Testimonials

The Art of Writing

‘The quality of the teaching was…stellar! The classes were informative and well balanced with lecture, exercises and discussion.  I liked that each instructor had a different approach and style. The topics covered a wide range and I took away things I’d never thought of before. The handouts and writing prompts were very helpful and I kept all my notes so I can refer to them in the future to assist my writing. I was always disappointed when the classes had to end and wished there was more time allotted after the morning break to extend them. I especially like the class about setting as character, and the class on the inciting incident.’

— Wanda Bevan, California

‘Excellent – Martyn was interesting, receptive, knowledgeable, humorous, informative. Loved the sessions with Martyn & Lisa. Beautiful surroundings – great place to write – outstanding company. The food was good and varied. 

— Kate Anders, California, USA

‘Excellent. I learnt so much!’

— Jennifer Mitchell, USA

‘Excellent! Lisa, you really are a good teacher and Martyn was a fantastic addition. Engaging, knowledgeable, funny. Too many memories to list, but for me, walking away with new confidence in my writing and friendships are key. I thought all the info on agents and publishers was SO helpful.’

— Christine Harris, California, USA

‘Excellent. I’ll always remember the fun and laughter within the group.’

— Danielle Astin, Dorset, UK

‘First class and it exceeded my expectations. Martyn is a gifted teacher and I have come away with so much to think about and try out. The camaraderie among this amazing group of complete strangers: So much laughter, conversation and support – the likes of which I’ve never before experienced. The food was delicious!! Every meal was a lovely surprise and Umbretta & Roberto & their staff clearly prepare & serve it with love.’

— Carrie Cox, Perth, Australia

‘Just a small and very overdue note to say how very much I loved the retreat. Always I think with things like this it is good to detach from any anticipated outcome in order to be open to what might be offered. In fact it was wonderful in every possible respect – from the content delivered by you and Conrad and the support of Morag and Penny to the absolutely wonderful group of people that has to include participants, partners and friends and the wonderful Roberto and Ombretta. I guess we might also say after the course that that place was also a character. I learned a huge amount and all of it valuable and I have made some wonderfully close friends too and had many conversations with them since being home. For you, I think it must be a huge amount of work and responsibility. Maybe almost too much sometimes, but it is something quite unique. Such a course here in Australia would have been much more narrow. Probably only Australians. Highly likely more would have come with friends and that often narrows opportunities to mix and speak freely. All I would have liked to be added would have been 5 more days!! Thank you so much and I look forward to reading your newest book. Hope you have time for it quite soon.’

— Di

Bestselling author Lisa Clifford teaching Writing From a Sense of Place

‘I’ll always remember Lisa’s cluster board. It’s the light bulb moment and I find it enormously helpful the moment I utilise this prompt. It opens up with so much possibilities and steer me in much more dimensions and directions than I had before… Conrad provided tools to open up emotion to give/highlight individual characteristics of personalities to my story which I overlooked before. Morag was most encouraging. She gave valuable advice on presentation and layout of stories… I have benefited so much. Now, I have guidelines and tools to work with. Not only would I recommend friends, I can’t wait to enrol on the next course.’

— Betty Lee, Sydney, Australia

‘Thank you so much for an amazing opportunity! I’ve loved it!’

— Rachel Weissenstein, Houston, USA

‘Thank you so much. My experience exceeded my expectations — a rare experience these days.’
— Shirley Fletcher, Lake Cathie, Australia

The Art of Writing June 2016 with Conrad Williams

‘Superb. Brilliant. Encouraging. Motivating.’

— Michelle McNiff, USA

‘I enjoyed the variety. And I feel that the instructors were very generous and open with their methods and suggestions… It was also a great experience to be in an intimate and friendly setting with other writers. Inspiring!’

— Donna Stadler, California, USA

‘Excellent and the camaraderie among participants was great and the sharing was generous. Wonderful combination of relaxation, inspiration and rejuvenation. I’ll always remember the wonderful feeling when people gave encouragement about my My Italian Destiny.

— Lynn Kirkland, New Zealand

‘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

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The Art of Writing June 2015

‘The teaching was excellent, insightful and, I hope, life-changing.’
Diane Dewey

‘The teachers were dedicated, well-prepared and knowledgable.’
Susie Stenmark

Lisa Clifford teaching Writing from a Sense of Place
Lisa Clifford teaching Writing from a Sense of Place workshop

‘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

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The Art of Writing Write Dynamic Dialogue Workshop

‘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

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Conrad Williams and Dr. Fred Orr discuss

‘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

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The Art of Writing Private Writing and Individual Sessions

‘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

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The Art of Writing group enjoying lunch in the gazebo

‘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

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The Art of Writing Write that Synopsis workshop

‘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

‘Thank you for a wonderful workshop. I can now say “I am a writer”!’
— Judith Morris

‘Fully packed, comprehensive and fun.’
— Fred Orr

‘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

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