TWO NEW RESIDENTIAL RETREATS OPEN
IN NEW IRELAND AND NEW
We are proud to announce the
opening of a first residential writers’ retreat in Ireland and delighted to welcome Louise Page, your mentor and host.
The Writers’ Retreat in Heron's Reach,
which has been the site of many writing adventures, is located in the
beautiful Irish countryside, five minutes walk from the sea and Birnham
Lagoon where you’ll find inspiration. The retreat is comprised of four
rooms in the main house and a self-contained cabin.
Louise Page has taught writing, performed,
and won countless awards for her work in more than forty countries. She is
currently working on nonfiction, adapting Devil’s Cub for the stage, and
her own play with the Royal Shakespeare Company. She is an accredited Read
to Lead mentor. Louise has strong track record of working with businesses
to improve their communication skills.
To find out
more or to secure your space, please contact Louise Page via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or The Writers’ Retreat in Heron’s
Also, a warm welcome to Inge and Rolf for opening an eco-retreat in Bay of Islands, New Zealand.
The eco-retreat is nestled in the
midst of the Kerikeri
River's Nature Reserve
away from the hustle and bustle but close enough to Kerikeri’s charming town. Ora Ora
Eco Wellness Resort offers three peaceful and comfortable accommodations in
three private little villas hidden in subtropical gardens in the historic
Stone Store Basin of Kerikeri.
Various massages, herbal spa bath
and sauna, and organic meals at Makai Restaurant are available based on prior
booking at extra charges.
Inge and Rolf hail from Germany and operate Ora Ora. They
combine their enthusiasm for sustainable living and conservation with a high
degree of service to their guests. They offer like-minded guests to share
their little paradise, which is gradually developed into a small eco-village.
Please contact Inge
and Rolf via e-mail at email@example.com or The Writers’ Retreat in Kerikeri, Bay of Islands, New
FIVE REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD WRITE A SELF-HELP BOOK
By Lawrence Shapiro
If you are thinking about a new writing project,
one where you can derive a good income and even launch a new career, then
consider writing a self-help book.
Self-help books, sometimes called “how to” books,
can be about almost any subject, but the most popular subcategories are
personal growth, business, and parenting. Most of the people I talk to who
want to write a self-help book are already in the helping profession, but
that is certainly not a requirement to writing an informative, popular, and
helpful book. You can be an authority on any subject from knitting to
cabinet building to training for a marathon. If you are good at something,
and you want to help others acquire your skills, you are ready to write a
There are many rewards to writing a self-help
book, and they are much more tangible and easier to achieve than with most
other kinds of writing. I have been fortunate to have a long career
creating self-help books, including books for therapists, parents, kids,
and teenagers. I’ve also created card games, board games, apps, websites,
and other self-help tools. If you are a creative thinker, a clear writer,
and an authority in your subject area, there are many ways to convey your
message and I would encourage you to consider them all.
So if you are thinking about writing a self-help
book (or another creative product), see if these top five reasons will
motivate you to begin:
You get to help people with your writing. Maybe you will help
hundreds, maybe you will help tens of thousands, but there are a few things
that match the feeling of having people ask you to sign a book that has
“changed their lives.”
Self-help books appeal to a targeted and motivated audience.
Marketing and selling a book is always easier when you target an audience
who wants to buy and use what you want to sell.
Your self-help book can augment your business or profession. There
is no better business card than an autographed book. Your book turns you
into an instant authority.
Your self-help book can lead to an ongoing business. If your book
is successful, you may want to consider writing more books on this topic,
lecturing or giving workshops, or making other products to sell.
Self-help is a favorite category among many publishers, and
self-help books are easy to self-publish.
If you need help with your self-help book, please
let me know.
Lawrence Shapiro runs a
writers’ retreat in Cape Cod and gives
workshops for people who want to write self-help books or other products. His
newest book Write to Help: How to
Help Others with Your Self-Help Book, Game, or App, will be published
in February 2012.
