The Retreat’s organisers, Bridget Strevens-Marzo and Anne-Marie Perks had set one main criterion – a place to encourage creative exploration in the inspiring company of other writers and illustrators. Other criteria were a beautiful venue with plenty of space and great food. Holland House fulfilled them all.
As pictures say so much more than words, we’ve included a selection here.
It all started here, at Holland House in Worcestershire.
When illustrating a Michael Murpurgo book, Jo-Jo and the Melon Donkey, Helen had to go to Florence!
An example of the beautiful sketches done while there.
Helen Stephens, author illustrator, talking about drawing from life and how it inspires stories.
These are sketches of the dog that inspired, Fleabag.
Storyboard from Helen’s book, Fleabag.
All of us in the lovely conference room at Holland House.
Large windows opened up to a large sloping lawn and flower borders.
Gerry Turley shared his large sketchbooks on a book he is working on, about a bear for Schwartz and Wade publishers. He also shared his prints and sketchbook on his first book, Woooo, with David Fickling.
Alice Bartosinski had us make a list from the picture books she set out as to which ones we thought sold the best. Here we are happily doing our best to figure that out. The results were very interesting!
We filled every room available at Holland House and had a great time, learning, sharing and supporting each other in the craft we all love. The most frequent comments were 'Thank you!' and 'When are we doing this again!'