For the Love of Writing

Write for One Person

By Matthew Ferrara As writers, we often approach our stories by thinking about our audience. What do we want our readers to feel, to see, to experience through our tales? We get excited about taking them on a journey where they laugh, cry, get a little scared and hopefully love the ending. So we write, write, write in the hopes that we’ll get everyone there ...
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Your novel from the inside out…

I am beyond excited to announce that acclaimed novelist, writer and journalist Shelley Weiner will be our creative writing teacher for our June 2019 retreat in Florence. We couldn't be more thrilled to have her expert guidance on how to unlock creativity and cultivate the novel within. In her own words, here is her goal for our June 2019 retreat. When I started out as ...
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When an acquisitions editor gets a gut feeling from a manuscript in her slush pile.

Talking to Martha Ashby, UK HarperCollins' Editorial Director, about the first time she picked up Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. How did Martha Ashby know? When she fished this year’s UK Number One Seller, Gail Honeyman's Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, from the slush pile? How did she know that out of dozens of manuscripts on her desk, this story would trump them all? ‘It ...
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The writing classes we can’t do without in our 2019 writer’s retreat.

Starting your book? How can you keep it going? How is your narrative and dialogue? Your sense of place? How much does your first line matter? How important are your first five pages? These are all questions I’ve been mulling over – for YOU! What are the most important writing classes to cover over five nights and four days during our Florence retreat next June? ...
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Start a daily writing habit.

There has to be a way to get some words down. Not more words, just some words. It’s summer in Florence. August, the month when no one works. Though that’s no excuse. Still, all the Florentines have left for the beach or the mountains. Florence is full of hot tourists trying to find their way to the Duomo. Temperatures are up to 40 degrees. My ...
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How to fall back in love with writing.

It's all too easy to feel burned out from writing when we're struggling with deadlines and battling with an incomplete manuscript. The love of writing can so easily transform into a daily effort to get words on paper, where we wrestle with our muse and our creativity. It's not easy rekindling your love for creating when the very thought of writing exhausts you, and you ...
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Landing that dream publishing deal.

What a publishing deal! I haven’t yet written about my interview with one of our Art of Writing writers who recently received a publishing deal that has ‘sent ripples through the publishing world.’ Started five years ago on one of our retreats, this book has garnered a 6 figure advance in the USA and Australia. To read her reaction to this deal is more than ...
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Why can’t it be you?

One of the strongest emotions I had towards the end of our magical June Art of Writing retreat in Florence this year was: Why can’t it be you? Publishers and agents are constantly scouting for new talent. They want the next wonderful book. Why can’t that book be yours? Publishers want your work. They need you, the writer. We often think agents and traditional publishers ...
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On writing, publishing, and falling in love with your own characters.

For this week's blog, I had the pleasure of speaking with the wonderful Jan Wallace Dickinson, author of the newly published The Sweet Hills of Florence. Here is what she has to say about characters, writing, and becoming an author. How was the idea for your book planted? Possibly even when I was child, listening to my parents talk. But later when I studied the ...
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Developing Your Platform

Last week Matthew Ferrara talked about connecting the art of writing with the art of photography, which he will be teaching in much greater detail in his Art of Writing 'Connect the Arts' lecture in June. Matthew is also an absolute leader in teaching writers how to connect to their readers online. For this week's Blog, let us concentrate on his class on 'Developing Your ...
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How Photography Can Help Improve Your Writing

Look through your lens before picking up your pen. In Matthew Ferrara’s words, here’s how he uses photography to help flesh out characters and scene setting, and to jumpstart his creativity when he’s feeling stuck. His class on how to Connect the Arts will be at 16:30 on June 5! As a writer, one of the most important things we do is “set a scene.” ...
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How to create interesting characters, Part 2.

Continuing our look at character building, here is the second part of my series on how to create interesting characters. These two paragraphs were written by Martyn Bedford, our 2017 Art of Writing teacher. It’s wonderful advice. It’s important that your character develops in the course of the story. By the end they should be different (either practically or emotionally) than they were at the ...
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The key to creating interesting characters.

Last year I grew as a writer. All thanks to Martyn Bedford. This special, kind and giving English gentleman walked me through some marvelous moments in character building and on creating interesting characters. Martyn Bedford was our main teacher at the Art of Writing last June. His teaching techniques were sublime. Not only do we LOVE Martyn’s books, we also love that he is a ...
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But I Don’t Know Where to Start!

Writers often ask me where they should start their story. They have the idea in their heads. Scenes, thoughts or characters whirl in their imaginations. That’s where you should start writing. With whatever it is that is tugging at your mind. This point is clearer, in an old Blog post recently found by a reader: Start with a fragment. John then sent a series of ...
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