Writing & walking the wilds of Scotland

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https://courtneybarnett.com.au/?c=buy-cipro-online-California Led by Dr Christopher Carter & Dr Inga Simpson

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Group size: 10-16

Edinburgh – Trossachs NP – Cairngorms NP – Isle of Skye – Isle of Harris/Lewis – Inverness – John o’ Groats – Orkney Islands

“One never quite knows the mountain, or one’s self in relation to it”

~ Nan Shepherd, The Living Mountain.

This tour is designed for writers with an interest in the natural world. Dr Inga Simpson (Nest, Mr Wigg & Where the Trees Were) teams up with archaeologist Dr Christopher Carter (Time Travel Australia), to bring you a unique combination of travel and retreat, walking and writing, against a background of spectacular natural, human and literary histories. We’ll explore some of the wildest landscapes of Scotland: the Trossachs and Cairngorms national parks, the Isle of Skye, Harris & Lewis, and the Orkney Islands. Along the way, we’ll also learn how to better capture the natural world on the page.

We’ll meet up in Edinburgh, UNESCO City of Literature, during festival season, retracing the steps of Sir Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson to take in the city’s highpoints: Edinburgh Castle, Arthur’s Seat, and the Royal Mile. We’ll also get amongst it at the National Book Festival, the biggest writers festival in the world!

Then we’ll head inland to the Trossachs, landscapes that have inspired many writers and artists, including Sir Walter Scott, William Wordsworth, & Samuel Coleridge. The national park is a haven for bird and wildlife, featuring stunning scenery and many wonderful walks. We’ll walk Loch Katrine – one of the settings in Stevenson’s Kidnapped, hiding place of outlaw Rob Roy, and the inspiration for Scott’s “Lady of the Lake” – and stroll through remnants of the Great Wood of Caledon, the historic native wood of Scotland. We’ll also visit some of the region’s historical highlights, and taste its best whiskeys. Inspired by so much natural beauty and history, we’ll begin our daily writing workshops, learning how to evoke what we see in words. We’ll be staying at the scenic Lake of Monteith Hotel. Inchmahome Priory

Then we’re off to Cairngorms National Park, the largest in the UK, containing its highest mountains, and home to many rare and endangered species, including highland tigers, golden eagles, capercaillies, water voles, ptarmigan’s and pine martens. We’ll have a chance to see and photograph some of the wildlife up close. The Cairngorms are the subject of Nan Shepherd’s classic, The Living Mountain. We’ll be retracing her steps, and learning how to link character and plot to place.

Then we cross the water to the Isle of Skye, famous for its spectacular scenery, wildlife and history. We’ll stay in Portree, like R.L Stevenson when he sailed around Skye and the inner Hebrides. We’ll see the Flodigary fossils, evidence of clearances, and walk through the island’s most spectacular scenery, including Neist Point Lighthouse and Quiraing Loop. We’ll travel to Dunvegen Castle and take a boat ride to see seals up close. We’ll also have our final workshop, leaving us free to enjoy the sights and continue to record what we see in our journals and photographs.

callanish Standing Stones, LewisOn Harris and Lewis we’ll visit the Stornaway Museum, and a number of Neolithic sites including Callanish Standing Stones and the Trussel Stone. We’ll also visit the site where the Lewis Chessmen were found before spending the night at Amhuinnsuidhe Castle.

We’ll overnight at Inverness, before heading up to John O’ Groats, to take the coastal walk to the Rock Stacks of Duncansby.

Chris will then lead us on the optional 5-day leg to the intriguing Orkney Islands, the setting for Amy Liptrot’s recent smash hit, The Outrun, and where R.L. Stevenson toured with his father in June 1869, inspecting lighthouses for the Northern Lighthouse Board. We’ll se some of the best-known Neolithic sites in the UK including Skara Brae, the Standing Stones of Stenness, and the Ring of Brodgar, and have the opportunity walk around the entire island of Hoy, some of the most dramatic cliff landscapes in the world.

