Why a residential writing retreat will work wonders for your life stories

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language and yoga holidays/vacations/retreats, Tuscany, Italy.Are week-long writing retreats workshops really worthwhile? After all, it is a large investment but, says Jo Parfitt, who is running two such retreats/workshops at the Watermill this year, on Writing your Life Stories. Jo says: “The luxury of staying on site, eating three meals a day with other writers and learning too is hard to beat.”

Here’s what one of our guests said about Jo’s last course at The Watermill: “I can honestly say it’s been life changing for me and the setting could not have been more perfect.” Another added: Jo was a quite delightful teacher. I found a happy atmosphere permeating the Watermill, and I particularly liked my room.”

Here are Jo’s comments on the advantages of coming on a week-long writing holiday:

  • You will have lessons, time for homework, feedback and even one-to-ones with the teacher as well as free time
  • This can feel like more of a holiday than work and as such many people take learning holidays like this regularly because of the friendships and field trips that are part of the retreat
  • It is no more expensive than many standard ‘hotels with beach and pool’ holidays
  • Such intense learning will pay dividends
  • The camaraderie between guests can be huge fun at the time and lead to lasting friendships.

Jo also makes a checklist for Writing workshops and I’ve put the Watermill answers to her questions in green:

CHECK OUT the quality of the accommodation and the fields trips. The Watermill is a beautifully restored historic building, with lovingly refurbished bedrooms, all with an en suite bathrooms. Trips to Lucca or the Cinque Terre, a castle, a monastery, market day in historic walled town, hilltop village in mountains with gourmet restaurant.

Do you get airport or train station transfers? Yes, you get to Pisa airport and we do the rest!

Is the price inclusive of all accommodation, transfers, field trips, food and drink? Absolutely, from the moment we pick you up to the moment we drop you back at the airport: EVERYTHING is included in the cost of the writing week: tuition, accommodation (including all linen and towels), tours, pre-dinner aperitifs, all meals and wines (including outings to charming local restaurants) and all local transportation (including transfers to Pisa airport and an excursion by train to Lucca).

Do you get any further contact or tuition from the teacher afterwards? Yes, and Jo will tell you how you’ll keep in touch.

Do you lose your deposit if you have to cancel? We are totally transparent about this: A handling charge of £75 per person per week will be levied on all cancellations. In addition, if you have to cancel four to eight weeks before departure, a charge of 40% of the total price is payable; at two to four weeks, 60%; at one to two weeks, 80%; at less than one week, 90%. Once the course has started, 100% is payable. We highly recommend that you take out travel insurance that includes provision for you having to cancel.

Do you have to share a room or is there a hefty single room supplement? All our bedrooms/suites are available for single occupancy. There is no single room supplement. There is a discount if you would like to share. If you would like to come with a non-writing partner, there is also a discount for him or her.

As I said, Jo is tutor for two writing weeks here this year, but her first week with us, from 22-29 September, is now completely full, so ‘by popular demand’, we’ve opened a second course: Her new Write Your Life Stories week will run from Saturday 18 August to Saturday 25 August 2018. We’ve been told that this is an ideal time for many people, such as people who work in schools and universities, who can only take time off in the academic holidays and, of course, anyone who wants to come is welcome. We already have bookings coming in for this new week, so if you would like to join us, please let us know as soon as you can and we’ll make sure you have a place reserved.

Jo’s Write Your Life Story creative writing courses are designed to help you produce your best work, to find your true writer’s ‘voice’ and to write authentically. Among other things, you’ll discover the secret of SPICE, the seven steps to writing life stories, and put this into practice right away.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, sculpting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language and yoga, holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Jo Parfitt has published 31 books herself, has helped more than 100 authors get into print and more than 1,000 people to begin writing. She’s an inspiring, compassionate and encouraging teacher: her motto is ‘sharing what I know to help others to grow’. Jo says: “The course at the watermill will provide a safe haven in which to unlock your creativity, write from your heart and hone your writing craft. It will also help to remove blocks to your writing. Sessions at the mill will empower students to write in a compelling way that makes real experiences come to life.”

Bring your experiences of life to life!

Bring your experiences of life to life!

Jo adds: The class will include several methods and genre and is perfect for anyone wanting to write about their own lives for an effective journal, memoir or blog. If you would enjoy an injection of inspiration in a safe and supportive environment this course is for you. It is appropriate for students of any level.”

Jo plus pic

Jo Parfitt
Write Your Life Stories

18 August to 25 August 2018 Course full AND 22 September to 29 September 2018 

 To learn more about Jo and her course at The Watermill, please click here.

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