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Angela locke MA



'If you can't find inspiration on Iona, it's time to chuck your quill into the Atlantic. This retreat at the Argyll hotel with Angela Locke, the novelist and travel writer, draws on the island's mystical rhythms and dune-fringed landscape to help writers find their muse.’ Jeremy Lazell, Travel Editor, Scottish Times.


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With the marking of D-Day 80th Anniversary in 2024 – this Spellbinding New Novel Shares a Story of Survival and the Renewal of Hope. Read more via the buttons below...



Click the image to read the PR.

The Universe Is Imagination Set Free...

These are the words at the heart of my organisation, where I seek to allow others to flower in their own creativity. It is a beautiful thing to see someone open like a flower, often having been crushed by circumstances for so long from expressing their true creative voice. They seem to change physically, even in a few days, particularly on special places like Iona, and it is an immense privilege to share in that process. For me, as a writer and teacher, creativity is at the heart of who we are. This may be expressed through words, through photography, painting or dance, or in so many other ways.

People say to me 'I don't have a creative bone in my body', and then go on to tell me how they have envisioned a beautiful garden or have a dream of the future by the sea, or of getting to the top of the mountain. Or sometimes they may say 'I once wrote a poem when I was a child, but I grew out of it, and I'm no good now... 'and that makes me sad. For where would the universe be without creativity? As Einstein knew when he said we should all be like children playing...

Keep scrolling to learn more about our range of courses...

The Latest review of Tamarisk: 

This novel is a romance between the Anglo-French Pierre, an SOA agent sent into occupied Northern France in the months leading up to D-Day, and the courageous farmer’s daughter, Rebecca. However, this is no Mills and Boon love tryst with the war as a backdrop. With painstaking detail, based on much research, a believable, compelling and harrowing adventure unfolds. It is at times a painful read, informed by the knowledge that while the story is the creation of the author, it is grounded in the terrible reality experienced by millions. Those darkest times are described in unflinching detail, from the fate of captured French Resistance fighters to revealing the dystopian aftermath of the war in Europe.

Yet despite the depravity and bleakness portrayed, this story is ultimately uplifting, of good triumphing over intolerance and prejudice, of the resurrection of civilised life, and of love and reconciliation between people and peoples.

While awareness of both the extraordinary bravery of the French Resistance, and the depths of carnage resulting from war, is fading fast from the collective consciousness as the last protagonists pass away, this book is a timely reminder of the danger that the rise to power of populist demagogues bring to us all.


John Lloyd Thomas


Photograph by Malcolm McGregor.

The Dream of Iona

The dream of Iona….A magical, sacred island set in a turquoise sea. An island where generations of Scottish kings are buried, where Druids and Celts and early Christians shaped the landscape of myth and dream. An island made up of the oldest rocks on the planet, where crystal clear waters lap the white sands of empty beaches, a nature sanctuary where dolphins leap in the Iona Sound and sea otters run among the rocks.

This inspirational island is the setting for a series of unique residential Writers Retreats, where beginners and published authors alike are welcomed, based at the Argyll Hotel on Iona, and led by one of the U.K.’s leading innovative Creative Writing tutors, international author and poet Angela Locke MA. Angela co-led the first British/American Writing Retreat on Iona in June 2000, and has now been teaching her very successful and inspirational series of  Writers Retreats on the island for more than 20 years.

IONA Writing Retreat with Angela Locke AND Writing and Photography with Malcolm Macgregor and Angela Locke, are now running simultaneously between the dates listed below. For the Writing and Photography Retreat please refer direct to the Argyll Hotel Iona. For Writing Retreat alone please refer to Angela Locke.'

Image by Jonny Gios

Lake District

Life Writing and Memoir, an exciting new Writing Retreat at
Rydal Hall 13-15 September 2024.

Following the popularity of our May Writing Retreat 2024 at beautiful

Rydal Hall, when we were so lucky to have author and poet Grevel
Lindop to inspire our writing, I have decided to run a New Retreat
weekend in mid-September at Rydal, as I have been lucky enough to
secure a slot. I have asked eminent author, poet and biographer
Kathleen Jones to work with me on a new Writers Retreat looking at Life
Writing and Autobiography, and I am thrilled that she has accepted. We
have often worked together with great success. Kathleen is the author of
A Passionate Sisterhood which explores the lives of the women
around Wordsworth. The first volume of her much-anticipated new
autobiography, Reading my Mother will just have been published.
Kathleen grew up in Cumbria.


It will be so exciting to inspire the whole weekend with this theme through poetry and prose. Attached is the new brochure. It will be slightly shorter this time, finishing after lunch on Sunday, rather than after breakfast on Monday which is our usual pattern on the Retreats.

Do hope you can make it!


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