BBC teach series and spends a lot of time in schools delivering talks and workshops with Authors Abroad. She also runs a fruit farm with her family and is owned by two spaniels and a disgruntled cat. She is currently working on a middle grade time travel novel, which is taking far too long because she spends much too much time doing other things.

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Joanna Moult, Skylark Literary

Joanna began her publishing career at Hodder Children's Books learning from some of the best editors in the business and editing fantastic authors including Cressida Cowell, Alex Shearer and Kes Gray, as well as creating fiction for brands such as Felicity Wishes. She left to cover maternity leave, running the Children's Editorial Department at Simon & Schuster Children’s Books. There, among other things, she edited Sophie McKenzie’s award-winning debut novel Girl, Missing and the Yuck series by the Beastly Boys. She left Simon & Schuster to have children and spent over a year living in India and editing an ex-pat magazine. On her return to the UK, aside from nurturing her own readers-of-the-future, she became Editorial Director for Children’s Fiction at literary agents Mulcahy Conway Associates, where she worked to seek out new talent and edit submissions to publishers. Having been inspired by this experience and bitten by the bug of discovering great new voices in children's books, becoming a children's literary agent and setting up Skylark with Amber was a natural next step. You can follow Joanna on Twitter at @JoannaMoult and Skylark Literary at @SkylarkLit