Writing workshops as cultural tourism: a case study and discussion on this evolving form of tourism

Document Type

Conference publication

Publication details

Hawryluk, L 2010, 'Writing workshops as cultural tourism: a case study and discussion on this evolving form of tourism', in C Cole, M Freiman & DL Brien (eds), The Strange Bedfellows or Perfect Partners Papers: the refereed proceedings of the 15th conference of the Australasian Association of Writing Programs, Australasian Association of Writing Programs. ISBN: 9780980757330

Article available on Open Access


Cultural tourism is regarded as ‘the movement of persons to cultural attractions away
from their normal place of residence, with the intention to gather new information and
experiences to satisfy their cultural needs’ (Richards, 1996). Writing workshops and
retreats (in both Australia and around the world) are held in such diverse locations
that the very definition of ‘normal’ can be considered irrelevant. From surf writing
camps in Mexico (Sayulita Writers Workshops) to historic houses in England (Arvon
Foundation), the range of experiences available would surely satisfy anyone’s
‘cultural needs’. This paper looks at the evolution of one particular community-based writing workshop over a 5 year period. It examines the growth and development of the
workshops, held annually on an island in Queensland and hosted by the literary
magazine of a regional university. Data will be used to demonstrate and account for
the growth and success of the workshop and this will be used to add weight to a larger discussion regarding the growth of the writing workshop as cultural tourism.
Comparisons and contrasts will be made with other successful workshops held in
Ubud, Bali and Larapinta, Alice Springs to answer these important questions.