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The Moth Retreat for Artists and Writers

Included in ‘The 8 Best Writing Retreat That Won't Break the Bank’ Electric Literature

‘For anyone looking for somewhere soothing to complete (or indeed start) their magnum opus; somewhere that is rustic but cosy, pared-back but comfortable, and full of eclectic touches, witty and warm; this could be the spot.’ Irish Times

‘Whatever the medium, it’s a good place for a solitary retreat.’ Sunday Times Culture

‘If you need a place to clear your mind, assemble ideas and create I can't recommend The Moth Retreat highly enough! Sublimely quiet, inspirational setting and the owners are amongst the nicest people I've ever met!
Jo Withers

‘Everything about the retreat is inspiring.’ Carla Manfredino, writer

‘It is simply the most wonderful creative experience to immerse oneself in The Moth.’ Ken Farrell, musician

‘At the Moth Retreat I found the absolute peace I needed to immerse myself in my novel-in-progress. It is a thoroughly nourishing environment, created by the friendly but discreet support of the hosts, Becky and Will, the homely accommodation, beautiful lakeside setting and the endlessly entertaining scurry of a flock of hens in the garden. I look forward to a return visit!’ Aisling Maguire, writer

‘The Moth Retreat was exactly what I was looking for. A converted barn all to myself, fresh veg from the garden and a daily delivery of eggs. Beautiful countryside on the doorstep. I managed about a month’s worth of writing condensed into one inspired week. Perfect.’ Susan Allott, writer

‘The atmosphere was very welcoming and the surroundings are beautiful.’ Marie Farrington, artist

You can read about the retreat in the Homes & Property section of the Irish Times 

And you can read about the area in this article in the Guardian: ‘Ireland’s border country: walking the line and in love with the landscape’

About The Moth Retreat

The Moth Retreat features a large studio/living area and kitchen/breakfast room downstairs, and a separate brush room, and a bedroom and bathroom upstairs. 

The accommodation is warm and inviting and a keen eye has been kept on William Morris’s golden rule: ‘Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.’ 

There is a wood-burning stove, and bed linen and towels are provided. You will also have access to Wi-Fi. There is an easel in the living area/studio downstairs, and a writing desk upstairs, and a bicycle is provided (though the publishers of The Moth, Rebecca O’Connor and Will Govan, will be on hand should you need to purchase provisions for your stay or a lift from or to the bus station in Cavan Town).

The Moth Retreat is situated along a beautiful country lane in Ireland (3 kilometres from the local village of Milltown and 19 kilometres from Cavan Town) and surrounded by some of the county’s famed 365 lakes. We have two dogs, several hens, one rooster and two mules (very quiet), just so you know. Just a few kilometres away is Drumlane Abbey, founded by Saint Colmcille in the sixth century. The county also hosts the source of the River Shannon and has its own Burren, with numerous geological sites recognised by UNESCO.   

Gulliver’s Travels
was reputedly penned while Jonathan Swift was on holidays in Cavan. Gulliver is said to be based on a local giant of a man by the name of John Doughty, who was so strong he could carry a pony on his shoulders.

The novelist and poet Dermot Healy grew up in Cavan Town (his wonderful autobiography A Bend for Home is set here).

Samuel Beckett went to school in Enniskillen, just a half an hour northwest of here.

The homeplaces of such literary giants as Seamus Heaney, Patrick Kavanagh and John McGahern are all within an hour’s drive, or you can strike out west towards Yeats Country.

Cavan is a central point between Dublin, Belfast, Donegal, Galway and Sligo. It is located on the N3 and is less than two hours from Dublin. There is a daily bus service from Dublin Airport to Cavan Town.

How to Apply

 Accommodation is €400 a week and is self-catered. A minimum stay of 1 week is required, and a maximum stay of 2 weeks. The accommodation is specifically for artists (including musicians) and writers. There is a supplementary fee of €100 a week if you wish to bring a partner or friend.  

If you are interested in booking accommodation please email willgovan@themothmagazine.com for an application form.  

The Moth Retreat Bursary

Cavan County Council Arts Office invites emerging artists and writers (working towards first solo show or book publication) from anywhere in the world to apply for a week-long residency at The Moth Retreat.

Applicants must send samples of their work. If you are a writer, two short stories, six poems or the first three chapters of a novel will suffice. If you are an artist, please send up to 10 high quality images of your work. A 200-word biography and a 200-word statement about your work and how you would benefit from staying at The Moth should accompany your application. 

Please apply in writing to enquiries@themothmagazine.com before 31 January 2020