Since we started in September 2008, tutors such as Pascale Petit and Sean O’Brien have returned to Château Ventenac for their third, fourth and even fifth seasons.
Building on the success of their courses, each year we are carefully extending our programme by adding new tutors and courses. This year, we have new Creative Writing and Poetry tutors and more of our popular Creative Retreats. Our Poetry courses are summarised at the bottom of this page and details may be found via both the menu above and the links provided below.
In 2013, we also have three courses that will be of interest to writers of both poetry and prose:
Mindful Writing with Fiona Robyn & Kaspalita Thompson
Starting to Write with Tiffany Murray
Your Writing Journey with Crysse Morrison
Our courses all offer group workshop sessions with a maximum of ten participants and intensive one-on-one tutorials with your tutor. The morning is spent in creative workshops and discussions, while afternoons are free for writing and one-to-one tutorials. Your tutor will be on hand to chat informally throughout the course. See our typical course structure.
In the evenings the group meets up for readings, more discussion, and feedback. There is also a chance for constructive group feedback on your work and advice on editing and getting poems and collections published.
Bring some of your existing work with you to share and to read in the evenings, as well as a notebook and a laptop computer if you have one. In the Library, we provide two printer/scanner/copiers for a small cost to cover paper and ink, as well as a computer to access the internet or work on. You are welcome to browse our library of books, which includes many relevant to the courses. If you bring a laptop we have wireless internet access and one of the printers is wireless.
May 18th – 24th 2013: Do you wish you could go further and deeper in your poems, that you could transform the raw material of your life and imagination into poems that surprise you and the reader? This course will encourage you to explore what is important to you as a poet and offer inspiration and renewed energy. An enjoyable week of hard work and fun in the divine surroundings of the Château and Languedoc landscape.
September 28th – October 4th 2013: Some days you think you’re a genius, other days a fraud – does that sound familiar? Writing poetry is a solitary enterprise, but you are not alone. Find out how to develop your own unique style, strengthen your work and stretch your poetry muscles in a friendly, welcoming environment with like-minded people – and come away with a sheaf of new poems.
March 21st – 27th 2013: The Canal du Midi, grey-green or golden according to the light, flows past Château Ventenac, linking the Atlantic with the Mediterranean. Come and write alongside this beautiful waterway, which, flowing like time itself, irresistibly draws in the imagination, inviting and challenging the poet to evoke its physical presence and the meaning it seems always on the brink of revealing.
April 28th – May 4th 2013: Do you need more reflective space in your day to day life? Are you interested in mindfulness and spirituality? Would you like to spend more time writing and improve your writing skills? Combine all three and come for a relaxing and nourishing week at Château Ventenac in southern France. We will introduce a mindful writing tool, ‘small stones’, and explore how using ‘other–centred’ techniques can improve our writing.