Tuscany retreat

8 Days in Tuscany
Coming May 2025

limited to 12 writers

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step into your true power

Join us for the experience of a lifetime. Outside of Florence, sits a working winery and olive farm, recipient of the tourism industry's Certificate of Excellence, and one of the top-rated villas in Tuscany.

Tuscany Retreat 2024

This 8-day all-inclusive writing retreat includes daily writing workshops, nightly salons, your own private room with ensuite bathroom, gourmet meals accompanied by superb regional wines, 24-hour concierge service, PLUS a a free 90-day workshop or story consult (novel, memoir or screenplay, to take within 36 months of registering) and an opportunity to meet and share your work with like-minded artists.

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why writers love the Tuscany retreat

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welcome to Tuscany

A gentle breeze wafts through your open window. As you complete a satisfying writing session, your senses are awakened by the rich scent of grilled vegetables and Linguine alle Vongole emanating from the kitchen. You pass through the dining room where the table is being set for supper. A fire crackles. Your fellow writers sit lounging and enjoying a glass of Brunello. You join them, with the characters from your story still thrumming inside you. You're in that state of half-listening, half-absorbing, gradually returning to the world outside your imagination. You nibble a slice of pecorino on warm bread from the charcuterie plate and emit a deep sigh.

You're here.

And tonight, after supper, you will read a section from your work-in-progress to a rapt audience of fellow writers who are here to support you and share their encouragement.

Come join us on this once in a lifetime journey to the Tuscany countryside, and lose yourself in the world of your story.

Take a siesta, go for a swim in the pool, or just stroll through the property of olive trees and ancient vineyards. Quiet your mind, and listen to the story that lives fully and completely within you.

Laugh. Cry. Surrender to the truth of your story, and reconnect to the wider perspective that always leads you back to love.

Then fall asleep to the sounds of silence.

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a day in the life

Morning
6 - 10 Morning writing time
8 - 10 Breakfast
10 - 11:30 Workshop

Afternoon
12 - 1 Lunch
1 - 5 Personal writing time

Evening
5 - 6 Workshop and aperitif
6:15 - 8:30 Supper and nightly salon

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why we go on retreat

A story from Alan on how the lab retreats got started.

For years, my students had been asking me when I was going to take them on a retreat. Frankly, I'd been on creative retreats, and while I enjoyed the camaraderie, I was never a big fan of communal bathrooms.

But then I started to imagine the retreat I would love to go on.

I wanted beautiful surroundings, and a small enough group that we could all connect and share our work. I wanted amazing food and wine. I wanted classy private ensuites. (Why does being an artist have to mean roughing it?) And I wanted it to be as affordable as possible.

I started to think, This could be fun.

The first retreat was in the spring of 2016 at the Ojai retreat center, a magical spot. There were six of us – a very special group of writers. The workshops went deep, and each night we went out and visited one of their top restaurants.

It was unlike any retreat any of them had been on. I consulted Bob at Point de Chêne, a terrific boutique wine store, and he hooked us up with some really great regional wines that we popped open at some of the restaurants.

At the end of the week, we sat toasting each other as the sun set over the mountains (Ojai’s pink moment), when someone said, “Let’s go to Europe next.” And I thought, I rather love this idea.

I returned home and started doing research. My mother is Italian, and her favorite city in the world is Florence. She’d taken us there as children. I had fond memories of the surrounding region of Tuscany, the rolling hills and stunning architecture.

I knew what I was looking for. And so, I trolled all of the sites, and probably looked at a hundred villas before I found it. The rooms were tasteful and lovely, but more than that, they offered the necessary prerequisite: I wanted every writer to have their own private room with their own personal ensuite bathroom.

I began speaking with the owner, Nicola. And to my delight, he was both charming and very accommodating, and has since become a dear friend. He not only runs the villa, but has become our 24-7 concierge, meeting our guests every need, from door-to-door laundry service, to spontaneous drives into town for an afternoon cappuccino.

From the moment you arrive, I want you to feel safe and supported so that you're free to do the work you came here to do. We all spend so much time doing and giving. Tuscany is about taking a pause and allowing yourself to receive.

The Tuscany retreat is a hive of creativity and imagination - a place where you will meet some very special people from across the globe, and you will likely bond and forge relationships that will extend beyond the retreat itself.

I believe that our sole purpose as artists is to build a body of work. I believe that life is short and that we're here to make memories. Come join us in Tuscany and celebrate the wonder of your creative imagination.

The written signature of Alan Watt, writing teacher
checklist

early reg. Sept 1 - Nov 30

Retreat includes private room, meals, wine, workshops, concierge service, shuttle to villa - plus a 90-day workshop or one-on-one story consult with Alan to take within the next 36 months. Travel not included.

bed

Single Room $5700 (early reg $5000)
Shared Room (1 writer + guest) $8300 (early reg $7600)
Shared Room (2 writers) $9200 (early reg $8200)
Payment Schedule:
$2500 deposit per attendee
Remainder due Feb. 15th, 2025

The total cost (separate room and meals) for non-writer guests is $4,000, but they must be accompanied by a writer guest.

questions about the Tuscany retreat?

meet your teacher

alan watt standing in front of an L.A. Hillside smiling, hand in pocket

Hi, I'm Alan. They call me the Story Whisperer. I teach a process of marrying passion to craft to tell compelling stories. My students range from first-time writers to best-selling authors and filmmakers who've won numerous accolades for their work including the Pulitzer Prize.

L.A. Writers' Lab's mission is to help writers build a body of work. If you have a story to tell and are seeking support, guidance and community, then welcome. I look forward to working with you.

The written signature of Alan Watt, writing teacher
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