Retreat Date: Dates for this retreat in 2020 will be released to newsletter subscribers in mid-2019.
Enjoy the space to be inspired.
Your Beautiful Writing Life retreats offer you the time and space to listen to what you need in terms of balancing writing time, of which there is plenty of space for, with things like sightseeing or pampering. There's plenty of downtime factored into our time together if that's what you prefer. And for those of you needing or craving a bit more support, that will be available too.
A typical retreat day looks like this:
The below serves as an example only. If you prefer to skip a workshop and/or writing block and spend the morning sightseeing or reading a book, no problem!
7:30am Enjoy breakfast at your own pace. Enjoy a typical Italian breakfast of sweet pastries (yes, that's correct!) like brioche, croissants or cream filled doughnuts and coffee/tea, or cereal and toast with orange juice and/or seasonal fruit. Prefer free range eggs? No problem, we'll ensure you have them. The villa has a fully equipped kitchen to allow you the freedom to prepare yourself a cooked breakfast if you wish.
8:30am Meditation on the lawn (optional)
9:00am Morning Writing Workshop (as per schedule outlined in the Retreat Program) or jump straight into writing or sightseeing.
10:00am - 12:00pm Writing Block
12:00 - 2:30pm Lunch and free time. Go sightseeing into Florence, have a swim in the pool, or retreat indoors for a siesta. Prefer to keep writing? No problem. Stay in and let the words flow. Note: In Italy, many shops close after lunch for the riposo, or rest period, and re-open in the early afternoon.
2:30pm - 5:00pm Writing Block
6:00pm Regroup by the poolside for our evening aperitif (optional)
8:30pm Dinner at a local restaurant in the city centre (plenty of options) or use the villa's cooking facilities to share a meal at home with your retreat companions. Food and cooking is such a big part of the Italian culture, it's the way companionship is formed, and it's how life is celebrated, so be sure to be ready to show off your signature recipes! I make wonderful lasagna!
Your Beautiful Writing Life is all about you. The aim of these retreats is to provide you with a highly individualised experience, tailored to your specific needs as a writer. Workshops and activities are completely optional. You may participate in as much or as little of the program as you like. This is your time. Enjoy!
Personalised Feedback on Your Work
Each retreat attendee will have the chance to submit up to 10 manuscript pages for written and oral feedback. Your pages will be critiqued by me before the beginning of the retreat. I will then set aside some time during our time away where I will be available for one:ones to discuss your work in a personalised feedback session. Again, this is optional!
In addition to personalised feedback I'll also be running a session on pitching and querying. You can also expect informal discussions around aspects of writing craft, and these topics will be determined once I have an idea of what members of the group need.
Drawing on my training as a Life Coach, my workshops will also focus on helping writers get into the right mindset when it comes to approaching their writing. I love helping writers tap into their creativity and bring their words to the page by learning to trust themselves and work with their self-doubt. We'll be practicing meditation each morning, and you'll also learn to add this to your writer's toolkit as a wonderful resource to help you clear your head and get into writing mode.
During our time away, I'll be offering the following workshops:
A group coaching session to help you define your writing goals or tap into what needs improvement or more attention in your creative life.
Tapping Into Your Creativity, Trusting Yourself, & Working With Self-Doubt: This workshop covers a range of techniques for overcoming writer's block and how to find inspiration when you're feeling a little lost.
Path to Publication: I'll share tips and information on querying agents and submitting to publishers.
One:one individual coaching session once you return home to ensure you stay on track and feel supported.
Writing craft topics I'm passionate about sharing also include: Hooking your reader with your first five pages, crafting emotional scenes, bringing setting to life, and coming up with a great hook for your story, social media for authors.
7 nights accommodation a private room
Workshops and coaching sessions as outlined in the Retreat Program
Feedback on your writing and one on one time with Vanessa
Traditional onsite pasta making workshop
Welcome Tuscan "grigliata" (BBQ) dinner
Authentic Tuscan dinner at a local Florentine restaurant
Poolside aperitifs each evening
Airfares not included
Breakfast foods will consist of the following: brioche, cereal, toast, yoghurt, seasonal fruit, and/or coffee or tea.
A variety of ingredients will be provided to make nutritious lunches to fuel afternoon creativity.
All the ingredients for dinner will also be provided. Enjoy preparing and eating a meal with the rest of the group, or if you are keen to keep writing, you are free to make your own meal when it suits you. The choice is yours. Of course if you would prefer to take yourself off to a local restaurant or café at any time, you are welcome to do so. This retreat is all about you!
Tea, coffee and snacks will also be provided at no extra cost.
Onsite Watercolour Painting Art Class
Day trip to Siena, San Gimignano & Pisa
Chianti tour with Wine Tasting and Tuscan Dinner
Guided Tour of the Uffizi Gallery
For images of each room, visit the Accommodation page. Rooms will be allocated on a first come first serve basis. You can specify your preferred room choice when making a reservation request.
Payment Terms: $1000 deposit due on acceptance of booking. Final balance due 45 days prior to retreat commencement. Payment for Australian attendees can be made by bank deposit. Please note that international credit card payments incur a 2.9% processing fee.
Retreat prices are in Australian dollars and are based on the following accommodation options:
// THE ROSE ROOM: Double bedroom with terrace (Sleeps 1)
This light and airy room offers with wooden beam ceilings, offers privacy and comfort. There's a lovely marble writing desk (pictured above) and a sunny south facing terrace which offers views of olive trees, the villa gardens and green hills in the distance.
// THE BOTTICELLI ROOM: Double bedroom (Sleeps 1)
A master bedroom due to its size, the Botticelli Room is named after the print of the Allegory of Spring (pictured) of which the original can be seen in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. This room boasts an incredible antique writing desk from the 1800's, welcome to be used with care. There is also a wall-to-wall wardrobe in this room.
// THE LA LUCE ROOM: Interconnecting bedroom with double bed (Sleeps 1)
In Italian, la luce means, "the light" and this room offers plenty of it. This room is the only room with two light entry points: a private south facing terrace that looks down over the courtyard, and a north facing window. There is a chest of drawers in this room. This bedroom interconnects with the San Palo room (described below) and access to and from the San Palo room is made from the hallway via this bedroom.
// THE SAN PALO ROOM: Interconnecting bedroom with double bed (Sleeps 1)
This bedroom with a delicate vibe, consists of a double bed and interconnects with La Luce bedroom. Access to and from the hallway and bathroom is via the La Luce bedroom. With a window facing the rising sun with a rural eastern view over to San Palo in Chianti. There is one writing desk in this bedroom.
/ THE FIRENZE ROOM: Double bedroom (Sleeps 1)
Located on the ground floor of the villa, this room is spacious, with a door that leads out to the alfresco area. The bathroom is shared with that of the Toscana Room.
/ THE TOSCANA ROOM: Double bedroom (Sleeps 1)
Located on the ground floor of the villa, this room is comfortable and compact.