No need for a work-in-progress we will start from scratch. The week is all about the creative spark, exploring the impulse to write and getting our writing muscles primed. You may be an absolute beginner or someone who needs to fall in love with writing again. We will do a lot of creativity exercises and produce vignettes and short pieces of writing that will culminate in a short story, essay or extract that can kick start a longer project.
We use a holistic approach to tying the fun and charm of being in rural France or on the Med in Spain to our goals of awakening your creative nature and getting your conscious mind out of the way so you can write.
You’ll go on guided sensory walks, picnics, trips to farmer’s markets and other sites where you’ll continue to explore with a writer’s eyes, ears, nose, mouth and hands.
Throughout this process we’ll read, listen and discuss examples of writers successfully bringing together those elements. We’ll talk about why we write, the things that get in the way, how to get around them and where we'd like to go with our writing. We’ll cheer each other on and give each other helpful suggestions.
You will have time each day to write with the support and feedback of your course leader. You’ll also get lots of individual feedback and suggestions for next steps.
As past participants will tell you, something special happens here and it truly becomes a creative cocoon where you can relax and explore your writing. This has a great deal to do with our limited course size of never more than six and the fact that we tailor the course to each participant, offering an individual holistic approach that meets you where you are and pushes you to the next level. Once you book we ask you about your writing experience and what you hope to get out of your time with us. Then we do everything we can to help you make that happen. Wayne Milstead and all our visiting writers-in-residence have extensive experience coaching writers of all skill levels and working with a variety of groups and individuals to cultivate creativity and storytelling.
What Will I leave with? The confidence to put pen to paper and play with words. You will learn to block out your internal editor/naysayer and let words work on you. You will heighten your powers of observation, your openness and ability to see connections between things. You’ll develop an understanding of the building blocks of the creative spark of writing, such as metaphor, description, sound, memory, place, and imagination that will allow you to internalize and use them organically. You will develop a comfort level with words and ideas that will demystify the process and drive you to explore further when you return home. You will also leave with at least one small polished piece of writing that can used as a building block to a longer piece, developed further, or simply give you the confidence to keep writing. Past attendees always left with far more writing than they thought they would.
Advance submission of writing? None. This course focuses on the creative spark. We’ll produce small pieces of writing together while you’re here. We will send you a questionnaire you can use to let us know what you’re interested in and what you’d like to get out of the course.
Course Length, Costs and Booking: This course runs Wednesday-Sunday (4 nights). Your stay can be extended to a full week with a retreat top-up. See Dates and Costs for all details and booking information.
Begins in Pictures
Writers reap rewards from the cookery school
A river walk to explore and engage the senses
Circle of Misse in the Spring
A sensory exercise in the Misse garden
Misse Wildflower Meadow
Enjoying an early spring lunch al fresco