Thursday, 22 January 2015

Creative Writing Holidays

Drafting content for my new website; read on for the main core ideas for the expansion of my Creative Writing Holidays (the international ones are the new ones, the Egyptian ones have all happened to date and will happen again starting with the Writers' Cruise this spring 2015):



'Creative Writing Holidays

I offer a variety of Creative Writing Holidays in many inspiring international locations, catering for on average groups of 6 to 12 people. Whatever holiday you choose you will receive daily Creative Writing classes that open up and improve your writing skills, work with metaphor and imagery, create texts and narratives to given themes and word counts as well as free writing - whilst also enjoying accommodation, meals, tours and free time.

In Egypt - you can have a short city break to the ancient place of Alexandria – where you will go to the famous poet CP Cavafy's home, now a museum, and many other wondrous locations such as the Roman Catacombs, the National Museum, Roman amphitheatre, Montaza Palace and Gardens; writing our own Ithacas and developing narrative inspired by the location, its present and its history. Or another focus in this historic coastal city of Alexandria is to look at the life of Hypatia, who was a Greek Alexandrian Neoplatonist philosopher in Egypt. As head of the Platonist school at Alexandria, she taught philosophy and astronomy. For another short break near to Cairo we can go just 90 minutes to enjoy the lush and tranquility of Tunis, Fayoum – and consider the stories of Lake Qarun, or the orchards or potteries. A slightly longer trip of 3 days can take us to Bahareya where we find the White and Black deserts and the Crystal Mountain; all amazing landscapes affording a starburst of stories. Or we can go to the soothing waters of the Red Sea, staying in a beachside eco-lodge, sipping our tea. For trips of 4 days we can go across to western Egypt, as far as the oasis of Siwa, the place that Alexander the Great marched to with his army and consulted the Oracle of Amun and marvel at the natural splendour that brings such a quiet beauty into one's being. Or a Writers' Cruise from Luxor to Aswan – 4 nights upon a 5 star boat cruising down the Nile, visiting temples and drinking in the jewels of Egypt.

In Crete, at the Palace of Knossos, we can explore the myth of the Minotaur – and hear those hooves running towards our hearts. In Tuscany we can explore art and landscape with the beauty of Florence and the rustic nature of the countryside. In St Petersburg we step back into the time of mysticism and drama of Rasputin and a country at the moment of change. In south west France we have the fecund green fields, the life giving rivers, the pre-historic cave paintings from the mouth of time. In Barcelona there is Gaudi and dance, food and wine! In Madrid we stroll through the locations of Pedro Almodovar's films, all set in his beloved city, and write inspired from the cinematic imprint. For a country retreat in the wild natural beauty of Cornwall, England we can stay in a comfortable guesthouse just a small wildflower walk from the Atlantic coast of St Just.'

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 Here are a sample of the previous Creative Writing Holidays in Egypt that I have organised and led:

Writing Retreat in Siwa (2014)


Writing City Break in Alexandria, Egypt (2014)


Writers' Cruise – Luxor to Aswan (2014)


Dreams & Writing Course in Bahareya Oasis & Desert (2013)


Writing retreat in Fayoum Oasis (2010)