See & Do
Anam Cara Writer's and Artist's Retreat is a tranquil spot set apart to nurture and to provide sanctuary for novice as well as experienced people working in the creative arts. Whether you retreat to work on your own project or as part of a workshop retreat group, you will find support, creature comforts, and peace – all you need to do your best work.
An all-inclusive, year-round residential retreat, Anam Cara offers private as well as common working rooms and five acres of walking paths, quiet nooks and crannies, gardens, a labyrinth meadow, cascades and a river island.
To help fulfil Anam Cara’s purpose and to let the breezes off Coulagh Bay clear your creative path, we recommend a stay of at least a week. Your hostess, Sue Booth-Forbes, an experienced writer and editor creates an ambience and a daily schedule for you to focus your energies on your artistic endeavours.
In the evenings you may wish to share your work in conversation with others in front of a turf fire or simply watch the sun set in the magical west of Ireland sky.
Contact us for more information about Anam Cara and our creative workshop retreats.
When they named the storm 'The Beast from the East' it did all it could to live up to its name! Now the snow is melted and Spring is on its way we have two great writing workshops to look forward to at Anam Cara in April; Writing with Fire with David Hazard and Proprioceptive Writing with Kaitlin Briggs, full details below.
Workshops for 2018
Writing with Fire with David Hazard
14th -20th April 2018
Your week will be spent learning the techniques of both good fiction and essay-style writing, including: storyboarding and outlining; plot and character / theme development; writing great scenes and dialogue; and the importance of "camera work" (the right description at the right time). You will also learn the art of great query letter writing, and how to contact literary agents and publishers. Afternoons you can meet 1-on1 with the instructor for coaching. Evenings you can share your writings, and receive critique if you wish.
Proprioceptive Writing with Kaitlin Briggs, Ed.D.
28th April - 5th May 2018
“When I Write Proprioceptively, I Forge a Path to a Deeper, Creative Self”: Certain spots draw us to them. When there, we feel alive, at peace and exalted, ready to engage our creative capacities and to explore what holds us back. The Proprioceptive Writing method brings this material out in the open, breaks up these blocks, and forges a path to a deeper creative self. As the Celtic winds clear the air, Anam Cara, our tranquil sanctuary in the magical west-of-Ireland, invites such reflection and discovery. Artists, poets, aspiring and accomplished writers, non-writers alike find a PW retreat to be an uncommon event.
Finding the Confidence to Write with Lorna V
26th May - 2nd June 2018
Writing has always been your dream or something you do secretly; yet, you suffer from one or more of the following: you can’t get started, struggle to finish anything, feel blocked, are convinced you lack discipline, or are terrified of showing your work. This workshop is the breakthrough you need.
As a journalist, author, playwright and performer, Lorna has a wide range of writing experience which enables her to guide new writers. Her workshops are also driven by her interest and knowledge of psychology and personal development. She is the author behind three books for Psychologies magazine published by Capstone Wiley, including Real Confidence.
Testimonials about Lorna's writing workshops:
If it wasn’t for LornaV, I wouldn’t have got my first short story published, and then subsequent novellas published. Her encouragement was there from the start and inspired me to keep going. Her approach to characters helped me delve into those I had created and make them more 3D as opposed to flat words on the page.
George Loveland, Author
As well as honing my passions and skills, Lorna’s class sky-rocketed my confidence. Something you need to get yourself out there and be who you’ve always wanted to be. A year on, and I’ve not only had multiple articles published, but launched two blogging websites, started a podcast channel, and have a new book deal to write a memoir about my life.
Hannah Swanston, Writer
Attending Lorna’s course was a great way of refreshing my feature writing skills and reminding me how to ensure my work caught the eye of editors.
Claire Cohen, Writer
The Mythic Imagination: A Creative Writing Workshop
23rd - 30th June 2018
"Mythology is not a lie, it is poetry, it is metaphorical" Joseph Campbell
Returning this year with this exciting and accessible creative writing workshop, Adam Wyeth (author of The Hidden World of Poetry: Unravelling Celtic mythology in Contemporary Irish Poetry) will take you on a journey through the great panoply of Celtic myth, revealing how these ancient narratives and traditions are deeply intertwined into the fabric of our daily lives.
Mythology and folklore is humanity attempting to explain the world to itself. By understanding myth, we tap into the deep root of the personal and collective unconscious.As each generation re-visits these tales, our personal and expanding lives offer fresh interpretations to these age-old myths.
Botanical Art Workshop with Ida Mitrani
30th June - 7th July 2018
An Introduction to Botanical Art worlshop led by Ida Mitrani, an internationally renowned botanical artist. This course is designed as an introduction to botanical illustration. Using graphite pencils and watercolour paint, you will learn how to measure and portray plants -- on the Beara Peninsula and where you live. The sessions will cover drawing, shading and some watercolour techniques. There will also be an emphasize on colour, theory, colour mixing and preparing colour charts. You will provide your own material. All levels welcome.
Leanne O'Sullivan, one of Ireland's finest poets, is returning in August to conduct her poetry workshop. Remember, if you would like to concentrate your time on your own work, the rest of the year is available for individual, self-directed retreats.
May your holiday season be filled with peace and your New Year with joy and promise! With my best wishes, Sue
Lining Our Thoughts: A Poetry Workshop with Leanne O'Sullivan
This workshop with Leanne O'Sullivan, one of Ireland's finest poets, is for those who would like to begin to write poetry or those who would like to develop poems they have already started. The main aim of my workshops is to encourage writers through discussion, exercise based and free writing, while also allowing them to take risks in a supportive environment. Each session will focus on a different topic, such as imagery, perspective, storytelling, rhythm and form. Everything a writer needs is inside of themselves, and it’s my goal to help them refine the effectiveness of how they communicate how they see and understand of the world.
Morning sessions will include a reading of poems by established writers (which will be supplied) with discussion of what makes these poems effective, writing exercises and also excursions to some sites in Beara that have given inspiration to my own writing. In the afternoons I will be available for one-to-one sessions and this will also be free time during which participants can enjoy the creative peace of the retreat and do some writing. Several sessions will involve visiting local mythological sites such as the Cailleach Bhéarra, Ogham and standing stones as a way to generate new work that responds to the landscape around us.
Painting Autumn Colors in Ireland with Evelyn Dunphy
8th-15th September 2018
This workshop at Anam Cara provides personal instruction in plein air watercolor painting, in a supportive small group environment. My goal is to bring everything in my ability to help you realize your own personal esthetic in your work. Your success is the intention of the workshop. You will gain confidence, be inspired, and develop your skills so that your paintings are uniquely “yours”. Having seen the gorgeous photographs of the fields, hedges and mountain sides in the fall, I am very excited about this autumn workshop, as I know it will give us the most beautiful subjects for our paintings.
A Celtic Journey at Samhain with Mary Meighan
27th October - 3rd November 2018
At the Celtic New Year, when the veils between the worlds are thin, join me on the wild and wondrous Beara Peninsula to move within our Celtic Spiritual Tradition. You are invited to step within our ancient, yet very much alive, Celtic Spiritual Tradition through Celtic Gatherings, Rituals at Sacred Sites on Beara, poetry, music, song, blessings, chant and story, with a personal reading on Samhain night, 31 October. More information upon request; in the meantime you may like to have a look at my website to gain a sense of what I offer and there are also some videos that will give you an insight into Celtic spirituality.
The road winds ahead toward another destination, another adventure. Through rock and rush, from sea to sky, let Beara take you on a voyage of discovery.