Reading Room Writers’ Retreat

Thursday 26 – Sunday 29 November 2015

Raasay window
We invite you to join us at The Reading Room Writers’ Retreat to take place at Raasay House from the evening of Thursday 26th November until the morning of Sunday 29th.

Our inspirational tutor Donald S. Murray  will offer workshops and one to one tutorials. Whether you are starting out and would like some guidance or you are working on something and need a little encouragement and helpful pointers the retreat is flexible enough to assist. There will be every opportunity to develop your work in your own space and we hope you will feel sufficiently confident to share it with other members on the retreat. We also encourage any people working in multiple fields of writing, making and artistic endeavour to attend.

Donald is a former teacher, native Gaelic speaker and well-known poet, writer and raconteur. Born in Lewis he is now living in Shetland. His books draw on this wide experience from Weaving Tales to The Guga Hunters to The Herring Tales and much besides. Collaborative work with artists is a feature of his work.

Numbers are limited to 8 participants although if you have a non-writing partner who wishes to come for the weekend they would be more than welcome to join the social aspects of the weekend and enjoy the delights of the island for the price of the accommodation. However, it is important that participants take part fully in the workshops and shared time, including meals. This creates the kind of dynamic that drives a shared retreat such as this.

If you live on Raasay we would prefer that you attend meals, including breakfast, as this is often productive time and an essential part of the experience. Please arrange payment for meals taken directly with Raasay House.

Ferries will be on winter timetable and commuting daily from Skye will not be feasible, and is actively discouraged, to enable full participation.

Places will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.

Raasay is a short ferry trip from Sconser on Skye. The house has plenty of nooks and crannies in which to find a quiet space and exploration of the island can easily be arranged for even more inspiration. For more information and photographs of this beautiful location please visit

The tutoring is free of charge thanks to the wonderful support of the Scottish Book Trust’s Live Literature Fund. Participants pay for their board and accommodation directly to Raasay House (please see Booking section) and the ferry costs on boarding (now only £3.70 return as a foot passenger – no booking needed). Please see for more information.

If you wish to attend please:

1. Book your place on Course: Send an email to the Reading Room at with your name, contact details (email and telephone number), a short biography and an outline of what you are looking for in attending the Retreat. You will receive a confirmation of your place (we do not monitor this address continuously so please be patient if we don’t respond immediately). Please book before 6 November.

2. Accommodation, access and dietary requirements: Contact Raasay House DIRECTLY to arrange your preferred type of accommodation. We have arranged a Group rate for this. Please tell them that you will be part of the Skye Reading Room group.
For full board accommodation from supper on 26th to breakfast on 29th the cost starts at £177 per person for a dormitory bed in a shared en-suite room. Private rooms at a greater cost are available. Please see the attached file for full information. You will pay them directly and accept their terms and conditions.

Raasay House: website
tel: 01478 660300

Should you have difficulty funding attendance at the retreat we may have a small amount of funding available to support individuals. Please indicate in your email that you wish to speak, in confidence, to Linda Henderson, Debbie Roberts or Irene Ross and one of us will contact you.

Raasay is relatively sheltered but at the end of November it may be wet, windy, snowing – oh! and SUNNY – all in the space of a day. Please bring appropriate clothing and footwear.

We reserve the right to cancel or rearrange due to an insufficient number of participants [we shall notify you shortly after 6 November if this is the case]. Ferry cancellation is a possibility but we shall have an emergency plan to cover this unlikely eventuality.