The Caribbean Writers' Retreat
Pineapple House, English Harbor, Antigua
Writers often need a quiet space and a quiet time, away from the confusion of their routine, in which to concentrate on a body of work. You couldn’t find a better space than Pineapple House on the island of Antigua in the West Indies.
I am organizing a Retreat for March for my fellow storytellers , to provides a creative environment in which to work in the company of a few other like-minded souls.
The Retreat is for storytellers: writers, journalists, photographers, bloggers, You-tubers, published and un-published, anyone who wants a space and time to develop a creative project. Those storytellers living in and working on West Indian themes are especially encouraged to participate. Sailors and those cruising the Islands, are welcome as well.
Now, a retreat is not like a workshop. There are no classes, assignments or critiques. Just you and the project you brought to work on. If you are serious about improving your skills, discovering and developing writer's voice and want more feedback on your project, enroll in one of the intensive, one-week workshops (see adjacent).
Registering for Retreat week is easy, book yourself into a bed or a small cottage at Pineapple House for a week or for the entire month. After a morning swim at Pigeon Beach, the rest of your day is free to work on the porch of your cottage, cooled by the Trade Winds. As the setting sun lights up the hills on the far side of Falmouth Harbor, hostess Libby Nicholson whips up her famous West Indian rum punch. We put down our pens, close the laptop and join journalists, vagabonds and local characters on the veranda of the Great House to swap stories, tell lies and share observations of life in the tropics. There might be a reading, a discussion, and argument over craft or the meaning of life. Dinner could be pot luck, a fancy sit-down affair, or you’re off with fellow liers to one of the many restaurants nearby.
There is no fee for the Retreat, just your travel, accommodations and meals. Communal kitchens are available for preparing a meal.
To see more information on Pineapple House, CLICK here.
The Caribbean Storytellers' Workshops
One-week workshops for writers, journalists, photographers, bloggers and Vloggers
March 2022 - English Harbour.
Do you have a story to tell, but are struggling with how to tell it? If you are working on a book, a memoir, a series of magazine articles and find you are stuck, perhaps I can help.
I've been leading and organizing workshops and master clases for 40 years. I launched The Maine Photographic Workshops in the early 70s. In the 35 years I ran that summer school we turned it into a year-round conservatory and college for the world's creative media professionals. It's now called MaineMedia.edu.
I'll be hosting a series of one-week workshops this March at Pineapple House, for writers with projects they need to develop, and photographers with a body of work that needs editing and expanding into a book, portfoilio or exhibition, or just want to get better using your camera to capture what you see and feel.
We’ll spend 4 hours together each morning on the porch at Pineapple House reading aloud what we’ve written, sharing stories and photographs. There will be time for individual conferences to discuss projects, careers, skills, resources, and how to get your project published.
There will be daily lectures on craft, methodology, story structure, character and scene development, publishing, but most of our time will be spent discussing what each participants is shared. There will be honest, in-depth critiques with suggestions for re-writes, doors that need opening, back-story to include, characters and scenes that need to be expanded — or deleted. We'll deal with the craft of writing, but first comes the process of writing, how each of us gains access to the inner artist. After we have written a scene, set a time and place, introduced the characters and set them into action, we can see our inner artist and use the craft of story structure, plot, and outline, to create a story.
We’ll discuss techniques writers use to overcome blocks, write dialogue, and create a scene that puts the reader in the story.
Through your daily work and critiques you’ll be developing your own, unique writer’s voice along with shaping your own methodology of working. The goal of each week is to leave with new skills and direction for your creative project, along with an understanding of who you are as a creative writer and/or photographer. If there were a book for the class is would be Story Cure, by Dinty Moore. Get it.
If you are a sailor, living on a boat, cruising the islands and want to join a group of fellow storytellers, drop the hook off Pigeon Beach in English Harbor and take the dinghy ashore. If you can't make it to English Harbour this winter, join us on Zoom or a conference call.
The atmosphere will be fun and informal, but our work will be serious. While we write to discover what we have to say, it is our readers for whom we write.
For information on registrating, who should attend, CLICK here
To read my essay on what make a workshop work CLICK here.
To see more information on Pineapple House, CLICK here.
David, on the road, or rather at the St. George's Dinghy Club in Bermuda - where the WiFi is free. He's catching up emails and downloading weather charts for the next leg of a Maine to Caribbean yacht delivery.
The view from front porch of Pineapple House. The mega-yacht docks at the Antigua Yacht Club with Falmouth Harbor beyond and the hill is Antigua behind.