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Anam Cara Writer's & Artist's Retreat

High on a heather-covered hillside awaits Anam Cara*, a tranquil spot set apart to nurture and to provide sanctuary for those who create. Whether you come to work on a writing or artistic project of your own or as part of a workshop or special interest group, you will find support, creature comforts, and peace – all you need to produce your best work.

The Cascades at Anam Cara Retreat

Tour Anam Cara Retreat

To help fulfill Anam Cara's purpose and to let the breezes off Coulagh Bay clear your creative path, we recommend a stay of at least a week. Your hostess, Sue Booth-Forbes, an experienced writer and editor who began her editing career at Cambridge University Press, creates an ambience and a daily schedule that will help you concentrate your energies on your artistic endeavor: In the evening, you may want to share your work in conversation with others in front of a turf fire or watch the sun set in the magical west-of-Ireland sky.

  • Morning meals** taken with other residents
  • Quiet working hours from 9:30 A.M. to 5:30 P.M. with mid-day meals shared with others or on your own
  • Evening meals** taken with other residents
  • Smoke-free environment 

**Meals feature slow-cooked, comfort food prepared using produce and products from local gardeners, butchers, and fishermen.

Since 1998, artists and writers have been having that conversation — inspiring and supporting each other as they have worked through their own creative processes. Hands down, the best part of being Anam Cara’s director is getting to know the writers- and artists-in residence (now over 1,000) and their work.

They have taught me and each other much about the creative process. Their genre / medium may be similar to someone else's, but their approach is always unique and inspirational. One intention for naming the retreat Anam Cara was to provide a space for people who, as they worked with their creative gifts, would recognize the “soul friend” in themselves, in their work, and in others.

*The name Anam Cara means "soul friend" in Irish; it was chosen, in part, to pay tribute to the work and writing of John O'Donohue.