Writeaways founder John Yewell tells about the writer’s retreats he and business partner Mimi Herman provide in France, Italy and the Outer Banks and how they inspire writers to find their muse.
By John Yewell
Go to our Writeaways web site, with its pictures of a centuries-old French chateau and an Italian villa, and your initial reaction is likely to be: What a great vacation! And it is, of a sort. But it is so much more than that.
We created our writing getaways in exotic places to get you as far from your daily life as possible, to set you free from care while giving you the guidance you need to unlock, or unblock, the writer within. We welcome writers of all levels and genres, and now have programs in the Loire Valley, Tuscany, and North Carolina’s Outer Banks.
“I didn’t know until I got busy how essential to the process being removed from my regular life would be. John and Mimi took care of all the necessities, creating a space for us to write and indulging us along the way. The food was amazing!” – Charity, North Carolina
We take care of everything. Each morning in France, you are greeted with a complete breakfast, including fresh croissants purchased before sunrise at the local boulangerie. In Italy, our hosts Patrizia and Paolo serve you continental style.
Afterwards, we engage in our specially designed workshop and private consultations for two hours. Whatever your level of experience, you’ll find the constructive help you need to produce your best work in a cooperative, but rigorous, atmosphere.
“I first met Mimi and John at their writing retreat at Chateau du Pin. While I had a very interesting story I’d thought about writing for years, I did not think of myself as a writer. Thanks to their thoughtful guidance, I finally began writing that story–and I’m still at it. John and Mimi made me believe I could do it, and gave me the tools I needed. I can’t thank them enough.” – Regina, North Carolina
After lunch – buffet-style in France, Tuscan-style in Italy – you are free to write or explore. In France, the chateau is surrounded by 300 acres of topiary, rose gardens, meadows and vineyards. In Italy, you can wander in the olive orchards, sit by the pool, or explore Tuscany as widely as you like. In both locales, we offer tours of the surrounding region, including tastings at local wineries. All of this is included in the program.
In the evening we reconvene for cocktails and wine, then sit down to a spectacular dinner prepared by professional chefs. Afterwards, relax with a digestif or cocktail of your choice in relaxed reflection, surrounded by five-hundred year old walls.
Our program in Southern Shores, on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, is a weekend intensive class designed to jumpstart a dormant writing project or launch a new one.
After people began coming to us and asking if they could put together their own groups of friends and families, we began organizing self-organized getaways. We expect to make the first such trips a reality in France and Italy in the spring of 2015.
We are also developing a Master Class intensive program, which would be limited to two students for a week in Beaufort, NC.
Writeaways is based in Durham, North Carolina, although our students have come from all over: Texas, Wyoming, Virginia, Canada. Our long-term plan is to create writing getaways in the kinds of places people dream about going, so that we can pair that dream with their own desire to become better writers.
Mimi and I are both writing professionals with complementary backgrounds. Mimi Herman has taught over 20,000 students to fall in love with writing, especially their own. A Warren Wilson MFA graduate, her teaching style captures students’ imagination and creates a supportive learning environment. As one student said of her time with Mimi, “It is an experience that I will hold with me throughout my whole life.”
I am a writer and editor with an MFA in fiction from San Francisco State University and twenty years of experience in journalism. I teach a memoir class in Durham and consult as a private editor and writing coach.
If you are in the Washington DC area on Sunday. October 13 attend the Local Author Fair featuring Outer Banks Publishing Group author Mary L. Tabor. Enjoy some fine wine and cheese while discussing Mary’s newest novel, Who by Fire, a literary gem about a complex tale of love, betrayal, and the search for one self.
Here is what Richard Kramer, writer and producer of the TV show Thirtysomething, wrote about Mary L. Tabor’s sensual, sensitive novel, WHO BY FIRE.
“This brief, elegant, passionate novel accumulates and gathers force like a poem, in which language is compressed and edited and somehow bursts its bounds as it goes along. It made me want to write a book just like it, although I don’t have Mary Tabor’s wisdom and insight and willingness to stay so intently focused. Maybe someday … Until then, I can heartily recommend this, maybe especially to people who haven’t written a novel but who want to, because WHO BY FIRE can show you what a novel can be.”
Who By Fire
Paperback: 248 pages
Product Dimensions: 6 x 9 inches
Publication Date: November 2012
A prominent newspaper columnist kills the man mostly likely to be the next Governor of Kentucky – and gets away with it. Ten years later, the death of his mentor brings him back to the scene of the crime.
Outer Banks Publishing Group author Ron Rhody has completed the last novel in the THEO trilogy, When THEO Came Home, available in November 2013.
