Writer’s retreat needs authors

Writers looking for a dedicated space to practice their craft are invited to utilise the new Campbelltown Writer’s Retreat at Wedderburn after it launches this Saturday.

The retreat, run by Westwords and Campbelltown Council, is found at the Wedderburn Resource Centre and has various membership options available for writers to make use of its quiet space.

The launch will be accompanied by a half-day writing workshop with leading author and historian Carol Baxter.

Picton poet Mark Tredinnick is considering joining the retreat as he is keen to host and attend writing workshops.

“I’d be especially interested in the space as a site to run workshops and host writing and reading groups,” he said. 

“As a nature writer, I’d find the rooms perfectly located, set down near trees and birdsong, yet not too far from my home in Picton.

“I’d also welcome the opportunity to make use of the rooms from time to time to make the kind of progress toward the completion of my books that I have only ever made on retreats.”

Tredinnick said dedicated spaces are extremely important for writers.

“Writing, more perhaps than any art, demands solitude,” he said.

“We make art of speech and it’s hard to hear the right words when there are so many other voices, so much other noise, about.

“We have families, we have jobs, we have emails and texts to send and receive, we have what the Zen poets call the ‘ten thousand things’ crying out for our attention, and in their noise it’s hard to hear the right words coming; it’s hard to write and keep the writing going.

“Solitude in a space dedicated to the sustained silence from which the writing comes is a gift beyond price for a writer.”

The poet said it was especially vital for local writers to utilise this retreat.

“The writers of western Sydney have had less access than writers almost anywhere else in Sydney to such places of retreat,” he said.

“Now they have one, thanks to WestWords – close to home but far from domestic distractions.

“This one, though it’s near enough to the bustle and hustle of Campbelltown, sits on the edge of the national park – on the edge of the wild, which speaks in languages more like a choir than a Bable.

“That sort of edge, where the social meets the natural, where the domestic meets the wild, is just about perfect for the deep delving into human nature and more-than-merely-human nature that writing entails.”

Find out more about the site by emailing admin@westwords.com.au.