Students had exclusive use of a quiet centre which has been completely refurbished since it was overwhelmed by the floods in 2004, so that the charm of the historic building is now complemented by warm and welcoming modern comforts.
Some students said they found the peace and quiet of the fantastic setting a really useful aid for dissertation writing, while others commented that the relatively isolated situation, without the distractions of modern media, was extremely conducive to the creative process. All enjoyed the inspiring location, cliff walks and sampling the café culture.
Hayden Gabriel, Programme Leader for BA (Hons) Creative Writing, said ‘This is self-directed time for the students with a chance to escape from the usual hubbub of our lives so that focus on the development of writing can assume top priority. The drama and closeness of the cliffs combined with the fact that the tide washes up seaweed to within a few feet of the door helps – as nature on a grand scale always does – to clarify thought. The setting is as inspirational now as it was in Hardy’s time there. The only improvement to the Writers’ Retreat requested by students was to go for longer next time.’
The BA (Hons) Creative Writing programme arranges writing retreats and other field trips in addition to sourcing professional creative writers as part of the Visiting Writer Series.
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