Systemic Writing Retreat
with Dr Gail Simon
29th – 30th April 2017, Brathay Hall, The Lake District
For systemic practitioners of all professional persuasions!
This may be the moment to just do it! I sometimes think one owes it to oneself, and probably the community of known and unknown others, to use writing to invite others in to what you do with what you feel, see and think, and how you move around in that extraordinary dialogical space we call systemic practice. Maybe you want to write something in particular. Perhaps you want to play, experiment with finding a voice, a nib, a style, a form. This is the space for those activities.
In this retreat, I will share some ideas I have developed about writing as a relational activity, about what helps writers find a voice or style with which to write, about quality in writing and quality in the experience of writing. There will be space for you to develop some of your writing. We will experiment with writing in different styles. And discuss how to get the heart of what matters.
This is a writing retreat for relationally reflexive practitioners who want to write about their work or themselves as a practitioner. By the end of the retreat, I hope you will feel increased creativity, inspiration, engagement and a spirit of adventure.
My doctoral research was on Writing (as) Systemic Practice. I experimented with creative yet ethical ways of writing from within practice and in ways which are coherent with systemic ways of speaking. I have led quite a number of writing workshops within the systemic community and on masters and doctoral programmes. I have written about and presented on practitioner writing at national and international conferences - for example, on writing as a form of inquiry, relational ethnography, writing as relationship, performative writing, reflexive and collaborative writing. I am preoccupied by some of the political and ethical issues for practitioners in writing about and from within their work. I have a coaching practice for practice writers in which we often focus on deconstructing and reconstructing permissions for what counts as an appropriate writing style and establishing contextuallly appreciative audiences. It is amazing how happy people become with the quality of their writing once they feel free from unhelpful observers and are relating t a preferred audience.
I lead, teach and supervise on the Professional Doctorate in Systemic Practice at the University of Bedfordshire. Recently, I have become Joint Editor for Human Systems: Journal of Systemic Practice. In 2014, I started up a small systemic publishing tent, Everything is Connected Press, and have co-edited two books on systemic research and systemic therapy. I qualified in systemic therapy in 1993 at KCC. My practice home is The Pink Practice, a queer systemic therapy practice in London which I co-founded a long time ago. I mostly do supervision and coaching these days - on skype or in my writing space alongside the Leeds-Liverpool Canal in Yorkshire.
This retreat takes place at Brathay Hall in the English Lake District. It is in a wonderful location at the top of Lake Windermere it its own grounds leading down to the lake. It is very suited to reflective and creative writing. We have use of some high ceiling rooms in the main hall, the theatre and yurt just outside.There is accommodation on site. Most rooms have desks in them. Ambleside is a ten - fifteen minute walk away. It is a small town with plenty of places to eat, two private cinemas, two museums, many outdoor clothing shops and remains of a Roman Fort.
The cost of the two day retreat is £220 and includes lunches.
If you choose to book bed and breakfast on site, please book directly with Brathay Hall on 015394 33041. They have a range of accommodation from £40 to £120 a night. The building and grounds have limited accessibility. Please ring Brathay Hall for more information.
The nearest station is Windermere. You can get a bus or taxi to Brathay Hall from there. There is parking on site.