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LESBOS 11 - 18 JUNE 2024

****FULLY BOOKED**** 

and now also 20 - 27 JUNE 2024 

We have added a second week due to booking demand.... 

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Aaaah Greece.... Warm hot winds teasing the ideas out of your head and onto a page. It is summer in Greece again, and we are gathering to write.   Traditionally The Writing Room hosts a time dedicated to writing, during early summer each year, in Greece.  In 2024 we offer a 7 night retreat, open to all who wish to deepen their writing.
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This is for writers who just need dedicated time away from your ordinary life to totally immerse in a creative environment. The time is both a deep-dive into your own book, and also a task-based programme to get your word count up, or finish your book ready for submission. Both advanced and novice writers are welcome.. 

Together we will travel the creative journey of memory  and dive deep into the craft of writing, and be inspired by a community of international writers in a magical island setting. 

This is an opportunity to work closely with writing mentor and literary agent Sarah Bullen as well as visiting poets, screenwriters and novelists. 

WHO SHOULD JOIN?

You, if you need an adventure, plus the gift of time and space in a laid-back Greek island setting.

You don’t need to be a writer or to have a grand project in progress. You may need support to start, or finish. You may be halfway through a novel, you may be working on a screenplay, or recording your life story.  You may just have a dream to write and don't know how to start. You may want to improve your storytelling and learn new skills.  

You can be working on a novel, memoir, poetry, workbook, online course, photography-based book, life story or just a creative writing project.

You may simply want to attend the talks, do the writing reflections and enjoy a holiday amoungst like-minded creatives and become part of a global writing community.

The time is both a deep-dive into your own book, and a task-based program to get your word count up, or finish your book ready for submission. Both advanced and novice writers are welcome. 

Expect ...... a combination of classes on writing techniques, plotting, publishing, Amazon tricks, creative writing, storytelling structure, book design, poetry and feedback sessions on your work. It includes professional and group feedback on your writing project, daily connection and anchored writing time.

WHERE IS IT?

In 2024 we are going back to Skala Eressos, Lesvos due to popular demand.   We gather here every year in the bohemian village of Skala Eressos on the island Lesbos - spiritual home of the writer's muse Sappho.  Your base is a gorgeous hotel right on the beach with swimming pool, boating and wonderful Greek Food, on the edge of the the laid-back, coastal village of Skala Eressos.

The island of Lesvos (sometimes called Lesbos or Mytilini) is uniquely beautiful and the eastern side where the retreat is held is characterised by the dry volcanic rock and landscape in summer.  It is the third largest of the islands in Greece behind Crete and Evia and is in the North Eastern Aegean, close to the coast of Turkey. The sea is crystal clear and warm all summer.

Skala Eressos is a particularly powerful place for writers. There were many poets and writers who lived on Lesvos but none more recognised than Sappho, a female poet and lyricist, reportedly called The Tenth Muse by Plato. 

Lesvos was named after a God who held that name and early re
sidents worshipped Cybele, the great mother-goddess of Anatolia.  Aristotle lived on Lesvos for about three years and studied Zoology. Terpander invented the seven note musical scale for the lyre there. Even the airport at Mytilini is named after a poet (Odysseas Elyitis). It is place rich with the muse of writing. 

The island has stunning beaches, beautiful landscape and a colourful past with historical and religious archaeology. There are a large number of hot therapeutic springs and a petrified forest, with fossilised trees dating back some 15 million years. 

Read more about Lesvos in this travel guide

HOW DO THE DAYS UNFOLD? 

Coming all the way to a Greek island is an exercise in slowing down. Let's not rush. Allow yourself some time and space to really settle into your writing craft.  The days unfold in a slow and easy way. 

* Two daily classes on writing craft from structure to story building.  
* A structured programme to advance your project and your writing craft
* Anchored writing time for most of the day where you can get feedback, input and review. Or just sit and write.

* A writing plan for your project, with deadlines and support. 
* Professional feedback and peer review on your work
* Storytelling evening with a Greek Storyteller with an ancient Wonder Tale
* Pitch your book to professionals
* Personal book structure session with your host and writing coach Sarah B
ullen
* Workshop your synopsis / proposal. 
* Professional feedback on
your book proposal. 
* How to present your book to agents and publishers
* How to make your book your brand.​
 
All sessions are opti
onal but we like to connect in with you once a day. 

