Step into Your Power

Nature writing and the menopause revolution


4pm Thursday 1 June to 2pm Sunday 4 June 2023


Anna Selby, Katrina Naomi, Myrtle Cooper, Emma Capper


Dartington Trust, South Devon


Unless otherwise stated, our Short Courses are for adults 18+ years


Residential: £595* | Non Residential: £450 | Deposit: £150**

Bursaries are available – find out more here.

*Residential course fees include all vegetarian meals, field trips, materials and all teaching sessions and includes private, simple accommodation with shared bathroom from supper on the day of your arrival through until the lunchtime before your departure. More info about accommodation can be found below.

**Place a deposit to secure either a residential or non-residential place, with the outstanding balance payable four weeks before the course start date.

About this course

This four-day workshop encourages the use of playful language to explore our feelings about the experience and challenges of perimenopause and menopause and how the transition can change our perspective on life and our sense of ourselves, in positive and negative ways.

My self-confidence comes from the fact that I have discovered my dimensions. It does not behove me to make myself smaller than I am.” Edith Södergran

Myths and silences surrounding female ageing are being demolished, yet menopausal experiences remain largely unwritten and unheard – and the historically negative narrative around this natural yet often destabilising transition affects how we feel about ourselves.

This four-day writing retreat uses nature immersion as a route to creative responses to the menopause. Expect fires in the woods, foraging, forest bathing, poetry readings, creative writing exercises, deep discussion, yoga, meditations, sharing circles and ceremonies on what promises to be a memorable and transformational experience.

It is co-created by writers Anna Selby and Katrina Naomi and naturalist teachers Myrtle Cooper and Emma Capper, who all share a passion for helping women to express themselves and find their literary voice. They are skilled in holding safe and supportive spaces with movement, breathwork, meditation and guided visualisations to draw out your authentic voice, whether you choose to express yourself through poetry, short stories or other forms of prose.

We’ll share experiences of perimenopause and menopause, replenish and reconnect with our elemental selves with water and forest bathing, explore creative responses through a variety of exercises and be introduced to writing that explores how the transition can change our perspective on life and our sense of ourselves.

This workshop is suitable for women in all stages of the menopause (pre, peri, meno and post-menopause) and all levels of writing experience.


“It was exactly the right course at exactly the right time, and I am so grateful to Katrina and Anna for making it so special.”

“I felt very inspired by the experience, I learned a lot about poetry and about my own creative process as a prose writer. I now have more tools to help ignite and refresh my writing, as well as a newfound interest in poetry.”

“There were so many highlights! Katrina and Anna were amazing at helping everyone to connect both with each other and with the creative process. They created an open and positive learning atmosphere and were very generous with their time and talents.”

“The tutors showed wonderful enthusiasm, passion and insight, as well as a deep knowledge of their subjects and a great willingness to share. I also loved the foraging and forest bathing sessions which were enlightening, inspiring and very well done.”


Our courses are part of the wider Learning programme at Dartington, and you will join a community of students on site studying at Schumacher College and Dartington Arts School as well as other short course participants, volunteers and visitors.

While you are here we invite you to take part in our learning community life by attending morning meetings, taking part in activities such as meal preparation and clearing, and evening social events. This is entirely voluntary, but participants tell us that taking part adds to their experience at Dartington.

short course community lunch

further information

The course will include:
· Yoga stretches, meditation and breathwork to get your creativity flowing.
· Creative writing exercises to help you find your voice.
· Storytelling tools to help you tell your own menopause story.
· Creating new narratives within our supportive women’s circle.
· A lot of laughter and a warm sense of community.

typical schedule for short courses

  • Check-in to the room is between 3-3.45pm on the day of arrival. Check-out is 11am on the day of departure, although if travelling by public transport, luggage can be left at the Welcome Centre until the course has completed.
  • Teaching generally begins at 4pm on the first day and ends at 2pm Fridays or 4pm Sunday (whichever is the last day of the course).
  • The daily timetable can start at 9.30am and end around 9.15pm, with free time available at set times throughout the day.
  • For residential participants breakfast is included, followed by a morning gathering and community work groups on weekdays, which are open to all participants and the college community. Non-residential participants can pay extra if they wish to have breakfast on one or more of the days.
  • Lunch for all participants is between 1-2pm and supper is 6.30-7.30pm (both meals are included in the residential and non-residential course fee).

