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 development
- Structure and drafting
- Memoirs and research; collecting, collating and recounting stories
- Point of view and dialogue
- 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.
Our writers retreats are international. Our past attendees have been from Scotland, England, America, Italy, South Africa 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.
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.
You’ll stay in your own private apartment complete with living room, worktable and Wifi inside and on your own terrace. Some people may like to share their apartment with a friend and that will reduce their cost.
Our price includes transport to Casentino, six nights accommodation, breakfast, lunch, dinner plus morning and afternoon coffee/tea breaks at Borgo a Caiano, as well as all tuition. The Art of Writing also includes an afternoon tour of the local area, 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.
Some comments from past retreats:
‘The quality of the teaching was beyond expectations. All teachers were very generous, drawing from their work/life/constraints etc. without ego, just a love of writing.’ Nicola Simmons
‘Lisa is so encouraging. Her wisdom and commitment is a gift to the course.’ Victoria Hoar
‘This course was an astonishing experience. I can’t recommend it highly enough. Do it!’ Andrea Burns
‘The teachers were very insightful and educated in various parts of the business, from the writing process to getting out there.’ Nsikan Akpan
‘The teaching was excellent, insightful and, I hope, life-changing.’ Diane Dewey
‘The teachers were dedicated, well-prepared and knowledgable.’ Susie Stenmark
‘Loved everything about the week. Fabulous workshops, a great venue and food. The bonus was being around such a fascinating group of very lovely individuals. What a high. Hopefully I’ll come back to another Art of Writing, maybe 2016 when I have a few ‘chapters’, or whatever they are, under my belt.’ Monica Watson-Peck
‘A HUGE thank you for what you have created with The Art Of Writing. Last week had such an impact on all of us, I don’t think anyone anticipated the quality of the teaching and the amount of valuable lessons we would get through in such a short time. You have a fabulous team behind you and all it offered was just amazing and beautifully done.’ Rose Gilder
‘Our workshop was magical. Thank you hardly seems adequate for such a life-changing experience.’ Kate Anders
‘This is a wonderfully tranquil site and conducive to camaraderie and inspiration!’ Anne Patricia Rahman
‘The week exceeded my expectations. Loved it!’ Christine Harris
‘This has been one of the most practical courses I’ve attended for writers – including Oxford, ACFW Phoenix and others. I found what I needed to transition from YA fiction to writing for adult women.’ Elaine Fraser
‘Thank you for a wonderful workshop. I can now say “I am a writer”!’ Judith Morris
‘Fully packed, comprehensive and fun.’ Fred Orr
‘The quality of tutelage was stellar. Each contributed with their own experience and area of expertise. I’m so happy to have kickstarted my writing journey with this course. Thank you for creating an inspiring, creative and safe haven for like-minded people.’ Sasa
‘Everything was absolutely perfect: better than I had expected. Jim, Emma and Lisa were fantastic. I feel I benefited greatly from my week.’ Orna
‘Jim is such a wonderful and inspiring teacher. He is pushing some of the class into unknown territory. The classes have been well constructed and with a clear and definite aim.’ Henrietta
‘Extremely valuable. I learnt so many skills and exercises to develop my writing. I found the one-on-one helpful and inspiring. Now I have a priceless reading list of writers in my genre and style. A mind-expanding week with inspiring creative company.’ Margaret
‘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
‘The choice of lecturers/tutors: fantastic…ALL!’ Susie
‘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, Emma brilliant and Lisa the master conductor.’ Suzanne
Header photography and La Dolce Vita video by Vincent Long.