June 2019 Retreat Schedule

June 2019 Program Highlights

(Workshop Times and Topics Subject to Changes)

Sunday June 2, 2019

15:00 Reading Great Literature (For Early Arrivals)
In the Garden

16:00 Special Guest Emiko Davies, author of soon-to-be-released book Tortellini at Midnight will host a chat about her journey as a food writer, photographer, Florence resident, journalist and more. 
In the Garden

18:00 Registration 
In Reception Area

18:30 Welcome Dinner
Included in Registration
Location TBD

Monday June 3, 2019

07:00 Photography Walk with Matthew Ferrara
Meet in Reception Area

08:00 Pitch Your Project
Pitch your book idea to Jeff Kleinman, Literary Agent and get feedback on your project. By appointment. 

09:00 – 09:30 Welcome to the Art of Writing – with Lisa Clifford and Matthew Ferrara

09:30 – 11:00 Get Started, Keep Going with Shelley Weiner 
Why write? Inspiration, impetus, and overcoming resistance. Tenacity and curiosity are the keys – but technique is vital. Lively interactive workshops are designed to bring to life Five Essential Foundations which form the basis for all fiction.

Essential Foundation 1: Character, character, character
It’s the springboard to narrative: the invention of fully rounded characters that will transport us through your story and carry the reader along.

11:00 Coffee and Tea Break

11:30 – 13:00 Narrative and Dialogue with Shelley Weiner
Essential Foundation 2: Hearing your characters talk.
Dialogue is conflict; it’s what characters do to one another and must be pointed, intentional, and relevant. Insightful exercises bring it alive.

13:00 – 15:00 Lunch
Locations nearby Palazzo San Niccolo 

15:00 Unlock Your Creativity with Matthew Ferrara
Spark your creativity with quick word exercises and techniques for building great opening sentences, paragraphs that draw readers into your story and play with words to bring your stories alive.

16:00 – 18:00 Free Time to Write or Meet with your Tutors
Spend the afternoon writing on your own or make a private appointment to discuss your writing with your tutors.

18:00 – 19:00 Conversations with a Literary Agent: Agent 101
Get an insider’s view of the publishing space with a special industry guest, Jeff Kleinman. Learn how to boil your book down to a sentence or two that will not only provide focus for your book, but allow others to talk about it more effectively.  Also learn tips for finding and working with an agent, author/agent agreement terms and what to expect when working with an agent.

Tuesday June 4, 2019

08:00 Pitch Your Project
Pitch your book idea to Jeff Kleinman, Literary Agent and get feedback on your project. By appointment. 

09:30 – 13:00  Writing from a Sense of Place with Lisa Clifford
Take a tour of the San Lorenzo food markets, Ponte Vecchio, Piazza della Signoria and outdoor cafes to develop a writer’s “sense of place.” This session starts in the Salon and becomes a walking tour and writing lesson leading up to lunch at the end. Learn how to add authenticity to your settings and characters, create atmospheres and articulate descriptions that show, not just tell, the sense of a location through its sounds, touch, smells and tastes. (Walking shoes recommended.) 

13:00 – 15:00 Lunch
Many locations nearby 

15:00 Connect the Arts with Matthew Ferrara
Matthew Ferrara connects the dots between the art of writing and photography.  See how a photographer’s techniques for capturing the emotions of a scene can help your efforts to tell a story with words.

16:00 – 18:00 Free Time to Write or Meet with your Tutors
Spend the afternoon writing on your own or make a private appointment to discuss your writing with your tutors.

18:00 – 19:00 Building a Voice that Speaks with a Jeff Kleinman
A nuts-and-bolts dialogue with our resident Literary Agent on how to build a distinctive narrative voice in the literary world.

Wednesday June 5, 2019

08:00 Pitch Your Project
Pitch your book idea to Jeff Kleinman, Literary Agent and get feedback on your project. By appointment. 

9:30 – 11:00 Essential Foundation 3: The Importance of Setting with Shelley Weiner
Characters need a place in which to live out their destiny, but readers often find slabs of description boring. Discover how to filter your setting through your character’s eyes.

11:00 Coffee and Tea Break

11:30 – 13:00 Essential Foundation 4: Narrative Structure, Causality and Time with Shelley Weiner
When a character wants something he or she can’t get, we have a story, one that is set in a place – and in time. That is narrative structure demystified: a chance to explore the seven basic plots and more.

11:30 Coffee and Tea Break

13:00 – 15:00 Lunch
Many locations nearby 

15:00 – 16:00 The Art of Memoirs with Lisa Clifford
Learn how to collect, collate and recount your own story, using examples from her best-selling memoir, The Promise. Explore how to write a good story, what to leave in or cut, and how to transform fragments of memories into great chapters

16:00 – 18:00 Free Time to Write or Meet with your Tutors
Spend the afternoon writing on your own or make a private appointment to discuss your writing with your tutors.

18:00 – 19:00 Create Characters so Real You’ll Be Tempter to Claim Them As Dependents
Our resident literary agent hosts a conversation full of tips on how the best writers create believable, empathetic characters

19:00 Evening Photography Tour with Matthew Ferrara
Capture Florence after dark with this evening tour.

Thursday June 6, 2019

08:00 Pitch Your Project
Pitch your book idea to Jeff Kleinman, Literary Agent and get feedback on your project. By appointment. 

9:30 – 11:00 Essential Foundation: 5: Who tells the story and how? First person? Third person? Past tense or present? The choices that face the writer of fiction, and the advantages – or disadvantages – vividly illustrated.

11:00 Coffee and Tea Break

11:30 – 13:00 Sustaining momentum with Shelley Weiner
Where do we go from here? Tips and techniques to keep the words flowing, to stay on track along the uncertain but exciting pathway that is the writing life

13:00 – 15:00 Lunch
Locations nearby Palazzo San Niccolo

15:00 The Writer’s Platform with Matthew Ferrara
Learn techniques from speaking and writing to help you leverage blogging, interviews, social media and guest authoring to create a tribe, promote your stories and develop a platform to drive a career through writing.

16:00 – 17:00 Turn the Page with Jeff Kleinman
Insights and experience from our resident literary agent on how to create and maintain narrative momentum in your work.

17:00 – 17:30 Retreat Wrap Up with Lisa Clifford and Matthew Ferrara

18:00 Celebration Dinner
Enjoy a traditional Tuscan dinner, share experiences from the week and read your work in this closing celebration dinner together at San Niccolo (included in Registration). 

We recommend booking your accommodation to depart on Friday so you can enjoy the Celebration Dinner the night before with us.

Note: Optional additional photography and food tour workshops may also be offered this day, at an additional fee.    

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