WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT ON OUR
CREATIVE WRITING WORKSHOP

‘What I’ve done with Helen on the writing I brought with me means it is now shaping into something that I can see being a living breathing book in the world. The things I’ve learned have been invaluable.’ Sarah, Australia - participant on the September 2018 workshop

Learn how to craft words that will enchant and inspire on an immersive writing course in beautiful Aquitaine. Set against the backdrop of one of France’s prettiest villages, our courses focus on the practical skills and techniques needed to support all types of fiction and creative writing.

L’atelier des ecrivains - The Writers’ Workshop, France offers three writing retreats, designed to work as standalone workshops or as a series. Join us for one, or all three.

PREVIOUS EVENT: Getting started – Thursday 20 to Monday 24 September, 2018
For people at the beginning of their writing journey, this workshop helped our guests develop their writing skills, find their creative voice and build the confidence needed to get those words out of their head and onto the page. Click here for the review.

PREVIOUS EVENT: Moving forward - Thursday 16 to Monday 20 May, 2019
Whether in the middle of a writing project, or just starting out, this workshop will provide you with the skills to develop your characters, structure your story, sharpen your narrative voice and hone your personal writing style.  With the addition of private consultations with Helen Cross, which will be tailored to your individual needs, you will learn to make your project the best it can be.

Staying Focussed – Thursday 19 to Monday 23 September, 2019
This workshop is designed to delve more deeply into your writing, into your ideas and to help maintain your focus, sharpen your characters and look at story endings. The workshop will contain lots of useful information about agents, the possibility of getting published and promoting your book. With the addition of private consultations with Helen Cross, which will be tailored to your individual needs, you will learn the best way to take your writing forward.  

Groups will be limited to a maximum of 10 people. Included on the programme are optional wellbeing sessions, such as yoga and country walks, and inspiration sessions at nearby historical sites – all designed to fire up the creative process and help the words flow.

‘I so enjoyed the time we spent together, as someone who hasn’t really enjoyed the ‘classroom’ I absolutely loved the pressure of the response writing we did in the workshops.’ Lottie.

DAILY SCHEDULE - STAYING FOCUSSED, SEPTEMBER 2019

Thursday 19th September
Arrivals at airport and transfer to venue
7.00pm Welcome reception
7.30pm Dinner followed by introductions from Becky and Helen.

Friday 20th September
8.00am Morning wellbeing session - meditation, stepping into stillness.
9.00am Breakfast
10.00am Morning workshop - Strengthening your voice: Using personal memories, moments and lived experience as material. Developing a unique voice through humour, wit and style. Visual detail – perfecting it through use of imagery and language. Exploring what it is that agents and publishers want. Researching agents and finding the right agent for your book. Discussion of Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh.
1.30pm Lunch
2.30pm Becky’s Half-hour: What is the intended market for your book? What does your ideal reader look like?
3.00pm Free writing time, one-to-one consultation with Helen Cross and optional inspiration session - Churches and Alley-ways in Aubeterre-sur-Dronne.
7.00pm Aperitifs at the Hotel de France in the beautiful ‘Place’, Aubeterre (drinks not included in price)
7.45pm Dinner in Aubeterre - (Dinner included in price.)

Saturday 21st September
8.00am Morning wellbeing session - silent walk
9.00am Breakfast
10.00am Morning workshop - Killing your darlings: Developing and strengthening characters and 'killing your darlings.' Exploring and sharpening theme, plot and story. Planning and re-planning, editing and redrafting to hone your story: the second draft. Discussion of Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx.
1.30pm Lunch
2.30pm Becky’s Half-hour: Working day to day as a writer - setting schedules, word counts
3.00pm Free writing time, one-to-one consultation with Helen Cross and optional inspiration session - Mouline du Pedrigeux
7.00pm Aperitifs
7.30pm Dinner

Sunday 22nd September
8.00am Morning wellbeing session - yoga
9.00am Breakfast
10.00am Morning workshop - All good things must come to an end: Beginning at the end – how confidence around structure can twist your stories in entertaining ways. Endings - what is a strong story ending and how do you find it? What is a synopsis, and how is it different to an outline or a 'blurb'? Writing a clear and appealing synopsis of your own story. Workshop these synopsis. Discussion of The Lottery by Shirley Jackson.
1.30pm Lunch
2.30pm Becky’s Half-hour: Earning a living as a writer, branching out and finding various writing-related income streams
3.00pm Free writing time, one-to-one consultation with Helen Cross
7.00pm Aperitifs
7.30pm Celebratory dinner and readings

Monday 23rd September
8.00am Breakfast
Departures to airport.

Morning workshop session.

Morning workshop session.

The only impossible journey is the one you never begin.
— Tony Robbins, author, entrepreneur, philanthropist and life coach