Jane Rusbridge Author of The Devils Music and Rook

Invitation to a Railway Carriage House Writing Retreat – on the beach

Join me at two locations in West Sussex which have inspired my writing. 


I lived for many years in a house just across the road from the sea at Wittering in West Sussex, so it’s perhaps not surprising that many scenes in my first novel, The Devil’s Music, are set in a railway carriage house. There are many of these converted train carriages along the Sussex coast; one opposite our house was being restored during the time I was working on the novel. Sometimes I’d take a cup of tea down to the beach and stroll along to observe progress.

You can image my delight when Amanda Saint, who runs Write & Walk Retreats , contacted me to ask if I’d be interested in teaching a workshop on the use of location and – even better – in a location connected to The Devil’s Music. These retreats are such a dream of an idea – workshops and walks in inspirational places, with the rest of the time to write and relax. The first, with Alison Moore, was held in a lighthouse and the second is in the very railway carriage house I watched being gradually ‘up-cycled’ into a beautiful holiday home, The Dodo.

My workshop is called ‘Sensing Place’, a phrase I’ve borrowed from Seamus Heaney who writes in Preoccupations about the nourishment which springs from knowing and cherishing a place. Our imaginations thrive on such nourishment. After the workshop at The Dodo, we’ll visit Bosham and its ancient church which appears on the Bayeux tapestry, and we’ll wander along the edges of Bosham Creek. Bosham is said to be where Canute demonstrated that even he could not turn back the tides, and there’s even a memorial stone in the church dedicated ‘To a daughter of King Canute‘. Old Bosham is a place oozing with stories, and it’s the setting for my second novel, Rook. 

All photos on this page: Natalie Miller

Visit my Pinterest board for images of Bosham

‘what marks out Rusbridge’s novel is the passion with which she writes about her native Sussex and its more ancient landscapes’ Independent



Posted in Events, General | Written By October 24, 2013