Can I tempt you on our magic carpet ride – to Venice?

 In All About Writing, Jo-Anne Richard's blog, Newsletters

I love being able to do this – it’s like offering you a magic carpet, and transforming you into a Venetian writer, practising your craft in a 16th century palazzo. Now in its eighth year, our Venice Writing Retreat is the highlight of our literary calendar.

For one week or two, you can live and write in what must surely be the most literary, and stimulating, city in the world: from 2 to 16 October, or from 2 to 9, or 9 to 16 October.

We mentors are re-invigorated by Venice each year – not just by its bells, the splash of gondoliers’ oars, the human sounds of a city without cars. We’re inspired, each time, by the writing you bring us, and the chance to help you be the best writer you can be.

For once, you can let someone else to take care of your needs – creative and physical. We provide a stimulating space, discussion, daily walks, and one-on-one time to work on your writing. We feed you two meals a day and evening aperitivo.

Watch the sunrise over Academia bridge, people-watch in a café in Santa Margarita, take a vaporetto across a canal or out to an island. And it’s the year of the Biennale, so art is everywhere, and creativity there for the taking.

It’s pleasurable, but not without purpose.

Our entire focus is to help you achieve what you want from the time you’re with us. Each morning starts with a group discussion/reading session, after which your time is your own – to write, to think, to explore, to dream.

And, every day, you can book your one-on-one time, during which you’ll have the undivided attention of an experienced writer and teacher: myself (Dr Jo-Anne Richards), Richard Beynon, or our resident non-fiction and travel writer, Fred de Vries.

This is your chance to talk about your project. We can offer suggestions and feedback, or help you develop and brainstorm a new idea, whatever you need. If you don’t have a project to work on, we can provide creative exercises and prompts to grow your skills.

Here’s a link to the downloadable brochure. It should come with a warning, though: once you’ve opened it, you won’t be able to resist.

Ca’ della Corte, ‘our’ palazzo, has retained the essential flavour of Venice, but has been renovated by its passionate owner, Caterina Pensa. Every air-conditioned bedroom either looks out on its own courtyard, or offers a peek into the neighbourhood.

It is an easy eight-minute walk from the station, five minutes from Frari and its glorious Titians, while a ten-minute stroll will take you either to Campo San Polo or the even more vibrant Campo Santa Margarita.

But most of all, Ca’ della Corte offers unparalleled opportunities to the writer seeking a serene and inspiring environment.

Fizz, from East Sussex, UK, has joined us three times. Here’s her verdict:

I found the Venice writing retreat an amazingly positive experience. It was beautifully organised and it felt like every little detail had been really well thought out… I couldn’t have imagined working and being alongside kinder, more helpful and creative people. It was just so much fun…

Katherine has joined us twice, from Florida, USA. I’ll leave the last word to her:

It was fantastic.  I enjoyed the people, the place and the opportunities to write. There was freedom from the everyday things that distract us, and there was so much to be amazed and motivated by. If you could just bottle it to use when I need to mist back the memories or revel in the feeling of accomplishment or joy of camaraderie.

Spaces are filling fast and we take a very limited number. Please book soon to be sure of a place.

I’d love you to join us in Venice.

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