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.
As always, I was inspired by how quickly new friendships formed and how everyone worked together to help each other with their projects.
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.
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.
I’ve got three retreats planned for next year.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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