Creative Writing Retreat at Rancho Las Cascadas

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A Specialist Week of tutoring in Writing for Young People (to include writing for children and young adults).

November 12 –19, 2016

@ Rancho Las Cascadas –

Fiction for young people often uses wild places and natural settings in innovative and evocative ways. What better place to explore this powerful combination than in the beautiful and luxurious Rancho Las Cascadas … complete with waterfalls, stunning natural vistas, authentic Mexican villages, and even wonderful local creole horses! How could you not want to write stories?

Join award-winning, bestselling and groundbreaking authors Melvin Burgess and Lucy Christopher in discovering what it takes to write new and original fiction for a younger audience.

Through exercises, workshops, lectures, one-on-one tutorials, fieldwork and “serious play” in this amazing setting, Melvin and Lucy will introduce some of the key components for beginning, or developing work, for a young audience. They will discuss how to find an original voice, how to push boundaries, as well as how basic elements such as character, setting and plot can enliven and deepen a creative piece. Come prepared to experiment, begin or develop new work, and open your mind to this exciting and innovative area of fiction.


This course is suitable for writers both new to the discipline of Writing for Young People, as well as writers who want to work and develop existing work in this field. Depending on the ability, and desires, of the group, Melvin and Lucy may also conduct some teaching and research activities in the field, perhaps even on horseback! This will be a specialist, intense and hugely enjoyable course taught with fun and care and absolutely tailored to the group’s needs.

As well as the writing course itself, guests will be able to enjoy as much horse riding as they wish (and can fit in). There is a lovely pool and hot tub (overlooking the waterfall), and there will be yoga classes on request (of three guests or more).  Delicious food, drink and alcohol (including lovingly-prepared cocktails) all come as standard too. Each day there will be several hours put aside for guests to do with as they please – write, ride, swim, walk to a local village, or just relax and be inspired.


COST will be $2175 all-inclusive for seven nights (all group and individual writing tuition, guest lectures, all food and drink and all alcohol, luxury accommodation in a private room, airport transfers, and all horse-riding and yoga)

Email Jenny at the Rancho to book your stay


A typical day could consist of:

  • 8:00 – 9:00 am: Breakfast on the Terrace
  • 9:30 am – 12:30/1:00 pm:  Morning Creative Writing Workshop – This could be on character, voice, setting, research, constraints of writing for young people, dialogue etc.
  • 1:00 – 2:00 pm: Lunch beside the waterfall
  • 2:00 – 7:00 pm: Individual Tutorial Slot with the Creative Writing Tutor/s and/or Free Time for writing stories, riding horses, doing yoga, relaxing by the pool, excursion to a local village, getting inspired etc. Tutor/s may also join in an afternoon ride with the students if time permits
  • 7:00 pm: Mexican Dinner
  • After Dinner: Evening Talk and/or Reading


July 27, 2016 in General, Stolen, Teaching, The Killing Woods, Writing, Writing Retreat by

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US Book Tour for The Killing Woods – MORE DATES ADDED

Hi Everyone – here are a few more dates for my upcoming The Killing Woods US Tour. Really hope I can see lots of my wonderful readers and thank you in person for being so great.  – Lucy :-)


Tuesday January 21st: Seattle

PUBLIC talk at University Bookstore, Bellevue (with author Sara Larson), 6pm


Wednesday January 22nd / Thursday January 23rd : Seattle

Winter Institute


Saturday January 25th / Sunday January 26th: Philadelphia

ALA Conference


Sunday January 26th: Haverford, PA

PUBLIC event at Children’s Book World, 7pm (with authors David Levithan and Rainbow Rowell)


Monday January 27th: NYC

PUBLIC event at McNally Jackson Bookstore, 52 Prince St, NYC, (with authors David Levithan and Gayle Forman), 7pm


Thursday January 30th: Charlottesville, VA

PUBLIC event at Barnes and Noble, Barracks Road Shopping Center, 1035 Emmet St Suite A, (with author Maggie Stiefvater), 7pm.


Saturday February 1st: Hadley, Massachusetts

PUBLIC event at Odyssey Books, 9 College Street, South Hadley, 4pm


Sunday February 2nd: Rhinebeck, New York

PUBLIC event at Oblong Books, 6422 Montgomery Street, Rhinebeck, 4pm (with authors Len Vlaho and Margaux Froley).


January 18, 2014 in Book Tours, General, The Killing Woods by

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One month to go until …. The Killing Woods is here!

It’s only ONE MONTH TODAY until The Killing Woods is published in the UK, and TWO MONTHS before The Killing Woods is published in Australia and NZ. I’m also currently making my final editing changes to the US edition (published in JAN 14). How exciting….it’s all getting closer…and closer…. I feel like shouting “Look behind you!”… “Watch Out!”

You know what else this means?

It means The Killing Woods will come out just in time for when the nights start to draw in and everything starts to get a bit….more….cold…and…a…bit…more…dark…. Oooohhhh! Get your nightlights on guys, and your duvets wrapped around you … it’s (almost) time to go down to the woods …

Are you Game?'s coming

….it’s coming

September 3, 2013 in Book Tours, The Killing Woods by


The Killing Woods Tumblr

Hello everyone!

Have you seen the new Killing Woods Tumblr that my amazing UK PR team have put together….? If not, check it out – it’s here.

There is also a BRILLIANT competition they are running on there at the moment. All you need to do is post a picture of you in some woods, or even just post a picture of some trees near you, in order to be in the running to WIN a signed book proof of my new novel, The Killing Woods. So, go and get down to the woods today…. Come on, I dare ya.

I’ve even put a picture up of me in the woods too … it’s taken in North Woods, Central Park, New York …. which is where I am right now. I’m here doing some work on the STOLEN screenplay, as well as early publicity for the US edition of The Killing Woods (US readers, stay tuned). Must say, I am loving being here.


In the meantime, wishing you happy wanderings through woods near and far. I can’t wait to see your pictures!

Take care,
Lucy :-)

August 16, 2013 in General, Stolen, The Killing Woods by


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