Each day will start, after a leisurely Venetian breakfast, with a group talk and discussion,
led by novelist Jo-Anne Richards and story consultant and scriptwriter Richard Beynon or travel writer and non-fiction specialist Fred de Vries.
You’ll be free to write for the rest of the day in the palazzo, or in any inspiring corner of Venice that you choose.
Each writer will have a daily one-on-one mentoring session with Richard, Jo-Anne or Fred.
To those who don’t have an existing project, we offer daily creative exercises with feedback, or brainstorming sessions.
The schedule is designed to provide you with the skills, tools and inspiration every writer needs to craft a story.
In addition, Fred will lead a group of intrepid would-be travel writers on a day-long expedition to a mystery destination, and provide mentoring and feedback on the creative results.
You may simply need the time to indulge your creative self … Or, you have a writing project and relish the thought of seven full days with nothing to worry about but the words on your page.
Take part in writing practice talks, discussion and creative companionship, and receive individual attention from caring and astute mentors.
The historic palazzo, in a quiet residential area in the heart of Venice, offers an inspiring setting in which to write and from which to explore.
Enjoy the companionship of fellow writers over two meals a day created by a local chef from fresh ingredients bought daily at the Rialto Market.
I thought the retreat was totally fabulous and it exceeded all my expectations. The venue was magnificent, allowing participants a huge amount of space in which to “operate” so that we could be private and meet at common venues. Venice is a beautiful city and afforded a veritable feast of things to see and do when we were not busy scribbling away.
It was a wonderful indulgence to be able to step away from everyday responsibilities and to be simply a writer for six full days. All I had to do was think about the words I had written and to make my manuscript as good as it could be. The Palazzo Albrizzi’s beautiful, romantic setting was a wonderful backdrop in which to settle down each day to write. I enjoyed the companionship and catching up with other writers and aspirant writers, first thing in the morning around the big table for breakfast, then again at lunch, and on our first and last nights for dinner.
Thank you Jo-Anne, Richard and Trish for creating the space at Riccardo’s magnificent Palazzo Albrizzi. Your organisational skills, as well as all your excellent creative sessions, feedback, encouragement, insight, caring… simply astonishing. Magic is happening here and your writers look to you, hoping that this is the start of an annual tradition!
Palazzo Albrizzi is an historic building located in San Polo, near the Rialto Bridge. It was built at the end of the seventeenth century by a noble Venetian family, and has remained in the family since then. Not far from the Grand Canal, it commands its own small square in the quiet of a lovely neighbourhood.
The Palazzo is actually a very large luxurious apartment which occupies the Piano Nobile (the most significant floor) of the four-story family palazzo.
The most striking feature of this imposing apartment is its enormous Gallery/Grand Hall, which runs almost the full length of the apartment. It has well-regarded museum quality paintings on its walls, very tall windows and a wooden ceiling.
The palazzo is elegant and luminous. There is wonderful antique furniture throughout, significant artwork, and family heirlooms. Important frescoes in the sitting rooms and dining room by Hayez and Borsato (who worked at La Fenice) have been recently restored. Several rooms have silk-covered walls. The library walls are covered in original mahogany cupboards for books.
From the tall windows of the apartment there are views of gardens and rooftops of Venice. These views can also be enjoyed from a large terrace with lovely plantings, tables and chairs. Several rooms have fireplaces. The family regularly uses this apartment, so guests will enjoy the feeling of an exclusive and magnificent Venetian home.
Anybody who has longed for the time to exercise their creativity in a warm and supportive environment.
Experienced writers who need the space to write, with the benefit of another creative eye.
Beginner writers who want to try their hand at writing, with daily support and mentoring.
Anyone with a vague idea for a project, who needs to try it out, brainstorm or discuss it with experts.
And finally, those of us whose daily life has been leached of creativity or romance – and possibly both.
The palazzo itself has six bedrooms and accommodates eight people (or ten depending on the configuration). There are two (and possibly three) additional sumptuous two-bedroomed apartments in the building, which we can occupy if we need them. In total there is accommodation for up to sixteen people in:
Participants are welcome to bring a non-writing partner with them. We will limit the number of writers on the retreat to twelve.
Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, All About Writing was founded 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.
Your tutors and mentors on the Venice Writing Retreat will be J0-Anne Richards, Richard Beynon and Fred de Vries.
Having lived in various parts of Africa since 1985, Fred de Vries is an experienced traveller and travel writer. He has worked as a foreign editor and foreign correspondent for European newspapers and magazines and has six non-fiction books to his name. He is currently working on a book about America’s Deep South.
With their combined professional writing experience of over 100 years and decades of teaching experience, you’ll be in very capable hands.