I was wracking my brains for what to do next after Vietnam when I received a message from a friend I had met whilst living in Pai…
“I’m staying at this fantastic place in Koh Samui, and I know that you’re a writer. It’s perfect for you and I know that you’ll love it!”
Intrigued, I began to enquire more. The place was called The Content Castle, and it offers writers residencies for between one and three months on the island of Koh Samui.
So the deal was, in exchange for writing 10,000 words a week for The Content Castle, you’d get accommodation (your own private room)
be provided with delicious food (two meals per day, six days a week)
and the constructive feedback to grow as a writer. It was pretty much a no-brainer for me!
It sounded like the perfect opportunity because I was utterly fed up of staying in hostel dorms by this point and had been thinking of renting somewhere anyway to get some much needed personal space.
I was lucky enough to have already been working as a freelance writer, but the idea of expanding my portfolio was certainly appealing, and I felt that having someone to edit and critique my work could only be a positive experience.
So after I had a bit of down time revisiting Chiang Mai and Pai, I hopped on a plane and landed in the charming airport of Koh Samui. I jumped in a Songthaew and made my way to Huan Thanon to start my residency up until September.
I had such a wonderful time at The Content Castle, not only because of what I gained in experience but also because I lived with a bunch of awesome people that I just immediately gelled with.
In between writing, we would go on hikes to secret waterfall spots
sunbathe, drink iced tea, and enjoy refreshing salads by the local pool
set up camp on the beach on our days off and played with the beach dogs in the ocean…
and not forgetting our infamous “Frozen Daiquiri Fridays”!
The castle is equipped with fibre-optic broadband, several work spaces, lounge areas and various nooks and crannies.
There’s a well-stocked library to browse
and hammocks to relax on upstairs…
I made friendships and memories there that I will always, always treasure; I learnt a lot about myself as a writer and gained valuable experience to add to my portfolio. Whilst I didn’t reach my original goal (to finish a novel, which I failed at miserably), I did finish a short story which is due to be published in an anthology by the end of this year!
I sincerely hope that more projects like The Content Castle start happening in the world. Somewhere where you can learn and grow, be part of a like-minded community and create something mutually beneficial for all, that isn’t driven 100% by profit and greed like so many things these days are. No gimmick of “give us a mere $3,000 to come and stay and we’ll pretend that we know what we’re talking about and sell you some bullshit product”.
Looking back in hindsight, even though I loved it there, I probably didn’t fully appreciate it for everything that it was, as I was trying to juggle so many personal projects at the same time that I constantly felt “too busy”.
I would whole heartedly recommend a stay at The Content Castle for any creatives out there, for aspiring writers, fledgling freelancers and digital nomads looking for a launching pad!
You can find out more about The Content Castle and how to apply here.