Bolton School Girls’ Division Newspaper


Creative Writing Retreat – Patterdale

patterdale pic 1

This February half term I went on the creative writing retreat with 26 other Bolton school students, from both divisions. The age range varied from those in year 7, all the way up to year 12 pupils. Dorms were decided depending on the year groups, which worked out perfectly, as I had the opportunity to extend my friendship circle even further.

On the first day we arrived at Bolton School in the morning, before getting on the bus for our journey to Dove cottage! The cottage was absolutely beautiful, the gardens full of nature and vibrant colour. Activities included writing all about the history, décor and time period relating to the location. Sir Wordsworth, the poet, wrote the famous poem ‘daffodils ‘. He had previously lived there with his sister.

Following Dove cottage, we got back on the bus and drove to Patterdale, where we began to unpack our belongings. We enjoyed a delicious meal and did some writing by the campfire about our childhood homes, whilst we met all of the visiting authors. The younger group (which I was a part of) had Jane and Stephen as our authors, and they were absolutely amazing!

The next day after breakfast, we did some creative writing and wrote poetry about the nature and scenic views of Patterdale. We sat beneath a tree with Jane and did some free speed writing with Stephen.

Later in the afternoon, we enjoyed a nature walk along a hill. There were rushing, rapid rivers and all our writing got soaked, but we still had a great time! We climbed up lots of steep wet hills and we even crossed some towering bridges!

patterdale picture 2

After a nice warm shower, we had our one-to-one tutorials all afternoon. I had Jane. We went through some of my writing and it helped me immensely. By the fire, we chatted with the authors, who read us some of their work and told us a bit about themselves. This included how many novels and poems they had wrote.

Finally, before bed we had some warm hot chocolate. The teachers then gave us half an hour to relax and get ready to go to sleep. Last but not least we went to bed at 21:30 (or did we ?!).

On the third day, we went off to the market and went in a few of the little shops in the village. Everyone in my room got matching black gloves to wear whilst eating our ice cream!

Next up, we had our second one-to-one tutorial! This day I had Stephen who read through some of my creative writing pieces which I had done in my free time. Stephen gave me some advice and told me to add more action in my writing!

As we noticed it was going to rain later, we took the opportunity to go outside and get some fresh air. We rolled down every, and I mean every, hill possible! In the evening, we had a Q&A and I asked Vicky why she puts so much emotion and feelings about her personal life into her poems. I was very inspired by the writers, and I would love to write and publish some of my own work like them some day!

On the final day, we had our workshops on pieces of monologues and duologues. We enjoyed some artistic writing on animals and I chose an otter, and it was so cute!

Later that day, we had some lunch and a snack dinner before stripping our sheets and packing up our bags. Our room took ages to clean, as it was so messy! We then had an hour to prepare some poems, as well as pieces of prose to read to the group. I chose my ‘Den’ poem and an ‘Agent 65’ piece of prose I wrote, before we headed to the coach for our journey home.

patterdale poem 1
patterdale poem 2

This trip was one of the best I’ve ever been on. I learnt so much about creative writing and poetry and my book was full to the brim with ideas and story writing. It was definitely worth my while and everyone who I met was so kind. 100% going on this trip again next year!

“I loved the nature walk, the rivers were so fascinating!” – Carmen

“All the tutors were so nice and friendly, I especially loved it when we did the Q and A.” – Poppy

“Dove cottage was stunning, It felt so warm and cosy.” -Bella

“We were singing the whole coach ride home!” -Darcy

“I learnt so much about creative writing on this trip, and the hot chocolate was so good!!” -Kaitlin

By Tabitha Jordan        

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