Kahini’s First Kāpiti Writers’ Retreat


‘Being present and immersed with many “like minded people.” What a privilege. Being exhausted from pursuing the delight and wonder offered all over the place. Bring it on again. Thank you Kahini.’

Fifty writers spent this past Wellington Anniversary weekend (22-24 January) in a full-immersion experience writing, reading, learning and engaging in Waikanae, New Zealand, at Kahini’s first Kāpiti Writers’ Retreat!

‘[I loved] meeting old writer friends and making new connections. Great readiKWR9ng material, thorough and helpful feedback on current writing. Excellent meals and wonderful relaxed atmosphere.’

The Retreat was an immersive, two-day gathering for writers on the Kāpiti Coast, and included KWR5morning workshops, afternoon panels, discussions and space and time to write, relax and engage with topics critical to your work.

Enjoy a four-minute radio spot on the Radio New Zealand website.

Six established New Zealand and international witers–Pip Adam, Gary Copeland Lilley, James George, Helen Lehndorf, Renée, and Anna Taylor–hosted the retreat.

‘Feeling motivated to carry on with my writing – it was really interesting for me to be part of a group of writers – amazed/impressed by their talents and initially wondered what I could offer – but somehow ended up feeling affirmed in my own work because of the diverse voices shared – accepting that we each have a unique voice.’  ~Claire Griffin

Each writer taught morning workshops: three in fiction, two in poetry, one in memoir writing, and one in the graphic novel. KWR7

Enjoy a great article about the Retreat experience here.

In the afternoons the same teachers led panels and discussions on topics pertinent to craft and literature in Aotearoa. Guided free-writing sessions were available for those not attending the morning workshops and we welcomed writers who wished to work on their own projects over the weekend.

‘My Kahini Writers Retreat experience was a perfect blend of structured workshops, walks by the river, talking with other writers and having the time and space to write. The workshop I attended (led by Gary Copeland Lilley) introduced me to some poets I wasn’t familiar with and gave me the opportunity to reflect on what it means to be a poetic witness. There were some lively group discussions and I came away with a couple of first drafts to work on further. The retreat was a great opportunity to connect with other writers and produce new work. Oh, and the food was great!’
~Janis Freegard

Writers found community, encouragement, and a safe place in which to take artistic risks, in one of the most beautiful, inspiring locations in the world. We’re already thinking about the next one. Sign up here for updates!

‘Congratulations! Please keep doing what you’re doing! For me, the whole retreat was a warm embrace; supportive, nurturing, nourishing and affirming. The work you’re doing is so important. Thank you so much for all your efforts!’  ~Antonia Bale


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