Group size 



4th. - 12th. April 2020

max 12 persons

8 days (8 nights)


Are you struggling to craft your story? 


Study writing techniques in the mornings: the plot, setting, characters, the dialogue.


Get morning lectures & feedback with Katy Darby, a published writer and experienced lecturer at City University in London 


Katy will support you all the way to start, edit and finish your short story, or chapters of your novel.


Join a small group of writers - a maximum of 12 people - to support each other and share your ideas.


Write in the afternoons surrounded by the authentic countryside tranquillity of Alentejo in Portugal

Where will you live? 


Monte de Orada is a perfect place to switch off the noise and tune in.  

This isolated evergreen valley creates an abundant oasis where two creeks come together, like a womb to nourish an ancient lush forest and wildlife vistas.  

What else is there? 

Enjoy healthy & organically grown food and find inspiration. 


Explore the Rota Vicentina hiking trails, take a surf lesson, discover the area in a kayak, try horse riding adventure or a Jeep Safari through the countryside


Take a yoga class, watch the sunrise while lying in an outdoor bath with a view of the valley (not kidding) or climb on a treehouse


Get inspired. Get your story done.


In Detail

What's Included

We have priced the retreat to include a delicious organic breakfast, lunch and
dinner, so that you can entirely focus on your work, but you are always
welcome to try the local cuisine available both in nearby restaurants and at small
markets. The locals at Orada swear on organic made at home, so you should be happy!
At times you’d need to clear your head, you may want to go for a hike, to the beak, have a dip in the "bio" pool, go for a bike ride, and many other things Orada and its surroundings has to offer.
The retreat includes: • 8 days (Sat evening check in – Sun morning check out), • shared or single accommodations, • meals 3x/day with veggie options available; • all instruction and materials, • morning classes on the craft on writing with the lecturing author 9am-12am, • extra 60min face-to-face consultation of your work with the lecturing author outside of the class, • feedback from the lecturing author on a short story up to 5000 words, • extra feedback from the lecturing author on a second short story up to 5000 words, if handed on time by the mid-week, • evening readings by participants, • morning guided meditation at 7:00 am-8:00 am, • individual 60min face-to-face consultation session of your script/ready story with the lecturing author • two additional First & Last page workshop evenings at 8-10pm on Tuesday & Thursday: interactive sessions where people give each other feedback, • networking with drinks after two evening workshops, • an opening and closing dinner with drinks,
And optional activities: • extra face-to-face hour of feedback or on paper offered from the lecturing author on your
stories/proposal(s) BEFORE handing in your completed story on the deadline; • the lecturer's critique rates are £10/1000 words and you can sign up for this & extra
consultation hour on a first-come-first-serve basis during the week

What's not

The cost does not include: • flights to and from the location
• individual transportation to and from the airport
• alcoholic drinks outside the evenings listed above
• special excursions
• or optional activities

Daily schedule

Day 1 (evening):
Opening dinner & networking

Days 2 - Day 6:
7:00am - 8:00am: Morning meditation or yoga
8:00am - 9:00am: Breakfast
9:30am - 12:00pm: Morning class
12:00pm - 1:00pm: Lunch
2:00pm - 6:00pm: Time to Write
6:30pm - 7:30pm: Dinner

Day 7:
Free day for activities to unwind or do more writing
Individual face-to-face sessions scheduled with Katy
Closing evening: drinks & dinner
Day 8 (am hours):
After the breakfast session: Katy hands out pieces with your feedback
People can stay in/around the villa and enjoy the pool until noon (check-out)
Two additional evening workshops - so-called ‘First-page & Last-page
workshops’ on Tuesday & Thursday after dinner: People who sign up to these will have a chance to get feedback from the group on their
work and/or discuss any problematic parts. It’d be an interactive session, where
the lecturer takes a back seat and lets the writers interact and network.
Everyone who signs up for the workshop aiming to take an active part in it,
would have space of ca 20min to discuss any parts of their work or read it out
loud, and get feedback. There might be more time, depending on the number of
people who show up.
Attendance to workshops and morning classes is entirely optional. You can
spend all the available time just to write.


Double room all on your own € 1599 per person If you book before end of February 2019 € 1359 per person Please enquire about the availability of a treehouse when you register your interest

To reserve your spot, please pay the deposit €300.


Once you register your interest, we will send you a confirmation e-mail with our payment details.

We would like to get to know you and ask you about your level and expectations to help us tailor the retreat for you.