Science Fiction & Fantasy
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Writing Retreat: SF & Fantasy
1st-4th November 2021

Following the resounding success of our first writing retreat in June, The Dell House and Handheld Press are pleased to announce a second 3-day writing retreat for SF and fantasy authors, with mentoring from British SFF author Liz Williams.

The Writing Retreat offers:

The retreats are for published authors and creative writing students. The minimum requirement for the retreat is that you have published at least one piece of your writing professionally, or that your creative writing has been examined at postgraduate level (or you are currently studying on such a course).

Outline Itinery

Prices and what is, and is not, included

For a single person, the basic cost is £395. This covers:

Additional Costs

Application process

Places are very limited, and were oversubscribed on the last retreat.

To apply for a place on this retreat please email Handheld Press with the following information:

Note that this information will be shared between Handheld Press and The Dell House.

Who does what?

Handheld Press will validate your application. The Dell House will manage the booking itself. In addition, you will need to pay Liz Williams directly for the review and mentoring session.

Confirming the booking

Assuming your application is accepted by Handheld Press, the Dell House will require payment of a non-returnable deposit of £100 to secure the booking. The balance will be due on 1st October. Booking of the review of your writing by Liz Williams, and payment for that, must be complete by 1st October.


There are a range of rooms at the Dell House and we will be using all the B&B rooms and one of the self-catering apartments. This means that not all the rooms are en-suite.

All rooms are the same price. The rooms will be allocated on a first-come, first served basis i.e. the best, appropriate, room will be allocated to the first person who booked, and so on in booking order.

From experience, we find that most attendees come on their own. It is perfectly possible to come as a couple, either as two writers or as writer and partner. Please get in contact if this applies to you. The prices given here assume individuals. The price per person for a couple will be less, but not dramatically so.

Liz Williams, Mentor

Liz Williams is a science fiction and fantasy writer living in Glastonbury where she is co-director of a witchcraft supply business. She has been published by Bantam Spectra (US) and Tor Macmillan (UK), also Night Shade Press, and appears regularly in Asimov’s and other magazines. She has been involved with the Milford SF Writers’ Workshop for 20 years, and also teaches creative writing at a local college for Further Education.

Her previous novels are: The Ghost Sister (Bantam Spectra), Empire Of Bones, The Poison Master, Nine Layers Of Sky, Banner Of Souls (Bantam Spectra – US, Tor Macmillan – UK), Darkland, Bloodmind (Tor Macmillan UK), Snake Agent, The Demon And The City, Precious Dragon, The Shadow Pavilion (Night Shade Press) Winterstrike (Tor Macmillan), The Iron Khan (Morrigan Press) and Worldsoul (Prime). The Chen series is currently being published by Open Road.

Comet Weather was published by New Con Press in 2020.

A non-fiction book on the history of British paganism, Miracles Of Our Own Making, was published by Reaktion Books in 2020. 

Her first short story collection The Banquet Of The Lords Of Night was also published by Night Shade Press, and her second and third, A Glass Of Shadow and The Light Warden, are published by New Con Press as is her recent novella, Phosphorus.

The Diaries of a Witchcraft Shop (volumes 1 and 2) are also published by New Con Press. 

Her novel Banner Of Souls was shortlisted for the Philip K Dick Memorial Award, as were three previous novels, and the Arthur C Clarke Award.

Other Information

Covid 19

It's safe to assume that Covid will remain an issue for the foreseeable future. We are taking a pragmatic approach. The environment is spacious and ventilated and there will only be, at most, 10 people present (seven writers, three hosts). However, we will be socialising and sharing the same space over an extended period. Given this, it is likely that:

Non-resident places

There are no non-resident places.

The value of the retreat is to be away from all those distractions that plague us at home, so even if you live in Malvern, the retreat is residential.

Less Able Writers

The early 19th Century wasn't a time when designing houses for less able people was particularly prevalent. As a result the Dell House has a number of limitations. For details, see the Access Statement but, in summary:


There is no provision for dogs (other than assistance dogs) or any other pets at this retreat.

Is there a Reserve List?

Yes, and it's worth being on it.

If you want to go on our emailing list (to be informed about future dates in advance) just drop us (the Dell House) a line.

Can I extend my stay at the Dell House

Yes, subject to availability.

What diets can you provide for?

Elizabeth is vegetarian and veggie/vegan breakfasts is one of our specialities. We're happy to prepare something gluten-free when others are having pizza for example. With advance notice we are happy to provide soya products for dairy-free diets, etc. If your needs are a bit more specialist, just ask.

Diets we cannot provide for are specialities such as Halal and Kosher.

Terms and Cancellations

Our B&B Terms and conditions apply to all attendees.

Strictly speaking, the full cancellation terms apply and in particular the deposit is non-refundable. However, informally, we tend to use the following approach: