EARLY BIRD PRICES CLOSE THIS WEEK!

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Just a quick reminder that early bird prices for my upcoming retreat in the mountains west of Brisbane close soon.

This special retreat for women is a great introduction if you’re a new writer wanting to test the waters. This retreat has a memoir/life writing focus but is also suitable for those writing fiction.

Come and Relax and Write in the Mountains. Renew your love of writing and life and make new writing buddies to share the adventure.

A whole weekend of writing, yoga, food and fun in a peaceful location.

Join our community of kind, creative women.

Stay in comfortable, rustic accomodation with plenty of space and quiet writing nooks and time to write.

Time for you at last!

RETREAT INCLUDES

4 Writing workshops

2 Yoga sessions

All meals and accomodation included.

ALL FOR ONLY $360! If you miss the cut off date-  $400.

Pay your $200 deposit now to secure your place.

Editorial feedback and massages also available at extra cost.

HURRY! BOOK NOW! Returning retreaters have nabbed lots of spots. Only 5 places still available. 

Numbers are capped to make sure everyone gets the attention they deserve.

Contact me for more details.

Hope you can come! We always have a wonderful time 🙂

Lots of love

Edwina

 

UPCOMING EVENTS: 2020 REGIONAL TOUR of QLD. YIPPEE!

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I’m super excited to announce that through February and March (with more planned for later in the year) I’ll be travelling around my home state of Queensland running workshops for people who suffered abuse in institutional care, as part of my work at Lotus Place. This wonderful project is organised and funded by the Truth, Healing and Reconciliation Taskforce and Micah Projects. If you identify with having been abused in institutional care you are most welcome to attend. Please just ring Lotus Place first to get in touch and confirm your attendance. I’d love to help you get those stories out of your head and onto the page.

While I’m on tour I’ll also be holding some Bjelke Blues events – all free and open to everyone. So do come along and say hi.

While I’m in Cairns I’ll also be running a Life Writing Workshop in partnership with Cairns Tropical Writers and QWC is hosting a Memoir workshop in Esk. So if you live out woop-woop (as we like to say here) please come along and get writing!

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THE HEALING POWER OF STORY WORKSHOP.

MONDAY FEBRUARY 3rd 10 am – 3:30 pm at Bundaberg Regional Library

This is a Lotus Place/ Micah Project – strictly only for participants who have experienced abuse in an institutional setting, out of home care included. It is free for participants and funded by the Truth, Healing and Reconciliation Taskforce and Micah Projects.

People wanting to come along should ring Lotus Place on 3347 8500 to check eligibility.

Bjelke Blues AUTHOR TALK

TUESDAY February 4th 10 – 11 am

Bundaberg Regional Library

ALL WELCOME! FREE! But book your spot here

TOWNSVILLE

Bjelke Blues AUTHOR TALK

SUNDAY February 9th 10:30 – 11:30 am

MARY WHO Bookstore. 414 Flinders St, Townsville QLD 4810

FREE but please phone MARY WHO to book  (07) 4771 3824

THE HEALING POWER OF STORY WORKSHOP.

MONDAY FEBRUARY 10th 10 am – 3:30 pm at Lotus Place NQ, 382 Sturt Street, Townsville Q 4810

This is a Lotus Place/ Micah Project – strictly only for participants who have experienced abuse in an institutional setting, out of home care included. It is free for participants and funded by the Truth, Healing and Reconciliation Taskforce and Micah Projects.

People wanting to come along, please contact Lotus Place NQ on 4724 2559 or email lotusnq@micahprojects.org.au to check eligibility.

CAIRNS

Bjelke Blues PANEL DISCUSSION

Wednesday February 12th 10am -11 am Cairns Central Library

Hosted by the Cairns Tropical Writers Festival. With local contributors Christine Howes, Chris Morris and Bill Wilkie, FREE BUT BOOK HERE

THE HEALING POWER OF STORY WORKSHOP.

THURSDAY FEBRUARY 13th. 10 am – 3:30 pm at Cairns Central Library

This is a Lotus Place/ Micah Project – strictly only for participants who have experienced abuse in an institutional setting, out of home care included. It is free for participants and funded by the Truth, Healing and Reconciliation Taskforce and Micah Projects.

People wanting to come along, please contact Lotus Place NQ on 4724 2559 or email lotusnq@micahprojects.org.au to check eligibility.

LIFE WRITING WORKSHOP

SATURDAY FEBRUARY 15th. 10 am – 12:30 pm at Stratford Library, Cairns

Come along and explore your creativity with this half day workshop guaranteed to get you writing!

$35 or $30 for QWC or Tropical Writers members.

See here for more info and to book 

ESK

MEMOIR WORKSHOP ESK:

February 22 2020-  9:30am – 12:30pm: Esk Library

FREE! Proudly brought to you by the QLD WRITERS CENTRE

SEE HERE TO BOOK   

Esk Library PHONE 07 5424 4080

BOOK YOUR SPOT NOW!

MACKAY

THE HEALING POWER OF STORY WORKSHOP.

MONDAY MARCH 9th: 10 am – 3:30 pm at Jubilee Community Centre, Gordon Street, Mackay  

This is a Lotus Place/ Micah Project – strictly only for participants who have experienced abuse in an institutional setting, out of home care included. It is free for participants and funded by the Truth, Healing and Reconciliation Taskforce and Micah Projects.

People wanting to come along, please contact Lotus Place NQ on 4724 2559 or email lotusnq@micahprojects.org.au to check eligibility.

ROCKHAMPTION

THE HEALING POWER OF STORY WORKSHOP.

WEDNESDAY MARCH 9th: 10 am – 3:30 pm at ??

DETAILS FOR THIS WORKSHOP ARE YET TO BE CONFIRMED  

This is a Lotus Place/ Micah Project – strictly only for participants who have experienced abuse in an institutional setting, out of home care included. It is free for participants and funded by the Truth, Healing and Reconciliation Taskforce and Micah Projects.

People wanting to come along, please contact Lotus Place NQ on 4724 2559 or email lotusnq@micahprojects.org.au to check eligibility.

ADDITIONAL HEALING POWER OF STORY WORKSHOPS ARE PLANNED FOR LATER IN THE YEAR in BRISBANE, TOOWOOMBA, GYMPIE AND on the GOLD COAST.

BOONAH

BUILDING YOUR CAREER AS A WRITER WORKSHOP

SUNDAY 3 MAY 9am – 12:30 as part of the Boonah Writers Festival

Register for the Boonah Writer’s festivalto join the fun weekend of writing and hobnobbing with writers 🙂

And so on… I’ll keep you posted!

5 WAYS TO BUILD NARRATIVE DRIVE IN MEMOIR

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John Gardner once said, “Structure is the primary concern of the writer.” The more I write and edit other people’s writing, the more I agree with him. It’s not the story itself but how the writer chooses to arrange story elements that keeps the reader turning pages.32533._SY475_

This is easier when writing fiction than when dealing with the real-life constraints of memoir, but here are a few ideas to help you keep your memoir readers up at night in a page turning frenzy.

Before we start there are a couple of issues you need to consider. First of all

  1. What are you writing?

If you’re intention is to record your entire life history then you’re writing an autobiography, not a memoir. What’s the difference? A memoir is a focused selection of life events around a particular theme or time in your life.

  1. Who is your audience?

Are you writing just for family and friends, or people who shared these experiences with you? If so, then you can really write whatever you like and they’ll still read it.

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However, if you believe your story has a wider appeal, that you have a story of interest to the general reading public then you’re going to have to work a whole lot harder at building narrative drive to hook them in and keep them reading right till the end. If you’re not a famous sports star or a glamorous movie queen, then selling your memoir to a publisher is going to be tricky. You need to make sure you have a compelling narrative that grabs them right from the start. But how?

Reading by Lamplight by James Whistler

Reading by Lamplight by James Whistler

5 WAYS TO BUILD NARRATIVE DRIVE IN MEMOIR

  1. Write down all your key plot points.

An easy way of thinking about this is to call them Heart Clutching Moments as Elizabeth Sims does in her Writers Digest Article

Think of the moments in your memoir that have most emotional impact – the parts where your hand goes to your heart. Key emotional turning points – remember to include some happy moments as well as those of drama or trauma. Write down a list of as many of these as you can think of.  Put big circles around the most important and a star next to the most emotional, most moving, heartbreaking moment. That is your climax.fullsizeoutput_5b2

  1. Find your central quest or question?

Delve deep into what your story is really about. Ask yourself, “What is this story about?” Then again, “What is this story really about?” Ask yourself those two questions seven times. Famous non-fiction writing teacher Robin Hemley developed this method for finding the heart of your story.heart with eye

Once you have your answer then formulate a question or quest. In memoir it might be something like this “Will Mary ever find the daughter she gave up for adoption in 1965?” or “Will innocent Bob survive his time in jail?” Or “Will Sarah find a cure for her mysterious illness and be well again?”

You get the idea. What is your central question?

  1. Find your Hope and Fear around this question.

In order to keep the reader highly engaged in your story, every scene and chapter needs to move them between hoping that YES – your central quest/ion will have a happy ending (that’s your hope) and NO! – the very worst will happen (that’s your fear).

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For example

HOPE: Mary will find her adopted daughter who will want to see her and they will lovingly reunite.

FEAR: Mary won’t ever be able to find her daughter no matter how hard she tries or how close she gets. OR Mary will find her daughter who won’t want to have anything to do with her.

HOPE: Bob will study and be freed from his wrongful imprisonment and go on to be a lawyer advocating for those still in jail.

FEAR: Bob will be brutalised in jail. All his appeals will fail, and he will die, sad and alone, in the electric chair.

Oh dear – poor Bob!

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What is your Hope and Fear?

  1. What is your HOOK?

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Your hook is what sets up your question and the connected hope and fear right at the start of your memoir. Look at your list of Heart Clutching Moments and find one which will be best to draw your reader into your story. It doesn’t have to be what chronologically happened first. The power of writing is that you get to play around with the order of events to create most suspense and impact. It doesn’t have to be the whole event, just a snippet of it. Then once you’ve set up your question and what is at stake you can go back and fill in the background.

For example

Mary gives birth to a precious baby girl and gets to hold her, but only for a few minutes. Then she is spirited away and a weeping Mary signs away her rights as mother.

Bob is eating his last meal on death row, the priest beside him giving comfort. He starts down the long hallway in chains.

  1. Arrange your key plot points

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Look at that HCM list and arrange them after your hook. You can list them chronologically but make sure there is movement between your hope and fear in each one. Build to your most impactful moment as your climax. And make sure that you have some kind of satisfying conclusion – even if it’s sad.

For example

Mary gives birth etc

Mary at the graveside of her husband who she never told about her secret child – now she is free to look for her.

Mary tells her son about her search. Son says, “She won’t want to see you.”

Mary finds old papers and begins search.

Mary finds orphanage but records were lost.

Mary finds alternate clues – her daughter has been searching for her

Mary gets sick – she may die before she finds her daughter – search intensifies.

Mary finds an address – in the same state!

Mary’s son kicks up stink – why are you doing this? It’s too stressful! You’re sick!

Mary makes a tentative phone call – gets her daughter’s husband

Mary’s illness worsens.

Mary’s daughter arrives on her doorstep and they reunite tearfully and joyfully.

Mary’s son reacts badly.

Mary’s daughter is a doctor and heals Mary and all family is happy and harmonious!

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Now real life isn’t usually so orderly, nor does it have neat closed off endings, but for the purpose of your memoir you’re going to have to find a satisfying point to stop where the main quest or question has been resolved.

These exercises can be done after you’ve already completed a draft or even better, before you start the big job of writing it. If you can write to a structure that is already moving between hope and fear, then your job is halfway done.

Of course all of this is applicable to fiction writing as well – just easier to do because you can invent events and keep that movement between hope and fear with a flick of your pen.

GOOD LUCK!

writing on retreat!

If you’d like to learn more about memoir writing or just make a start on telling some of your life stories, then my next retreat in Highfields west of Brisbane is now open for enrolments. Come and join a like-minded group of women and get writing! See here for all the details.

What is your memoir’s central question? What is the hope and fear? Need help working it out? Ask away!

Lots of love

Edwina xx

 

5 FREE Presents to Give Yourself this Christmas!

Merry Xmas

Happy Christmas to you all! Yes tis the season to be merry and give thanks for the craziness this year has been. Amid all the frenzied buying and giving that accompanies the festive season, I thought it would be a good idea to treat ourselves to some things all writers really need.

So here you are – 5 Gifts to give yourself – all of them you can get for FREE!

