The Retreat offers:

Time, space and inspiration to write Individual Guidance from an experienced tutor and writer
Inspiring writing tasks (if required)
Group feedback on your writing
The support of other writers
Creative mindfulness
Comfortable eco-resort accommodation
7 nights half-board
5 minutes’ walk to unspoilt beaches

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November 30 - 7 December 2019


Own room, attached bathroom HB £395
*Shared room, shared bathroom HB £335

*Please ask about rates for accompanying guests who are not writing

A Typical Day

7 - 9 am Breakfast
9 - 9:45 am Creative Mindfulness ( optional )
10 -1 1 am Writing Guidance 11 am - 1pm Time to Write
1 - 2 pm Lunch
2 - 5:30 pm Time to Write (group excursion on one day)
5:30 - 7 pm Three Sharing and Feedback Sessions
7 pm Free time

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Your writing retreat

We encourage you to come to Bhakti Kutir with some idea of what you’ll be working on, so you’re assured a productive stay. The tutor is happy to work with you before you fly off to India: a chat on the phone about your writing project ( if you have one) will help start that mysterious creative process. You’re welcome to send some of your writing, or just a still vague idea you have.

There is much to inspire in this beautiful vibrant part of India! The retreat is designed to give you maximum time and space to write in conducive surroundings. Every writer works to a different schedule (or none), and we leave this entirely to you. The retreat has a maximum of 10 participants, so there’s time to give attention to everyone’s work. Each residential writer will also receive individual tutor feedback on work in progress. This takes the form of a close, one-hour annotated reading of your writing. You can also request further individual tutor feedback (£20/hour).
While geared primarily to writers, we welcome people working on any creative project. Subject to availability, we may accept some non-residential writers on the retreat. Please contact us.

When you’re not writing

Jump in a tuk-tuk and join us on a trip to the colourful local market in Chaudi. Or sign up for a fascinating boat trip in the mangrove upriver to watch kites and eagles being fed. Wander down to the life-guard-monitored beach for a swim in the limpid waters of the Arabian Sea, walk along the golden shoreline of Palolem and Patnem beaches, drop in for a yoga class… or simply chill on your veranda to the call of tropical birds in the tree canopy.

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Your Tutor

David Lambert has an MA in Creative Writing from UEA. He has taught Creative Writing for the Open College of the Arts and The Open University, and lectured in Creative Writing and Writing for the Stage at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge (2003-2016). He’s a winner of the Norwich Prize ( 2002), The Warehouse Theatre International Playwriting Competition (2011) and was selected for the Royal Court Writers’ Studio (2012). He’s an English-language author for Ernst Klett, Germany’s leading educational publisher, and writer and language consultant for Austrian publishers ÖBV (Vienna). With his wife, Michèle, since 2010 he has run successful writing retreats and courses at their centre in France. On several trips to India, as well as in the UK and France, he has a gained a deep insight into how Buddhist psychology and meditation informs the creative process. David has a good knowledge and love of this part of India and can advise on what to bring, visa procedures, money, and orientation (Kerala, Tamil Nadhu and Goa).


Bhakti Kutir is an eco-resort located in a secluded two-acre coconut grove nestled between two of Goa’s most unspoiled beaches, Palolem and Patnem beach. It contains 22 spacious back-to-nature cabanas under a shady tree canopy, where other guests may be on a Yoga Retreat or have checked in for Ayurvedic massage and treatment. Each cabana is equipped with a desk, ceiling fan, mosquito net, double or twin beds, en suite or shared bathroom. December in Goa is the perfect climate, with temperate sunny days, low humidity, and nice cool evenings.


Your retreat includes a buffet breakfast laid out every morning on the shaded terrace. Fresh local papaya and other fruits, cereals, toast, teas and ground coffee. Water bottles can be refilled with filtered drinking water. Lunchtime buffet includes Indian as well as European cuisine. Bhakti Kutir’s restaurant offers wholesome locally sourced vegetarian and vegan food as well as fresh local fish. The chef provides gluten and GM-free food and juices, organically produced where possible. Nearby is an astonishing array of the most varied eateries each specializing in authentic Indian as well as international cuisine to a very high standard, at remarkably reasonable prices.

Getting there

Flight suggestions. Direct London- Goa (Dabolim) Airport. Also: Oman Air via Muscat. Emirates airlines via Dubai. Etihad airlines via Abu Dhabi, Saudia airlines via Riyhad. Fixed-price taxi Goa Airport to Patnem-Columb (1.5 hours) (*currently £25+ per taxi for a three-passenger air-con taxi with seatbelts). You may want to extend your stay in India or spend some time before your writing retreat.

Before (or after) your retreat

Before your retreat, you may want to acclimatize yourself and discover more of India. There’s loads to discover in tiny Goa itself though you’re probably on the best beaches right in Patnem! Just south is the adjoining state of Karnataka where pilgrims visit the enormous statue of the Hindu God Shiva at Murudeshwar; a little further on is the UNESCO world heritage site of Hampi, a vast expanse of ancient Hindu temples.

Further to the south is the enchanted state of Kerala, (God’s Own Country) the home of Ayurveda treatment; stay overnight on a rice-boat on its famous backwaters at Alleppy; visit its fragrant spice gardens or the cool hill station tea plantations at Ooty. Ask us about the best yoga retreat run by a friend on the red cliffs of seaside Varkala.

Vibrant Mumbai, with its rich literary and art history, is just an hour’s flight from your retreat centre. Visit Kipling’s birthplace; the Gateway to India evoked by EM Forster in A Passage to India; stroll the streets of trendy Colaba, the setting for Anita Desai’s Baumgartner’s Bombay, and the Leopold Café made famous in the best-selling Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts; experience the Bombay of Rohinton Mistry’s A Fine Balance; Salman Rushdie’s The Moor Last Sigh and Midnight’s Children; and Vikram Chandra’s Love and Longing in Bombay.

Please click here for a booking application form

Listed with the National Association of Writers in Education (NAWE) and in The Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook 2019