Imagine sitting here and starting to write…



Plan and Pitch Your Memoir

A RESIDENTIAL writing course

Monday 14th - SATURday 19th october 2019

Small class size - 4-8 max

1-1 time with each tutor

Writing, publishing and coaching expertise

Fully catered home-cooking

Friendly, supportive and fun

The course: Have you got a story to tell? Maybe you don’t know how or where to start, or you want to learn the technical skills that will enable you to shape your experiences into a piece of writing or a book? Perhaps you are worrying about the impact on your family and friends of sharing your secrets? Or you need help honing your pitch, defining your audience and creating your book proposal.

You will be guided through an inspiring and creative week in a beautiful, rural environment with delicious home cooked food. You’ll learn lots, have fun and at the end of the week have a clearer idea of what you are doing as well as walk away with an outline book proposal that you could send to an agent or publisher. Our aim is fill you with the knowledge, energy, enthusiasm and confidence you need to carry on with your project.

Your tutors: Cathy Rentzenbrink is a bestselling, critically acclaimed memoirist and writing tutor. What do her writing clients think of her…

‘The course is only as good as the tutors that deliver it. What makes a good teacher? For me, it is that extra special something that enables a connection to be formed between teacher and student. The act of writing followed by the actual sharing of one's work with others can be quite a frightening prospect at first, and the right teacher is crucial in facilitating the most favourable conditions for students to feel valued and at ease. Much of this comes down to trust.

Cathy is not only knowledgeable about the nuts and bolts of writing, of the various techniques, such as how to structure a narrative and tell a story that engages and inspires the reader, but she is also honest about how to get published and unlocks the mystique that surrounds the publishing world. Cathy is an incredibly warm person who is friendly, funny and approachable. For me personally, Cathy has helped me to believe that my dream of being published is, with hard work of course, achievable. Working with Cathy has been a pleasure and I trust that she always does her absolute best for me.’

Janine Giovanni has 30 years experience working in marketing for a major publisher and 10 years coaching experience. What do her clients say about her…

‘You helped me so much both professionally and personally. I am a changed man!’

‘Thank you very much. You are kind, supportive and wise. I really enjoyed my coaching time with you and I’m very sad that it has ended’

‘I was very cynical about coaching - as you know! But I have to say you have completely changed my mind. The whole process has unlocked a different way of thinking for me. I can’t really believe it. Thank you so much for your time, your skill and your patience - and for making it fun as well’

Residential fees per person

Included: accommodation, meals, transport during the course, tutor fees
Excluded: travel to and from the venue

Non-residential attendees: it may be possible for you to attend as a non-resident so please do email on the address below for further information.

The prices below reflect the difference in the size of the bedrooms we have available. All rooms are decorated to the same standard and have stunning views over The Cheviot Hills.

The Ladder Room £1000: This is our only ensuite room and has a superking size bed. It has its own staircase, which is quite steep (hence the name) and it is the biggest room. The ensuite has a bath and a shower.

The Sanctuary £900: This is a large room with a king size bed. There is a loo on the same floor - shared with The Cosy Room and a shared shower room downstairs.

 The Cosy Room £700 per person. This is a small twin room which we will be offering as a shared option (two men or two women). This shares the upstairs loo with The Sanctuary and the downstairs shower room. 

 The Hideyhole £800. This is a small single on the ground floor looking over the Cheviot Hills. It is at the opposite end of the house to the other bedrooms so is quite private. It shares the downstairs shower and loo with the other guests.

 You can see all of the rooms in the Gallery section of this website

This course takes place in a home, not a hotel and as such most rooms have shared bathrooms. Tutorials take place in a stove heated barn with stunning views.

To book a course or for enquiries about courses, including attending as a non-resident, please email us at

For holiday letting booking enquiries, please visit the Bookings and Enquiries page.

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Coming in 2019 and beyond

Here at The Whinney we are huge supporters of anything that promotes creativity and wellbeing and we want to facilitate your journey as much as we can from our beautiful home and the surrounding countryside.

We have lots of plans for residential courses in 2020 in creative writing, photography, painting and more!

Keep in touch with news on courses by checking back in on this website.