RETREAT COSTS 2024

8 Days/7 Nights

Deposit €600 on acceptance of place

Rooms €3,600 for single occupancy depending on room choice

Sharing room €2,800 per person

Non Residential Ticket €2750

Returning Writers Retreat (Non Residential) €1,800 does not incl hotel and meals (only breakfast and feasts)

Bringing a non-writing friend?  Supplement of €1250 

 

Returning writers ? Please email for your special discounted rate


COST INCLUDES

  • 7 nights accommodation in a boutique hotel in the heart of the village, one block from the beach

  • Transfers to and from the airport (2 hours drive)

  • A daily Greek breakfast AND a second meal (either lunch or dinner) - half board.

  • 3 Greek feasts in local restaurants.

  • A guided writing process lead by literary agent Sarah Bullen and Emma Dhesi

  • Personal one-on-one session with Sarah

  • Guest experts and authors

  • A trip around the island stopping at hidden beaches to swim and eat traditional food

  •  An afternoon tour wondering the small village

  • Creative and life sessions


COST EXCLUDES

  • Your flights to Athens

  • Your flight or overnight ferry to Mytilini.

  • Your drinks at the group dinners or at the hotel bar

  • Other meals not specified above

YOU WILL LEARN

This is a seven-night guided immersion into the craft of writing - with plenty of free time to simply write. 
​* What is your story? Let’s find it together.  
* The basics of planning a compelling book
* The key elements of structure
* Researching and remembering your life
* Hooks, genre and message
* Including characters and events
* Handling point of view
* Working with dialogue
* Working through personal blocks
* Knowing what to include and exclude
* Adding depth and layers, tone and voice 
* Sourcing tips and techniques
* Understanding what an author brand is about

We are one of the "Retreats to Trust' endorsed by Queen of Retreats and have been voted Top 100 Writing Retreat in the World.  ​

Sarah Bullen

Our Team.

We are there to write, and also to have a lot of laughs and fun. We love travel and writing. Put the two together? Magic

WHAT OUR WRITERS SAY

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Carolyn Sylger Jones

I am sitting on a large white sheeted double bed with my laptop on my knees. The waves hit the shore repeatedly outside, and there’s a brilliant view of the sparkling Aegean through the open doors of my balcony. I’ve been writing comfortably and creatively for over two hours – my third writing session of the day – and soon it will be time to stop and wander along the string of restaurants to get some supper.
I’m nearing the end of a 10 day Creative Writing Residency on the island of Lesbos in Greece led by two authors –literary agent Sarah Bullen and life coach Kate Emmerson. Our group of 10 meet once or twice daily to share work, listen to advice and ideas or hear other writers talk about a theme. Between times the retreat gives me the head space and time I needed to just get on and write creatively, without the distractions of home and work.
​- Carolyn Sylger Jones,

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Gabi Lowe, Get Me to 21, 2018

There is a special magic that happens in the little village. Creativity is emboldened, a gentle release is inevitable and all anxiety seeps away, allowing and encouraging you to write your book. I was supported and held by the professional and talented partnership that is Sarah and Kate. They are an extraordinary team with heart and backbone and intellect and lots of experience with publishing. If you are considering a writing retreat don't think twice.

There is a special magic that happens in the little village. Creativity is emboldened, a gentle release is inevitable and all anxiety seeps away, allowing and encouraging you to write your book. I was supported and held by the professional and talented partnership that is Sarah and Kate. They are an extraordinary team with heart and backbone and intellect and lots of experience with publishing. If you are considering a writing retreat don't think twice.
-Gabi Lowe, Get Me to 21, 2018

"I came to Greece not knowing exactly what to expect. I started tinkering with my story over the years and never imagined that I would put it down in any tangible format or structure. With Sarah’s unyielding insight, knowledge and guidance and Kate’s support and ability to unlock deep emotion and memory, the retreat was a turning point for me. It helped set me on the path to finish my first draft within 6 months. The overwhelming support from all the writers, each with their own beautiful story and soul, was the best takeaway. Not to mention, the magical setting and the quiet, intoxicating atmosphere. x"
- Jay Badenhorst, South Africa