For more information, visit his retreat in Cape Cod, Massachusetts or contact Lawrence
Shapiro at stay@InnattheOaks.com
REVVING OUR ENGINES
By Adilah Barnes
one of my favorite times of the year. It is a defined benchmark to start
As writers, we can take this opportunity to
recharge our batteries, recommit to our current literary endeavors, and set
new sights. We may have work we need to complete or we may just want to
start a new project that has been dancing around in our heads and needs now
to be on paper.
end, below are suggestions that may get your juices flowing in a new way in
this New Year.
Setting our goals and objectives is a measurable
way to do just that. If it is too overwhelming to think in terms of setting
goals for the entire year, set your goals in smaller bites. Goals are whats and objectives are hows. I suggest that for each goal
set, at least one objective be identified to achieve how that goal may be
CREATING A WRITING SANCTUARY
has everything to do with being inspired to write.
For some, writing may take place in a more formal
space, and for others, a non-traditional milieu such as an outside deck
when the weather is nice, going to a park, a library, a Starbucks, or
another place that activates the creative mind.
If you choose a space in your home, a spiritual
environment can be created by unlocking the five senses. For example, light
an aromatherapy candle and have it where it is visible. Write in front of a
window with a nice view and plenty of light. Burn incenses. Have a fountain
nearby where you can hear the soothing sound of water. Play relaxing,
instrumental music. Remove your shoes and feel the floor or carpet. Make
yourself a hot cup of herbal tea.
the above senses of sight, smell, sound, touch, and taste.
I tend to enjoy writing in my own home space where
I have no outside stimuli to distract me, so the above suggestions personally
serve me as a writer.
SETTING WRITING DATES
By creating a set time to write, we not only
discipline ourselves, we also work our writing time into our schedules,
whether daily or not and for either small increments of writing time or
can strengthen literary muscles
The more we take care of ourselves spiritually,
emotionally, physically and intellectually, the more we are able to bring
forth the energy that sustains us to create. I enjoy spiritual readings to
start my day, my morning yoga that gets me in touch with my breath and that
stretches my body, walking in a nearby wooded area where I breathe in the
scent of pine trees, hear birds chirping and eye an occasional deer, while
allowing myself to think about my work or drift wherever my mind takes me.
READ, READ, READ
One way to become a better writer is to read
how-to writing books, particularly ones that speak to the genre of the
given writer. A fun way to gain inspiration is to read for pleasure those
authors we enjoy. In the process, we are likely to be influenced in terms
of how we approach our own writing.
When ready, you may want to share what you are
working on with those you trust and support you as a writer. Hearing
language out loud can also help shape our re-writes. By committing to share
our work with others we can put a fire under us to get the writing done,
and challenge ourselves to present works we are proud of at the same time.
So, as we meet this New Year, let us consider some
of the above ways to rev our engines and get in gear!
You can reach Adilah Barnes at firstname.lastname@example.org or The Writers’ Retreat in Sharpsburg, GA.
RETREAT AT ORA ORA IN NEW
By Kate Walker, resident at the New Zealand writer’s retreat
For ten years, I’ve stayed at writers’ retreats all around the world
and my experience just gets better. I’m currently at the Ora Ora Writers’
Retreat in the Bay of Islands in New Zealand and writing up a
storm! I have my own villa with a king-size bed, a living room, a
kitchenette, and a bathroom. And I’m surrounded by acres of dazzling New Zealand
greenery, gentle bird song, a rambling garden, and … quiet.
Zealand’s attraction for me is
the mild climate. I’ve come here for two consecutive years to escape the
scorching summer heat in Australia.
Getting into a sweat while writing doesn’t work for me. The other
attraction is New
Zealand’s vast national parks and
reserves. I walk every afternoon, both for exercise and time out from
writing—it’s an essential part of my day. And no matter where you are in New Zealand,
you’re never far from a bush walk that has shades of Lord of the Rings at every turn.
Ora Ora has a beauty! You go straight out the back gate onto a
walking track that winds for several kilometres along the Kerikeri River,
past fairy pools, and water falls. And I’m not talking three trickles of
water over two rocks in a stream. When New Zealanders label something a
waterfall, expect a torrent. Rainbow
Falls is at the end
of the trail, so aptly named because it cascades so much water and hurls so
much mist into the air that it creates its own rainbow. It’s astounding!