Presents

1. A BOOK! – Writers love to read and it’s important that we all support each other by buying and borrowing books to help keep the publishing and bookselling industry alive and thriving. Besides what’s better to do than to laze a day away tucked up with a good read? My favourite books by Australian authors this year have been Melissa Lucashenko‘s Too Much Lip, Trent Dalton‘s Boy Swallows Universe, Favel Parrett’s There is Still Love, Amanda O’ Callaghan’s This Taste for Silence and I’m very keen to get my hands on Amanda Neihaus‘s The Breeding Season. I also really learnt a lot from Joanna Penn‘s book Business for Authors. How to Be an Author Entrepreneur.  Joanna has a number of practical guides on building a writing career worth checking out. Always good to invest in books about the craft and business of writing as well as feeding our creative side with quality works of fiction. And some just for fun too. Oh, and of course if you’re into social history – Bjelke Blues is a cracking good read 🙂  Need it to be free – LIBRARY! Best place I know to walk in feeling poor and come out feeling very rich indeed with armfuls of books, movies and other treasures.

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2. AN EXPERIENCE – Any experience that makes your heart sing will do the trick. Dance with a friend and twirl your skirts. Sing some Xmas carols along with Bing. Go for a swim somewhere beautiful in nature, or a long walk in a snowy forest if you’re somewhere cold. Roll on the floor. Move your body. Visit the city and stare at all the lights till your eyes go funny. Laugh – catch up with old friends and have a giggle. Watch a funny movie and let yourself go. Sit by a river or with your back against a tree. Lie in the sun and feel the earth moving beneath you. Go outside at night somewhere away from city lights and look up at the stars – the very best Xmas decorations. Treat yourself to your favourite food – it’s Xmas – if we can’t feast a little then, when can we? Let go, have fun. Be silly!

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3. TIME TO WRITE – Escape the festive madness, find somewhere quiet and write something just for fun, because it’s what we love to do. Play around with words. Stake a claim on a period of time each day which is just yours for whatever creative play you’d like to do. Remember we write because it gives us pleasure. Take the pressure off and just muck around on the page. Remember why you started this crazy writing adventure in the first place. It’s not all about publication (though of course that’s very nice) but about the fun of entering that creative zone and losing time because we’re so wrapped up in the story we’re creating.

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Dorothea Lange: Dyanna lying on her back in the grass circa 1961

4. PERMISSION TO DO NOTHING! – Yes, I mean it. Absolutely nothing. Stare into space. Stay in bed. Forget the housework. Forget the deadlines. Send the children, partner etc elsewhere at least for a few hours – then do NOTHING! This is trickier than it sounds. But staying still, watching clouds, listening to the sounds around you, you’ll start to really slow down. And don’t we all need that? Soon enough we’ll be running around like headless chickens again, but if at all possible make this Doing of Nothing a part of every week. Remember Sunday? It used to be a day when all work stopped. Everyone, all at the same time, slowed down and did very little. I miss it. This doing of nothing is something I’m really trying to embrace for the year ahead. It’s where dreams and story ideas come from.

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5. LOVE – or at least some Sincere Affection! Be your own best friend, your own affectionate partner. Treat yourself with loving kindness. Speak to yourself gently and with encouragement. This writing gig is hard. You need a healthy sense of self-worth to cope with the inevitable rejections we face on the road to success. When you catch yourself speaking harshly to yourself, just ask, “Would I talk to my best friend like that? What would I say instead?” and tell yourself that. Loving yourself doesn’t mean you’re “up yourself” as we say here in Australia, it just means you want yourself to be happy and free from fear and harm. From that start we can learn to love the world!

I hope you found something on the list that feels possible and made you smile.

Here’s a little Xmas gift from me to you, also for free – my Xmas short story  “Mrs Sunshine”. It was first published in Best Australian Short Stories 2014 (Black Inc). I hope you enjoy it.

And if you’d really like to treat yourself this Christmas then book into my next Relax and Write Retreat – March 27 – 29 2020 among the big trees and birds north of Toowoomba.

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Happy Christmas from my backyard to yours. Have a wonderful holiday season. I hope it’s filled with joy and love.

Lots of love

Edwina xx

Relax and Write in the Mountains 2020!

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I’m thrilled to announce a special introductory and memoir writing retreat at Camp Koojarewon in Highfields north of Toowoomba.

Is your creative spirit crying out for a little TLC? Always wanted to write but don’t know where to start? Need to reboot your writing mojo and be inspired to tackle that project you’ve been thinking about forever? Come along and regain your love of writing and life at the next Relax and Write Retreat

From 2pm FRIDAY 27 MARCH – 2 pm 29 MARCH 2020

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Join like-minded women in a fun and supportive environment discovering just how much some deep relaxation can ignite your imagination and get you writing again. Relax and unwind with gentle morning yoga sessions and get writing with innovative workshops to help move those stories out of your head and onto the page.

