Ever dreamt about being a writer

at work in Venice?

Join us for some intense and creative writing

in the historic heart of Venice

Whether you are writing fiction or creative non-fiction, or for film and television, the Venice Writing Retreat will give you something infinitely precious: time out of your busy daily life and responsibilities, and the space to work on your own writing in an inspiring environment, with individual mentoring.

Give yourself the gift of time to develop your own creativity. You’ll be following in the footsteps of writers as diverse as Casanova, Voltaire and Byron, Hemingway, Daphne Du Maurier, Donna Leon and Ian McEwan.

Sign up for one or two weeks – 11 to 26 October 2022

Add an optional week in Croatian Istria

26 October to 2 November

What will the retreat give you?

Well, perhaps it would be best to let some of our participants tell you what they got out of it. Here’s a medley of their comments:

“The retreat was totally fabulous and it exceeded all my expectations,” said one. Another praised the “excellent creative sessions, feedback, encouragement, insight, caring…”

It is true that there is something about Venice and about the alchemy of a group of writers committed to their craft that turns these retreats into what yet another participant called “the experience of a lifetime.”

“Venice was,” yet another participant has said, “a billion times better than anything I could have imagined.”

An added advantage of attending in 2022 is the Venice Biennale. What could be nicer than spending a week or two scribbling, walking and looking at art?

Cost from €1900 sharing

Please email us to book

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How will the retreat work?

Each day will start, after a leisurely Venetian breakfast, with a group talk and discussion, led by All About Writing’s Jo-Anne Richards and Richard Beynon or travel writer and non-fiction specialist Fred de Vries.

You’ll be free to write for the rest of the day either at Ca’ della Corte – or, indeed, 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.

For those who don’t have an existing project, we offer daily creative exercises with feedback, or brainstorming sessions.

In addition, Fred will set an assignment for would-be travel writers and provide mentoring and feedback on the creative results.

The schedule is designed to provide you with the skills, tools and inspiration every writer needs to craft a story.

Ca’ della Corte

 Venetian charm, elegance, comfort and warmth

Ca’ della Corte is a 16th century Venetian palazzo which, while retaining the essential flavour of Venice, has been renovated by its passionate owner, Caterina Pensa, to the highest standards of comfort and refinement. Every air-conditioned bedroom either looks out on its own courtyard, or offers a tantalising  peek into the neighbourhood.

Ca’ della Corte 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 – familiar to all previous Venice retreaters – or the even more vibrant Campo Santa Margarita. And, of course, more restaurants than you can shake a stick at.

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

The schedule is designed to provide you with the skills, tools and inspiration every writer needs to craft a story.

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Who will the retreat benefit?

* 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.

Extend your retreat and add on an optional week in the Istrian countryside

This year we’re thrilled to be able to offer you a further week’s retreat to consolidate the progress you’ve made with your writing project in Venice at Casa Famiglia in Rebici on the Istrian peninsula of Croatia. Join us for a week in Venice and a further week in Istria, just three hours to the north-east. Or go the whole hog, and spend three glorious weeks writing and exploring.

Istria will embed you in a history that stretches back thousands of years, but you’ll be taking up residence in a luxury villa with every mod con.

After the morning workshop, we’ll invite you to write, or book us for one-on-one sessions.

In the afternoon, though, we hope you’ll join us on a series of outings: to a castle built during the heyday of Venice’s empire, a visit that’ll culminate with a tasting of local Istrian wines. To Pula, a stone’s throw from our villa, which boasts the most complete Roman amphitheatre in the world – and a very literary memorial commemorating James Joyce’s visit when dreams of Ulysses were swirling in his mind. To a medieval hilltop village at Labin. To a local olive farm, And to the gorgeous seaside town of Fazana, celebrated for its seafood restaurants and cobbled streets.

The schedule is designed to provide you with the skills, tools and inspiration every writer needs to craft a story.

