• Chantel Matthews

Morning Pages - Te Kopua Writing Retreat

Updated: Apr 7

Te Kopua Retreat 2021

"My stay at Te Kopua retreat was just what I needed. I felt safe and nourished by the resources provided by the generosity and calmness of the land. I was able to be still and focused when writing and thinking about my project. The conversation was guiding, eye opening and kind. I want to be back already. I felt myself easily absorbing my surroundings. A suggestion I could make is to have some group writing exercises during the writing blocks that enables people to riff off each other's brain power" - Sophie

"This retreat was a much needed getaway from the city and from feeling stagnant at home. The facility was awesome and provided everything we needed (except wifi, but it was relaxing to not have the Internet as a crutch to pass the time). The location was beautiful and I loved being able to just sit on the deck to look out to sea and just ponder, create and write.The company was probably the most beneficial part of the retreat, to be around fellow creatives to have conversations and reflections with proved to be the most valuable takeaway for me. I would happlily be a part a similar experience in the future" - Erich Roebeck

"It was a really fabulous experience. Thank you.

Highlights: Walking along the beach. Swims. The amazing food. Lane's visit, her insight and support. Things that worked really well: Goal setting when we started, check ins in the evenings. Bringing our own crockery and cutlery and washing our own. Marae style sleeping arrangements. Eating together outdoors. A general itinerary, but lots of flexibility during set writing hours (many things are writing beyond producing text). Things that could be improved upon: I loved the yoga, but the 7am start was a bit much, and definitely way too cold, despite all my layers I was cold to my bones and spent most of the day trying to warm up which was a bit distracting for writing" - Makyla

"The spot for the retreat was simply amazing. Right next to the water, it felt like a perfect opportunity to reset and reconnect with the elements and clear my mind from the hustle and bustle of city life. The accommodation was really nice and had a somewhat nostalgic feel to it. It was nice to all sleep in the same room, it gave me a feeling of unity and togetherness. I loved your tea/coffee station setup, and all the food was delicious! The itinerary was helpful and provided structure to the weekend but I also enjoyed having the freedom to pop out for a swim or a walk. It made the writing component of the retreat feel less regimented and institutionalised like back at uni. The only troubles I faced were very minor (first world problems 🙂). My battery on my computer is poor and so I had to sit inside and write (when the weather was so amazing) to be connected to a power source. Next time I'd bring an extension cable or something of the sort so I can sit outside. Might just be something to suggest people bring on the equipment list next time? Other than that, I just found it hard to concentrate and write when some people were having conversations. This wasn't a major issue as I just moved to a quieter spot often inside, but perhaps next time we could have silent areas and social areas? Or time periods of silence just to write? Just something to consider perhaps?" - Hugo

"Thank you for taking such good care of us over the weekend. The retreat was fabulously organised - with a perfect balance of work and play, group engagement and self-directed time. Being in nature was lovely and taking a dip in the water was a great way to destress" - Rhea

"Te Kopua retreat was a generative, safe and special environment in which to write and reflect. The kai was wonderful (a rare experience for a lactose-intolerant vegetarian) and we were made to feel comfortable, relaxed and at home as manuhiri. I enjoyed having a structure in place while the invitation to listen to our own needs remained open. Early morning yoga turned out to be a lovely thought most likely dreamed up in summer..! Layne’s ability to offer something comforting or useful to everyone was a real gift. My warmest thanks to Chantel, Angeline, Eva, Te Ataiorongo, the awa and the whenua" - Emily