Past Retreats

CWW Summer 2015 Writing & Yoga Retreat in Granada, Spain


Our second retreat of the 2015 summer season took place in Granada, Spain. There we stayed at Hotel Guadalupe and spent our days writing in the city’s winding streets, absorbing its Moorish history, indulging in the delicious Andalucían cuisine, and being inspired by evocative landscapes.

Joining us as part of the faculty for this retreat was the Guggenheim Fellowship recipient and Pushcart Prize winner Peter Orner, who led workshops on storytelling techniques in short fiction and novels  and on Spanish literature. CWW directors Diana Norma Szokolyai and Rita Banerjee also led a few workshops. Diana led a workshop on finding one’s inner voice, while Rita led a workshop on narrative development. We were also joined by Jessica Reidy who led a workshop on rhythm in poetry and prose. Yoga classes were taught by Elissa Lewis.

Like our Paris retreat, we live blogged our trip to Granada. If you are interested, you can see all the exciting things we did on this trip, such as seeing Poeta in Nueva York and shopping for fans.

CWW Summer 2015 Writing & Yoga Retreat in Paris, France Retreat

paris2015posterjune15deadlineOur summer 2015 Paris retreat was quite the success. We made sure to take advantage of our time in the glamorous city as we explored it and all of its literary, romantic, and historical charm. The retreat included craft of writing seminars, creative writing workshops, literary tours of Paris, daily yoga and meditation classes, and one-on-one manuscript consultations.

We were joined by Guggenheim Fellowship recipient and New York Times bestselling author David Shields, who taught workshops on brevity, collage, and collaboration. CWW directors Rita Banerjee and Diana Norma Szokolyai taught workshops that focused on character building and the use of our five senses as well as evocative objects.  They also led workshops in which participants were allowed the opportunity to share their work, revise their work, and plan the future of their writing.

We also took excursions to Shakespeare and CompanyVersailles and Au Chat Noir. We made sure to live blog our Paris retreat on our website, so if you are curious, please feel free to peruse it and get an idea of what our retreats are like.

We were extremely happy to experience Paris with all of our participants, and we can’t wait to do it again on our next France retreat!

CWW Newport, Rhode Island Writing & Yoga 2015 Retreat


The Newport, Rhode Island retreat took place at a Cape Cod style home nestled into a quiet neighborhood near the beach. We were joined by award-winning and internationally-renowned authors such as Kathleen Spivack (fiction, poetry, nonfiction), Stephen Aubrey (playwriting, screenwriting), Rita Banerjee (poetry, fiction), & Diana Norma Szokolyai (poetry, nonfiction).  Yoga and meditation was lead by Elissa Lewis.

During free sessions in the afternoon, participants had the opportunity to take mansion tours of gilded-era Newport, visit the Newport Museum, listen to some Newport jazz classics, and just relax beside the ocean watching the sailboats and let the stunning location influence their writing.

CWW Summer 2013 Yoga & Writing Retreat at the Château de Verderonne

CWW-VerderonneRetreat2013Come join us for our second annual writing retreat in France. This year, we will stay at the Château de Verderonne (45 min from Paris), in a lovely and spacious 17th century manor house.  A French chef will prepare all of our meals on site, and we will dine together in the large kitchen or on the terrace. Enjoy walks through the château at your leisure, take refuge writing in the drawing rooms, or relax in the sprawling gardens.

The ancient discipline of yoga directly benefits the creative process. Yoga heals and strengthens posture and chronic tensions common to writers, making writing time more productive. Calm the nervous system through meditation and breathing exercises.

Can you paint yourself into this setting for two weeks? Apply now for early decisions. There are a limited amount of seats, so early applications are encouraged.

Writers & Co-Directors of Cambridge Writers’ Workshop Diana Norma Szokolyai and Rita Banerjee will be your guides and help you create the space you need to nurture your writing projects. Certified yoga instructor/visual artist Elissa Lewis will guide participants in daily yoga and meditation exercises. The retreat is tailored for allowing participants to relax and access their creative process. We will offer the following options to those electing to participate:

-craft of writing mini-classes
-creative writing workshops
-manuscript review
-beginner/intermediate/advanced French conversation groups
-fine art mini classes and crafts

Excursions to Paris, Chantilly (known for whipped cream and genuflecting horses) and nearby medieval towns

Participant testimonial from our 2012 Summer Writing/Ecoliving retreat at Château de Sacy, France:

“Norma and Rita gave a fabulous writers’ workshop at Le Petit Sacy, France.
Their knowledge, enthusiasm and caring were exemplary. I will definitely continue to take workshops with them… I was totally inspired, will continue to write and hopefully participate with them in their forthcoming programs :)”

-Gloria Rich (psychoanalyst and writer, Manhattan, NY)

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CWW Summer 2012 Eco-Living & Writing Retreat at the Château de Sacy

thumb_sacyCambridge Writers’ Workshop in France
August 22-31, 2012

Instructors: Patrick RosalSrikanth ReddyRita Banerjee, and Diana Norma Szokolyai

Château de Sacy is located in the region of Picardy, one hour from Paris. This ecologically sustainable and artistic haven is nestled in the small village of Sacy le Petit, which dates back to prehistoric and Roman times. Sacy was close to an ancient road called “la voie royale,” which carried pewter all the way from England to Rome. There are many local legends involving horses, curses, and secret passageways that folks still talk about in Sacy le Petit.

The present owner of the château, Hermine Demoriane, is part of the same family that has lived there for over 200 years. Her love for art and ecologically sustainable living has transformed the estate into a venue for art residencies, exhibitions and volunteer organic gardening.

If you are serious about your writing, please join us. Here are some of the experiences you may have: Imagine waking up to church bells or the dame du château ringing the bell. Fresh organic fruit and homemade yogurt await you downstairs. Sun is pouring in through the stone walls, and you can smell the raspberries in the window. During the day, you spend hours focusing on shaping your work of writing. In specialized writing workshops, you receive feedback on your writing, try experimental methods that push the boundaries of your writing, and have the opportunity to share with other experienced writers. Your free moments of the day are spent on walks through the nearby forest trails, on bike rides to pick up farm eggs, or sketching beautiful poppies in the fields. Lunch and dinner will be served at the château by wonderful cooks, and you’ll be amazed at the no-waste kitchen Madame Demoriane keeps. For nearly every meal, organic vegetables and fruits are harvested from the “potager” (kitchen garden). Your days will be filled with refreshing meals, interesting conversations, and most importantly—creative writing! Day excursions will include a literary tour of Paris and local arts events. There will also be a reading for participants of the workshop to share their work and music by classical musicians in the evening.