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Venice one week

  • Seven nights accommodation at Ca’ della Corte in Dorsoduro
  • Daily group writing discussions and readings
  • A daily one-on-one mentoring session with Jo-Anne, Richard or Fred
  • Breakfast every day
  • 4 antipasti buffet lunches: fresh bread, Italian hams, salami and cheeses, olives, salad and Venetian delicacies
  • 2 x dinners prepared by a Venetian chef including wine and soft drinks
  • A complimentary drink every evening
  • Tea and coffee making facilities and a fridge in your room
  • Air conditioning/heating
  • Excellent wifi

Venice two weeks

  • Fifteen nights accommodation at Ca’ della Corte in Dorsoduro
  • Daily group writing discussions and readings
  • A daily one-on-one mentoring session with Jo-Anne, Richard or Fred
  • Breakfast every day
  • 8 antipasti buffet lunches: fresh bread, Italian hams, salami and cheeses, olives, salad and Venetian delicacies
  • 4 x dinners  prepared by a Venetian chef including wine and soft drinks
  • A complimentary drink every evening
  • Tea and coffee making facilities as well as a fridge in your room
  • Air conditioning/heating
  • Excellent wifi

Istria one week

  • Seven nights accommodation at Casa Familgia in Rebići
  • Daily group writing discussions and readings
  • A daily one-on-one mentoring session with Jo-Anne, Richard or Fred
  • Self‐serve buffet: granola, yogurt, toast, fresh fruit from local family farm
  • Daily lunchtime self‐serve buffet: fresh bread, Istrian hams, salami and cheeses, olives, fresh vegetables from local family farm
  • A fully stocked fridge for light meals and snacks at any time
  • 4 x dinners – 3 at Casa Famiglia (one with a Croatian guest chef) and one at a local restaurant all with Istrian wine and beer
  • Outings to Pula, Labin, Fazana, Svetvinčenat including wine and olive oil tastings
  • Transfers from and back to Venice

Keen to devote a week or two to being a writer at work in Venice?

Please fill in the form or email us and we’ll be in touch and will send you further information.

 It was a real breakthrough for me to see more clearly how to shape up my book and find a path through the mass of material I’ve collected and written. It also helped me realize two important things: that I need to take myself more seriously as a writer of creative non-fiction, and take my book seriously as a publishable proposition rather than an enjoyable hobby. – Jane Salvage, Sussex, UK

What I enjoyed the most was spending time with my writing mentor … what a joy it was, stepping into a creative zone with someone of such immense experience and enthusiasm. This was definitely a highlight for me and a privilege to learn so much. – Sandy Webster, Somerset West, South Africa

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 have bottled some of it in a spray bottle to use when we needed to mist back the memories or revel in the feeling of accomplishment or joy of camaraderie. – Katherine Hoehn, Florida, USA

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. – Julien Erwin, Hermanus, South Africa

Thank you Jo-Anne, Richard and Trish.  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! – Gail Gilbride, Hout Bay, South Africa

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. 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. – Angela van Schalkwyk, Paarl, SA

All About Writing will help you realise your dreams

COST: From €1900 sharing

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INSPIRATION AND 

TIME FOR WRITING

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.

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SUPPORTIVE AND

ENCOURAGING MENTORS

Take part in writing practice talks, discussion and creative companionship, and receive individual attention from caring and astute mentors.

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LUXURIOUS AND

HISTORIC VENUE

The intimate palazzo, in a quiet residential area in the heart of Venice, offers an inspiring setting in which to write and from which to explore.

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 TYPICALLY VENETIAN

DELICIOUS MEALS

Enjoy the companionship of fellow writers over two meals a day. Breakfast every day, five lunches and two dinners which will be cooked by a Venetian chef from fresh local ingredients.

Who are we?

All About Writing was founded in 2007 by Jo-Anne Richards and Richard Beynon, 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.

They include creative writing and scriptwriting courses, coaching and mentoring programmes as well as workshops and writing retreats. Our annual retreat in Venice, which we have been running since 2015, is the highlight of our calendar.

Your tutors and mentors on the Venice Writing Retreat will be Jo-Anne Richards, Richard Beynon and Fred de Vries.

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.

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 extensive professional writing experience and decades of teaching experience, you’ll be in very capable hands.

Register your interest in our Venice Writing Retreat by filling your information in here.

Contact Us

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