Tuscany 2024

8-Day Tuscany Writing Retreat With Alan Watt
May 11-18, 2024 (sold out)
May 20-27, 2024 (still room available)

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LOVE AND FREEDOM

Join us for the experience of a lifetime. Near the village of Montespertoli, just outside of Florence, sits Podere le Rondini, a working winery and olive farm, recipient of the tourism industry's Certificate of Excellence, and one of the top-rated villas in Tuscany.

This 8-day all-inclusive writing retreat includes daily writing workshops, meditation, 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 of your choice (novel, memoir or screenplay to take within 12 months of registering) and an opportunity to meet and share your work with like-minded artists.

In every story, love is the mystery that's always on the table. When you locate the love, you will find the drama. Our theme for 2024 is Love and Freedom. Join us for 8 days in Tuscany - go deep and discover the underlying truths in your story that will set you free.

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"...I fell back in love with my story!"

Tuscany surpassed anything I could have imagined. I was led to places I would not have gone without this community of writers and Al at the helm. I surprised myself in the best of ways. I fell back in love with my story!

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Kristina Bumphrey/StarPix/Shutterstock (10238196di)
Roma Maffia
The Paley Honors: A Gala Tribute to the LGBTQ+ Achievements in Television, New York, USA - 15 May 2019

Roma Maffia

"...transformed my writing process"

Being at one of the most beautiful villas in all of Tuscany was a distant second to Al's powerful and insightful teaching. The workshops transformed my understanding of the writing process.

Leigh Collier

Leigh Collier

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 twelve-hectare 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

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

Afternoon
12:30 - 1:30 Lunch
1:30 - 5 Personal writing time/siesta/meditation

Evening
5 - 6 Informal workshop and aperitivo
6:15 - 8:30 Supper and nightly salon

"...I'm excited about writing again"

The retreat was fantastic, better than I imagined. Al is an amazing teacher — so full of wisdom and kindness, an unfailingly humane guide. For the first time in years, I'm excited about writing again.

Bob Goettle

Bob Goettle

"...a life-changing event!"

The Tuscany retreat is a life-changing event! Experiencing Al’s teaching every day allowed me to go deeper and gain a new level of clarity and insight. I highly recommend this retreat.

Gail Nettles

Gail Nettels

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 fabulous 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 Podere Le Rondini, a working wine and olive farm and one of the top-rated villas in the region. The rooms were gorgeous, but more than that, they were tasteful. And they offered the number one 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. You're going to have fun, and you will be immersed in the world of story. 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.

2024 is the fourth time we will return to Tuscany. The theme this coming spring is Love and Freedom. While we will focus on the craft of storytelling, we’re going to do a deep dive into the experience of love and how it gets reframed in story, moving from an external want to an inner need. Love is the mystery on the table in every story. When you locate the love, you will naturally find the drama.

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. I look forward to seeing you soon.

The written signature of Alan Watt, writing teacher

registration

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.

Single Room $5,495
Shared Room (1 writer + guest) $7,995*
Shared Room (2 writers) Reg. price: $8,995
Payment Schedule:
$2,500 deposit per attendee
Remainder due Feb. 15th, 2024

Note: All payments are non-refundable. The total cost (room and meals) for non-workshop guests is $3,600.  Retreat dates are non-transferable. 

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register for Tuscany 2024

Register now to hold your spot.

Questions about the retreat?

meet your teacher Alan Watt

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

Hi, I'm Al. They call me the Writer Whisperer.

I'm the L.A. Times bestselling author of the novels, Diamond Dogs and Days Are Gone, and the recipient of the American Library Association's Alex Award, a Book Sense Pick, a New York Time's New and Noteworthy book pick, and winner of France's Prix Printemps for best foreign novel of the year. Along with the national bestseller, The 90-Day Novel®, (Amazon's #1 book on writing for five months) the lab has published five other books on writing. I teach a process of marrying the wildness of your imagination to the rigor of structure, and my students span the range from first-time writers to best-selling authors and filmmakers who've won numerous accolades for their work including the Pulitzer Prize.

I’m also the writer/director of the independent feature, Eddie, Kill the President (formerly Interior Night), which won four best feature awards at U.S. film festivals as well as The Boston Film Festival's Filmmaker Visionary Award. Oh, I also had a small part on Seinfeld back in the 90s when I had a thick lustrous head of chestnut hair. It's the Chinese gum episode. I'm the movie theater vendor who sells Kramer the vile hotdog.

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