Writers’ Tip—Go Away!

Five weeks of surfing stretched out before me off the white beaches of northern Brazil.

On the bus from Salvador to Ilheus, a teacher on summer leave, a young man with no duties, I felt the ultimate exhilaration of liberty. A peak experience, anticipating surf in the mornings and writing in the breezy shade of tickling palms each afternoon.

A new and temporary paradise fed inspiration. I was away. Far, far away!

I’ve been invited to share a similar opportunity of escape with fellow writers—albeit more structured on the writing side and of shorter duration. Still, the palms are there, the exotic setting is there, the opportunity for travel is there.

Next month Norma’s Villas* in La Garita, Costa Rica, will host two writers workshops aimed at helping writers adapt their work from page to screen.

From Feb 3-10, Ginny Leise will teach “How to Make a Web Series From Start to Finish,” covering production, editing, and launching your own web series. Leise’s credits include creating the web series The Shame Game, Feminist Babysitter, and Hearts of Gold as well as the short films Smile and Pillows. She’s currently creating a pilot for a TV show that’s been picked up by a major network.

From Feb 11-18, Nick Westfall will teach “Crafting a Treatment,” a workshop for writers mulling an idea for a screenplay adaptation, a commercial, music video, short film, documentary, or original screenplay , and are looking to get an agent, producer, and/or actor on board. Westfall is an award-winning writer/director whose credits include directing a 13-part television series for PBS, Tonight at Webster Hall. He works closely with publishers and novelists by adapting their books into screenplays, two of which have been optioned.

Norma’s Villas, a family and locally owned business, has three pools, coconut-laden palms, and plenty of space to roam and write. This is the third writer workshop they’ll be hosting. Price of the week ($1050) includes three squares a day, daily yoga, and a trip to the beach with an optional surf lesson. Lisa Marie of Norma’s offered a $50 coupon code for registration at EventBrite: ESCAPEWINTER (all caps!)

More about Ginny’s workshop and sign up here:

…and Nick’s workshop here:

I hope this inspires all kinds of winter escapes and salty trips. I hope it reveals deep new pockets of mental freedom to aid your writing. My own exalted surf retreat lies a quarter-century in the rear view. Still I go there now and then, if only in the recesses of my mind.

*CAVEAT: I haven’t visited Norma’s Villas (for dark reasons I’m unlikely to cross into Costa Rica) and I don’t run ‘ads’ on beneastbooks. That said, I found this opportunity enticing to my foreign service, traveler, and writing friends, and Lisa Marie at the Villas brought it to my attention graciously and in good faith. So.


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