Retreat Date: 20th - 27th September, 2020

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!

Writing Support

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!

The Workshops

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.

  • Plotting Your Novel: I’ll go through the necessary elements for writing your novel.

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.

What's included:

  • 7 nights accommodation a private room

  • All meals (Breakfast, lunch and dinner prepared by onsite chef)

  • 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

  • Morning meditation

  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

  • Authentic Tuscan dinner at a local Florentine restaurant

  • Aperitifs each evening

  • Airfares and transport not included

Optional extras:

  • 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

  • Onsite Massage

  • Private transfers from Florence Train Station or Airport to the retreat accommodation and back


For examples of the accommodation, visit the Accommodation page. Rooms will be allocated on a first come first serve basis.

Pricing: $3650 AUD (approx $2500 USD) per person

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.