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
- 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.
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.
In our Tuscan retreats, 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.
In Fez, you will stay and work in one of the city’s most uniquely luxurious Moroccan riad hotels. The Jardin des Biehn has its own hamam, authentically restored so that you can book yourself into a Moorish steam bath after a day of classes, writing and walking. Each writer has their own room and bathroom.
During our retreat we also tour the ancient medina, visit the spice market and meet the local artisans – guided by long term residents and successful expat writers Sandy McCutcheon and Suzanna Clarke.
Our Fez price includes all transport from either Casablanca or Fez airport to Hotel Jardin des Biehn in Fez, as well as five nights and four days of classes, lunch and morning tea, welcome dinner and drinks, all accommodation and a walking/writing tour of Fez plus professional group and individual photos so you don’t forget us too soon.
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
La Dolce Vita Video Filming and Production, Vincent Long: www.vincentlongphotography.com