Ireland Screenwriting Retreat

October 9-15, 2016 – Connemara, County Galway

Booking Closed

Are you a screenwriter in need of inspiration?

Join Bill Boyle, award-winning screenwriter and master of visual storytelling, on a writing adventure that will resonate in your heart forever.

Do you want to make writing your screenplay a joy instead of a chore?

Do you want your script to stand out so it doesn’t get lost in the pile?

Would it be a dream for you to write in a place that shaped some of the world’s most notable writers?

Are you feeling burned out and in need of inspiration?

Then this is the retreat for you!

Imagine yourself sitting by a peat fire in a cozy corner of an historic Irish country house as you craft the bones of your newest script.

Maybe you nurse a cup of hot tea and enjoy some traditional Irish soda bread as you write.

Or maybe you shamelessly quaff a pint of the freshest Guinness you’ve ever tasted. You take a moment away from your writing to savor the brew and watch creamy lace slide down the side of the glass.

Ah, this is living, you think.​

Imagine studying screenwriting in the library of this house – the meeting place of artist and poet brothers Jack and William Butler Yeats and Oscar Wilde’s tutor, John Pentland Mahaffy.

How perfect would it be to live in this country house that was once owned by Oliver St. John Gogarty, the poet who inspired the character Buck Mulligan of James Joyce’s “Ulysses”?

This is where William Butler Yeats and his bride spent their honeymoon.

This is where Winston Churchill stayed on his holidays.

This is where we’ll live during our Ireland Screenwriting Retreat.

The Screenwriting Program

We’ll have an intimate group of 6-10 screenwriters only.

Bill Boyle will hold daily classes on screenwriting, except on the day we go to Sligo (more about that later).

Bill will meet with you one-on-one to coach you on your script.

We have exclusive use of the Renvyle House Hotel library for our classes and writing time. Of course, you can work on your script anywhere inside and outside of this lovely hotel.

Pat Speight, one of Ireland’s best-known storytellers, will join us for a storytelling workshop.

You’ll have lots of time to write and enjoy the historic Renvyle House Hotel on the shores of the Wild Atlantic Way.

What will I learn?

Bill Boyle will teach you how to create a powerful, visual narrative that will engage the interest and imagination of your readers.

​You’ll learn how to

  • Use narrative pacing and descriptives​
  • Establish atmosphere
  • Capture the pulse of screenplay dialogue​
  • ​Creative vivid, engaging characters

Day Tour to Sligo

We’ll take a mid-week break on our own private shuttle to County Sligo.

Heading north along the Connemara Loop to Leenane, we’ll visit Killary Harbour, Ireland’s only fjord.

After a photo stop, we’ll continue north to the charming town of Westport in County Mayo for a quick stop, then on to Sligo and Broc House, the setting of our Yeats Poetry Lunch.

A Yeats Poetry Lunch to Inspire

The enchanting Broc House is set on a hill overlooking Lough Gill, the location of William Butler Yeats’ poem, The Lake Isle of Innisfree.

Broc House is the private home of Damien Brennan, renowned Yeats expert and former senior executive with Failte Ireland (Irish Tourism Authority), and his wife, acclaimed chef Paula Gilvarry.

Damien and Paula combine their passion for fine food, entertaining and the poetry, culture, and heritage of Sligo into a wonderful afternoon. Paula sources the best of local and organic produce that she serves with skill and verve. Damien introduces the Sligo area, the views from the windows and then blends all into the relevance and meaning of the best loved Yeats poetry.

Yeats Experience

A Tour of William Butler Yeats Highlights

After lunch, Damien will guide us on a tour of Yeats highlights to Glencar Waterfall, Drumcliffe and Rosses Point.

Glencar Waterfall is mentioned in Yeats’ poem The Stolen Child, considered to be one of his more notable early poems.

Drumcliffe is Yeats’ final resting place, set against the backdrop of the Benbulben Mountains. Found in the churchyard, his grave is marked with a simple headstone with the inscription, “Cast a cold Eye on Life, on Death. Horseman pass by.” – A passage from one of his poems.

Rosses Point is where Yeats and his brother, Jack, spent their summer holidays.

As a resident of the hotel, you will have complimentary use of all the leisure facilities on the grounds of the hotel.

  • Shore angling on a private ocean beach at the back door​
  • Freshwater lake fly-fishing on a private lake at the front door
  • Tennis courts​
  • Swimming pool
  • ​Par 3 golf course
  • Private ocean beach
  • ​Boating, canoeing and plenty more


Your retreat package includes 6 nights’ accommodations at the historic Renvyle House Hotel, situated in the wild splendor of Connemara on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean.

Imagine waking up in your room and seeing the sun rising over the mountains and sea to the east.

Imagine writing in the hotel and looking out the window to see the sun setting over the islands and sea to the west.

At Renvyle House Hotel, these are views of regular and exceptional beauty.

The hotel is located on 150 acres which include a private lake, a 9-hole golf course, a beach, woodlands, gardens and numerous activities on site.

It’s an award winning hotel for hospitality over the years with a warm welcome for every guest, scrumptious food and comfortable bedrooms.

