About Iceland Writers Retreat

Why the Iceland Writers Retreat Really is the Best in the World

Why the Iceland Writers Retreat Really is the Best in the World

IWR Alumni Award recipient Megan Ross shares with us her wonderful experience of this year’s Iceland Writers Retreat. Photos by Megan Ross and Roman Gerasymenko

You know a writing retreat is going to be good when it’s in a postcard-pretty setting, snow-capped mountains included. Well, this was my thought process anyway, as I stepped off the airport shuttle bus outside our hotel, and gawked in true tourist-style at the beautiful, thick pelt of snow surrounding the city of Reykjavik. Spurred on by this natural beauty – and still clutching my passport – I almost rushed into the centre of the welcome cocktail party, with my awful tank-like suitcase in tow. Instead, I let myself be gently persuaded to first stop in at my room, where I debriefed a moment before hurrying my veritable mess of a jetlagged self back to join the crowds, drink red wine and mingle with my new writing companions. Continue reading

Got imposter’s syndrome? Have no fear, IWR is here

Got imposter’s syndrome? Have no fear, IWR is here

Posted by IWR Social Media and Marketing Intern Audrey Wright.

It is now Sunday, my fifth and final day in Reykjavik, and even with the constant busyness, I feel refreshed. Being in this great city, wandering its beautiful streets that have so much character, and spending time with this kind and inspiring international group of people have all reinvigorated me from a year of studies and the banalities of everyday life. I swear, I’ve had no more than 6 hours of sleep each night, and I am still feeling good (although I have been dipping into the Icelandic coffee supply).

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My first days at the Iceland Writers Retreat

My first days at the Iceland Writers Retreat

Posted by IWR Social Media and Marketing Intern Audrey Wright.

So, yesterday, I arrived in Iceland. This is my first visit to the country, one that I have been mentally, emotionally and, well, artistically preparing myself for since September of last year. Interning for Iceland Writers Retreat all year has been amazing, and now I get to be here. I’m the luckiest MA student ever. Ever.

Iceland is a country which has only recently become one of the trendiest tourist destinations, and with reason. After one of the smoothest flights I have ever taken (which is saying a lot, because I am the worst flyer you will ever meet), I arrived at Keflavik airport at about 6:30 AM. At that brisk hour, the airport was busy but calm. The building itself was beautiful, bright, and modern, yet still understated. One of the nicest things was its smell. The place strangely smelled exactly like what I had imagined Iceland to smell like, a sensory detail that I didn’t realize my mind had predicted. It smelled clean, different, and had a twist of bitter but sweet orange peel.

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The Iceland Writers Retreat Will Host Three Public Events from April 12th-14th

The Iceland Writers Retreat Will Host Three Public Events from April 12th-14th

The third annual Iceland Writers Retreat kicks off next week, and if you are in Iceland from April 13th-17th, you will have the opportunity to attend three free public events during the retreat.

-On Tuesday, April 12th at 8pm (GMT), the 2016 IWR faculty will be giving a public reading at the iconic Nordic House near the University of Iceland. The event will be live-streamed; you can tune in by clicking on this link. If you would like to attend the event in person, please note that seating is limited, so be sure to arrive on time. You can find more information about the reading here.

-On Thursday, April 14th, in cooperation with the Creative Writing Department at University of Iceland and the UNESCO City of Literature, Kevin Larimer—the Editor-in-Chief of Poets & Writers, the largest nonprofit organization serving poets and literary fiction writers in the United States—will present a talk about how to become a published author through a variety of outlets, from literary magazines to book publishers. The talk, which is free and open to the public, takes place at the University of Iceland at 1pm. More information about this lecture can be found here.

-At 5:30pm on Thursday, April 14th, the Iceland Writers Retreat, in conjunction with the Toronto-based International Festival of Authors and Reykjavík UNESCO City of Literature, will be hosting a public reading with acclaimed Canadian authors Helen Humphreys and Joseph Kertes, as well as the retreat’s Canadian faculty Miriam Toews, Vincent Lam, and Andrew Westoll. The event will be held at the Hafnarhús branch of the Reykjavík Art Museum, and all are welcome to join. You can find further details about the reading here.

These events promise to be both enriching and enlightening to all who attend. We hope to see you there!

The Best Coffee Shops for Writers in Downtown Reykjavík

The Best Coffee Shops for Writers in Downtown Reykjavík

Words and Photos by Elliott Brandsma

Iceland’s cool, windy climate has made coffee the beverage of choice for most Reykjavík residents. As a result, the island nation’s bustling capital city boasts a flourishing coffee shop culture, with unique cafés lining seemingly every street in the downtown area. As April rapidly approaches, the Iceland Writers Retreat has gathered a list of the six coziest coffee joints in Reykjavíkʼs city center, where writers of all tastes, styles, and temperaments can grab a cup-of-joe while typing up their literary masterpieces.

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“Mountain Song” by Alexander Weinstein: IWR Writing Competition Winner

“Mountain Song” by Alexander Weinstein: IWR Writing Competition Winner

Photo by Elliott Brandsma

We received several hundred entries for our second Iceland Writers Retreat writing competition. The winner is Alexander Weinstein of Ann Arbor, MI, United States, whose entry is called “Mountain Song.” Thanks to our competition sponsors, Iceland Travel. We look forward to meeting Alexander in Iceland next April!

Read his winning entry

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