The Magic of Magnetic Island

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Oh yes, it really is that beautiful! I arrived home last night from a wonderful extended stay on Magnetic Island, just off the coast from Townsville in North Queensland. Wish you could have been there too! Traditional home of the Wulgurukaba People and a true piece of paradise.

We had so much fun on retreat. A fabulous group of writers, from absolute beginners to those with books under their belts. Now freshly-minted mermaids!img_3710.jpg

It all started with drinks on the verandah with tame blue-winged kookaburras eating out of our hands. Those beaks were a bit scary!

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Champagne still in hand, workshops started and writing dreams began to take shape.

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Then dinner up at the Amaroo restaurant with all the gang : )

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Mornings were filled with yoga and dance with our resident dancing queen Lalita Lakshmi!

Then we got stuck into the business at hand – writing! With two writing workshops covering all the basics and focusing in on character development to shape plot we were plenty busy enough. We got lots of writing done and had masses of information to absorb, so we needed our princess naps in the afternoon.

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Some  retreaters took advantage of the extended break and explored the beautiful island and had a walk and a swim.

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Dinner on Saturday night was at Bikini Tree Restaurant where my friends Jen and Dan had prepared a delicious and plentiful Indian feast.

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Even though we were stuffed to the gills (as mermaids get very hungry!) we managed to rouse ourselves for my personal highlight of the retreat  — candle dancing on the beach! The photo is blurry but you get the general idea of the fun of it. Lalita led us all in a joyful and playful celebration of life. I’m definitely keeping Lalita and dancing as part of the retreats.

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Sunday and more yoga and dancing and deep relaxation, some goal setting and another favourite part of the retreats, collage! Some collages were fun, some surprising, and others full of wonderful wishes that I hope all come true.

After farewelling all the lovely retreaters, my friend Vahida and I stayed on at Magnetic for another week, working on our own projects. Then Vahida left too, and I worked on in paradise editing a book for a friend of mine who lives on the island. Took the manuscript to the beach and worked on the sand : ) Yes! It’s not a bad life.

So now I’m home and back in the saddle, ready for more.

Life Writing Workshop this weekend at the CYA Conference Everything is a Genre Day. For the weekend (or day) ticket you get as many fabulous workshops as you can handle.

The following weekend I’m presenting Building Your Career as a Writer, at the QLD Writers Centre. You can come along in person or participate online as the session is streamed. I call this workshop – Many Fingers Many Pies, because it’s all about how to make money writing or doing things related to writing. We all have bills to pay, but it’s very nice to pay them by doing what we love.

And on Saturday 20 July I’m at Sunnybank Hill Library for a FREE WORKSHOP on the basics of creative writing. Would love to see you there. Come along and say hi : )

While I was away I also received feedback on my feature film screenplay from a Los Angeles script editor, so I’ll be busily redrafting over the next few months. Cross fingers it makes it to the big screen.

Coming soon is the launch of Bjelke Blues, a book of stories about life in Queensland under Premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen, that I’ve been collecting and editing for AndAlso Books. Super excited about that. It’s heading to the printers very soon. As soon as I have the cover I’ll be showing it off. Launch is booked for Friday August 23. More on that later,

Next retreat is set for November 8 – 10 at Burleigh Heads. I’m designing it as dual purpose.

A planning and writing retreat to super boost people doing NANOWRIMO.

And for those women with a finished manuscript (or almost finished) already done, a feedback and redrafting weekend, with personalised feedback from me on the first 10 pages and your synopsis and also feedback from a small group of your peers. That way you get to talk about the book you’re working on with people who understand just how much work you’ve done and how precious your project is.

If you’d like more information about the Burleigh Retreat, would like to secure your spot, or just sign up for newsletters to keep you up to date with the retreats or to receive my hints, tips and opportunities GET IN TOUCH.

Hope to see some of you soon at one of the workshops.

Happy Writing till then!

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Lots of love,

Edwina xx

 

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RELAX AND WRITE IN PARADISE!

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Escape the winter blues! Come and join us at the next Relax and Write Retreat on MAGNETIC ISLAND! Yes!! JUNE 21 – 23 2019

Just off the coast of Townsville in tropical far north Queensland we’re practically guaranteed sunshine and warmth and turquoise waters, just like these.

I’ve stayed on Magnetic Island – or Maggie as the locals call her – a few times over the past few years. It’s a magical place with giant boulders, pine trees, coral reef to explore and glorious unspoilt beaches.

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That’s not me in the picture by the way : )

We’ll be staying in air-conditioned comfort at Amaroo on Mandalay – a whole lot comfier than the dorms we’ve been used to! Air-conditioned twin share or a room to yourself, balconies and kitchenettes, beautiful tropical gardens and even a magnesium swimming pool and a bar!

Not that you’ll need your kitchenettes much, as all meals except lunches are catered for, including a fabulous Saturday night Indian feast by the beach.

