March 2018

Thank you to all the dedicated participants of Pure Fiction who spent the whole weekend with me in Bergen exploring the craft of creative writing. What a stimulating, inspirational and fun two days!


On my way to teach. Beautiful sunny day in Bergen.

purefiction-2 pure-fiction-1

So here I am teaching in Bergen Lithus


And now we’re writing.purefiction4

Pure Fiction

The Craft of Creative Writing

with Noelle Harrison


Saturday & Sunday

17th & 18th March 2018


Litteraturhuset, Bergen, Norway


Unblock your creativity, and learn how to craft fiction that engages your reader as Irish author Noelle Harrison guides you through an immersive St. Patrick’s Day weekend of creative writing .

What does all fiction have in common no matter where and when it is set ?

It is the importance of authenticity, but how do you write about something you may never have experienced?

Pure Fiction is an in-depth weekend writing workshop on the art of creating fiction. It will be a fun and stimulating two days suitable for all those who wish to write fiction whether beginners or more experienced.

Under the guidance of author Noelle Harrison participants will learn how to go beyond their own life experience to write stories that will engage the reader.

Although the course will be taught in English, participants can choose to write in English or Norwegian.


Through a series of workshops and practical exercises guided by Noelle you will explore:

· How to go beyond your own life experience and write engaging stories for your readers.

· How to write about places you have never been to and time-periods you have never lived in.

· How to create authentic characters of different gender, age or background and realistic dialogue.

·How to craft genuine register for your characters through their language, its vocabulary and pacing.

· How to world build whether it is contemporary, or set in the past, future or fantasy location!

· How to suspend your readers’ disbelief through structure, storyline, and subtext.

Saturday 17th March, from 10.00 – 17.00
Sunday 18th March, from 10.00 – 16.30

Both days at Fossestova, Litteraturhuset i Bergen


Course fee: 2000,- NOK / £190.00 for the whole weekend.

Early Bird offer: 1700, -NOK / £160.00 if you book before 1st March.

Scholarship Places for students or those on a low income at 1000, – NOK or £95 for the whole weekend. To apply send your details, and how the scholarship would benefit you to: by 1st March.

Course fee includes coffee, tea and fruit.

For registration, questions and information about the course program, send an email to or you can contact Noelle on Please include a few words about yourself.

Kurset foregår på engelsk. For påmelding og mer informasjon send en e-post til

Any Questions? Email:  
On twitter: @AuroraWriters



Into The light Yoga & Creative Writing Retreat with Spa

What an amazing day! Thank you to all our wonderful participants on our very special Imbolc Yoga & Creative Writing Retreat in Edinburgh on Saturday 3rd February. We were inspired and restored to share a day of such tremendous creativity, focus and experimentation!

Winter is over! 🌷





Saturday 3rd February

10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

David Lloyd, Newhaven Harbour, Edinburgh

Ignite your creative fire on our very special Into The Light Imbolc Yoga & Creative Writing Urban Retreat and mark the transition between the darkness of winter, and the budding of Spring on the weekend of Imbolc, or St. Brigid’s Day, one of the four most powerful dates in the Gaelic calender. 


Join Yoga teacher Vanessa Rigby and author Noelle Harrison to open up your creativity through the balancing practice of yoga and stretching writing exercises in the beautiful city of Edinburgh in Scotland.

Hosted by David Lloyd in Newhaven Harbour, our one-day urban retreat includes time for relaxation in their Celsius Spa with its hydrotherapy pool, sauna and steam room. 


Imbolc is a potent time of year to step forwards with clarity and vision. Our Into The Light Yoga and Creative Writing Retreat is a symbiosis of inner reflection, and outer expression. Through the balancing of yoga practice, and guided writing exercises, you will become more aware of the relationship between your body and your mind, writing through your body, and opening up your creativity.


Whether you are a complete beginner wanting to explore different ways of expressing your inner voice and creativity, a yogi wishing to journal, or a writer wanting to develop your focus and writing stamina, Into The Light offers you something special.  Our one-day Imbolc retreat creates a safe and stretching space to deepen your relationship with yourself, while also connecting with a small intimate group in a nurturing and restorative environment.


Any Questions? Email:  

Ph: +44 (0)7391031652
On twitter: @AuroraWriters

The Tutors

Noelle Harrison


Noelle Harrison is the Irish author of eight novels, and has been translated into over 13 different languages.  Her short stories have been published in Lines of Vision, Irish Writers on Irish Art, and in Gutter Magazine of New Scottish Writing. She has won The Meath Chronicle Short Story Award, and has been shortlisted for the Molly Keane Short Story Award, and The Hennessey New Irish Writing Short Story Award.Noelle has extensive experience of teaching writing workshops in Ireland, Scotland, Norway and London, and is a founder of Aurora Writers Retreats.

In February 2017 Noelle  co-hosted Aurora Writers Retreats First Days of Spring Writing Retreat in the Scottish Borders. In November 2017, she ran the popular Picture This! weekend workshop at Litteraturhuset in Bergen co-hosted by Skrivekunstkollektivet in Norway.  Having lived in Bergen for several years, Noelle now lives and works in Edinburgh in Scotland.