​"I attended this retreat in June/July 2019 and have never been on a more profound experience in my life. Kate and Sarah unlocked my creativity with their gentle guidance and their expert knowledge. It is more than just a writers retreat - it is a journey into discovery of self and your potential. I highly recommend this retreat to any one who wishes to write something or even just want to explore their own thoughts. Swimming to the famous rock was a highlight for me and I overcame my limiting beliefs in a very safe environment. Give yourself this gift at least once in your life."
- Mary-Joe Emde, South Africa

"If you can only go on one writing retreat in your lifetime, this is the one to choose. Sarah is a truly inspired coach, seconded by Kate. They create a caring, trusting atmosphere conducive to making progress on your own writing. A truly galvanizing experience!"
- Beverly Pimsleur, USA

"A really wonderful retreat, I went there with one project in mind & came out having written a quarter of a memoir instead. The hosts are AMAZING & the energy of the group was so encouraging, inspiring and uplifting. I have changed for the better since the retreat and attribute these positive changes to the wonderful time I had here."
- Ani Naqvi, UK

"I just completed the Memoir retreat in Skala Eressos. It was an incredible experience, powerful tools for driving the narrative, perfect combination of workshop, coaching & vacation, quality & professional standards in both preparation for the workshop and in follow-up after workshop had ended. I highly recommend it and look forward to working with Sarah again."
- Stephie Koulouris, Greece 

"I have attended a number of retreats since I believe it is one of the most generous gifts you can give yourself. When I booked this specific retreat, I had no idea that the gift would far exceed any of my expectations. The beauty of the location cannot be described in mere words, the energy that vibrates from the core of Skala Erresos connects to ones soul and magically unlocks creativity you never realised you had hidden deep inside. Sarah and Kate both hold the space in such a light and enabling manner that the magic unfolds naturally. When it comes to food, the restaurants lazily spread across the shoreline, serve meals dazzling ones tastebuds and the ocean enfolds ones body with the freshness that only water from the earth can offer. The opportunity created to meet and engage a group of amazing people from across the globe only adds to the richness of the experience, leaving one with friends who often see more of your soul than people close to you ever get a glimpse of. Personally, the retreat is certainly one of the most memorable experiences of this life.
I unreservedly recommend it for all souls willing to dance to the rhythm of synchronicity."
- Bonita Field, South Africa

If you want to write, you definitely can’t go wrong with Kate and Sarah. I was so happy there was clear course content and it took us down the path of planning and writing. Finally I am getting out of my head and writing my book
-Patricia Harper 2018

The course structure finally let me realise my book can be achieved with structure and the framework Sarah worked out with me. It taught me how to get from idea to a book. I loved writing all afternoon in my room overlooking the sea and all the expert speakers who came to give us their tips and advice
-Julian Cowburn, UK, 2018

I loved it all. The place, the people, the experience, the sea, the lessons and the succinct and practical way to write a book. Sappho was inspired by the same sea and sun 2000 years ago and that touched my heart and words.
-Linda Smuts – 2018

I have so much clarity and belief in myself. It was just a magical experience in a tiny village with writing support and clear direction and feedback. I made friends for life. 
-Di Atherton, 2018

This was the most amazing time -  the serenity of the island - a place to write/reflect/allow yourself to be inspired, the birthplace of Sappho, simple/outstanding Greek cuisine, ability to swim in the ocean everyday, take hikes at sundowners, come away with a solid plan for writing/publishing a book, bond with other writers. The course served almost as a week-long therapy session for me - a therapeutic getaway on a beautiful island."  
-Anna-Claire Marshall 2016

Would totally recommend this retreat to others….! I would say ‘Come on the retreat with an open heart and an open mind.  Come to learn how to write your book and leave with new skills and probably a new understanding of yourself.  Getting away to the peaceful and tranquil setting that is Skala Eressos, is worth the time and the money – I would never have got the full benefit of the retreat if I had done not gone away from my home and normal life.’
-Gail Hunter 2016

THEY SAID IT

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