Your Room

At Renvyle House Hotel, almost every room enjoys spectacular views of the mountains, the Atlantic Ocean and the islands beyond.

The rooms for our Ireland Screenwriting Retreat are single occupancy and are en suite with bath and shower, remote control TV, direct dial telephone and are well appointed and comfortable.

The restful color schemes reflect the beautiful surroundings and cater to your every need.​ Some of the bedrooms still have turf fires.

Award-Winning Dining

Renvyle House Head Chef Tim O’Sullivan is an award-winning chef who has been with the hotel for over 20 years and has previously won the Best Chef in Connacht at the National Food & Wine Awards.

The hotel restaurant features a wide range of Irish and Continental cuisine. Irish beef, Connemara lamb and game dishes feature alongside seafood dishes using fresh fish caught daily off the Connemara shores. The extensive wine list offers wines from the best European vineyards and “New World” wines.

The ambiance is relaxed with open fires, friendly efficient service
and all complemented by Count John McCormack’s concert Steinway.

The History of Renvyle House

​Over the centuries, Renvyle House has been built, pulled down, rebuilt and rebuilt once again. At one time, it was the home of poet, Statesman and surgeon Oliver St. John Gogarty (Buck Mulligan of James Joyce’s “Ulysses”). During his time, Renvyle House was the meeting place for poets, writers and artists. Regular guests included Lady Lavery, John Pentland Mahaffy, Oscar Wilde’s tutor, and artist and poet brothers Jack and William Butler Yeats.

When Yeats was on his honeymoon he came to stay with us at Renvyle, a lovely sea-grey house in Connemara on the edge of the Atlantic at the extreme edge of Europe.

Oliver St. John Gogarty

poet and former owner of Renvyle House

That was in 1917. Prior to that, this sea-grey house had a turbulent and troubled history, dating back to the days of the Pirate Queen, Grace O’Malley, in the 16th century. It’s believed that she lived in Renvyle Castle, the remains of which are just a short distance away. Cromwell ordered the castle to be demolished in the mid-17th century and a house was built on the site of the present Renvyle House shortly afterwards.

Since becoming a country house hotel in 1883, Renvyle House has played host to many famous people – Augustus John, Lady Gregory, W.B. Yeats and Winston Churchill, among them.

Retreat Schedule

Sunday, October 9
2:00 pm Check-in begins at Renvyle House
5:00 pm Welcome Drink and Orientation
Monday, October 10-Friday, October 14
Screenwriting Program and Activities

Saturday, October 15
12:00 pm Check out of Renvyle House


  • Be with people who get you
  • Write in a nurturing, supportive environment
  • Energize your writing and find inspiration
  • Have time to breathe and renew
  • Experience the charm of Irish culture
  • Enjoy Ireland’s most stunning scenery
  • Have fun!

What’s Included

  • Screenwriting program with Bill Boyle
  • Storytelling workshop with Pat Speight
  • 6 nights’ accommodations at Renvyle House Hotel
  • All meals during the retreat
  • Day tour to County Sligo
  • ​Yeats poetry lunch and Yeats tour
  • Welcome drink

What’s Not Included

  • Flights
  • RT airport transfers to Renvyle House
  • Tips, souvenirs, and other items not listed in the inclusions above

There are affordable options for travel from Dublin to Renvyle House. After booking, we will help group members find the best option for getting to the hotel.


Bill Boyle

Bill Boyle is an award winning screenwriter who has become one of the most popular script consultants in the industry. Creative Screenwriting Magazine rated him among the top 10% of screenwriting consultants. He lectures at universities and film schools throughout the United States and Canada, has taught at UCLA Extensions in Los Angeles and is quickly gaining a worldwide following, with clients in North America, Australia, Germany, the United Kingdom and Ireland. Bill is the lead proponent of a visual style of screenwriting called “The Visual Mindscape of the Screenplay” and has sold or optioned every screenplay he’s written. He attributes much of his success to the Visual Mindscape method of screenwriting.


As film is first and foremost a visual medium does it not make sense that the screenplay which is the spine, heart and soul of the film also be a visual experience? – Bill Boyle

Diana Osberg

Diana Osberg is the owner and founder of Mia Terra Retreats. She produces extraordinary retreats to inspire writers, artists and creative souls. Diana is a screenwriter and has worked in the entertainment industry for over 30 years in production, creative development and administration. Diana is a world-traveler, or as she likes to put it, a “world citizen,” and loves to go on unusual adventures. She has helmed a 165 meter barque off anchor and into the Strait of Gibraltar under the command of the ship’s captain. She has sailed as crew on tall ships in New Zealand, Spain and the Canary Islands, participated in an English immersion program with Spanish business people in Spain, and tracked Mustangs in the wilds of the Nevada mountains on horseback. She has kissed the Blarney Stone in Ireland, but did not get the gift of the gab. She’ll have to kiss it again, I guess.

Bill’s workshops were not only immensely helpful, but inspiring as well. He always gives generously of his vast experience, talent, and insight. Every meeting with Bill further inspires my passion for this craft. He’s changed the way I look at screenwriting.

Lois Simmie

“Stealing Grandpa”

Renvyle House Hotel