If you have any questions about your course schedule please contact


Anna Selby

Anna Selby

Anna Selby is a poet and naturalist. Her poetry often explores our connection with water and the natural world. She works collaboratively with dancers, choreographers and conservationists, writes poetic-studies of different species in the field, directly from life, often underwater, and aims for these poems to share a sense of compassion and attentiveness to the environment.

Read More

Katrina Naomi

Katrina naomi

Katrina Naomi is the winner of the 2021 Keats-Shelley Prize. Her most recent collection, Wild Persistence, (Seren, 2020), received an Authors’ Foundation award from the Society of Authors. Same But Different, a poetic collaboration with Helen Mort, (Hazel Press, 2021) won the 2022 Saboteur Award for Best Collaboration. Read More

Emma Capper

Emma Capper

Emma is an ANFT certified Nature and forest therapy guide, artist and workshop facilitator with over 25 years of experience delivering workshops in the expressive arts. In 2013 she founded Creative Journeys in Nature, weaving her love of art and nature together to curate workshops and forest therapy walks to connect adults and children with their innate creativity and our natural world.

Read More

Myrtle Cooper

Myrtle Cooper

Wild/edible-plant specialist Myrtle Cooper followed the call to share her plant passion following an MSc at Schumacher college, developing a practice that powerfully connects us back with the land and to our own inner nature through the ancient art of foraging. Featured on BBC One’s River Walks, her work explores sensory techniques to develop deep relationship with plants, taking inspiration and learning from plant lore and communication.

Read More


We recommend that if possible, you stay on-site during your course. All our courses are best experienced holistically: through studying, relaxing, eating and staying with other course participants, volunteers, staff and tutors.

The residential course fee is based on staying in one of our hostel-style single rooms with shared facilities and easy access to your main learning space. They are the perfect base to rest your head, relax and recharge. You can find out more about the rooms here.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included throughout the duration of the course, each made with fresh, locally-sourced produce by our award-winning team.

Accommodation is available at a discounted rate for course attendees, and on a first come, first served basis only. Choose this option by selecting ‘residential’ at checkout.

Your Title Goes Here

Your content goes here. Edit or remove this text inline or in the module Content settings. You can also style every aspect of this content in the module Design settings and even apply custom CSS to this text in the module Advanced settings.

optional: upgrade to a courtyard room

It is also possible, subject to availability, to upgrade your accommodation to a single or double en-suite bedroom in our beautiful and historic courtyard. An upgrade to a single room with en-suite bathroom is an additional £27.25 per night and a double room with en-suite bathroom is an additional £43.60 per night.

If you would like to upgrade, please first book with residential option included, and then contact our Guest Services team on 01803 847121 or email to check availability. Our Guest Services department is open daily, 8am–8pm.

Should you decide to upgrade to our en-suite accommodation, please be aware that this is 20 min walk, or 3 min drive, to the Old Postern site, where some of our courses are held. There is car parking available near to all venues on the estate.


You may like to stay on our beautiful and relaxing campsite, amidst the stunning rolling hills and ancient woodlands of Dartington. Find out more about the campsite here.

Should you decide to stay on the campsite, please be aware that this is 10 min walk, to either Schumacher College or Dartington Hall, where our courses are held. There is car parking available near to all venues on the estate.

Book now

Begin your online booking below. You will receive an e-ticket for this event. You are welcome to email us at with any queries you have. Full Short Course T&Cs can be found here >

If you place a deposit, you will be contacted by us four weeks before the course start date to pay the outstanding balance. You will also be contacted with full details about the course before you arrive.

Please note that in most cases bookings for all our Short Courses close at midday on the Thursday before the course begins. This enables us to give you the best possible course experience and ensures all bookers receive the relevant course materials before they arrive.

Offer: Special rate for Dartington Members

Dartington Members will receive a 10% discount, applied when they log in during the checkout process. For more information about Membership, click here (opens in new tab).

Related Events

View All Art and Craft Courses