Do you ever wonder how people who write the "Best Writing Retreats of..." posts get their information? Who are they to decide which retreat is better than another one?

I'll admit that when I see a "best writing retreats of…" list, my first reaction is being thrilled for the writing retreat hosts because it means more writers will discover their retreats and push forward with their writing and publishing goals. And that is something I'm 100% in favor of.

But, I also think these lists do a disservice to the many writing retreats that weren't added to a "best of" list. People look at reviews, referrals, and recommendation lists to help them make decisions.

By calling a list “best of,” writers – especially those unfamiliar with retreats - may think if a retreat isn’t on this list it isn’t worth looking into.

If you take into account the sheer number of writers, types of writers, their current needs, their genres, experience level, financial capacity, ability to get away, etc, it’s obvious that no one could possibly narrow down the 10, 20, or even 50 best writing retreats.

A writing retreat that's perfect for me might get a hard pass from another writer.

The “best” writing retreat is one that:
✏ fits a writer’s current needs.
✏ offers the workshops they're looking for.
✏ has instructors that fit their style.
✏ has the right mix of free writing time and activities for them.
✏ fits their budget.
✏ is in a timeframe they can commit to.
✏ is in a location that suits how they work best.

If you’re writing a “best of” list for writing retreats, stop and think if it wouldn’t be doing writers a better service to give your post a heading like “20 Writing Retreats in 2024.”

What do you think of those "Best Writing Retreats" lists?

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