Daylesford Writing Workshop

Daylesford, Victoria
Sunday 20th to Saturday 26th October, 2019

The workshop will be held in the comfort of the secluded Manor and Station House in Daylesford. Set in three acres of gardens at the edge of town, the luxury property affords beautiful private writing spaces and comfortable common areas. A short walk to the botanic gardens, and an array of national parks in the vicinity afford the opportunity to unwind in  the outdoors, as well as enjoy all that the town of  Daylesford has to offer.

The 2019 Daylesford workshop will be fully residential with tea, coffee, snacks and dinners included. All rooms are private and will have a minimum size double bed and basic desk and chair for writing. The Manor House has all ensuite-rooms. The Station House has two bathrooms shared amongst five guests.


The Manor House Rooms

  • $1650, large private room with ensuite, all booked.
  • $1600, small private room with ensuite, 1 available.

The Station House Rooms

  • $1560, large private room with shared bathroom, 3 available. 

Room allocation
Writers will be able to select their room preference from the floor plan at the time of booking, with confirmation on receipt of deposit.


Workshop structure
We will talk through the week’s structure and what to expect, in the introductory session on the first night, but in the meantime, to give you an idea of what to expect…

Sunday 20th

  • Arrive in the afternoon anytime after 4pm
  • Check you are able to connect to the printer
  • Dinner at approx 6.30pm
  • Briefing and Introduction to Freefall, after we have eaten
    NB Bring a pen and paper, as you will most likely want to take some notes, and there may be a writing exercise

Monday 21st  –  Friday 25th
NB the specifics of times will be confirmed in the introductory session

  • Morning writing
    You will be writing on your own laptop or computer.
    This is done in silence so as to allow you and the other participants to stay with their writing.
  • Group meeting 12.30- 12.45
    Meet to share how the writing went for you as an individual, and to hand in the morning’s work.
  • Free time, lunch through till 4.30
    The afternoon is yours to spend as you wish.
    Of course, if it is your cooking day, you will need to allow time to prepare the meal before the group seminar.
  • Group seminar, 4.30-7pm
    • Barbara will discuss how she thinks the writing is going for the collective, offering tips, advice and points of consideration
    • A selection of the day’s work will be read anonymously. We will discuss both the work itself and whatever it brings up with regard to writing technique.
    • Barbara will give each participant written feedback on their writing.
  • Evening meal, 7pm
    • The evening meal will be shared in the dining room
    • As a celebration of the week’s writing, participants are encouraged to bring some wine to the meal on Friday.

Saturday 26th

  • Group seminar, approximately 10am – 1pm
    Barbara will recap the week with further insights and suggestions, as well as readings.
    In addition, there will be a final extended writing exercise, so bring a pen and paper

Please note that you will get the most out of the workshop if you take some daily exercise and refrain from recreational drugs and alcohol during the retreat.


What is provided
Tea, coffee, milk, butter, basic condiments, olive oil, basic herbs and spices, sweet and savoury biscuits will all be available for you to enjoy during your stay.

Breakfast and lunch

  • You will need to bring your own provisions for breakfast and lunch.
  • Alternatively, enjoy one of the many local cafes.


All dinners will be provided, and shared as a group.

You will each be assigned a cooking partner and evening to prepare the meal for the group (max 13). A budget will be set once the final group size is known and you will be reimbursed for the cost of ingredients.

To cater for all dietary requirements, it is recommended that you prepare a vegetarian and gluten-free meal.  Keep it simple. Think one-pot stews, bakes, hearty salads or soups. Recipes can be provided if you need some thought starters.

Catering option
If for any reason you don’t feel comfortable with meal preparation you can pay an additional fee of $100 for catering to be arranged.

Dietary requirements

Please inform us of any dietary requirements as well as milk and butter/non-dairy spread preferences.

Note: The workshop runs in the absence of alcohol – strange for many writers, but this actually makes for a productive week. We break this on the Friday evening when we share some wine with our final meal. This is not included in the cost.


A Week With Writers

Part of the Daylesford Residential Freefall experience is sharing a home with other writers. It is an enriching opportunity to be able to talk about writing, and even not to talk writing, and even to not talk. New friendships are often made, and the things learnt outside of the formal tuition are a wonderful complement to the practice of Freefall.

However, you do need to keep in mind that you are sharing a home with others, so a few things to be conscious of

  • Contribute to care for the house, tidy up after yourself, help set the table, if you notice the dishwasher is full, empty it, or if the garbage needs taking out, well, you can just do it.
  • Be mindful of the needs of others, some like it hot, some like it cold, so be prepared to negotiate on things like air-conditioning, bring a jumper and be ready to open your window if it is too warm for you.
  • Morning silence: to allow everyone to stay in their own writing zone, the morning’s writing is quiet time.
  • Phone calls: please take these outside or in your room – but keep phones on silent during the morning’s writing and group meetings.


About the Manor House and Station House and what is provided

Your rooms will be equipped with

  • Linen and towels (these will not be changed during the week)
  • A table or desk and chair to write at
  • Power outlets
  • WIFI

Cooking facilities
The country kitchen in each house is fully equipped with everything you need to prepare your own breakfasts and lunch, as well as group dinners. In addition, there is a hooded BBQ in the garden.

A printer will be available for you to print your work. You are responsible for making sure your laptop or tablet can connect to the printer before the Sunday evening group session.

More about each property
Pictures and further information about the neighbouring houses can be found here:


What to bring

  • A lap-top, or something you can write and print work from
  • Pen and paper for use during  group sessions
  • Memory stick, as a back up means to connect to the printer
  • Casual clothes for during the day and warm clothes. It could still be cold at night, though check the weather ahead of time: it is Victoria and it is October
  • Toiletries
  • Any food-stuffs that will not be provided that you can’t do without. We are only a short walk or quick drive to town where there are supermarkets, bakeries and fruit & veg shops as well as many cafes and restaurants.
  • And of course, feel free to bring your own printer if you have one.


When to arrive

We recommend you arrive by about 5 pm on Sunday 20th October to allow time to settle in and check your connection to the printer before our group dinner at about 6.30pm, and the retreat kick-off after dinner. Saying that, you are welcome to arrive anytime from 4pm.

Finding the Manor and Station House

The property is located at 15 Raglan Street, Daylesford. The driveway is off Rosella Lane. There is clear signage to the entry and parking areas for each of the houses on Rosella Lane.


You will need to arrange your own transport to and from Daylesford.

There are limited public transport options available, however, taxi’s to and from train stations in Castlemaine and Woodend are possible. Train and bus timetables can be found here


Payment terms


  • $400 Deposit is required to secure your booking
  • Full payment required by Friday 9th August

Note: Until the deposit is paid your place is not confirmed.

If full payment is not received by Friday 23rd August, it will be assumed you have cancelled.

Cancellation fees

In the unfortunate event that you have to cancel your booking, the following fees will be held

  • $50 non-refundable admin fee for cancellations made after booking
  • $400 deposit is non-refundable for cancellations made after Friday 14th July
  • Full amount is non-refundable for cancellations made after Friday 23rd August

In the unlikely event that the workshop is cancelled, the full deposit and fee paid at the time of cancellation will be refunded.

For more information, contact