External shot of 8 ladies in pink tops in-front of a window.


Putting pen to paper: MEETinLEEDS celebrates success of writing retreat

MEETinLEEDS, the conference facilities of the University of Leeds, is celebrating the success of the recent writing retreat, Mslexicon, which welcomed over 200 delegates to the beautiful Devonshire Hall in Leeds, last weekend.

Travelling from as far as Australia and Amsterdam, delegates were able to enjoy a creative safe space for women writers, allowing them to explore their writing skills, learn from professionals within the industry and participate in insightful 1-2-1 sessions within the grounds of Devonshire Hall, a historic Grade II listed manor house. The weekend was organised by Mslexia, a quarterly magazine dedicated to helping women writers progress and succeed.

Scottish Makar (poet laureate) and novelist Jackie Kay, along with internationally best-selling crime writer Sophie Hannah, both delivered inspiring talks over the weekend. Delegates enjoyed a variety of intimate workshops, talks and panels that explored a range of topics from aspects of the craft to tackling procrastination and resilience in the face of rejection. An open mic event encouraged delegates to focus on the performance aspect of being a writer.

Attendees also enjoyed a street food party in the venue’s luxurious gardens, providing the opportunity for the writers to network with like-minded delegates, build new connections and feel supported within the industry. The menu offered a wide variety of vegetarian and vegan food as well as the occasional meat option.

Debbie Taylor, Editor of Mslexia, commented: “We’re absolutely delighted with how the Mslexicon event ran over the weekend. Devonshire Hall provided the perfect setting for a weekend of creativity, offering plenty of charm and personality as well as beautiful gardens for the writers to enjoy. We have already been asked about recreating the event next year, so watch this space!”

Harriet Boatwright, Sales and Marketing Manager at MEETinLEEDS, commented: “We’re delighted to have assisted with the Mslexia Writing Retreat, and knew from the moment we heard the organisers’ requirements how perfect Devonshire Hall was for the event itself. The Grade II listed manor house is set conveniently close to Leeds city centre, making use of the city’s extensive road and rail connections, and the beautiful building has plenty of social spaces – such as the garden and the bar – which gave the attendees plenty of opportunities to network as they took part in a packed programme of both writing and social events. We look forward to seeing the legacy of the retreat through the work written during their time at Devonshire Hall!”

For more information about MEETinLEEDS, visit: www.meetinleeds.co.uk