We’ll stay in historic buildings in beautiful natural settings. Chris will lead alternate activities for non-writing partners including: historical & archaeological excursions, wildlife photography workshops, fly fishing lessons, and whiskey tastings.

Writing workshops

Our time spent immersed in the Trossachs and Cairngorms national parks will include daily writing workshops covering research, descriptive techniques, emotion and story, linking plot, character and place, and how to develop your manuscript into a polished masterpiece. We’ll also consider issues such as writing for advocacy, anthropomorphism and anthropocentrism. In the final workshop, on Skye, we’ll wrap up with a session on self-editing and paths to publication.

The workshops utilise a mixture of tuition, examples, practical writing exercises and group discussion. They are suitable for writers at all levels and stages, whether working on fiction or nonfiction, literature or genre, nature writing, travel writing, memoir, or travel blogs and diaries.

You’ll also receive one-on-one feedback on up to 5000 words submitted beforehand.

Tour highlights:

Stirling Castle
Loch Katrine
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The Great Wood of Caledon
Cairn Gorm
Rock Stacks of Duncansby
Flodigary fossils
Callanish Standing Stones
Skara Brae
Unique bird and wildlife
Whiskey and gin tastings

Inclusions:

Tour leader and local guides for the duration of the tour
Accommodation (twin-share) in 4-star accommodation with private facilities. Single supplement available on request
Land transport on private, chartered mini-coach
Most meals
7 writing workshops with Inga Simpson
Individual feedback on 5000 words submitted beforehand
Entries to sites listed in itinerary
Comprehensive tour booklet
Group tips (bus drivers, local guides)

Suggested Reading

The Outrun by Amy Liptrot
The Living Mountain by Nan Shepherd
A High and Lonely Place, Jim Crumley
The Great Wood, Jim Crumley
Findings by Kathleen Jamie
Sightlines by Kathleen Jamie
Rob Roy by Walter Scott
Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson
Picturesque Notes by Robert Louis Stevenson
“The Lady of the Lake” by Walter Scott

*Orkneys extension: $2440.00
*Based on twin share. Single supplement $2750 for base tour, $810 for extension.
Currency fluctuations above 3% will affect the final fare (based on 0.55 GBP).

For a more detailed itinerary or more information about the writing workshops, email inga@olvarwood.com.au

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Lamington NP Retreat

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We’re excited to announce a five-night nature writing retreat in world heritage-listed Lamington National Park, staying at historic O’Reilly’s.

http://actiononaccess.org/?c=price-of-flagyl-with-insurance When: 5th – 10th August 2016

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http://craftandroot.com/?c=price-for-metronidazole-400mg Inclusions:

  • Five nights’ accommodation in a Rainforest Lodge Mountain View room
  • All tuition (5 morning workshops)
  • Personal feedback on written work submitted beforehand (up to 5000 words).
  • Welcome sunset drinks and nibbles at Moonlight Crag (a 500m clifftop overlooking the Lost World Rainforest and MacPherson Ranges), followed by drinks and a light dinner in the Rainforest Bar
  • Five buffet breakfasts in the Rainforest Retreat Guesthouse
  • Three 3-course dinners in the Rainforest Retreat Guesthouse
  • Final night private dinner in the Mountain View Dining Room
  • Guided early morning bird walk
  • Morning canopy treetop walk
  • Guides glow worms night walk
  • A winetasting tour at Canungra Valley Vineyard
  • FREE Wi-Fi
  • Tea, coffee, and a light morning tea during session.
  • Gorgeous walks, scenery, and Gondwanaland remnants on tap

The retreat is suitable for writers at all levels. It focuses on place, and capturing the natural world on the page, whether in fiction, nonfiction, memoir, travel writing or poetry – and the content will be tailored to suit the writing needs of participants.

Workshops will cover: research, character, plot and place, setting & description, developing a novel from a messy manuscript to a polished draft, self editing, and submission. I use a mixture of tuition, practical writing exercises, and writing examples, with plenty of opportunity for group discussion.

