‘Virtual’ is fine, but for better life story writing, you must try the real thing…

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.

We have just completed a highly successful free online ‘writing your life story’ session with our renowned writing tutor Jo Parfitt (above).

Using her concept of the Life Story Jar, Jo led some 20 participants through the fundamentals of writing about your life in a way that really has impact. Jo and the Watermill offered this free session to our friends as part of our contribution to help people get through these difficult ‘lockdown’ times.

Our participants were inspired: “A great session; Jo’s tutorial was excellent,” said one of them. Another added: “How clearly Jo manages to put across her ideas.” And a third said: “It was wonderful to be with a group of enthusiasts once more and be prompted to pick up that lazy pen…”

Lois, who was host for the session, helped participants to share some of their work, which Jo considers a particularly important part of the learning process.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.
Dare to Share

You can see a video of the session by clicking here, but for reasons of privacy we have had to edit out the sharing section.

But as life gets back to normal, you will know that, however helpful ‘virtual events’ are, they can’t beat the real thing, a week-long creative writing course with Jo at the Watermill. We had to postpone Jo’s Writing Your Life Stories course this year, but it will be running again next summer. It will run from Saturday 14 August to Saturday 21 August 2021, and for more details, please click here.

Many of this year’s participants have already transferred to Jo’s 2021 course, but we still have a few places.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.
A collage of conversation on Jo’s last course,compiled by Sue Reed.

Jo Parfitt’s Writing Your Life Stories courses at the Watermill have provided some of the most inspiring and creative weeks in our calendar, with dozens of people learning new writing skills to help them capture the stories of their lives.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.

This creative writing course is 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 making them leap off the page You learn how to:

  • Let it flow
  • Write about childhood
  • Write about people
  • Write about places
  • Write on a theme
  • Write humour
  • Write complete stories, with beginnings, middles and ends

 Jo says: “You will be empowered to write in a compelling way, bringing your experiences to life.”

As one of our previous guests said: “It is a very special and beautiful place and everything was organised so perfectly. Jo is a great tutor and we all had an amazing time.” Another said: “It was a great week: “Beautiful setting, perfect weather, delicious food and some super outings, who could ask for anything more — and I did quite a bit of writing!”

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.
Laughter on the vine verandah

Above are some members of Jo Parfitt’s writing group last year sharing snippets from their lives One of the group, Sue Reed, tells us: “The vine verandah has been the perfect place to gather to write and share our stories. Last night we all shared a funny story, and the laughter rang out. My life feels so much richer for having met and shared stories with these wonderful people.”

Of course, there’s not only laughter, but tears, too, as members of the group share emotional experiences from their lives, but in the secure and sympathetic surroundings of the Watermill, this sharing can become life-enhancing. As 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”. And there’s more laughter than tears, with the warm camaraderie of like-minded people

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.
A writing group on the steps of the castle at Verrucola, where go to lunch on Mondays

So, come and add spice to your life stories and learn the secrets of compelling writing, when Jo returns next year. To recap, her Write Your Life Stories course will run from Saturday 14 August to Saturday 21 August 2021. We already have seven people booked into Jo’s course, so we only have room for four or five more. For more details, please click here.

***The Watermill is renowned for its inspiring teaching, its beautiful setting, its delicious food and wine, and its warm and welcoming hospitality. We are also Cool and Green! All the bedrooms and public rooms have air conditioning, powered by our hidden array of photovoltaic panels, harnessing the sun’s energy to makes us self-sufficient in electricity generation.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.

Jo Parfitt is an author, journalist, teacher, blogger, conference speaker and poet. She has published 32 books herself, has helped more than 100 authors into print and more than 1,000 people to begin writing. Jo’s a compassionate, inspiring, and encouraging teacher: her motto is ‘sharing what I know to help others to grow’.

 The workshop will include several methods and genres 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.

Everything is included in the cost of your holiday at the watermill: tuition, accommodation (including all linen and towels), 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 or the Cinque Terre). You get to Pisa, Italy, we do the rest!

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.
Finding a quiet corner to start writing your life’s stories

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