Here at our 200 year old cottage in The Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire we offer a tranquil retreat for writers.

The Forest, with its ancient woodland and miles of accessible footpaths, is a thirty second walk from our garden gate.

Your room opens onto a balcony with glorious views over the trees, the Severn Valley and to the Cotswold escarpment.

You have the option of feedback and advice on your writing, but if you’d rather just use this inspiring environment to feed your imagination, that’s completely up to you.

Bookings & Prices

I also provide an editorial and appraisal service with in-depth, honest and constructive help with your manuscript or submission package.

Retreats and Effective Communication coaching are also available in Public Speaking, Interview Techniques and Presentation Skills.

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A Writer’s Retreat

From time to time we all need to make some space in our lives, away from the distractions of home, family and work.

Sometimes it’s hard to find the time we need to write.

You may want to unravel a particularly tricky plotting problem, concentrate on finishing a novel or just make a start on that idea that’s been fizzing around your head for months.

I’m offering a respite from your everyday life, to give you the chance to recharge your creativity.

Your room opens out onto a balcony where you can have breakfast, write or just take in the stunning view.

If it’s not balcony weather, you still have the view, a woodburning stove and a table to write at.

You have an ensuite bathroom, a kettle, and your own back door and key, so you can come and go as you please.

Bookings & Prices

A few steps from the garden gate and you’re in the beautiful Forest with mile upon mile of walking country.

All your meals - vegetarian home cooking, will be provided. You can either eat them in your room, or downstairs in the main house. There’s a popular pub half a mile down the road, with good food, ale and local cider.

Retreats are a minimum of two nights. The price includes all meals and an hour of one to one tuition. Additional coaching is available at extra cost.

If you would like to book a retreat or find out more, please phone or with your requirements.

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A Coastal Retreat

If you’d like to spend a few peaceful days by the sea, you can stay in our retreat on the Welsh coast.

Between Cardigan and Aberystwyth, two miles from the old harbour village of New Quay, with a panoramic view of Cardigan Bay, from Cardigan Island in the south to Snowdon and Bardsey Island in the north, Lower Barn Cottage provides an idyllic escape from the stresses of everyday life.

You can write at my mother’s old bureau in front of the woodburning stove, or outside, with the sound of the sea and birdsong for company.

The cottage is thirty seconds away from a public footpath and fifteen minutes walk from a quiet beach. Cardigan Bay is home to a large population of dolphins, seals and porpoises. The retreat has two bedrooms, one with bunks, one with a double bed.

It is self-catering. There is no internet. Well behaved dogs are welcome.

Prices start at 45 pounds per night. Please contact me for more details.

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Writer’s Reports.

I will critique your manuscript, provide an in-depth appraisal, and detailed editing notes.

If you’d like me to critique your manuscript, please contact me by phone or for an initial chat about your requirements.

If you decide to go ahead, I will ask you to your manuscript in an attachment or send it to me in the post.

I also offer a reviewing service for Submission Packages, i.e. your covering letter, synopsis and opening three chapters.

"Annie helped me to get published. I started creative writing a couple of years ago. The result of some feedback sessions with Annie was that four of my short stories were picked up.

She's got a strong personality so was encouraging but frank. Meticulous with detail like punctuation and grammar, she was good at highlighting my strengths and suggesting ways to improve my weaknesses."
Dr Dianne Stadhams

All manuscripts should be paginated, double spaced and in Times New Roman, 12pt.

Please note I do not offer this service for science fiction, fantasy, children’s fiction or poetry.

Effective communication is an invaluable life skill and can often be the key to career success.

I provide individual coaching tailored exactly to your needs, either by the hour or in this idyllic, rural location where you can spend a relaxing few days preparing for that all important interview or presentation.

Over the past thirty years I’ve taught voice production and communication skills.

I’m happy to share my experience and expertise to help you unlock your potential as an effective communicator.

Your room opens out onto a balcony where you can have breakfast or just take in the stunning view. If it’s not balcony weather, you still have the view.

You have a wood burning stove, an ensuite bathroom, a kettle, and your own back door and key so you can come and go as you please.

Bookings & Prices

 

Retreats are a minimum of two nights. The price includes all meals and an hour of one to one tuition. Additional coaching is available at extra cost.

"Annie McKie is a hugely experienced broadcaster and voice artist who I have worked with for many years at the BBC. She has a very warm, lively personality and is an extremely effective communicator. I can think of no-one better to help you develop your communication skills."
Charlotte Green. Newsreader, BBC Radio 4

If you would like to book a retreat or find out more, please phone or with your requirements.

 

I’m a broadcaster with thirty years experience in both Television and Radio Presentation.

For the last fifteen years I’ve been a Newsreader and Announcer for one of the UK’s most highly regarded radio stations, BBC Radio 4.

Initially I trained as an actor and a speech and drama teacher at the Central School, one of the country’s top drama schools.

During my career I’ve coached people of all ages in voice production and presentation skills.

I’ve been a voice trainer and adviser within the BBC and taught all aspects of voice and communication skills at one of the best known and most prestigious schools in the country.

For the last twelve years I’ve devoted much of my time to writing fiction. I’ve been shortlisted for two national fiction prizes, the runner up in one.

Over the years I’ve discovered a love and talent for coaching, mentoring and inspiring fellow writers.

Contact

The Forest, with its ancient woodland and miles of accessible footpaths, is a thirty second walk from our garden gate.

Keystone
Blakeney Hill Road
Blakeney
Gloucestershire
GL15 4BT

01594 510 403
07796 112 152


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Terms & Conditions

If, for any reason, I don't feel I can help you, I will refund all money and wherever possible recommend another editor or consultancy.

There’s a 5% loyalty discount for any further reports.

Cancellations will be accepted up to 21 days before a retreat. Thereafter no refunds will be possible. The deposit is non-returnable. Any refund will be subject to a £10 administration fee.

By booking a retreat or submitting a manuscript, you are giving permission for me to use your email address, postal address or telephone number to contact you. I will not pass on your personal information to a third party.