Who are we?
Writers who want to write together on retreats. The facilitator, Kate Sotejeff-Wilson, is based in Jyväskylä, where the ridge (harju, pictured above) runs through the town. Inspired by Rowena Murray in Scotland, Ridge Writing Retreats brings writing in social spaces to Finland’s lake district.
Where are we?
You might have to travel to find fellow writers, but they might not be as far away as you think. Day retreats have been held in the Local Culture Hostel, next door to the University of Jyväskylä, and a two-day retreat is planned for the Writers’ House (Kirjailijatalo).
How does it work?
Most writers work alone. On a writing retreat, we’re together. The programme is structured with dedicated writing slots and proper breaks. It is usually in English but the facilitator speaks Finnish (and Polish and German) and you can write in any language. Read more about how it works here.
Why write together?
To stay focused.
You might be used to writing with people around, in cafes or libraries or shared offices. This is different. You set goals, tell others about them, and share how it went. While writing, we’re offline: no phone, no social media, no email, no meetings. You’ll be amazed how much you get done.
To share ideas.
Sometimes you need to talk about your writing. Yes, colleagues can help. But sometimes they’re “too close” to your project or too busy. The perfect listener sometimes has no idea what you’re doing. Different writers can see things in each other’s work that they couldn’t see for themselves.
To stay healthy.
Writing on your own, it’s easy to fall into habits you might regret. Your body needs to move, at least every 90 minutes. You need to get outside every day, whatever the weather. You need proper breaks to hydrate, stretch, and eat good food for your brain and body. Together, it’s easier.
To join a community.
On a writing retreat, everyone works individually, but shares a commitment to write. Afterwards, some people get together for writing meetings (physically or online) for as little and often as it suits. Check in with other writers in our chat group whenever you like – until you need another structured retreat.