Ora Ora Retreat operates on eco-principles. You can pick herbs from
the garden and brew up your own tea. (No pesticides are used.) The owners,
Inge and Rolf, take care of the linens and take very good care of the
writers too. They’ve been more than happy to drive me to the local
supermarket for a weekly shopping trip. However, the supermarket isn’t that
far away, so I’ve walked there and back a few times on my own. It’s about
half an hour each way.
My time here has been very productive. I’ve added the final changes
to three longish short stories and started on the big project I came here
to tackle—a young adult novel that’s currently just a pile of notes. This
is why I come to writers’ retreats, not the bird song or the leafy walks as
beautiful as they are, but I come for the long, uninterrupted days in which
I can stay focused on one project to the exclusion of everything else. This
has been easy to do here, squirreled away in my own little villa with no
telephone, no chores, and no nothing! Just hours and hours of quiet in which
to write, and I love it.
Kate Walker [Australia]
writes mainly for children and young adults.
For more information about the Ora Ora Retreat in New Zealand, please
contact Inge and Rolf via e-mail at email@example.com or The Writers’ Retreat in Kerikeri,
Bay of Islands, New Zealand.
By Louise Page
I’ve been earning my living from writing since I
was twenty-three, and writing is still the loneliest thing I’ve ever done.
When you’re writing, it’s not so bad. On a good day, you go to your
characters and they come out to play. On a bad day, it’s like being the
worst kid in the neighbourhood; nobody wants to be your friend. No one
wants to know you, and no amount of hammering on the door is going to let
you in. Worst of all is the finishing of something. You’ve been on a
journey with your characters and ideas, and then they just go away. Off
into a future of publication or performance; off to make friends with other
people. They don’t even turn around and wave to the lonely writer who has
just typed the longed for THE END after months, perhaps years, of effort.
I spent ten years writing a British Radio Soap
called The Archers. It taught me
two important lessons. One was to write fast; no time for angst about the
colour or nuance of a word, scripts have deadlines, get on with it, and
write. The other lesson was the joy of working with other writers, and I
found it amazing how different we all wrote. Some liked to be up before
dawn, while others wrote late into the night. Then I married a writer. I
discovered that some writers write, and then hack back and cut to get to
the essence of what they want to say. Conveniently, the writer I married also
includes the ironing and vacuuming in his writing ritual. The thing we had
in common was a love of writing and the desire to make our work good enough
to ask other people to spend their time with our characters. I sometimes
think it is not the money we earn that makes us writers, but the time
people spend reading our books or watching our plays.
My aim for the retreats at Heron’s Reach is
retreats that have an element of solitude and writing time. I’ve watched
writers flounder when they have just been left to get on with it. I once
found a writer standing outside another writer’s room listening to the
sound of the key strokes and saying, “How can they do it when I
can’t?” I happened to know that
though a lot of writing was being accomplished, not much thought was going
into the work, and a quality/quantity issue would eventually raise its
Sharing writing is important, and I encourage
writers to discuss their work with one another. Often this process of other
writers wanting to hear the rewrite of your poem or which man she decides
she really loves, can help give you the impetus to keep going. At the
retreat, I also invite writers to share writing that they like with others.
In this way, I have been introduced to all sorts of authors who I may not have
come across in my own reading. I could curse the writer who introduced me
to Harlan Coben, but gobbling down his novels has taught me an awful lot
Ireland is a
country built on stories. Forget about running into the grocery store,
grabbing a life-sustaining chocolate bar, and then racing back to your
laptop. You have to listen. Who could imagine the force of the wind could
be strong enough to bend the lock so that people had to be cut out of their
house? You’ll never describe the wind as howling again. Listen to the
stories. Most importantly listen to your own. And when you are lonely,
write yourself one.
To find out more or to secure
your space, please contact Louise Page via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or The Writers’ Retreat in Heron’s
The Writers' Retreat ---- www.WritersRetreat.com ---- email@example.com
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