Notes:

Transfers are available from Gold Coast Airport at an additional cost.

*If you would prefer to stay in a newly-appointed Villa, which has a full kitchen, and self-cater (other than the welcome and final dinners), the total cost would be $2630.  The villas have two-bedrooms and two-bathrooms, so you could share with another writer, or bring a writing pal, to reduce the cost. Please enquire if you would like to book this option.

Deposits are fully refundable until 5 July.

There is a restaurant, bar, café and small store on site.

Please email me with any questions.

http://www.wanderingbears.co.uk/?w=order-augmentin-from-Canada Suggested reading: Moonlight Crag

White Beech by Germaine Greer

Green Mountains by Bernard O’Reilly.

One Mountain After Another by Arthur Groom

Comfort Food by Ellen van Neerven

Birds by Judith Wright

 

Weekend Retreat @ Kioloa: 4-6 December

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http://actiononaccess.org/?c=buy-cheap-flagyl-online Kioloa Weekend Nature Writing Retreat

December 4-6, 2015

Led by Inga Simpson and Chris Carter

Participants: 10-15

Cost: $525 (includes accommodation, tuition, guided walks, and all meals).

Where: Kioloa, far south coast, NSW

The miniature sandscapes of ridge and valley pressed into the soles of my feet and for days after the walk I would feel a memory of that pressure and pattern” ~ Robert Macfarlane.

Start your writing summer early by spending a weekend immersed in writing and place on the pristine far south coast of New South Wales.

Writing workshops will be led by Dr Inga Simpson, author of Nest and Mr Wigg. You’ll learn more about the genre of nature writing, and through a mixture of tuition, examples, practical writing exercises and discussion, hone your skills for describing the natural world and anchoring character and plot to place. You’ll also consider issues around writing for advocacy, anthropomorphism v anthropocentrism, and notions of belonging.

We’ll be staying in an historic homestead on the Australian National University Kioloa coastal campus. Kioloa dining and kitchen

The weekend will also include guided walks, led by archaeologist (and head chef!), Chris Carter. We’ll learn more about the natural and human histories of Kioloa and get a closer look at its beautiful beaches and forest.

Kioloa is 2 & 1/2 hours from Canberra and 3 & 1/2 hours from Sydney.

Watch a gorgeous video about Kioloa Coastal campus here.

Bookings via: info@ruins.com.au

Contact Inga regarding the workshop  content: Inga@olvarwood.com.au

 

Nature Writing Masterclass – 29 August

spring 2012 003This masterclass is ideal for more advanced writers of fiction or nonfiction interested in better evoking landscapes, flora and fauna on the page, and utilising the natural world not only as setting but the anchor for character, plot and structure.

The class will be led by Inga Simpson, through a combination of instruction, examples and practical writing exercises, with plenty of opportunities for discussion. You’ll come away with a better understanding of the tradition of nature writing, the importance of story and emotion, a toolkit for describing the natural world, techniques for developing the thematic elements of your work – and probably a long reading list!

You’ll also receive personal feedback on up to 5000 words submitted beforehand, and the class will be tailored to suit the interests and strengths of participants.

When: Saturday 29 August. 9.15 am – 12.30 pm.

Where: In ‘the studio’ at Olvar Wood, in the Sunshine Coast hinterland (address details supplied once booked in).

Cost: $125 (includes, tuition, feedback and morning tea).inga simpson_34

Class: 4-8 participants.

To book: email Inga@olvarwood.com.au

Bio: Dr Inga Simpson is the author of Mr Wigg and Nest, which was longlisted for the Stella Prize, Miles Franklin Literary Award, and shortlisted for the ALS Gold Medal. She has a PhD in Creative Writing (QUT), and is currently completing a second PhD in English literature (UQ), which examines Australia’s history of nature writing and its potential as an environmental strategy. Inga is also the winner of the 2012 Eric Rolls Nature Writing Prize.

Environmental Writing Workshop: Shallow Crossing, 5 May

shallow crossingAs part of Olvar Wood’s inaugural nature writing retreat at The Escape, Shallow Crossing, near Bateman’s Bay, we are offering a one-day workshop on the art and business of nature writing.