 

“I feel transformed, as a writer and as a human being.”

Bianca Millroy – participant NANOWRIMO retreat 2019

 The program includes two yoga sessions, four inspiring writing workshops covering the basics, plus advice on editing and submitting your work. Two nights basic dorm accommodation plus delicious vegetarian meals, morning and afternoon teas and a special dance night are included.

“The fully-catered retreat environment was comfortable and stress-free. Edwina and her team create an atmosphere that encourages, motivates and inspires.”

Gay Liddington – participant NANOWRIMO retreat 2019

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Maria, Kathy and Jude – triple retreaters!

Connect with other creative women in a beautiful, peaceful location, be inspired by practical, informative workshops, stretch and relax with yoga and release your inner-goddess dancing under the stars. No more putting your dreams on hold. Treat yourself to this special weekend nurturing your writing spirit. You deserve it!

RETREAT PROGRAM All activities are optional

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FRIDAY 27 MARCH 2020

ARRIVAL from 3 pm

5 pm – Meet and Greet

6:00 –  DINNER

6:45 – 8:30 WORKSHOP 1– Your Stories

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SATURDAY 28 MARCH

7:15am – 8:30 – Gentle morning yoga and breathing

8:30 – BREAKFAST

10:00am – 12:30 pm – WORKSHOP 2 – Writing from start to finish – developing a plot and a plan

12.30 pm – LUNCH

1 – 4:00 – FREETIME and FEEDBACK SESSIONS

4 – 6:00 pm – WORKSHOP 3 – Character and Dialogue

6:00 pm – DINNER

7:00– 8:30 pm – DANCING and chatting around the bonfire

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SUNDAY 29 MARCH

7:15 – 8:30am – Gentle morning yoga and breathing

8:30 – BREAKFAST

10:00 – 12:30 – WORKSHOP 4 – Where and how to submit work, goal setting, questions and collage

12:30 – LUNCH

1:30- 2pm DEPARTURES

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Editorial feedback sessions with Edwina available on request $50 extra for those needing advice on a project.

FEEDBACK DETAILS – email Edwina your first 10 pages plus your synopsis at least 2 weeks prior to retreat for full edit/advice plus 20 minutes meeting time. Massages will also be available at extra cost.

COST for the weekend of writing, fun and feasting, including accommodation, all meals, 2 yoga sessions, 4 creative writing workshops and a dance night. Transport not included.

 $400 all inclusive!

EARLY BIRD $360 -Pay $200 deposit before 30 January 2020

PAY YOUR DEPOSIT HERE

then Drop Me a Line to let me know you’ve done so and I’ll secure a spot for you.

OR contact me to pay by Direct Deposit: preferred : )

Contact me any time for more info or with questions. edwinashaw@icloud.com

A very few single rooms are available for those with special needs at slightly extra cost. Contact Edwina.

Remember – as Heidi said “I knew the mountains would make her well!”

Heidi

 

Reviews for Relax and Write NANOWRIMO

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Reviews for Relax and Write NANOWRIMO at Burleigh Heads just in!
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Bianca’s Review of Relax and Write Retreat Burleigh, November 2019
Do you have a passion for writing? …Do you need to do more of it?
Do you enjoy relaxing? …Need to do a bit more of that too?
Well, what are you waiting for!!?? A RELAX AND WRITE Retreat exists and it is waiting for YOU!
Take my word for it (actually, I’m a writer so a few words to be precise), you won’t regret it.
Join the fabulous Edwina Shaw and a group of the loveliest, most down to earth women you will ever meet, and do exactly that: relax and write. As a writer in my twenties, I would also encourage other writers, young and young at heart, to come along to these affordable and worthwhile weekend escapes. After attending this superb retreat just a few weeks ago in Burleigh Heads, I can honestly say I feel transformed, as a writer and as a human being.
Ed puts her absolute heart and soul into these retreats and, as a published author and yoga teacher, she definitely knows her stuff! You will learn practical and relevant writing techniques, tips and tricks in her generous workshops as well as benefit from the tranquil surroundings and grounding relaxation and yoga practice (and some dancing and massages thrown in for fun!) The retreats are all-inclusive so you just need to arrive…everything is taken care of. And you will certainly be taken care of too!
Thank you Ed! xx
Bianca Millroy is has recently completed her Masters in Creative Writing, with a full historical magic realist novel ready to find a good home. Find out more about her and her wonderful writing at Bianca Millroy

 

Gay Liddington

RETREAT REVIEW by Gay Middlington

Inspired by the idea of a women’s, Relax and Write Retreat, I attended the November 2019 Burleigh Heads gathering led by Edwina Shaw. The lure of writing, yoga, dancing and the optional extra massage, provided the opportunity to immerse myself in a creative, nurturing environment.

