Press & Reviews

The Independent (UK): “World of Books: Ready to Write Your Own Best-Seller?”

You’ve spent too many summers reading novels, isn’t it about time you started to write one yourself.  Jennifer Howard selects the best of the world’s writing retreats

Summer in Granada is part of a series of retreats created by writers Rita Banerjee and Diana Norma Szokolyai. They describe their retreat model as a kind of roving salon, with previous sessions in Paris and at a chateau in Picardy, among its envy-inducing locations. “All of these places have a very alive and electric culture, a culture that exists on the streets, in the imagination,” Banerjee says.

Cost and duration: around £2,300 for four nights. Some scholarships available. Deadline for applying for August stay is 20 June. Visit: cambridgewritersworkshop.org

From The Independent by Jennifer Howard (June 17, 2017)

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The Washington Post: “When You’re Ready to Move from Summer Writing to Summer Reading”

“Your boss doesn’t care if you finish your novel. Your partner would rather not hear about the memoir you’ve been threatening to write. Feeling discouraged? It may be time to escape the creativity-quashing grind and reconnect with your muse in a lovely locale.

Whether you like Midwestern lakes or Icelandic hot springs, there’s a writers retreat for you. Here are half a dozen programs where you can spend quality time with your journal or get started on the next bestseller:

For culture connoisseurs

 

If tapas and flamenco are more your thing, the Summer in Granada retreat, sponsored by the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop, promises a warm cultural bath: “Let the old city stimulate your writing with its winding streets, Moorish history, and evocative landscapes,” the website says.

Summer in Granada is part of a series of retreats created by writers Rita Banerjee and Diana Norma Szokolyai. They describe their retreat model as a kind of roving salon, with previous sessions in Paris and at a chateau in Picardy, among its envy-inducing locations. “All of these places have a very alive and electric culture, a culture that exists on the streets, in the imagination,” Banerjee says.

This summer, participating writers will enjoy an “experiential tour” alongside workshops and writing sessions. Fiction writer Tim Horvath will teach a “writing from the senses” class that includes a visit to a “museum of smells,” a visit to a chocolatier and a tapas tour. “No matter how intellectual writing gets, you always want to draw in the senses and immerse the reader,” he says. (Did we mention chocolate?)

Cost/duration: $2,950; four nights. Some scholarships available.

From The Washington Post by Jennifer Howard (June 9, 2017)

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OUR 10 FAVORITE WRITING RETREATS AROUND THE WORLD

“Have you always daydreamed of charming coastal life on Rhode Island but never had a chance to experience it firsthand? Here is your glorious, picturesque and everything-you-ever-dreamed-of chance. Nestled directly on the coast with plenty of time for sailboat watching, this stunning location will surely inspire your greatest summer hit (especially if you’re a beach-read type of author).”

From BookSparks by Crystal Patriarche (May 17, 2016)

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WRITER CAMP

Generally, residencies fit into one or two of four broad categories:

Pay-to-Play: If you’ve got money, you can go. Residencies like Wellspring House and Cambridge Writers Workshop ask for a resume and work sample to demonstrate seriousness of purpose, but they are open to writers of varying skill and experience levels. It’s often possible to apply for a grant from your own local arts council to cover the expenses.

From Brevity’s Nonfiction Blog by Allison K Williams (June 3, 2015)

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5 WAYS THE PRACTICE OF YOGA IS LIKE THE ART OF WRITING

“The following comparison came out of a conversation with the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop, which often combines yoga and writing – two wonderfully creative, nourishing processes.”

From Thought Catalog by Ko Im (February 11th, 2015)

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FIVE BROOKLYN WRITERS’ GROUPS FOR EVERY TYPE OF WRITER

“Cambridge Writers’ Workshop [is an] expansion from Cambridge, MA, the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop opened its doors in Brooklyn in 2011. It offers both online and on-site workshops as well as writing retreats and residencies. This workshop is open to writers at all levels who are interested in expressing themselves in a serious writing environment set a little bit outside of urban city life. The Cambridge Writers’ Workshop is now accepting applications for 2013 workshops.