Most exciting of all, my fabulous Creative Dance teacher, the lovely Lalita Lakshmi, is joining us for the morning yoga and movement classes and a special dance session on the beach on Saturday night!LALITA PHOTO la swirly

Four writing workshops are included, covering all the basics of creative writing, whether you want to write fiction, memoir, poetry or for the screen or stage. So be ready to get stuck into your stories. Let me help you get them out of your head and onto the page.

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Brian at Amaroo has offered retreaters fantastic rates on extra nights, so extend your stay and relax into writing after all the workshops.

Enjoy the sun and the beaches and the company of all the wonderful new friends you’ll make on retreat.

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Treat yourself to this weekend away in the sun to write and swim and rediscover your creativity and sense of joy.

All this fun and learning for only $550 pp twin share or $660 for a room of your own!

Or if you pay before May 31st 2019

Just click here to pay $520 twin share (just email me to let me know who your’e sharing with)

Or $630 for a room of your own.

Find more information at the Facebook event page.

Or get in touch with me for all the details and to book.

Don’t miss out! Places ares strictly limited to only 15 participants and they’re filling up fast.

We always have a wonderful time. Hope to see you there!

lots of love,

Edwina xx

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Put yourself in this picture! : D

RELEASE THE RETREATS!

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Feeling frazzled? Had enough of the rat race and housework and looking after everybody else? Treat yourself to a writing retreat in paradise, at a price you can afford.

A couple of wonderful retreats coming up!

Only a few weeks away until Relax and Write 3 at our Mermaid Base Camp at Evan’s Head. From Friday 31st August until Monday 3rd September our Mermaids and Scribes are taking over Camp Koinonia by the sea to write, relax and revel in each other’s joyful company. Yoga in the mornings, creative writing workshops through the day, lots of free time for beach walks and swims if you dare, and evenings full of feasting and fun. Can’t wait to get there! We still have a few spots available but please do hurry if you’re keen to come.

If you ask very nicely we may even extend our early bird prices 🙂 Contact Helena on helenapastor2@gmail.com for more info and to book.

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But wait – there’s more!!

From Friday 5th to Sunday 7th October 2018, while Helena is away at KSP (we’re both KSP residents this year), I am running a retreat in Toowoomba in collaboration with the Unleash the Beast Writing and Wellness Symposium.

It’s a fabulous initiative tackling mental health issues and discussing how we can use creative techniques like writing to help heal ourselves and others. I’ll be busy on their big day, Wednesday the 10th October, running a Writing for Trauma Workshop and speaking on a panel on Early Intervention Strategies for Children with funny woman Mandy Nolan – looking forward to that! You can check out the program HERE and book tickets HERE.

But most exciting is that I’m running their companion retreat – Relax. Write. Retreat.

High in the mountains, this retreat is set among the trees and views of Highfields near Toowoomba on the top of the range west of Brisbane at the lovely Koojarewon youth camp (Ok ok, we’re not youth but they still let us in!). This retreat is fully catered. In fact it looks like they intend to stuff us like geese- with force-feeding scheduled every few hours!

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Yoga in the mornings, writing workshops through the day, feasting and fun and naps and long walks and lots of good company. For me that’s the recipe for a perfect retreat.

For more info on the Toowoomba retreat and to book click HERE

Whether you want to escape to the beach for a luxurious long weekend of yoga and writing, or just pop up to the hills for a dose of pampering and creative inspiration, we have the retreat for you!

I love facilitating these retreats and watching people relax and write stories that surprise themselves, and the rest of us. The accommodation isn’t posh but we’re not either. Our aim is to keep these retreats as affordable as possible because we know most women don’t have much cash to splash around – especially on themselves.

But sometimes, a bit of time out and nurturing of your creative self is just the ticket!

Come along and join the fun – we’d love to have you.

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Lots of love

Edwina xx

 

 

RELAX AND WRITE RETREAT 2018

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YAY! Dates are now set for the next Relax and Write Retreat!
Friday March 16 – Monday 19th 2018
Feeling like you deserve a special treat this Christmas?
This retreat may be just the ticket.
Three nights away in a beautiful beachside location with like-minded women, relaxing with gentle yoga and inspiring your inner writer with fun writing workshops.
It will still be lovely and warm in March so bring your swimmers and sunblock. We’ll be staying at the beautifully basic Camp Koinonia in Evans Head, Northern NSW

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So, whether you’re a writer in need of relaxation and a good stretch, or a yoga practitioner yearning to write, this is the retreat for you.
Here’s what participants from the 2017 retreat had to say…
“Edwina and Helena have an easy style of putting people at ease and making each individual feel welcome and they were flexible in altering the program to meet the needs of the participants.”
“It was a great break away, affordable and I left feeling refreshed and with a significant amount of writing done.”
“I came away with a lot of information about entering into the field of professional writing as well as a wealth of ideas and starting points for fiction and memoir writing.”

Also announcing our MORE DASH THAN CASH positions. Would you love to do a retreat like this but don’t have the available funds right now? We know what that’s like (and we need some helpers!) so we’ve created a couple of sponsored positions.
Apply for one of our supported spots where for a few hours assistance with kitchen and other duties you can join us at a greatly reduced cost.

For more information and to book please contact Helena:
helenapastor2@gmail.com or
phone 0447 334 665

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So, come along and join our merry band of scribes and mermaids. Relax, write and enjoy yourself in a beautiful coastal setting with experienced workshop facilitators and published authors Helena Pastor and Edwina Shaw – see their bios HERE.
Unwind with yoga and free your creative voice with lots of fun writing activities and workshops. All only a minute’s walk from a glorious beach surrounded by national park where you can swim, walk, laze in the sun or meditate to your heart’s content.
Pick up from Coolangatta or Ballina airports is available if you’re coming from afar.
PROGRAM for March 2018
Friday
2 pm onwards – checking in
5:30 – meet and greet, drinks and nibbles
6:30 – Deep relaxation and introductory writing exercises
7:30 – Dinner
Saturday
7:30 – 9 am – Gentle morning yoga and breathing exercises with Edwina
10:30 – 12:30 – Writing Your Way into a Story – Helena
FREE TIME FOR LUNCH AND BEACH ACTIVITIES
3:30 – 5:30 – Using yoga and drama techniques for developing your characters – Edwina
7pm – dinner
Open Mic Night. If you would like to, please bring along a song or other musical item, a poem, a short performance piece or whatever else you would like to share 
Sunday
7:30 – 9 am – Yoga with Edwina
10:30 – 12:30 – Structuring for Suspense – Edwina
Excursion to Chinaman’s Beach for picnic lunch and freewriting
4pm – 6 pm – Writing Dialogue – Helena
7 pm – dinner
Monday
7:30 – 9 am – Yoga with Edwina
10:30 – 12:30 – Pitching your work – from bios to synopses to grant applications – E and H
Feedback and farewells.
For more information and to book please contact Helena:
helenapastor2@gmail.com or
phone 0447 334 665

Helena and Edwina photoCome along and join the fun. We’d love to have you with us.
Get in fast. Places are strictly limited to no more than 15 places.

Last chance for early bird rates for RELAX AND WRITE

 

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Just back from my trip to far north Queensland and Cape York. Part of my adventures there was running writing workshops for kids, first at The Cathedral School’s Writers’ camp and then at Lockhart River State school. A couple of happy snaps of kids happily writing like furies. Just like you’ll be doing if you come along to Relax and Write! Last chance for early bird rates, so get in quick!

Email Helena on helenapastor2@gmail.com for booking forms and more info. More info in my last post too 🙂

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RELAX and WRITE RETREAT

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Since 2002, my best writing buddy, Helena Pastor, and I have been heading to Camp Koinonia in beautiful Evans Head NSW to write, read and edit each other’s work and have lots of fun doing yoga, swimming, walking on the beach and feasting.

This year we’re opening up our special place to share it with other like-minded women who want to do the same.

This is how happy we were at the end of our retreat earlier this year. We’d love for you to feel this relaxed and happy too.

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So, whether you’re a writer in need of relaxation and a good stretch, or a yoga practitioner yearning to write, this is the retreat for you.

The program includes gentle yoga sessions to suit every level of ability and fitness, and writing workshops guaranteed to get your creative juices flowing.

All activities are optional, so if you just want to lie around in the sun all day you can do that, but we’ll be having lots of creative fun in the beautiful hall just across the road from the beach.

PROGRAM
FRIDAY
Arrival from 2 p.m.
5:30 p.m. Welcome nibbles and drinks, introductions
6 -7 p.m. Introductory deep relaxation and writing
exercise
7 p.m. Dinner
SATURDAY
7 – 8:15 a.m. Gentle morning yoga with Edwina
9:30 – 12:30 Memoir workshop with Helena
12:30 – 3 Lunch and free time to enjoy the beach (or
have a nap!)
3 – 5:30 Writing the Body with Edwina.
7 p.m. Dinner
SUNDAY
7 – 8:15 a.m. Yoga with Edwina
9:30 – 12:30 Writing fiction using yoga techniques
12:30 – 2:30 Lunch and free time
2:30 – 4:30 Self Editing with Helena
4:30 Feedback and farewells

We’d love to have you along to join in the fun. Women only (Sorry boys!)

As I’m away for most of July on an expedition to Cape York (more about that later) please contact Helena on helenapastor2@gmail.com for more information and to book

COST

We’ve kept our prices as low as possible – we wanted something we’d be able to afford ourselves 🙂

$400 for twin share with ensuite or;
$350 twin share with communal facilities
EARLY BIRD $380 / $330
if booked and deposit of $150 received before 31st July
2017
This includes
• all yoga and writing workshops
• 2 nights twin share ensuite accommodation / or
twin share with communal facilities
• healthy home cooked meals on Friday and
Saturday nights – self cater for breakfasts and lunches
Optional extras:
• Massage
• Personalised Editorial Feedback (10 Pages in 20
Minutes).

Treat yourself to a weekend that will leave you feeling relaxed, creative and inspired. We’d love to have you with us!

With lots of love

Edwina

Just to tempt you a little bit more – here’s a shot of an Evan’s Head beach at sunset.

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