Here’s what a day on retreat might look like:
2:00–6:00pm: Personal writing time/free time
Writing is one of the most challenging things we’ll ever do; it’s also one of the most supreme pleasures in our life. This is one of the many paradoxes of being a writer. While this may never be resolved, one of the best things you can do to support your writing is to give yourself time and space to honour the mystery of it.
That’s why writing on retreat is so special. It initiates the altered state of mind that you’re in when you’re writing, and protects it for a prolonged period of time. That’s when real magic happens.
Registration is processed by our retreat partner, Radiant Jane
°Writing instruction with author Sarah Selecky
°Gentle yoga and guided meditations
°6 nights lodging*
°Daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner
°Vegan and vegetarian options
°Group transport to and from the Rome airport
°Excursion to Montepulciano
°Tour of Fattoria grounds and ancient chapel
°Pici pasta making class
°Wellness spa access
°Beautiful classroom studio
°Bicycles to use
°Concierge office staff
***Airfare not included***
*Guest rooms are a private bedroom within a two or three-bedroom shared apartment and bathroom. We’ll pair you with a like-minded roommate, or bring a friend!
*Upon request, we may be able to provide a completely private bedroom with ensuite bath for $3,800.
Canadian writers: you may be eligible for a Canada Council for the Arts grant to help offset the cost of this writing workshop. Please visit the Canada Council website for more information.
“Sarah’s writing classes helped make writing one of my closest friends. Her
expansive spirit leaves room for all styles and personalities. She’s a truly talented teacher, helping guide even the most timid.”
“Thank you for all of the support, advice and guidance. The retreat was incredible! I will keep at it.”
Writer, Sarah Selecky California Writing Retreat 2019
“Everything that Sarah Selecky puts together is the result of much considered thought.”
“Your writing and your teaching has literally changed my writing life.”
“The weekend with Sarah was without exaggeration, a life-saving experience for me ... My writing is stronger, deeper and truer.”
Jo Anne Wilson
“ I arrived at the workshop quite unsure about the level of my writing and what would be expected, but found Sarah’s guidance for the critiques led to super-clear and very helpful discussions about the pieces. I learned from the critiques about other’s writing as well as from the critique about my piece. I left feeling much clearer about how to continue and finish my piece.”
Sarah Selecky earned her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia, and her writing has appeared in top Canadian magazines and quarterlies such as The Walrus, The New Quarterly, and The Journey Prize Anthology.
Sarah is the author of This Cake Is for the Party, which was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, shortlisted for the Commonwealth Prize for Best First Book, and longlisted for the Frank O’Connor Short Story Award, as well as the new novel Radiant Shimmering Light, which has been optioned for a TV show by Muse Entertainment.
She is also the creator of internationally-acclaimed creative writing school (and MFA alternative) Sarah Selecky Writing School, which includes collaborations with Margaret Atwood, George Saunders, Karen Joy Fowler, and other authors.
“Sarah is an expert who creates a calm, intentional, and powerful space for writers to drop deeply into their practice in a way that’s expansive and eye-opening. She even manages to make it feel like soul work, while giving writers real and practical tools.”
This is Good and the Victoria Festival of Authors
“Writing and sharing a short story made me more nervous then I care to admit. Sarah does an excellent job of creating a safe space in her classes, offering constructive tips and tricks to start (and finish) stories in an environment that is never intimidating or critical. It is her warmth and the collegial atmosphere she creates that makes her workshops so enjoyable, giving me confidence to go places with my writing that I wouldn't have reached on my own.”
“I've taken a lot of courses, in all sorts of areas, including several other creative writing courses. Some of those courses have made me a more self-conscious writer. Sarah's course is different. It encourages you to pay close attention to what delights and inspires and intrigues you, in your own writing, and in the writing of others. It encourages you to write what you like, how you like. I loved getting feedback on my writing from so many lovely people who were determined to show me my strengths. I loved going in to the online classroom every week.”
“Ask me about a perfect writing coach and I'll tell you about Sarah. A wonderfully insightful and warmhearted mentor, she's coached me towards a healthy, loving relationship with my writing. She's offered invaluable advice on any imaginable writing topic: how to access my creative reservoir, questions on technique, style and aesthetics, how to work around writer's block. She's a revision wizard who provides gentle, yet highly potent editorial feedback.”
“Sarah's writing workshops are the anchor that ensures writing practice in my week. Her classes and exercises provide a rich soil from which to generate material and keep going to the first draft and beyond. The classes are consistently supportive and the people I have met through Sarah's workshops have helped create a necessary writing community.”
“Sarah’s critique and coaching sessions for my short story helped me create new and exciting characters – significantly develop the narrative background – and enrich the plot and themes. The number one lesson I learned from her critique method is to expect and rejoice in the process of revision.”
“It was wonderful working with such a warm, generous and supportive writer. I would recommend Sarah's course to other writer friends without hesitation ... I loved the writing exercises: they really helped focus me, and the writing I produced was much more vivid and interesting. ”