The Not-Quite-Venice Writing Retreat replaces our 2020 Venice Writing Retreat which we cancelled due to Covid-19

Join our virtual writing retreat designed to help you launch or accelerate your writing project.  

It’s an intensive ten days devoted to taking your writing project further, with us to hold your hand and offer whatever help, guidance, and advice you need. 

You can expect our (almost) undivided attention on your writing project, whatever that might be. You will have constant access to our advice, expertise, experience, ideas, and encouragement.  

What you will bring is the desire to focus on your project. It could be an on-going project you wish to fast-track, a piece of writing which has stalled, or the merest idea you hope to develop.  

 We will provide whatever you need for the most productive and creative ten days of the year. We can help with brainstorming and development, give constructive feedback, lend an ear to your writing difficulties, or offer helpful advice on how to overcome problems.  

All of this will be supplemented by evening workshops, discussions, readings and the chance to share ideas and experiences with like-minded souls.  

The Not-Quite-Venice Retreat

Date: 4 – 13 September



Beginning on the evening of Friday, 4 September, and running until Sunday 13 September, the All About Writing team of Jo-Anne Richards, Richard Beynon and Fred de Vries will generate a creative environment within which, and among your fellow writers, we believe you’ll be able to do your best work.  

We’ll start on Friday evening by sharing briefly our writing projects and our goals for the retreat over a zoom glass of wine (or a glass of Venetian Campari or Aperol spritz if possible!). 

We’ll be available every day to discuss your stories, your problems, and your progress. If you’d like detailed feedback on your writing, we can provide that at suitable intervals (we need time to read what you’ve written and to make our notes!) You can bombard us with questions that require quick answers through the online group. We can help brainstorm story or scene ideas, or help you construct characters, or work out the dynamics of your beginnings – or your endings. 

Every evening we’ll provide a different creative experience. In some, we’ll simply discuss issues that we’ve spotted in your work, take questions, and more generally chew the literary fat. On another, we might look at ways in which books have been adapted for the screen. On yet another, we might simply invite you to entertain the rest of us with readings from your works in progress. 

In short, we’re there to provide you with both encouragement and a critical eye. 

Our feedback, as always, will be encouraging and stimulating, and our criticism constructive. Our watchword, now and forever, is to be honest but kind! 

You will determine your level of participation. If you’re free of the restrictions of a day job, or if your day job is sufficiently flexible to allow it, we urge you to take up our Premium Retreat Package which will entitle you to ten hours of our time devoted to you and your work. In addition, you’ll have full access to all of our evening creative events.

If you have less time at your disposal, but still want to throw yourself into your writing project, then our Lean and Muscular Retreat Package will suit you. It entitles you to five hours of our time, together with access to all of our evening events. 

The virtual Not-Quite-Venice Writing Retreat is no ordinary bootcamp. It’ll help you achieve a number of things vital to your writing. It’ll:

  • help you identify snags in your work in progress
  • give you confidence that you’re on the right track
  • encourage you to share solutions with other writers
  • help you develop story and take your project forward
  • act as a giant accelerant to your writing, giving your story the oxygen it craves


Premium Writing Retreat Package: £600 / ZAR10200  

Lean and Muscular Writing Retreat Package: £400 / ZAR6950  

Add on hours if needed: £50 / ZAR850 

What exactly is the Not-Quite-Venice Writing Retreat? 

 It’s an intensive ten days devoted to taking your writing project further, with us to hold your hand and offer whatever help, guidance, and advice you need. Every day, our experience, expertise and ideas will be entirely at your disposal.    

Who should do it? 

Anyone who wishes to develop an idea for a writing project, start writing, get moving again, keep writing, or who wants develop writing confidence with on-going help, advice and feedback 

What you get: 

  • Five or ten hours to use either for detailed feedback on your writing or for one-on-one Zoom sessions, or both. These Zoom sessions can be used for intensive discussion of a piece of writing, to solve problems, ask questions, seek advice or to brainstorm ideas.  
  • These hours can be topped up if you need more individual time. 
  • 10 group evening sessions (18:00 to 19:00 UK time / 19:00 to 20:00 South African time), which will either focus on aspects of writing, provoke discussion, or encourage readings and group input.  
  • Constant access: between our commitments to other participants, we’ll answer questions and provide advice as needed.    


All About Writing was founded in 2007 by two writing professionals who are passionate about writing.  We’ve devised our courses to help communicate that passion – plus the skills that make it all much more than an academic exercise – to others with a similar calling.

Internationally published novelist, Jo-Anne Richards, has published five books and has a PhD in Creative Writing. Her first novel, The Innocence of Roast Chicken, was originally published by Headline Review in the UK, and has recently been rereleased as one of the prestigious Picador Africa Classics collection.

Scriptwriter, Richard Beynon, has had a long and accomplished career in the film and television industry. He has conceived, shaped and written scores of documentaries, has written over a thousand scripts, and has led numerous storytelling teams in devising story for many of the country’s most popular soaps.

With their combined professional writing experience of over 80 years and decades of teaching experience, you’ll be in very capable hands.


I have been a student of Allaboutwriting since 2012, first on the “Intro” course, then the “Creative Writing Course”, and then I progressed to the “Mentoring Course”. Jo-Anne and Richard have taught me the skills needed to write, and in the process we have built up a relationship that I now cannot do without, as I attempt the 3rd draft of my first book.

Frankie Francis, Windhoek

Do you dream about writing a novel? Or perhaps a screenplay? The story of your life? Do you just need a bit of a push, some practical support, the company of  writers? Take a look at what Allaboutwriting has to offer. Richard and Jo-Anne are brilliant at what they do. These guys write, that’s the day job, and have been doing so for years. Whatever you need they can help. I can vouch for it. It just takes the click of a finger to start down the writing road.

Margaret Renn, London

Since I completed the Online Creative Writing course, I have experienced actual growth in my writing. I still refer to the modules when reviewing my writing. Jo-Anne and Richard are absolutely wonderful and delightful. They are patient, considerate and their feedback was always on point. Their feedback was insightful. I would highly recommend this course.

Florence Onyanga, Nairobi

Please email us if you have any questions.

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