Hawthornden Literary Retreat at Hawthornden Castle in Scotland was founded to provide a peaceful setting for creative writers to work without disturbance. The Retreat receives writers for 10 months of the year. It houses six writers at a time, known as Hawthornden Fellows, in sessions lasting four weeks each. The Retreat is international in character and welcomes applications from writers from all over the world. The Retreat is administered as a charity, the mission of which is to foster creative writing in all languages, and creative writers of all kinds – poets, novelists, short-story writers, playwrights, scriptwriters, creative non-fiction writers etc. – are welcome to apply. Writers awarded a fellowship will be invited to attend one of eight annual sessions. Each session last four weeks. The sessions run from January to June and from September to December.
No demands are made on the fellows’ time during the sessions. The aim is to provide a refuge from the distractions and duties of daily life to allow the fellows to concentrate fully on their writing. The fellows may choose not to attend breakfast or dinner, and they may arrange readings or other entertainments amongst themselves, but there is no prescribed social activity at the castle. Nor are fellows expected to give any account of their work. With these aims in mind, it should also be noted:
- Generally silence is maintained at the castle from 9am to 6pm.
- No internet service is provided at the Retreat, nor, to date, does the castle receive ambient signals powerful enough to support consistent internet access. Those who require continual access to the internet, whether for their work or for the purposes of leisure, should consider this point carefully before applying. Internet access is available at various local cafes, bars and libraries, and fellows generally manage their internet use by visiting one or other of these establishments once or twice a week.
Applicants with any physical disabilities are advised to consult the Administrator before applying. The castle is an ancient building with narrow entrances, many stairs and no lift.
Individual rooms in shared house. The study-bedrooms have fine views and are fully furnished.