Noelle has been practising yoga for nearly 10 years and has found it invaluable in her life as writer. Her new novel, The Gravity of Love, will be published by Black & White Publishing in May 2018.

Vanessa Rigby


Vanessa has been practicing yoga for over 10 years allowing her to feel more centred and grounded both on and off the mat.  Following her passion for yoga she embarked on teacher training in 2015 and completed her 200hr yoga teacher training and 85 hours Antenatal yoga.

She has a daily Mysore practice and studies alongside her teacher Sarah Hatcher.

Before becoming a yoga teacher Vanessa studied Occupational Therapy and worked with people in many different settings. When Vanessa is not teaching and practicing yoga she spends her time buzzing about the city with her daughter, finding time to be by the sea, prowling round for anywhere that sells good cake and keeping an eye out for live music and decent films.

The Retreat

Saturday 3rd February  10.00 – 16.00


Our Into The Light Imbolc Retreat will incorporate Vinyasa, Hatha and Nidra yoga practice in symbiosis with unblocking creativity, writing prompts and confidence building writing practice.

The day begins at 10.00 and ends at 4.00 p.m. Our program incorporates three sessions of yoga and creative writing that are interlinked with the intention of transitioning from inner reflection to outer expression.


There will be one morning break, when we will be providing teas, coconut water, and fruit . There will be a lunch break from 12.30 – 1.30 p.m. but we do not include lunch. Participants are welcome to buy coffee or lunch at David Lloyd’s café downstairs, go outside for lunch, or bring their own food to eat in our designated retreat space in David Lloyd.

The Spa


Our program ends between 3.00 p.m and 4.00 p.m but participants are welcome to use facilities at David Lloyd Gym until 8 p.m. This includes time for relaxation and reflection in Celsius Spa with its heated hydrotherapy pool, saunas, and steam room.

Additionally participants can use the gym area, showers, changing rooms, swimming pool and Jacuzzi, as well as eat at the David Lloyd’s restaurant and bar. (There is however no access to racquet or tennis courts.)


Imbolc is one of the four Gaelic Fire Festivals of the Pagan year celebrated annually on the first day of February. Astronomically however Imbolc often occurs a little later. Since it is a Cross Quarter day, the midpoint between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox, its date can vary between 2nd & 7th February. In 2018, Imbolc is on 3rd February and this is why we have chosen it as the theme for our yoga and creative writing retreat, Into the light. A physical and metaphorical transition between winter and spring.


When Ireland & Scotland converted to Christianity in the 5th century, Imbolc, or the festival of the Pagan Goddess Brigid was transformed into St. Brigid’s day. There is even some debate over whether the Christian St. Brigid even existed at all, and that Early Christian monks created her in the image of Brigid, a Celtic Goddess of the same name, who brought inspiration to poets and was associated with fire and the home hearth.


To read more on the significance of Imbolc as a time of creative renewal for me and other writers take a read of my recent post here.

Price: £80

Book before 8th January to avail of our Early Bird Offer of £65 

Student / low income places at £50 

All fees include:

  • The full day of yoga and creative writing workshops from 10 – 4.00 p.m.
  • Teas, coconut water, and fruit
  • Use of The Celsius Spa with hydrotherapy pool, sauna and steam room until 8.00 p.m.
  • Use of David Lloyd Gym, swimming pool, Jacuzzi, showers and changing rooms.

Not included:

  • Use of tennis or racquet courts at David Lloyd Gym.
  • Accommodation or meals. However participants are welcome to eat in David Lloyd’s fabulous restaurant and we will provide you with the opportunity of pre-ordering from the menu for lunch on Saturday 3rd February. 
  • Additionally if you are looking for accommodation in Edinburgh for the weekend please do let us know and we will assist you as much as we can. Located right next door to David Lloyd in Newhaven Harbour is Premier Inn. 


Numbers are limited on our Into the Light Imbolc Retreat as we want each participant to get the most out of our teaching. Book your place early to avoid disappointment! 


Any Questions?  Please don’t hesitate to contact us email: / Tel: 07391031652



The Scottish capital of Edinburgh is steeped in history. As you ascend the cobbled Royal Mile towards the Castle, it is as if you are walking back into the past. From the dark alleys of its Medieval Old Town, to the classical sweep of its Georgian New Town, it is impossible to ignore the whispers of Edinburgh’s ancestors.

As a UNESCO City of Literature Edinburgh is the perfect location for our Into The Light Imbolc Yoga & Creative Writing Retreat. With stunning views of the Firth of Forth from our retreat space at David Lloyd in Newhaven Harbour you will be inspired by the new light of early spring as winter still holds strong on the landscape.  



Picture This! Norway

Congratulations to all the participants of Picture This! for such a productive and inspirational weekend. We plan to be back in Bergen soon!


Noelle with PICTURE THIS! WRITERS 2017picturethisday2

Hard at work!