The Cambridge Writer’ Workshop is located at 922 Kings Highway in Sheepshead Bay. Rates vary.”

From Arts & Leisure in BrooklynExposed.com (January 7th, 2013)

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Write Now! 10 Online Classes

“Cambridge Writers’ Workshop; Offering creative writing courses and literary salons in a variety of genres, including translation and manuscript prep. Classes run six to 10 weeks.” 

From Drew Myron‘s blog, Off the Page (January 5th, 2013)

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Instead of an MFA: 7 Online Options

Journalist/editor Drew Myron notes how there are currently over 200 schools offering an MFA in writing. However, she also reflects on how the MFA is not the right option for everyone.

“We’re not all academics. We’re working — in bookstores and banks, in law firms and libraries. We’re selling insurance, clothes, coffee, and cars. We’re tending children, and parents, and bars. We’re writing, whenever and wherever we can. We thirst to improve. But not every writer has the time, money, or life circumstance to pursue a graduate degree.”

Cambridge Writers’ Workshop was shortlisted as one of 7 “respected” organizations offering “sophisticated and valuable writing classes [and]…offering quality online instruction.”

From Drew Myron‘s blog, Off the Page (September 22nd, 2012)

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Reviews of CWW France Summer Writing Retreats from Past Participants:

“I attended the Yoga and Writing Retreat in Verderonne, France, and it was overwhelmingly wonderful. I don’t usually splurge on travel, but I’m writing a novel set in France and I felt I needed it. I did. 

The chateau that we stayed at was gorgeous– the gardens were beautifully maintained and there was a thousand year old moat fed by a spring, a nearly-as-old theatre, and trees to sit under and do yoga, draw, or write. We stayed in a renovated stable that was absolutely gorgeous you’d never guess it was a stable. Think chic, rustic lodge getaway with nice bathrooms.  We even had our own private salon to ourselves for our classes and workshops, and yoga if it was rainy. 

The chef, Joelle, is gifted. She makes her own yogurt and jams and is so accommodating. I am a raw vegan, so my diet is extremely restrictive, but she very kindly researched my diet before I came and she made me these mouthwatering salads using fresh veggies from the garden, lovely juices, and she had an assortment of fresh, ripe fruit for me every morning. Everyone else’s cooked meals looked and smelled heavenly– we all adored her. 

Yoga with Elissa was fantastic. I’m also a yoga teacher, and I learned so much from her! She knows a lot about pranayama and asanas and the philosophy of yoga, and she has a gift for making ancient yogic teachings so accessible and nurturing. We had a range of levels in the class, beginner to advanced, and she was so good at helping us find variations of the posture to suit whatever we needed that day. She also taught a few art classes, she’s a professional artist as well, and I am not an artist at all but I enjoyed myself thoroughly. I made some pretty sweet collages from vintage National Geographic and French Elle magazines. Because she’s an artist, she had a keen awareness of how yoga and meditation supports creative work, and my yoga practice and writing practice became equally important and mutually beneficial. Oh such happiness!

Classes and workshop with Norma and Rita was also wonderful. I’m a writing teacher as well at Florida State University, and their writing exercises were so fun and helpful that I’m trying them with my students this semester. They both gave me insightful and intelligent feedback on scenes from the first draft novel. The classes were fascinating, both of them know a lot about their disciplines and they are fabulous writers themselves. They have a knack for being honest and still kind with their feedback. As another pro writer, I can attest that not everyone in our field has that skill!

And, this might be the most important part, Elissa, Norma, and Rita are so much fun to be with, so kind, so accommodating, and so interesting. I loved going on our outings to Paris, Chantilly, and Versailles, I loved our classes, our meals, our toasts, our strolls through the garden and dips in the moat. Being at the retreat with them felt like spending the best vacation ever with friends that it was high-time I met. Serendipitously, the other participants were equally lovely and I learned a lot from them too. The Cambridge Writer’s Workshop is a wonderful new business and I’m so happy to give them my support now and in the future. I’m so grateful for my experiences with them, and I can’t wait to have more.”

– Jessica Reidy (Tallahassee, FL)

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“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 (Manhattan, NY)

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