Like-minded women engaged in writing workshops, feedback groups and an individual session with Edwina, all of which I found valuable. And, while a program was offered, participants were also given the option of free-flowing. The fully-catered retreat environment was comfortable and stress-free.

Edwina and her team create an atmosphere that encourages, motivates and inspires. I was reluctant to extract myself from the retreat bubble but resolved to become a ‘repeat retreater’.

Gay Liddington writes feature articles for the Hinterland Times and is busily at work on her forthcoming memoir.

It was a great pleasure having both these fabulous women on retreat. I feel so lucky that every retreat attracts just the right people who all support each other, connect and make firm writing friendships.

Don’t be shy! You deserve a weekend away from the busyness of ordinary life to focus on your writing too. Our next retreat is in Highfields among the trees and hills north of Toowoomba March 27 – 29. With other retreats planned for June and December.

Come along and rediscover your love of writing and life!

See all the info about upcoming retreats HERE.

Or just drop me a line and I’ll fill you in and help you pick which one would suit you best.

Thanks again to all the wonderful women who made this retreat so special. And particularly to Gay and Bianca for taking the time to write such lovely reviews.

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Lots of love

Edwina xx

RETREAT REPLETE!

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Me, Lalita and the lovely Bianca!

Just back from the latest wonderful Relax and Write Retreat at Burleigh Heads with a fabulous group of women, from first time explorers trying out their writing legs to experienced authors with published books under their belts.

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As always, I was inspired by how quickly new friendships formed and how everyone worked together to help each other with their projects.

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Maria, Kathy and Jude – triple retreaters!

The weekend was action packed with workshops, feedback sessions, yoga and dance.

This time though retreaters had a whole lot more free time to explore the beautiful beaches and rainforest surroundings. I even managed to sneak in a swim myself. YAY! The water was warm even very early in the morning. And so clean. Ah.

I loved having dance instructor extraordinaire, Lalita Lakshmi, from Spiced Tingle Dance along to lead us through some really fun dance sessions. Thank you Lalita. Yoga to calm us down and stretch out, and dancing to rev us back up again. With blissful body-work treatments from Monique DeGoey from  Reconnect Holistic Body Work leaving people floating. Thank you Monique.

This retreat, workshops were focused on structuring for success and publishing pathways for those with major projects underway. It also included individual feedback sessions which I really loved. It was fascinating to learn more about the stories I’d been privileged to read and edit, and discover the inspiration and hard work behind them.

I enjoyed giving feedback on a wide range of projects from heart-wrenching memoirs, to thrillers, to sci-fi, to YA mermaids. I loved reading and discussing them with their authors and hopefully I was able to provide some useful ideas to help the projects shine and move towards publication.

Thank you to the magnificent Maria Parenti-Baldey (a triple retreater – I had 3 triple retreaters along this time) who filmed my gentle guided mediation to boost confidence and creativity which is now up on YouTube. Use it whenever your critical voice is getting too loud, you’re feeling blocked, or even if you’re nervous going somewhere you’ve never been before. Please do feel free to share it around.

The retreats always seem to come to an end too quickly – and this time it really did! We ran out of time to do our customary collages – so I hope all my new mermaids are having fun getting stuck into it at home. Here’s what Kim came up with.

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Kim’s collage

Thank you so much to the lovely folk at CYC Burleigh especially our handsome host Joel who spoilt us rotten with hot chocolates and real coffee. Think he just scored himself a whole new set of aunties.

Every time I come home after camp I’ve made a whole lot of fabulous new friends who share my love of writing. A wonderful tribe of women writers.

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UPCOMING RETREATS

I’ve got three retreats planned for next year.

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  1. Relax and Write in the Mountains – March 27- 29 2020 at Camp Koojarewon among the trees in Highfields, just north of Toowoomba.

This retreat is best for writers of memoir and/or those who are new to writing. Workshops include lots of writing prompts and exercises, including the basics of how to build a story step by step, plus some general writing tips. HURRY! Places for this one are already filling fast as several retreaters from Burleigh have already got their hands up.

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  1. Relax and Write in Paradise – June 19-21 2020 at Amaroo Resort on beautiful Magnetic Island.