We are delighted to announce our forthcoming creative writing weekend workshop facilitated by Noelle Harrison and hosted by Skrivekunstkollektivet in collaboration with Aurora Writers Retreats in Bergen in Norway on 18th & 19th November in Litteraturhuset.

This two-day workshop focuses on the craft of short story writing using paintings in KODE 4 in Bergen as a source of inspiration. It will be a fun, and creative two days suitable for all those who wish to write, whether beginners or more experienced.

The weekend begins with each participant selecting a painting from KODE 4 as a starting point for their creative work.
Under Noelle’s guidance, participants will learn the basic elements of how to structure their short story, find their voice, and write with heart.

They will be encouraged to draw from the artwork their own vision. To develop not only characters but use colour, composition, style, and setting as a source for their own story.

It is envisaged that by the end of the course each participant will have created or be on their way to creating their own unique short story.
Although the workshop will be taught in English, participants can choose to write their short stories in English or in Norwegian.

The day starts at Litteraturhuset in Bergen, where Noelle will introduce the course, and outline how to use art as a source of inspiration for your short story.
We will go as a group to KODE 4 where Noelle will present guidelines on selecting the artwork, which you will use for your own short story.
After a break for lunch, we will be back at Litteraturhuset where Noelle will facilitate Part One of her workshop Finding Your Voice which will focus on Narrative Voice, as well as defining the pivotal Character, Setting or Object of each story.

The whole day will be spent at Litteraturhuset.
In the morning Noelle will lead Part Two of Finding Your Voice which will focus on how to structure your short story, and employ literary devices.
After a coffee break, Noelle will facilitate the Workshop Writing with Heart Part One which will look at working with Tone / Rhythm, and descriptive language.
After lunch, Noelle will conclude the second part of Writing With Heart focusing on using symbols /images /metaphors to create depth to your story.
During the whole weekend, Noelle will be available to give feedback on an individual basis and to guide you in the creation of your short story. The ultimate goal is that you will have written your own short story by the end of the weekend.

Saturday 18th November, from 10.00 to 17.00
Sunday 19th November, from 10.00 to 16.30
Both days at Fossestova, Litteraturhuset i Bergen
Course fee: 2000,– NOK
Course fee includes entrance to KODE 4 Art Museum, coffee, tea and fruit. For registration, questions and information about the course program, send an email to Please include a few words about yourself.

Any questions? Just drop Noelle a line through Contact & she will get back as soon as she can.
Event photo:
Louis Auguste Francois (1805-79)
Portrait of Theodora Josefine Hambro Bull, undated
Photo: Dag Fosse/KODE


First Days of Spring

Residential Retreat

Carfraemill, Scottish Borders

Such a very special weekend unblocking creativity and developing writing craft. Thank you to our wonderful participants!


Melody & Noelle

The wonderful women 

6 p.m. Friday 24th February to 4 p.m. Sunday 26th February, 2017
Carfraemill Lodge, Lauder, Scottish Borders


Begin 2017 with focus and vision for your creative writing goals.

This writing retreat is suitable for anyone interested in creative writing, both fiction and nonfiction, whether you are beginning to write, or working on the completion of a full-length book.

Marking the end of winter in the north, the retreat draws inspiration from the rebirth and renewal of nature, awakening new creative energy and vision. As we enter the first days of spring our retreat will turn our attention to creative unblocking and the craft of writing, with seminars on different aspects of both fiction (with a focus on novel writing) and nonfiction (with a focus on memoir and essay) writing.

Forty minutes south of the city of Edinburgh, easily reached by car or by bus, the two-night retreat will include workshops, seminars, and a guided walk through nature with time to write and reflect. Breakfasts, dinners (on Friday and Saturday night), and tea and coffee throughout the stay will be provided. Residents can choose a single occupancy room (£360 inclusive) or double occupancy (£330 per person inclusive). All rooms include en-suite. Numbers are limited so we suggest applying early. The final date to apply is February 16th.

We are also offering two £100 scholarships: one for a writer on a low income, and one for a migrant writer in the UK. The deadline to apply for a scholarship is February 16th.

Additionally we are offering a number of non-resident places: £130 for the whole weekend, or £75 per day, either Saturday or Sunday. This price includes attendance at all our workshops, four per day, and a total of eight over the whole weekend, and tea & coffee. It does not include lunch or dinner.

All interested participants are invited to fill in an application form to be considered for this retreat or non-residential attendance.


The First Days of Spring Creative Writing Retreat aims to empower you to build confidence and stamina as a writer whether you are beginning to explore your creative voice, trying to finish a full-length book, or working on short pieces. The retreat nurtures and supports participants while also encouraging you to take part in practical writing exercises. There will be workshops and seminars on Unblocking Creativity, Character Development and Setting in the novel, Narrative Voice and Dialogue, the Personal Essay, Contemporary Short Prose Writing, and Getting Published as well as a Walk & Write in local nature. With a maximum number of 14 participants, there will be ample opportunity to develop community and share work, including a Saturday night reading.

Please contact us if you have any questions: 
Ph: +44 (0) 7391031652
On twitter: @AuroraWriters