This riveting story takes the reader through San Francisco to the canyons of Manhattan to the mountains of southern Appalachia where snake-handling cults still thrive.
The action takes place mostly in Kentucky’s fabled Bluegrass section and in Frankfort, the state’s capitol city, which is in turmoil in the midst of policies put in place by the new governor that are crippling the city.
What happens when Theo comes home is not what anyone expects – most particularly Theo.
Pre-order your copy at a special pre-launch price of $12.99, list $15.99, now through November 1, 2013.
“The characters are richly drawn. The action runs at a riveting pace. What happened When THEO Came Home is a helluva read and a fine, fine story.” – Ian Kellogg
When THEO Came Home is the concluding novel in the THEO Trilogy. The other books in the series are: THEO’s Story and THEO & The Mouthful of Ashes, both available on Amazon in print and ebook format and in fine bookstores everywhere.
Outer Banks Publishing Group
BISAC: Fiction / Suspense
MANSFIELD, OHIO – The Mansfield Reformatory Preservation Society hosted a book signing this Labor Day weekend for Outer Banks Publishing Group author Scott Fields, author of The Mansfield Killings at the historic and haunted Ohio State Reformatory.
Scott said he sold approximately 60 copies of his best selling novel, The Mansfield Killings, based on true events about two ex-cons who went on a 2-week killing spree in the summer of 1948.
The spree attracted national headlines back then ending in a dramatic shootout with police on Route 224 where one ex-con was killed and the other captured.
“I just had to write this book. It took me only four months to finish it,” he said earlier.
The killing spree is part of Mansfield, Ohio’s dark lore, where the state erected an historical highway marker on Route 224 where the killers were confronted and stopped. It’s like the town fathers wanted future generations to remember the horror of that summer more than 60 years ago.
The book signing was held at the Ohio State Reformatory, reputed to be haunted by former prisoners and the location of the filming of the 1994 The Shawshank Redemption, starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman.
Scott’s book signing was part of the 20-year-reunion party of The Shawshank Redemption where fans were treated to a Hollywood tour of the rooms and areas where the movie was filmed.
The Mansfield Killings is available from Amazon in both ebook and print versions and in fine bookstores everywhere.
Listen to Mixcloud’s interview with Outer Banks Publishing Group author Mary L. Tabor. She discusses her newest novel, Who by Fire, where one of the main characters who died, lives throughout the story.
The interview starts at 50:26 into the broadcast.
Mixcloud connects radio content to listeners more effectively. Mixcloud is re-thinking radio by joining the dots between radio shows, Podcasts and DJ mixes. We refer to them as Cloudcasts – audio shows that are stored in the “cloud” and available to be streamed on-demand.
For anyone who is creative, you must watch this video of Neil Gaiman’s address to the 2012 graduating class of the University of Arts in Philadelphia.
From the zenpencil.com blog:
“Neil Gaiman (1960-) is one of the best fiction writers in the world in my opinion. His work covers novels, short-stories, children’s books, comics, film, television – pretty much the whole pop-culture gamut.
This quote is taken from Gaiman’s commencement address at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, which was all over the internet last week. In an absolutely beautiful and inspiring speech, Gaiman shares the best tips that he wished he knew when he was first starting his writing career. It’s required listening for anyone passionate about the arts and I’ve bookmarked it so I can watch it whenever I lose my direction. Seriously, if you haven’t seen it, stop what you’re doing and click here.”
Christmas and the Holiday Season has always been a magical time whether you are experiencing the joy as a child or an adult looking forward to the happiness you will bring to others. People are happier, more friendly and filled with peace. The spirit of giving is everywhere.
The year has been filled with many blessings. We received more manuscripts than the previous year which resulted in several new titles being published this year and next.
We would like to wish you and your loved ones the most joyous and wonderful holiday season with the hope that all your wishes come true.
Take these words into the new year and beyond by Ralph Waldo Emerson,
“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead
where there is no path and leave a trail.”
Bestselling author John Grisham has written another legal thriller — and this one is for kids.
Grisham has 24 books under his belt, many of which were turned into movies, including The Pelican Brief and A Time To Kill. But he says writing for a young audience created a special challenge, mostly because he didn’t want to underestimate their abilities.
“It’s not necessarily any easier than adult fiction,” Grisham tells NPR‘s Michele Norris. “It’s easier in that it’s shorter; the plot is not nearly as complicated.
“But the biggest challenge I found was the ability to try to tell the story without talking down to kids. Because I think that’s what a lot of writers do and they don’t like it. Kids don’t like it. They want you to treat them as your equal and tell them the story.” more>
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