Write By The Beach

St. Simons Island, GA

Nov. 15 - 18, 2012

Tuition: $695

This is a workshop for those interested in an intensive retreat, but with the affordability of a state-side weekend jaunt. It is small and intimate,  held in a private home within walking distance to the beach, and within a short bike ride to the village, pier, and lighthouse.

The schedule includes four workshopping sessions a day, a mid-day break, nightly readings, and a craft talk about voice, arc, tone and character.  Specifically, the workshop will begin Thursday with a welcome talk from 7:30 p.m. until 10 p.m..  Don’t be fooled, though -- this is not a fluff evening. Joyce will ask you to start examining your own story (the one you submitted, as well as your real life story) and explain how she came to be an ardent truth-teller in her own life. Friday morning, workshop sessions begin promptly at 9 a.m. until just after noon, with a break for
lunch on your own in the village (a quick bike ride away) until 3:00 p.m.  Afternoon sessions begin again after a refocusing circle for questions and insights and last until dinner, which is served at 6:30 p.m.  Following a healthy and delicious group meal, students are encouraged to read from a work other than the previously submitted manuscript.  While you will not be critiqued on your evening reading, Joyce will offer use this time for instruction on how to read successfully in a large group.  Saturday’s schedule is the same, with a final craft talk from Joyce that illuminates the process of writing one of her own celebrated pieces (and all the edits that took place prior to publishing).

The cost is $695 for the workshop tuition, heavy appetizers Thursday night, and Friday/Saturday dinners. Breakfasts and lunches are not covered, partly to allow the group to venture out on their own and write at a cafe, to grab a sandwich and head to the beach, or to enjoy their breakfast bright and early in the garden. Those of you who are from out-of-state can opt to stay in one of  the rental homes for $100 - $135 + tax/night, depending on room size and shared or private bathroom.

Your homework: Submit up to 2,500 words prior to the workshop. Melissa will compile the group’s files and send them out as one document, so that the group can read each others’ work before the workshop sessions. You will not be asked to critique the other manuscripts by hand, but please read each one before you come and write down any comments or questions you would like to ask the other writers and Joyce.

AIRPORT and LOGISTICS: Fly into JAX (Jacksonville, FL) or SAV (Savannah, GA). Both are a 1-hour shuttle ride away, which is roughly $100 for up to 6 riders. Last year, students asked us to pass on the idea that anyone coming to the island should tack on a day at the beginning and end for relaxation. It’s too beautiful to miss!


Photos: Melissa Vincel