RELAX AND WRITE IN THE MOUNTAINS 2021

RELAX AND WRITE RETREATS are thrilled to announce a special introductory and memoir writing retreat at Camp Koojarewon in Highfields north of Toowoomba.

Is your creative spirit crying out for a little TLC? Always wanted to write but don’t know where to start? Need to reboot your writing mojo and be inspired to tackle that project you’ve been thinking about forever? Come along and regain your love of writing and life at the next Relax and Write Retreat among the beautiful big trees.

From 3pm FRIDAY 22 October – 2 pm 24 October 2021

Join like-minded women in a fun and supportive environment discovering just how much some deep relaxation can ignite your imagination and get you writing again. Relax and unwind with gentle morning yoga sessions and get writing with innovative workshops designed to help move those stories out of your head and onto the page. 

“I feel transformed, as a writer and as a human being.”

Bianca Millroy – writer and retreater

The program includes two yoga sessions, four inspiring writing workshops covering the basics of Life Writing and Memoir, plus advice on editing and submitting your work. Two nights basic dorm accommodation plus delicious vegetarian meals, morning and afternoon teas and a special exotic dance night are included. I’m so excited that our wonderful exotic dance instructor and performer Jacqui will be joining us again for this retreat!

We had so much fun dressing up and being glamorous!

“The fully-catered retreat environment was comfortable and stress-free. Edwina and her team create an atmosphere that encourages, motivates and inspires.”

Gay Liddington – writer and retreater

Connect with other creative women in a beautiful, peaceful location, be inspired by practical, informative workshops, stretch and relax with yoga and release your inner-goddess dancing. No more putting your dreams on hold. Treat yourself to this special weekend nurturing your writing spirit. You deserve it!

ONLY $380 all inclusive if you pay your deposit by the end of this month!

The whole weekend of writing, fun and feasting, including accommodation, all meals, 2 yoga sessions, 4 informative and inspiring creative writing workshops and a dance night. Transport not included.

 $420 all inclusive if you miss the cut off date.

Pay $200 deposit at RELAX AND WRITE RETREATS before 31 August 2021 for EARLY BIRD $380

For more information or to get a flyer with all the details, just DROP ME A LINE!

Accomodation is basic dorm style but with lots of room to spread out and create a space of your own. Beautiful peaceful surroundings and lots of writing spots. It’s not posh, but neither are we. The workshops and company however, are first class!

Massages with Jani and individual editorial feedback sessions with Edwina are also available.

Break free of the blues! Come along and join the fun – get those stories out of your head and onto the page. We always have a wonderful time!!

With lots of love,

Edwina xx

6 STEPS TO SHAPING YOUR MEMOIR

Structure is the primary concern of the writer, how to order all the key emotional plot points to keep the reader turning pages.

A memoir is not an autobiography. Unfortunately, unless you are a sportsperson, politician, musician, or movie star, no one cares about where you were born or your ancestral history, how your parents met, and what you did in grade three. Unless, of course, this is of itself interesting enough to be a story. A memoir is a slice of your whole life, focused around a topic, an idea or theme, a specific time, or linked moments that resonate around a search or question of some kind.

Here are 6 STEPS to help you find your structure.

  • NARROW THE FOCUS

When shaping your memoir, it helps to narrow the focus as much as possible – not just My Journey to Healing, but My Struggle with Addiction from recognition of the issue to finally getting clean. Not My whole life was leading to this but The Last three years of growth. Not My entire family history but My discovery of my lost grandmother. The narrower the focus the better.

  • START WITH ACTION THAT ESTABLISHES YOU AS NARRATOR AND THE CENTRAL QUEST OR QUESTION

This may be the inciting incident, or it may be another emotional turning point in your story that hooks the reader in and establishes what the story will be about. For example, the first scene in a medical recovery memoir may be in a doctor’s office receiving a diagnosis. Or finding a hidden photograph of a woman who looks strangely familiar, but that no one has ever mentioned. Make sure you are front and centre in the scene, making decisions and acting.

  • GROUND THE READER 

At the beginning of any story, it’s very important that we are grounded in time and place. Establish where your story is set. Is it set in the gritty backstreets of Logan or the leafy riverside suburbs? In India or Australia? Where are we, and most importantly WHO ARE WE WITH? In memoir you are the central character. The “you” from the past is not who you are now. Describe yourself with a few specific details, illustrate your character by showing interactions with others. And most importantly, give us something to connect with, a moment of vulnerability or relationship so we care about you as a character. If we see you as a person who is loved, if only by your cat, we’re more likely to want to share your story.

  • INCITING INCIDENT –What moment in time propelled you on this story journey – a diagnosis, finding yourself asleep in a gutter, an accident, a betrayal? This plot point come quite early in the story.
  • CLIMAX What was the most dramatic emotional moment during this period of your life? This is the point you are writing towards. Structure all other emotional turning points so that they lead up to this point. Put your Heart Clutching Moments on index cards and order them so they peak at the climax. Often with memoir, chronological order can work best, but weaving background story through moments of high drama works well too.
  • ENDING – Where to end? We don’t need to come right up to the present day. After all the present day is shifting quickly. Is there a moment of revelation, a moment of hope, or a time where the issue seemed to resolve? This is real life so no resolution or moment will ever be the complete end of the story, but you can’t continue writing your memoir until you die. Not if you want it published anyway. So, find a place where the story feels at least in some way to have found a natural ending and be content with leaving it there.

And remember, as with all narratives, in order to keep your readers turning the page we need to keep them moving between HOPE and FEAR. See my post HERE.

Were these points useful for you? Have you got any questions or comments? I’d love to hear from you.

The next RELAX AND WRITE RETREAT is all about memoir and life writing. In Highfields near Toowoomba among the trees. Come along and connect with like-minded women and get those stories out of your head and onto the page. Perfect for memoirists and those with stories to tell who just need to make a start. Only $380 all inclusive if you book before the end of August 2021. CONTACT ME for more info.

GOOD LUCK! Memoirists are the most courageous of writers. Go forth and roar!

Lots of love

Edwina xx