Mexico Creative Writing Retreat
Together, Melvin Burgess and I tutored our students individually on their work-in- progress, as well as provided workshops on getting started, story structure, plot, editing, and setting (among other topics!). With the help of a pre-course questionnaire, the week was absolutely tailored to what the students wanted to learn.
Morning Yoga & Writing
Our mornings began in the divine new ‘Crystal Palace’ studio with early morning yoga (bodies need to be warmed up as well as brains!), followed by breakfast, and then our morning writing workshops. Lunch in the studio came next, followed by afternoons where students could write, or ride, or maybe do a bit of both. Before dinner was individual tutorials on their work, and after dinner came the tutor readings, or storytelling beside a bonfire. Mid-week we took our fearless band of writers on an excursion to Tula for some very Mexican creative inspiration. Top off the week with a visit from the wonderful Mexican publisher, Renato Aranda (who even arrived with Mescal to share), and we had one fabulously glorious time.
A particular highlight for me was the opportunity to ride with the students in the afternoon. On long, lazy walks through fields of vivid Mexican sunflowers, I enjoyed chatting to students about their novels or writing journey. There’s something about riding that makes thinking – and talking about thinking – just so much more relaxed, and easy. Together, we sorted out many a creative thorn during those rides.
This year our students called the week “transformative”, “amazing” and “exhilarating”. I’m going to add onto the list, as one of their teachers, that I found the week absolutely inspiring – I always find it so personally enriching to watch students achieve something new with their creativity, and to learn something helpful about their writing process. There were so many creative breakthroughs this year, it was so lovely to watch. And I, too, thought about new ideas and different ways of approaching my process.
Hasta luego, Writers!
Write well, write happy…