Want to Write? Need to Write? Here’s How…

zuidkustI have said before that if it were not for Barbara Turner-Vesselago’s Freefall Writing I would not be writing. I’d probably be wanting to write, hoping still, that one day, I’d get down to it, dabbling here and there but never really feeling connected to what writing meant for me, what I even wanted to write about, let alone how to do it in any sustained fashion.

Oostindische kers en dadelpalmFreefall is what changed things for me: literally, overnight. Yes I’ve struggled, I still struggle, with writing, but as I look back over the years and the stories I’ve written, the novel I’m working on, I know that I am on the right path, that there is always light at the end of the tunnel. And that this path has everything to do with the Freefall approach and Barbara’s sensitive, perceptive and supportive guidance.

One year I did two of her week-long workshops almost back to back, and wrote a short story every morning. Yes, these stories needed editing and more work before they were ready to be submitted for publication, but essentially I was able to let flow because of the extraordinary process of Barbara’s Freefall and the safe, encouraging and deeply creative environment that occurs in her workshops.

Whether you are a beginning writer looking for a way to start, or an experienced writer needing space and encouragement to create new work, I cannot recommend these retreats too highly.

Monte Rose_500x293There is a very exciting opportunity to experience Freefall this spring with Barbara in a very beautiful retreat centre in Barrao de Sao Joao on the Algarve in Portugal at the Monte Rosa Retreat Centre.

As it says in the schedule page of the Freefall website: “Here, in beautifully tended surroundings close to the sea, you will quickly experience the permanent shift in your relationship to writing that Freefall Workshops are known for.”

As far as I’m concerned, this is an opportunity not to be missed.

monte clerigo voor moorweb

The dates are April 7 – April 13, 2014, and the cost is  $1495 CDN. (€1032). This includes tuition, all meals, private accommodation and administration costs. In this particular Freefall retreat it’s possible to come early or stay late to explore the area, and also to bring a partner (€45 extra per night). Contact Vicki Pinkerton for details and to book a space (the groups are small so if you are interested, contact her very soon!), and if you’d like to know more about my own experience with Freefall, please let me know.

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About Sandra Jensen

I am a writer. I was born in South Africa and have British and Canadian citizenship. I have over 40 short story and flash fiction publications, including in: World Literature Today, The Irish Times, Descant, AGNI, The Fiddlehead and others. My work has received a number of awards including winning the 2012 bosque Fiction Competition and the 2011 J.G. Farrell award for best novel-in-progress. I have been awarded Professional Writer’s Grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Arts Council of Ireland and Arts Council England. The novel I have recently completed, Ten Virtuous Acts, is a literary adventure set in Sri Lanka during the civil war. I was a guest writer and panellist at the 12th and 13th International Conference on the Short Story (Little Rock, Arkansas and Austria); an invited participant at The Galle Literary Festival, Sri Lanka in 2011 and a six-time participant of the Sirenland Writer’s Conference in Positano, Italy. I attended The Banff Centre’s Wired Writing Studio in 2011/2012. I administer the In Memory of Vučko and AWABosnia websites, raising awareness and funds to stop animal suffering in Bosnia-Herzegovina. I live with my partner, David Crean and my foundling cat, Rónán.
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One Response to Want to Write? Need to Write? Here’s How…

  1. debyemm says:

    Oh, it would be so magical to do that. I’ve no doubt that it would prove nourishing for a writer. I’ve told another writer friend, who is now seriously considering it. Thanks for sharing about this opportunity.

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