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

WOOD NYMPHS WRITING RETREAT!

A wonderful time was had by all at the latest Relax and Write Retreat up in the hills and among the trees at Highfields.

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Fourteen women feasted and rested, stretched, danced, laughed, relaxed and wrote in good company.

The lovely folk at Camp Koojarewon took really good care of us, providing delicious vegetarian meals and treats. Everything was spotlessly clean and they built fires to keep us warm, making sure we were all well fed and comfy.

We had the whole camp to ourselves, so even though we were in dorms we were able to spread out and have lots of space to ourselves. The ground were beautiful with lots of walks to explore.

Highlights for me were the crazy fun of scarf dancing and all the great writing that was done in the workshops. I especially loved our workshop out on the verandah where it felt like we were in a tree house.

 

Monique provided glorious healing massages, we ate like queens, and enjoyed the company of other writers, learning from each other and being inspired.

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Come along and join the fun at the next one.

RELAX AND WRITE ON MAGNETIC ISLAND – tropical far north Queensland. June 21 – 23 2019.

More information about that coming soon!

Contact me HERE if you’d like to be kept in the loop for retreat news and for writing hints and tips and publishing opportunities.

Until then – HAPPY WRITING! May the joy of the retreat wood nymphs be with you!

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lots of love

Edwina xx

 

 

 

TEN GREAT CHRISTMAS GIFT IDEAS FOR WRITERS plus DATES FOR RELAX AND WRITE 4!

Need some ideas for the writers in your life? Here’s my top picks and some news about the next Relax and Write retreat too.

RELAX AND WRITE

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Here’s my pick for great gifts for the writer in your life – or as a special treat for yourself if you’re the one scribbling away like a fury.
1. The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron.artists way

I recommend this book to just about everyone I meet. It was the book that got me finally acting towards my long-held dream of being a writer. It’s practical, uplifting and guaranteed to get you writing or painting or dancing – or whatever creative pursuit brings you joy.

2. A room with a door that closes – or at the very least a screen to close off a corner of another room. That’s what I have, and it works just fine. Writers need a space of their own and plenty of privacy – we often do quite crazy things when we’re writing, and it can scare other people!
3. Bird by Bird by Anne…

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RELAX AND WRITE IN THE MOUNTAINS!

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PLEASE NOTE – THIS RETREAT HAS BEEN POSTPONED UNTIL Friday 26 – Sunday 28 APRIL 2019!

RELAX AND WRITE YOUR WAY TO WELLNESS!

I’m excited to announce the next Relax and Write Retreat – this time in the mountains west of Brisbane – from Friday 5th October to Sunday 7th October 2018.

I’m holding a special retreat in a beautiful mountain-top location, for women to relax with gentle yoga and meditation, and get writing with inspiring creative workshops.

The lovely people at Koojarewon Retreat, in Highfields – 12 kms north of Toowoomba, are turning the entire place over to us, and they’re providing all the meals, so it should be truly relaxing, even if the accommodation is pretty basic.

 

It’s dorm style but we have plenty of room to spread out through the dorms to claim a patch for privacy. And, best of all, the bathrooms are inside, so there’s no traipsing out to facilities in the middle of the night. Keeping the accommodation “rustic” is how I’m able to keep retreat prices affordable.

 

It’s important to me that these opportunities are available to all women. I know how difficult it can be to spend money on yourself, especially for something as seemingly frivolous as a retreat.

But what is it they say on airplanes? Make sure you give yourself oxygen first, then take care of the person next to you. And that’s what retreats like this provide, a bit of oxygen, breathing room, nurturing for the nurturers, so we are refreshed and renewed and ready to take care of everybody and everything once again. Writers and creative artists in particular need to ensure that their own tanks are full enough to keep the flow of creativity coming.

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Each day begins with a gentle yoga class, followed by creative writing workshops suitable for beginners through to more experienced writers wanting to renew passion for their projects. Healthy vegetarian meals are provided so all you have to do is let go of all the busy-ness of every day life and surrender to the peace of the mountains, stretching, breathing and writing your way to wellness.

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Come away from your weekend feeling refreshed and renewed, with a suitcase full of story ideas and hints and tips for improving your writing. See reviews from previous retreats here: https://relaxandwriteretreats.blog/about/reviews/

COST includes
• two nights basic accommodation
• all meals, morning and afternoon teas and supper
• two yoga classes
• three, two-hour creative writing workshops
• introductory relaxation and writing session

$360 per person for the entire retreat

You can get more information and book by contacting me at kublershaw@optusnet.com.au 

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This retreat promises to be extra special and I’m very much looking forward to meeting a whole new group of amazing women and listening to their stories.

Be like Heidi and come and join me in the mountains to find your legs again.

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Lots of love

Edwina xx

 

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