Under Rough Ridge: A Writer’s Retreat


What’s worth saving in this life? How do we go about saving what we love, and what is the writer’s role?

Come to stay and write in Central Otago in the beautiful Ida Valley this September. Immerse yourself in history and the land. Be inspired to write, and learn new techniques.

At the heart of this writers’ retreat is community. Here, in Oturehua, people come together to look after their own and what’s around them.  In keeping with community, the tutors are all drawn from this valley and include a screen writer, essayist, poet, editor and former Poet Laureate. You’ll have time to learn, time to write and time to explore. Entries can be worked on for the NZ Heritage Book and Writing Awards, poetry and prose, due in September. All entries have to focus on some aspect of New Zealand’s heritage

In addition to Brian Turner speaking on the role of writers in protecting place (saving rivers, saving our landscape), there’ll be a choice of interactions with local historical sites; Hayes Engineering and Homestead (saving simplicity in machinery and a way of life); the Strawbale House, featuring a mudbrick rebuild and techniques and creation of earthen floors (saving handmade materials, saving old processes); and Gilchrist’s General Store, with a focus on the book the community is writing on it (saving memories).

The village of Oturehua lies under the tor-covered horizon of Rough Ridge. Walk up into the rocks or just enjoy their sunlit beauty for a weekend of connection, reflection and writing.

For timetables, tutors, and registration, click here!