3-Day Writing Retreat
January 2022 Handheld Press logo

Fiction, Nature & Travel.
24-27 January 2022

The Dell House and Handheld Press are pleased to offer a writing retreat for writers of fiction, nature and travel, with an evening talk from novelist and critic Alice Jolly.

The Writing Retreat offers:

Picture of Alice Jolly
Alice Jolly
Picture of Sabrin Hasbun
Sabrin Hasbun

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

Picture of Kate Macdonald
Kate Macdonald

Prices and what is, and is not, included

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

Additional Costs

Application process

There are up to seven places available. This may be extended slightly but the aim is for a spacious retreat with just a few others to share our experiences and challenges with.

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 the tutor 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 4 weeks before the retreat. Booking of the review of your writing by the tutor, and payment for that, must be complete by the same date.


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.


Alice Jolly

English novelist, playwright and memoirist, who has won both the Royal Society of Literature’s V. S. Pritchett Memorial Prize for short stories (2014) and the PEN/Ackerley Prize for autobiography (2016). She was awarded an O. Henry Award in 2021.

She teaches creative writing at the University of Oxford's Department of Continuing Education, has taught writing for a range of literary consultancies and creative writing courses, and reviews for the Times Literary Supplement, The Literary Review and The Guardian.


Sabrin Hasbun

Sabrin is an Italian-Palestinian transnational writer. She has always had to mediate between two cultures and every day for her is a journey across borders. Italy and Palestine are her two countries and form the focus of her writing, but in the last few years she has lived in France, Japan, and in the UK.

She is a creative writing tutor at Falmouth University.


Kate Macdonald, Handheld Press

Literary historian, editor, reviewer and a former lecturer in British literature and cultural history. She has published over fifty books, chapters and articles of her own research on twentieth-century British book history and publishing culture. As an editor she spent fifteen years helping other writers tell their stories, now she does this as a publisher.


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, 11 people present (seven writers, four tutors & staff). 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: