Iceland Writers Retreat — Escape. Learn. Explore. Create.

Iceland Writers Retreat


Reykjavik, Iceland

The retreat is based out of Icelandair Hotel Reykjavik Natura, a recently renovated, modern four-star hotel next to a popular wooded area, just a 20-minute walk from the city centre and five minutes from a geothermal beach. All the workshops and panels will be held here, as well as our opening dinner and two lunches.


  • Develop your writing
  • Explore wild and wonderful Iceland, the land of the sagas
  • Find inspiration and time to write in an unforgettable setting
  • Meet and mingle with famous authors and like-minded writers

We welcome published and aspiring book writers in the fields of both fiction and non-fiction to participate in a series of workshops and panels led by an esteemed team of international writers. The 2014 retreat will be loosely focused on the theme of travel and journeys.

The retreat will be based out of Icelandair Hotel Reykjavik Natura, a recently renovated, modern four-star hotel next to a popular wooded area, just a 20-minute walk from the city centre and five minutes from a geothermal beach.

Between intimate workshops and lectures, we’ll offer the chance to tour the spectacular Golden Circle, sit in the cozy cafes of Reykjavik, soak in geothermal hot springs, listen to new Icelandic music, meet contemporary Icelandic writers, and learn about the country’s rich literary tradition.

Our workshops will be led by published writers from around the world whose works feature a theme of travel or journeys. These include Pulitzer Prize winning author Geraldine Brooks, New Yorker staff writer Susan Orlean, Scotiabank Giller prize winner Joseph Boyden, Ryerson University professor and author Randy Boyagoda, National Geographic’s Digital Nomad Andrew Evans, award-winning memoirist Iain Reid, acclaimed travel writer Sara Wheeler, and Man Booker Prize nominee James Scudamore. We’ll be announcing our Icelandic writers in the coming months.


April 9 – 13, 2014

Other important dates:

July 15, 2013
Registration Opens

January 15, 2014
Early Bird Discount Registration Closes

April 1, 2014
Registration Closes


For more information on the retreat, including an updated list of featured writers, please visit the Iceland Writers Retreat website.

Registration is being handled by Iceland Travel, through their secure site. Click here to book. You will be taken to their travel agency’s secure registration form.


WORKSHOPS: Over the course of the retreat, each participant will be enrolled in a total of five unique writing workshops led by internationally acclaimed authors, in addition to numerous readings and social functions. Some of these sessions may include panels or Q&A discussions; at least four will have a maximum of fifteen to twenty people.

TOURING: We’ve planned an exclusive full-day outing along the famous Golden Circle, with stops at Geyser geothermal fields, Gullfoss waterfall, and the UNESCO-listed Þingvellir National Park (Thingvellir). This uniquely-created tour will be led by and feature several contemporary Icelandic writers. The day will also include a literary lunch and a visit to Iceland’s ancient seat of learning, Skálholt. On two afternoons, we’ll take short cultural excursions: a literary walking tour of Reykjavik led by an Icelandic author and a visit to the former home of Halldór Laxness, who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1955.

TIME TO WRITE: We’ve dedicated blocks of time for writers to focus on writing. Participants can choose to stay in the quiet hotel or wander over to a café in town. We’ll provide a list of the best coffee shops and libraries for writing.

EXCLUSIVE RECEPTIONS: Iceland wants to welcome you. All participants will receive invitations to attend cocktail receptions hosted by local embassies and Icelandic leaders.

MUSIC, FOOD, & MORE: Late night offerings include a chance to hit the streets of Reykjavik to see live music, listen to readings by local writers, and dine at some of Reykjavik’s best eateries.


Registrations received on or before January 15, 2014 are USD $2100 / GBP 1300 based on a single room.**
Registrations received from January 16 onwards are: USD $2300 / GBP 1500 based on a single room.**

**Please note that your credit card will be charged in Icelandic krona at the early bird fee of ISK 261,668. From January 16, 2014 onward the rate increases to 285,668 ISK. The USD and GBP rates are approximate and minor fluctuations due to exchange rate differences can be expected.

Your registration to the retreat includes:

  • Four nights’ bed and breakfast accommodation at the 4-star Icelandair Hotel Reykjavik Natura (with free internet access)
  • Attendance at four small-group workshops with featured authors
  • Attendance at author Q&A panel and other author events
  • Coffee/Tea and refreshments during workshop days
  • Lunches on workshop days
  • Conference program and materials
  • Welcome dinner
  • Literary walking tour of Reykjavík
  • Tour of Gljúfrasteinn, the home of Nobel Prize winning author Halldór Laxness, and reading by Icelandic writer
  • Embassy reception
  • City of Reykjavik welcome reception
  • Exclusively-designed, all-day guided “Golden Circle” tour, with stops at UNESCO-listed Thingvellir National Park, Gullfoss waterfall, geyser geothermal fields, and ancient seat of learning Skálholt. Includes lunch and reading by Icelandic author. Guided by an Icelandic writer.
  • Transportation to all events on the itinerary not held at the hotel
  • New events as added

Prices exclude airfare and airport transfers. (Depending on where you’re travelling from, it should be possible to arrive and depart on the days the retreat begins / ends. Please check the Frequently Asked Questions page for further details.)

Room upgrades and a spouse/partner package are available.

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