Changemaker Writing Retreat

Join a dedicated writing space for changemakers and practitioners who have an emerging story to tell and are struggling to make the space to develop and write it.

4 days

42 Acres, Somerset, UK
Select session
Autumn 2024
Autumn 2023
5 min
Applications have closed


The world needs more authentic stories about new ways of living, working and cultivating change. More practitioners need to be supported in their writing and curating of these stories.

Come and join us in a dedicated writing space for changemakers and practitioners who have an emerging story to tell and are struggling to make the space to develop and write it.

It might be a blog or article, a whole series of stories or the beginnings of a book. Or you might not know what the format is yet, but you have the intention to write and would love a dedicated space and support to do so.

Louise and Anna invite you to join them from 4-8 November 2024 for a writing retreat at 42 Acres near Somerset, UK. We will lightly host the space to support the writing process, which might include daily check-ins, as well as offer 1:1 or group coaching sessions where required as well as peer accountability and support.

"Conversations roamed far and wide, thrilling in their breadth and scope. We cooked, ate and walked together. Within this there was deep respect, protecting space for ourselves, each other, and our words. The writing game can often feel a solitary one. The week proved it can be made lighter in community, united by common purpose, celebration and support." - Anna Rose Hughes, 2023 cohort

2023 writing retreat cohort

What to Expect


The format of the retreat would include:

  • A flexible schedule for you to make the time to write each day
  • Daily group check-ins - an opportunity to shape and craft what we need
  • Options for 1:1 systems change coaching and writing support 
  • Peer camaraderie and accountability 
  • Time to scope out the ongoing infrastructure and practices to support ongoing writing

What's included

  • A single occupancy room to stay in beautiful surroundings with shared bathrooms (small number of ensuite rooms)
  • Peer or 1:1 coaching sessions to support you to craft your narrative & writing
  • Peer support and mutual learning environment
  • Large rooms for us to gather plus smaller writing spaces
  • Food and nourishment
  • All cleaning

What's not included

  • We’ll need a team of 2-3 people to help prepare each meal
  • Any snacks, additional foods and alcohol to be brought with you

"I'm truly grateful for the environment that our facilitators and fellow participants nurtured, allowing all of us to truly be there for ourselves and for each other. This writing retreat provided the room I needed to grant myself the freedom to express my inner passion through writing. I’m not in a rush. I am going to take my time to nurture it." - Adah Parris, 2023 cohort

Date & Location


Start time: Tuesday 4 November 2024 at 11:00

End time: Friday 8 November 2024 at 14:00


42 Acres, Holt Road, Witham Friary, Frome BA11 5HL

42 Acres is our venue located near Frome in Somerset, that invites people to reconnect with nature, self and others and offers spaces for coliving, events and retreats. It has 173 acres of flora and fauna, including the ancient woodlands, swimming lakes and meadows with lovely local walks  in the area. We’ll be using the Farmhouse venue. 

You can find more information about getting to the venue on the 42 Acres Getting Here page.

The Farmhouse

"I went with a set intention to make a dent on a book proposal. I did not make that dent. Instead I came away with much more." - Marty Davies, 2023 cohort

2023 writing retreat

Retreat Fees

The School of System Change is continually working to improve the financial accessibility of our offerings. We offer three rates and ask that you select the one that fits your financial situation. It is our hope that those able to afford the higher fees help us cover costs and support others to access the discounted rates.

Each rate covers a single occupancy room and food costs for self-catered meals (prepared by teams of participants). If cost is a barrier, we ask you to reach out for the shared room pricing (max 2 per room) and we will try our best to pair you with someone else looking for shared occupancy, if not a friend you are joining with.

Full rate: £675 GBP
For people in countries working in larger organisations and who might be well-paid professionals. Your registration will help support others to participate.

Mid-rate: £550 GBP
For people working in small organisations (fewer than 10 employees) and joining self-funded individuals.

Discounted rate: £425 GBP
For people in need of financial assistance to support their learning. Only a few discounted rate slots are available.

For those who live in the area and are looking for a day writing retreat experience, we offer daytime only retreat fees at £150 GBP per person. Please enquire for more information.

Who We Are

This is a starting collaboration between Louise Armstrong, Anna Birney and the School of System Change network. We’ve both been writing increasingly over the last few years individually and collectively. We’d love for this to become a shared endeavour with other people wanting the space to write and wanting to create the spaces for others to do the same.

If you have any questions, please get in touch with Anna at [email protected].

Email Anna

Sign Up

Spaces will be allocated on a first come first serve basis, so we recommend signing up as soon as possible to reserve your place.

Sign up

Interested in a future changemaking writer retreat? Express your interest and we'll be in touch by email to let you know when dates are announced.

Express Interest

If you have any questions, please get in touch with Anna at [email protected].


Do I have to be a writer to join?

Not at all. This is a space for everyone at whatever stage of writing they find themselves - just at the start or in the middle of a writing project. We are reluctant writers ourselves and have found peer accountability a great way to break through the fear of writing.

How do I get to the venue by train?

The closest station is Gillingham (Dorset), which is 15 mins in a taxi from the venue. Rail connections are:

  • Gillingham (Dorset) – 17 mins away by car

  • Frome – 19 mins away by car

  • Castle Cary – 24 mins away by car

  • Westbury – 31 mins away by car

For more information, see

Is the venue accessible?

Accessibility information will be added shortly.

Writings & Reflections

For a flavour of the experience and what to expect from the five days, we invite you to read some of the writings that emerged from the 2023 writing retreat.

Embracing Emergence: Reflections on Facilitating a Changemaker Writing Retreat by Louise Armstrong and Anna Birney

Rage Unleashed: Reflections from a Transformative Writing Retreat by Adah Parris

Celebrating a year of System Changers by Genevieve Nathwani

Writing change: On the liberation and joy of writing in community by Anna Rose Hughes

Reflections from the Mill by AC

5 min