The French House Party is listed Top Retreat in the National Geographic book, “The 100 Best Worldwide Vacations to Enrich Your Life” written by the prestigious American travel writer Pam Grout. Our exciting Creative Writing vacation, led by author and professional tutor Sarah Hymas, promises the exploration of new techniques. The daily workshops will expand the imagination, also using writing games and exercises that rely on play, memory and a sense of adventure.
Reading as well as writing, talking, thinking and offering feedback – our focus will be to limber up, stretch ourselves and write with renewed vigour and joy. Sarah will also offer her long experience as a published author to advise on the business side of being a writer, including discussing ambitions, expectations, and the sort of publications people might best target for getting work published.
The Creative Writing course may be joined by singles, couples or groups. Whether you’re new to writing or have been writing for a while, this course offers the chance to write, play, experiment and share your work. In each workshop we’ll use writing games and exercises to explore new techniques. The focus is on informality; learning through play. You will not be expected to write in any particular style or genre other than your chosen one, fact or fiction, prose or poetry.
As well as looking at creating convincing characters, writing about place, and plotting, we'll also cover: controlling pace and rhythm and will touch on editing. The course programme includes daily 3-hour group sessions, one-to-ones and at least one evening feedback focus. Participants are encouraged to bring with them one or two of their poems or a short story for the one-to-one and another sample for group discussion. Sarah will also offer her experience to advise on the business side of being a writer, should you wish, including discussing ambitions, expectations and the sort of publications you might best target for getting your work published.
There will be an opportunity for one-to-one tutorials for everyone. If you have some work you would like discuss with Sarah in the tutorial then please bring either two poems with you or 750 words of prose, with a 50-word synopsis - typed if possible. Of course you only need to take the opportunity of a private tutorial if you wish to do so.
Between the Lines
Our Books/Theatre collaboration for groups twins our exploration of novels and plays with drama workshops. St. Raymond's combined course means analysing two sets of themed texts - with perhaps a film thrown in - and at least one play, usually by a modern playwright. Groups-only bookings on this course; dates by arrangement with French House Party.
From Page to Performance:
Guests will be involved in stimulating discussions on 'authorial intent' and the relationship beween the written word and the spoken (or even unspoken) performance of a writer's work. We will look at the differences in approach between the two genres and then turn to the more methodical matter of how actors prepare for their roles. Then we'll put some of what we have learned into practice. Get ready to encounter 'Stan the Man' and to indulge in laughter-overload while doing some little bits of serious acting with us. It might just possibly change your life.
“Sarah Hymas is ingeniously clever as a creative writing tutor, and I thoroughly enjoyed her series of intense tasks and more informal parlour games, each a mind manipulation intent on making one use your imagination and freedom of expression. For me, Sarah was the perfect choice of tutor at the French House Party.” – Rick Beech, budding writer.
Sarah Hymas is a co-founder of the UK Writing Smithy, a mentoring and manuscript appraisal service, a writer of poetry ("Host" was published in 2010), plays, lyrics, short stories and her work has
appeared in magazines, anthologies, single collections, multimedia exhibits, theatre brochures, dance videos and as a libretto for an opera.
She currently works for Arc, a poetry publisher, as well as working as a freelancer in writing projects and workshops. She is also a writing coach. In 2010 Sarah was named the winner of the prestigious UK Arvon Foundation’s ‘six-word short story’ competition.
Books and Drama Course (groups only, minimum 6 people in group):
Books: Moira Martingale is an established journalist, having worked as a feature-writer and columnist for national and regional newspapers and magazines. She is the author of internationally-published books - including the successful "Cannibal Killers: The Impossible Monsters" - and her present novel is nearing completion. She has a teaching qualification, an honours degree in English Literature and Psychology and a doctorate in English Literature.
Drama: Christopher Masters was educated at King's College School and trained as an actor at The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. He spent ten years as an actor and then worked as a freelance director, later starting his own Theatre Company, Millstream, directing contemporary classics which toured nationally and internationally until 1998.
Domaine St. Raymond is a beautiful, spacious house with gardens, a large swimming pool and a tennis court. We have a supply of bicycles to borrow if you wish to cycle along the towpaths of the nearby Canal du Midi. There's table-tennis, a games room with pool table and 1950s juke box, and a set of boules for a leisurely game at sunset.
The Creative Writing course vacation may be joined by individuals. The Books and Drama holiday is for group bookings only (minimum 6 people), arranged at a time to suit yourselves. With an maximum of 16 guests at the house to take part in each course, there's a houseparty atmosphere which promises the formation of new friendships or cementing of old ones. Eight individually-designed ensuite bedrooms are double or twin.
All have air-conditioning, tea and coffee-making facilities, a hairdryer and CD player. All linen and towels are supplied. The 5-day courses include all lodging and meals with wine, an in-house wine-tasting with our resident specialist and a visit to a local vineyard for wine-tasting. Airport transfers on arrival and departure days, and all transport on organised tours are included in price. Visit to Carcassonne's medieval walled city included.
On some Books and Drama courses we will also visit Rennes le Chateau, the hilltop village where the legend of the Holy Grail began, providing the inspiration for Dan Brown's book "The De Vinci Code". Help and advice can be given if guests require additional visits to, for example, the castle stronghold sites of 13th Century Cathar resistance. Take some French Leave and slip away to the lovely landscape of the Languedoc for some leisurely learning and a large helping of culture.
There are no single room supplements charged on this all-inclusive course.
- Full board and lodging
- Airport transfers
- All transport
- Wine-tasting outings
- All meals with wine (including eating out at a fine restaurant one or two evenings).
Joined InfoHub: Jun 2006
Client Request Served: 63
This company is listed Top Retreat in the National Geographic book, “The 100 Best Worldwide Vacations to Enrich Your Life” written by the prestigious American travel writer Pam Grout. Our stylish, 300-year-old 8-bedroomed stone house with pool and tennis court is situated in beautiful countryside with magnificent...
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