The Tutors

 Noelle Harrison


Noelle Harrison is a fiction writer and extensively published author. Her novels and short stories have been translated and published in thirteen different countries. She has taught creative writing in Ireland, UK & Norway for both adults, teenagers and children in schools, and for organisations such as The Inkwell Writers Group in Dublin, Meath County Council in Ireland, The Big Smoke Writers’ Factory in Dublin, and Litteraturhuset in Bergen, Norway. Noelle has a Masters in Creative Writing with Distinction & an Associate Fellowship in Higher Education both attained at Edinburgh Napier University. She has lived and written in Ireland, Italy, Norway, and Scotland, and brings an array of cross-cultural skills to our retreats. Noelle’s most recent novels The Gravity of Love was published by Black and White Publishing in May 2018, and The Island Girls and The Boatman’s Wife were both published by Bookouture in April 2020 and January 2021. Her forthcoming novel The Girl From Across the Sea will be published by Bookouture in November 2021.

Noelle is also a qualified Yoga Teacher specialising in Yin, Restorative, and Menopause Yoga as well as Journaling. You can check out her weekly classes on

Noelle has been reading Tarot Cards for over 35 years. She runs workshops in how to read Tarot intuitively and how to use Tarot Cards as storytelling tools, as well as offering private readings. To find out more about Tarot offerings go here. 

Check out Noelle’s website to read more about her writing & books here.

You can follow Noelle on Instagram@noelle.harrison5

Twitter: @NoelleHarrison Facebook: @NoelleCBHarrison

Sandra Ireland


Sandra Ireland was born in Yorkshire, grew up in Northumberland and lived for many years in the Irish Republic before relocating to Scotland in 1995.Returning to education as a mature student, she gained a First-Class Honours degree in English and Creative Writing at the University of Dundee in 2013. While there, she was awarded a Carnegie-Cameron Scholarship to study for an MLitt in Writing Practice and Study, graduating with a Distinction the following year.
She is currently an associate creative writing tutor at the University of Dundee and teaches leisure courses as part of the Lifelong Learning programme. From 2017-20, she was Chief Judge of the Edinburgh International Flash Fiction Awards and has been invited to adjudicate writing competitions for the Scottish Association of Writers and various writing groups. She facilitates workshops and retreats for writers on a freelance basis, and has a special interest in writing for wellbeing.

Her poetry has appeared in various publications, such as New Writing ScotlandSeagate III and ‘Furies’, published by For Book’s Sake. She won the Scottish Association of Writers’ Dorothy Dunbar Rose Bowl for Poetry in 2017 and 2018.

Sandra is the author of three psychological thrillers, all published by Polygon. Beneath the Skin (2016), shortlisted for the Saltire Society First Book Award, 2017; Bone Deep (2018), also published in the USA, Germany and India and The Unmaking of Ellie Rook, released last year. Sight Unseen, the first book in her new Sarah Sutherland series is out now.

She is represented by Jenny Brown, of Jenny Brown Associates. In addition to her novels, she has written a non-fiction work Grist: The Life, Lore and Landscape of the Scottish Watermill which is currently out on submission.

She has a particular interest in folklore and its relevance to current issues and concerns.

Check out Sandra’s website to know more about her writing and books here.

Follow Sandra on Twitter @22_ireland and on instagram @sireland22

Melody Nixon


Melody Nixon is a nonfiction writer, editor, and writing teacher with an MFA from Columbia University, wide essay publication, and experience editing two US literary journals. She has taught writing at Columbia University; the Hudson Valley Writers’ Center; the New York Writers’ Coalition; Litteraturhuset, Bergen, Norway; Akademie Schloss Solitude, Germany; and Writers in Stuttgart, Germany. She has attended eight writing residencies across Europe and the US, and draws on this experience in formulating the First Days of Spring retreat.


Both Noelle and Melody have worked together to develop a retreat method that combines concrete instruction, drawing on their years of teaching and writing experience, with support of and respect for participants’ individual creative processes. Rather than relying on workshop critiques, we aim to work with writers to identify areas in their prose that need improvement while nurturing creative intent and building confidence.


Lizzie McGhee


Lizzie believes her purpose is sharing the tools of yoga which bring her balance, peace and spiritual curiosity. She is passionate about yoga philosophy, the ways in which yoga can bring you deeper into your intuition and grow awareness of your inner balance of yin and yang. To Lizzie, yoga is a practice of grounding and acceptance, of feeling at home in your own skin, as well as a practice of growth; of gaining perspective and exploring our spiritual selves. She specialises in Yin Yoga and Myofascial Release as well enjoying a passion for essential oils. Music is Lizzie’s life force and she brings this into the practice, sharing her voice and message through soothing lullaby.




Caroline’s first experience of yoga was in the late nineties and she has had a regular practice ever since that initial yoga weekend. Although trained in Hatha Yoga, she incorporates her love of Iyengar alongside Restorative and Yin into her classes.

‘Yoga helps me cope with the everyday wear and tear of life as a mother of three boys and everything else that is thrown at me. Yoga has become interwoven with my life, whether it’s taking  a moment to breathe whilst parenting or my daily practice which may include one or all of the elements of yoga: asana, pranayama, meditation and philosophy. I enjoy the acceptance of myself, in that moment, on my yoga mat and the serenity it brings. We are all unique and so it is important to encourage our bodies into shapes that feel right for us in that present moment, rather than predefined poses.’

You can read more about Caroline on:

Follow her on instagram on: @theyogacrow

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.


Vanessa 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 of Edinburgh 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.


Vanessa & Noelle February 2018

Both Noelle & Vanessa have worked together to devise a transitional  programme of mental inspiration and creative restoration through the balancing practice of yoga and stretching writing exercises. Our very special Imbolc retreat will weave together elements of yoga and writing practice, so that once you have found your breath, you can give that same breath voice.

Becky Sweeney


Becky Sweeney is a Scottish writer who has lived in Edinburgh for the past eight years. Having recently completed an MA in Creative Writing at Edinburgh Napier university with distinction, she is currently working on her first novel. Becky has nine years of experience privately tutoring English.

Ashley Stein 


Ashley Stein is a writer, musician, poet and activist from Edinburgh. As a songwriter, she plays bass and sings lead vocals in local feminist punk band, Fistymuffs. Their raw lyrics directly discuss tough subjects like abusive relationships and working class issues both past and present. Their debut EP, About Time, was released last year and is still receiving attention from music critics, radio stations and more recently the BBC.

As an activist, Ashley has been involved in fostering Edinburgh’s feminist music scene by running gigs for queer musicians, running workshops on the industry for new artists, and co-founding DAREFest; a one day event focused on helping women break in to the music industry. She is also involved in the Young Women Lead programme which sees 30 young women work with the Scottish Parliament to change policy on issues that matter to them and their peers.

Ashley has a BA Honours in Music Business, is in the final year of an MA in Creative Writing at Edinburgh Napier University, and regularly writes and performs poetry around the city.