The Art of Writing offers morning lectures on writing, individual coaching sessions in the afternoon and guest speakers in the evening.
Our aim is to nurture you, your writing skills and your project. We want to inspire you to write more and teach you how to improve, without feeling intimidated.
Be it a novel you hope to see published, help with a story that’s stalled, an idea that you need time to dream about, even a blog that you want to improve; this retreat is about refining your skills.
Morning workshops discuss:
- Writing from a sense of place
- Character and place
- Structure and drafting
- Memoirs and research; collecting, collating and recounting stories
- Point of view and dialogue
- Evening workshops combine discussion and lectures from guest speakers that specialise in blogging and internet presence.
Afternoon and Evening Skype sessions with literary agents in the US and Australia, as well as publishers in London discuss contracts, foreign rights, the life of copyright and the global market. US agents discuss the biggest holes in the manuscripts they receive.
We also explore the constantly changing world of E-books and self-publishing and what could be the best indie route for you.
This is an international writers retreat. Our past attendees have been from Scotland, England, America and Australia. Our Italian, German and French attendees must have an excellent grasp of English and can write in whatever language they prefer.
Depending on your personal goals, Lisa Clifford will guide you on where to publish and how.
Tuscan cocktail hour is shared every evening before dinner with your fellow attendees and visiting authors. There is also time for relaxation by the swimming pool and for walks in our woods.
We generally like to limit classes to 15. There are 11 apartments so that everyone has their own private room, kitchen and living room complete with worktable and Wifi inside and on their own terrace. Some people may like to share their apartment with a friend and that will reduce their cost.
Our prices include transport to Casentino, six nights accommodation, breakfast, lunch, dinner plus morning and afternoon coffee/tea breaks, as well as all tuition at Borgo a Caiano. The Art of Writing also includes an afternoon tour of Casentino, a unique and undiscovered part of Tuscany. We’ll finish at Lorenzo Cipriani’s farm where you’ll make ricotta and pecorino before tasting Tuscany’s cheeses and salame.
Please be aware that the Art of Writing is not a vacation during which there’ll be time for retail therapy trips down to Florence.
We hope you will make arrangements to stay on in Florence and Tuscany for sight-seeing and shopping before or after the retreat – for advice on things to do in Florence, check out www.beyondtheyalladog.com
Some comments from our 2013 retreat:
‘Your generosity, careful planning and attention to everyone created a cocoon for us. I’ve felt comfortable, challenged and have had time to write in picturesque solitude. There’s nothing I can think of to make these memorable days better.’ Anne Jones.
‘The choice of lecturers/tutors: fantastic…ALL!’ Susie Russell.
‘So enjoyed: the overall structure of the retreat, particularly the combination of workshops and writing time; numerous tutors available for chats and consultation; positive relationships between these tutors which set a joyful, supportive and creative tone for the group; setting and accommodation. Jim is a champion, Anne Fraser brilliant and Lisa the master conductor.’ Suzanne Daniel.
Header photography by Vincent Long www.vincentlong.com