Summer in Barcelona and South of France Writing Retreat (July 18-26, 2016)


Join the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop on our Summer in Barcelona & South of France Writing Retreat to two of Europe’s most fascinating and scintillating locales, Barcelona, Spain and Narbonne, France. A little more than a two hour’s ride away from Narbonne via train, Barcelona, known for its award-winning architecture, beautiful weather, and rich European culture, is the perfect spot for any writer to fulfill their literary desires. The Sercotel Amister Art Hotel Barcelona, where we will be staying, features beautiful contemporary art, along with a very modern classroom space which will surely get those creative juices flowing.

After spending a few days and nights where participants will be allowed to explore Barcelona in all of its beauty, the retreat will move to Narbonne, France. Home to the Canal de la Robine and the Narbonne Cathedral, Narbonne is a great place for anyone to take a relaxing walk or do some historical sightseeing. Narbonne also has some amazing beaches and biking trails. Hotel Novotel Narbonne Sud will be our lodging in Narbonne. With its chic style and proximity to Narbonne’s historic city center, Hotel Novotel Narbonne Sud presents itself as the perfect sanctuary for any writer.

The Cambridge Writers’ Workshop Summer in Barcelona & Southern France Writing Retreat will take place from July 18-26, 2016, and the cost of the workshop is $3950, which includes lodging and breakfast in Barcelona, Spain and Narbonne, France, transportation from Barcelona to Narbonne, craft of writing seminars, and writing workshops. The retreat allows writers, both new and experienced, the opportunity to learn from and work alongside award-winning authors and editors. Participating writers will find themselves honing their craft and expanding their writing skills as they work on existing or brand new projects.

The retreat will be held at the Sercotel Amister Art Hotel Barcelona (Avinguda Roma, 93-95, 08029 Barcelona, Spain) and Hotel Novotel Narbonne Sud (130 Rue de l’Hôtellerie, 11100 Narbonne, France). Faculty includes Bret Anthony Johnston (fiction), David Shields (nonfiction, book-length essay), Diana Norma Szokolyai (poetry, nonfiction), and Rita Banerjee (poetry, fiction).

In addition to workshops and lessons, participants can opt-in for daily yoga lessons, which help soothe the mind and body by creating opportunities for personal exploration and inspiration. Please note that this yoga/meditation opt-in will be only be added to the writing retreat by popular demand (if enough writing retreat participants sign up for it). Taught by CWW’s very talented yoga instructor Elissa Lewis, our yoga classes focus on both the structural and spiritual and can be personalized according to any physical demands you may have.

If you’d like to join us in Barcelona and Narbonne, please apply online at by March 15, 2016, and include $5 application screening fee, along with a writing sample of either five pages of poetry or ten pages of prose. (Due to limited seats, early applications are encouraged, but check for rolling admission after deadline, depending on availability).

applyDeadline: March 15, 2016

Featured Faculty:

baj-bio-pic 2Bret Anthony Johnston is the author of the internationally best-selling novel, Remember Me Like This, which was named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and the 2015 winner of the 2015 McLaughlin-Esstman-Stearns Prize. It is currently being made into a major motion picture. His other works include Corpus Christi: Stories. His writing has been published in Atlantic Monthly, Esquire, The Paris Review, Glimmer Train Stories, Virginia Quarterly Review, The Best American Short Stories, and other places. He has also had his nonfiction appear in The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Tin House, and The Best American Sports Writing. He is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and the Director of Creative Writing currently at Harvard University.

david_appearences_retina.jpgDavid Shields is the internationally bestselling author of twenty books, including Reality Hunger (named one of the best books of 2010 by more than thirty publications), The Thing About Life Is That One Day You’ll Be Dead (New York Times bestseller), and Black Planet (finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award). Forthcoming from Knopf in February 2017 is Other People: Takes & Mistakes. The recipient of Guggenheim and NEA fellowships, Shields has published essays and stories in the New York Times MagazineHarper’s, EsquireYale ReviewVillage VoiceSalonSlateMcSweeney’s, and Believer. His work has been translated into twenty languages.

DianaNormaDiana Norma Szokolyai is a writer/interdisciplinary artist/educator and Executive Artistic Director of Cambridge Writers’ Workshop. Based in Brooklyn, NY, she is author of the poetry collections Parallel Sparrows (honorable mention for Best Poetry Book in the 2014 Paris Book Festival) and Roses in the Snow (first runner-­up Best Poetry Book at the 2009 DIY Book Festival). She also records her poetry with musicians and has collaborated with several composers. Her poetry-music collaboration with Flux Without Pause led to their collaboration “Space Mothlight” hitting #16 on the Creative Commons Hot 100 list in 2015, and can be found in the curated WFMU Free Music Archive. Szokolyai’s work has been published in Quail Bell Magazine, Lyre Lyre, The Fiction Project, The Boston Globe, Dr. Hurley’s Snake Oil Cure, and Up the Staircase Quarterly, as well as anthologized in The Highwaymen NYC #2, Other Countries: Contemporary Poets Rewiring History, Always Wondering and Teachers as Writers. Szokolyai earned her Ed.M. in Arts in Education from Harvard University and her M.A. in French Literature from the University of Connecticut, while she completed coursework at the Sorbonne and original research in Paris for two years. She is currently at work on three books and recording an album of poetry & music.

RitaBanerjeeRita Banerjee received her doctorate in Comparative Literature from Harvard and her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Washington.  Her writing has been published or is forthcoming in the Los Angeles Review of BooksElectric Literature, VIDA: Women in Literary Arts, AWP WC&C Quarterly, Queen Mob’s Tea House, Riot Grrrl Magazine, Poets for Living Waters, The Monarch Review, The Fiction Project, Quail Bell Magazine, Jaggery, Catamaran, The Crab Creek Review, The Dudley Review, Objet d’Art, Amethyst Arsenic, Vox Populi, Dr. Hurley’s Snake-Oil Cure, Chrysanthemum, and on KBOO Radio’s APA Compass in Portland, Oregon.  Her first collection of poems, Cracklers at Night, was published by Finishing Line Press and received First Honorable Mention for Best Poetry Book of 2011-2012 at the Los Angeles Book Festival, and her novella, A Night with Kali, is forthcoming from Spider Road Press in 2016.  Creative Director of the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop, she is currently working on a novel and a book of lyric essays.

elissalewis.jpegElissa Lewis is the Yoga & Arts Coordinator of the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop. She began her journey with yoga in 2006, when she moved to France and made the practice part of her daily routine. She saw yoga as a lifestyle, not only a class, helping her to clear her mind and have more compassion for herself and others. In 2010 she moved to New York and completed her teacher training at Laughing Lotus, a creative, soulful yoga studio that teaches the student to ‘move like yourself.’ She’s taught private and group classes in Manhattan and Brooklyn ever since. Visit her website for informative yoga sequences and information.