Escape the winter blues and really spoil yourself with this retreat for more experienced writers- though beginners are welcome too. Workshops focus on character and plot development, with lots of writing exercises. I especially welcome writers from the region. Because the rest of us have to travel so far, I highly recommend bring a friend or two and staying on at Amaroo (they offer bargain rates for retreaters) or in a holiday rental for another week to work on your writing projects. I just love Magnetic Island. It’s magical.

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  1. Relax and Write NANOWRIMO – dates and venue yet to be finalised. NOVEMBER 2020.

This camp is best for more experienced writers with a first draft of a full-length project either completed or underway. Individual feedback sessions are available and workshops are heavily craft focused, theory based and practical exploring publishing options.

You can book into any of the retreats for 2020 right now by dropping me a line and paying the $200 deposit. Please specify which retreat you’re interested in. Participant numbers are strictly limited to 15 so I can give everyone the attention they deserve.

Contact me with your retreat preference and I’ll send you my details to pay by direct deposit – preferred.

Or PAY YOUR DEPOSIT HERE and email me with your retreat preference.

Come along and join our group of happy campers! Treat yourself to a 2020 retreat this Christmas. Better yet – get someone else to give you a wonderful present you’ll really enjoy.

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Put yourself in this picture.

 

Please do get in touch if you’re struggling financially and we’ll work something out so you can come too. Helena and I first started these retreats because we couldn’t afford to go to any of the fancy ones we saw advertised, so the accommodation isn’t posh, but the workshops and people are first class! (We like to think so anyway)

A big thank you to all my lovely mermaids, wood nymphs and happy campers for making these retreats a true joy to facilitate.

Lots of love

Edwina xxx

EARLY BIRD PRICES END SOON!

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Like to put yourself in this picture? Come along and join the fun and the next Relax and Write Retreat! November 8 – 10 in beautiful Burleigh Heads on the Gold Coast.

This is a special NANOWRIMO Retreat for those women with manuscripts on the go in need of feedback, or for those writing up a storm for the first time during National Novel Writing Month.

You don’t have to be writing fiction. Memoir, narrative non-fiction, and screenplay writers will all benefit from the three special workshops designed with more experienced writers in mind.

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It’s not all learning and writing though. We always have heaps of fun with yoga and dancing sessions both mornings and a special Saturday night dance fiesta on the beach!

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Connect with like minded women, relax and unwind with yoga and have fun dancing. For more information see here  or CONTACT ME with any questions

Over half the spots are already filled so don’t miss out. Early Bird Prices finish on September 15.

Secure your spot with a deposit and pay the rest when you can before the retreat.

Don’t you deserve some time out to focus on your writing? You sure do!

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Treat yourself to this weekend of writing and fun. Reboot your love of writing and life and meet other women writers.

I’d love to see you there.

Lots of love

Edwina xx

REVIEWS FOR RELAX AND WRITE IN PARADISE!

Just received these lovely reviews for my latest retreat,

RELAX AND WRITE IN PARADISE – June 21 – 23 2019 MAGNETIC ISLAND

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I first did one of Edwina’s workshops to shift the energy of a lot of ongoing grief and help kick start my lost creative streak. From that little taste I knew she was going to be good for my mind body and soul (although my body cursed her. It’s been years since I danced!) I loved it at the time though.
The writing exercises lingered long after I put the pen to rest. They told me more about myself than I would ever imagine. I am grateful for the insightful messages. And that Dream Chart? Well it is up on my wall for me to see every day and keep me on track. My road back is taking a stroll. I want to gallop. I must learn patience too.
Just this last week I entered a local competition with a short story. You never know I might win! Thing is I really like it and that’s all that really matters. Thanks Edwina for the part you played in my healing journey. I would recommend these retreats to anyone who has had a set back or if you just want a relaxing, quiet, creative infused break. Well worth it.
I knew the minute I walked into my motel room that all would be well. I’ve done heaps of retreats in the distant past but none have left me a bag of gifts with a personal message of welcome. It was pure delightfulness!
Kerry Park July 2019
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I attended the Magnetic Island Relax and Write retreat in June with twelve other women. There was a good mix of experienced and novice writers, a nice mingling of yoga, writing and dancing. The act of writing is so solitary that any gathering of like-minded people is a celebration to me but it is particularly valuable when it is facilitated by an experienced teacher who knows how to cater for a variety of interests, personalities and levels of skill. Edwina is an experienced teacher of both yoga and creative writing, and her steady hand manages to calm down the nervous, encourage the shy and steady the excited. One can never predict what gems may be revealed in any of the writing sessions.

