Top of the South Writers’ Retreat

Top of the South Writers’ Retreat

​Mount Richmond Estate, Rai Valley

27 – 29 October 2017

​For the fourth year, the top of the South branch of the NZ Society of Authors is organising a weekend Writers’ Retreat at the Mount Richmond Estate, Rai Valley, Marlborough.
The aim of the retreat is to offer both a writing escape, where participants can work quietly and undisturbed in a pleasant and inspiring environment, and an opportunity to take part in workshops, one-to-one discussion sessions and informal socialising with other writers.
Workshops and mentoring sessions will be run by the widely-published author and poet, Bridget Auchmuty.
The venue


The venue is the Mouth Richmond Estate, set within 5 ha of placid parkland in the Richmond Hills. Accommodation is in modern, well-equipped self-catering chalets. There is an excellent café serving home-made snacks throughout the day, and dinner (Friday and Saturday) by arrangement. If you need inspiration, or just some exercise, there is a short track to the adjacent hilltop; 1 km away is a short bush walk to Brown’s River, and 10 minutes further away the extensive walks along the Pelorus River. For more information see 

Thanks to sponsorship by the NZSA TOS branch and the special rates offered by Mount Richmond, costs for the weekend are extremely favourable. Registration fees (covering all mentoring and self-catering accommodation) are:
NZSA members: $180; non-members: $220
Dinner is available at an additional charge of $33 (Saturday) and $38 (Sunday); lunches (not included) are also available from the café.
Indicative programme
Details of the programme are flexible, but will include:

  • Private writing sessions
  • Optional workshops/discussion sessions
  • Optional mentoring sessions

Participants interested in mentoring sessions with the facilitator will be asked to submit a short selection of writing material in advance of the Retreat.

Bridget Auchmuty


The organisers are delighted this year to have obtained the services of the author and poet Bridget Auchmuty to lead the workshops and mentoring sessions. In her own words:

‘I’ve been writing stories and poems ever since I could hold a pen, and have been running courses on and off for about the last twenty years. In 2013 I completed my MCW at Massey University, and have since tutored there as well as for NMIT. Various journals (most recently JAAM, Meniscus and Mslexia) have published my poetry and short stories, and a collection of poems is in the offing.’

Book a place now!
For more information, and to register interest in attending, please contact the co-ordinator David Briggs at He will then keep you informed of developments and try to accommodate your needs within the programme.
Note that to confirm and ensure your place, a non-returnable deposit of $60 will be required no later than 8 September 2017. This should be paid to the Top of the South branch account 031355 0632693 00 with ‘Retreat’ and your last name as references.