“Always write as if you are talking to someone.”

Maeve Binchy


"Writing can be a daunting prospect, and taking yourself off to somewhere beautiful with like minded people to spend a week immersed in your imagination is a dream you can have for real."

Calendar Upcoming events

Creative writing retreat in Uig, Scotland. September 2024

More info
7th - 14th September, 2024. Optional non-taught second week to 21st September, 2024.

Dip into nature and enjoy the breathtaking beauty of the Isle of Lewis by joining Raffaella Barker for a creative writing week at Uig Lodge, a place where Arthur Ransome wrote Great Northern, the last book of his Swallows and Amazons series. This retreat is more than a writer's workshop; it's a vivid and immersive escape from the mundane, and a chance to free the imagination and find your creative voice. Suitable for writers of any level, and those who simply consider themselves literary enthusiasts.

If you have dreamed of taking yourself off on a retreat, this is your moment; at Uig Lodge, you will be in a group of like-minded writers, readers, and book lovers, surrounded by stunning beaches and highland peak views. 

The days are relaxed, with morning group sessions where ideas and skills are discussed and Raffaella encourages members of the group to find their own writing rhythm. After group activities, afternoons are your own time to explore, go swimming, fish, or just daydream and walk along the rugged coastline. Evenings are relaxed, with informal discussion, readings, and on some nights, themed events. The emphasis is on creating a relaxed and friendly atmosphere for everyone to unwind and enjoy themselves. This is a holiday to remember. 


3 x Double ensuite rooms - £2750 per person, single occupancy or £2350 / per person, double occupancy. For a partner/friend wanting to stay but not attend the course it would be an additional £1650.

4 x Twin rooms sharing bathrooms - £2250 per person, single occupancy or £1850 per person, double occupancy. For a partner/friend wanting to stay but not attend the course it would be £1250.


Double ensuite rooms - £1900 per person, single occupancy or £1500 / per person, double occupancy.

Twin rooms sharing bathrooms - £1500 per person, single occupancy or £1200/ per person, double occupancy.

The price for one week includes:

7 nights accommodation

6 mornings teaching

7 breakfasts

7 lunches

7 dinners

Plot People Places Things
The stories are all inside you.

New Sessions for Spring & Summer 2024

I am an experienced teacher of Creative Writing, having lectured at the University of East Anglia for more than 10 years on the famous CW programme. What I have found is that 'The Group' is a secret weapon for the writer, whose existence is otherwise essentially solitary. Writing groups are bigger than the sum of their parts. Every one of you makes a difference to the others in the group, and in discussing all the work, you will make huge strides within your own practice.

This is a workshop course, so everyone writes. After the introductory week, each writer will send extracts of their pieces in before the session. I will offer prompts and reading to support the writing of the group members. Everyone will have their work read by everyone else, and thus each participant will learn and gain understanding of different aspects of the writing process.I will give verbal feedback during the sessions on all the work we read out each week. I will suggest reading each week, my choices led by things I notice in group.

The zoom link for each session will be sent to you in advance. I will record the sessions and send weekly, so you have it for reference or if you have to miss a session live. There are no refunds for dates missed but as mentioned, there is the potential to catch up.

The next set of classes starts in January in a block of 10 sessions with a 1 week break midway.

Spring 2024
Dates: 15/1, 22/1, 29/1, 5/2, 12/2
No class on 19/02 continuing 26/2, 4/3, 11/3, 18/3, 25/03
Price: 10 weeks £450 or you can pay for 5 classes at a time for £250

Your payment secures your place.

Spring Writing Course in the Peloponnese

3 - 10 May 2024

Come to Ermioni in Greece to relax, read and write with novelist Raffaella Barker.

In May 2024 I will be running a course from my house in the Peloponnese. Join me for creative writing, great reading and local excursions in this ancient rural area of mainland Greece.

Walking among the wildflowers in the mountains of the Argolis area, exploring the beautiful Saronic Gulf coastline and visiting ancient sites. There is also the chance to take a day trip to glamorous Hydra and soak up history.

Stay 7 nights with us with breakfast, and lunch OR supper in the price. Comfortable accommodation spaced around the village with sea views chosen for charm and the little touches.

Ermioni lies on a sheltered peninsula in the Aegean sea, a finger pointing to historic Hydra and backed by the wild mountains of the Argolis. We will show you spectacular caves, take you picnicking amongst the wildflowers of the Greek spring. The course falls over Greek Easter and we will be joining in the fireworks and fun.

Creative writing & reading sessions will be scheduled for mornings and above all this will be a chance to relax, read great books and enjoy this idyllic place in good company.

The food will all be fresh, locally sourced and carefully prepared.

The price of 7 nights accommodation includes:

5 mornings teaching
1 brunch
5 breakfasts
5 lunches
2 dinners
and excursions will be £2,350 per person.

Subject to government guidelines and restriction