This year’s addition of a vivacious dance teacher was such a delight and a novel experience to me that I can’t wait for a new opportunity to do it all over again.

Thank you, Edwina!

Vahida Berberovic July 2019

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Thank you Kerry and Vahida. Retreats are only as wonderful as the women who come along. And they’re all pretty amazing!!

We have so much fun on retreats. Come along and join us at the next retreat this November.

RELAX AND WRITE NANOWRIMO at Burleigh Heads on the beautiful Gold Coast.

NOVEMBER 8 – 10.

Early bird prices until 15 September.

PAY YOUR DEPOSIT NOW to avoid disappointment.

Lots of love

Edwina xx

RELAX AND WRITE NANOWRIMO!

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I’m thrilled to announce a special NANOWRIMO retreat at Burleigh Heads!

5:30pm FRIDAY 8 November to 1 pm SUNDAY 10 November 2019 at CYC Burleigh Heads

Super boost your writing this November at this special retreat in Burleigh Heads. Whether you’re aiming to get a novel written in a month Nanowrimo style, or if you have a manuscript almost done, this is the retreat for you!

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Connect with like-minded women in a beautiful location, be inspired by practical and informative workshops, stretch and relax with yoga and release your inner-goddess dancing under the stars.

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This retreat has two streams:

  1. NANOWRIMO – for those writing up a storm, with a group writing room and plenty of time to write
  2. FEEDBACK AND REVISION – pay slightly more to receive individual feedback on your writing and share your work with other writers at a similar stage for more input on how to best redraft your book. For hints and tips on how to get started on your rewrite see my post HERE.

Workshops suit both streams, focusing on finding the heart of your story, structuring for success and publication pathways.

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At this retreat, Edwina will again be joined by special guest, Creative Dance instructor – the lovely Lalita Lakshmi, who will get us all swaying our hips and dancing.

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Also joining us is fabulous masseuse, Monique De Goey, to help ease those writing-induced aches and pains. Extra cost.

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The program includes two yoga/dance sessions, dance night and three creative writing workshops. Two nights basic but comfortable, airconditioned accommodation plus all meals are included in the cost.

It’s all set among the stunning surroundings of Burleigh Heads National Park, staying at cheap but cheerful CYC Burleigh. Yes it’s a youth camp but we’ll have it all to ourselves, and all the rooms are air-conditioned and have ensuites.

Just a minute’s walk down the street is the National Park with fabulous walks through ancient rainforest,

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around the headland,

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to the surf beach on one side

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and on the other side, glorious Tallebudgera Creek were the water glows turquoise.

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For the weekend of writing, fun and feasting, including accommodation, all meals, 2 yoga/ dance sessions, 3 creative writing workshops and a dance night. Transport not included.

  1. NANOWRIMO Twin Share $350 Single $400
  1. FEEDBACK Twin Share $400 Single $450

OR Pay your $200 deposit before 15 SEPTEMBER 2019 for EARLY BIRD PRICES

  1. NANOWRIMO EARLY BIRD twin share$320/ single $370 or
  2. FEEDBACK EARLY BIRD twin share $370/ single $420

PAY YOUR DEPOSIT HERE

When paying your deposit please put your surname and either 1 or 2 so I know which stream you’d prefer.

or CONTACT ME DIRECTLY for more info or to pay by Direct Deposit (preferred)

Here’s what a participant at my last retreat had to say about the experience

“I attended the Magnetic Island Relax and Write retreat in June with twelve other women. There was a good mix of experienced and novice writers, a nice mingling of yoga, writing and dancing. The act of writing is so solitary that any gathering of like-minded people is a celebration to me but it is particularly valuable when it is facilitated by an experienced teacher who knows how to cater for a variety of interests, personalities and levels of skill. Edwina is an experienced teacher of both yoga and creative writing, and her steady hand manages to calm down the nervous, encourage the shy and steady the excited. One can never predict what gems may be revealed in any of the writing sessions.

This year’s addition of a vivacious dance teacher was such a delight and novel experience to me that I can’t wait for a new opportunity to do it all over again.”

Vahida Berberovik July 2019

So what are you waiting for? Secure your place now 🙂

Come along and join the fun!

Until then, happy writing.

Lots of love

Edwina xx