Led by Dr Inga Simpson, This workshop is ideal for those new to nature writing as well as professional writers working in environmental fields.

Whether you’re writing for your local government publication, volunteer newsletter, or just want to capture place more effectively in your fiction or non fiction – this one-day intensive in a wonderful setting will inspire.

You’ll focus on techniques for bringing landscapes, flora and fauna to life for your audience, including: evocative description, effective use of emotion, and the importance of story. You’ll also consider issues such as anthropomorphism, culture versus nature, and the challenges faced when writing with an environmental message.

The workshop uses a combination of instruction, inspiring examples of nature writing, practical writing exercises, with plenty of opportunity for group discussion. You’ll come away with a stronger understanding of nature writing, contemporary environmental writing, and a practical toolkit for sharing your love of nature on the page. http://actiononaccess.org/?c=buy-zithromax-100mg-Canada

Shallow Crossing is about 2hrs from Canberra or 30 mins from Bateman’s Bay.

Date: Tuesday 5 May (9.30am-4pm).

Cost: $125, including lunch and morning tea (the food, by the way, is fabulous).

Bookings close 29 April. For all enquiries and bookings, please email admin@olvarwood.com.au

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Nature Writing Retreat: Shallow Crossing, 3-8 May

Olvar Wood’s inaugural nature writing retreat will run from 3-8 May, 2015.

We’ll be ‘glamping’ at The Escape, at Shallow Crosssing, near Bateman’s Bay, on the south coast of NSW.  It’s a beautiful, wild setting: river frontage, amid a forest of spotted gums and cycads. The accommodation is glamorous and … the food to die for.

It’s an immersion in nature, and writing about place – whether you’re dreaming of being the next Annie Dillard or Barry Lopez, wanting to write the waves like Winton, or perhaps just sharpen your activist pencil to save your local environment.

There is a maximum of eight places available for residential writers.

The cost is $1995 per person (single occupancy)

or $1610 per person (twin or double share).

The cost includes:

  • all tuition (three morning workshops and one full-day workshop – held in the studio)
  • one-on-one feedback on up to 5000 words (submitted beforehand)
  • 5 nights accommodation
  • drinks and nibbles on arrival
  • all meals & soft drinks
  • morning teas
  • half day nature walk with Yuin Nation elder, Noel Butler
  • evening fireside concert with local musician Roddy Reason
  • access to retreat kayaks.

Of course, there will also be plenty of free time for you to wander, read, write and relax!

The retreat is ideal for non fiction and fiction writers with an interest in the natural world. The workshops focus on techniques for bringing landscapes, flora and fauna to life for your audience, including: effective description, use of emotion, and the importance of story. Each workshop uses a combination of instruction, examples and practical writing exercises, with opportunities for discussion. We’ll consider the traditions of nature writing, as well as issues such as anthropomorphism, the pressures of writing for advocacy, connection to place, and the blurry line between nature writing and memoir.

You’ll also meet with one of the tutors one afternoon during the retreat for individual feedback on up to 5000 words (fiction, non fiction or poetry) submitted beforehand.

Tuition and feedback will be provided by Dr Inga Simpson .

One-day workshop

Up to ten non-residential writers will be able to attend the full-day workshop on the Tuesday (9.30am-4pm), including lunch and morning tea, for $125.

This workshop is ideal for professional writers working in environmental fields, as well as creative writers. The workshop will focus on broadening your knowledge of nature and environmental writing, equipping you with a ‘toolkit’ for describing the natural world, and tips on writing for advocacy.

Retreat bookings require a deposit of $250 by 31 January (fully refundable), with the balance due 23 March.

Workshop bookings, with payment, can be made at any time up until 14 April, 2015.

[Note: If you are unable to make it this year, the next retreat will run over one week in October, 2016 as part of the Milton Arts Festival. ]

For all enquiries and bookings, please email admin@olvarwood.com.au