WRITING WORKSHOP

AND ACTIVITIES

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This retreat is for writers who want to develop the skills and discipline needed to tell a story, regardless of the form they have chosen to work in. Whether working on a novel, autofiction, memoir, poetry, poetic-memoir, or other creative nonfiction our study sessions and writing practice are training ground for effective, compelling storytelling.

 

If you have pages from a current project that you would like to workshop, our group workshops will give you clear and constructive feedback, with critiques and suggestions from your fellow writers as well as both leaders. Cagibi’s uniquely co-led workshops are modeled on the synergistic alignment that is possible in artistic collaboration: addressing the most crucial thematic and technical aspects of storytelling, and getting at the heart of the matter.

 

If you don’t have a current project, this retreat is ideal for discovering it. The desire to write is the only prerequisite.

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Workshops and Study

The workshop will take place in the morning from 9 to 12 noon, from Monday to Friday. The first hour of the workshop will consist in short sessions focused on specific aspects of craft or narrative techniques we will study by engaging in close reading with works by master writers. This will be followed by writing prompts so that participants can focus on applying these techniques in their own writing. These sessions are meant to be both warm-up for the day and generative.

 

Then, we will workshop writing from participants’ current projects, with a focus on offering clear and productive group feedback centered around one goal: how to find and use the emotional truth of one’s raw, personal experience and transform it into material for story, whether the form is poetry, memoir, or fiction. What is the heart of the matter in a poem, personal essay, or short story? What is unique and universal enough to hold both the writer and reader’s deep engagement in a novel, nonfiction or poetry manuscript?

Guidelines for submitting your writing for these workshops will be provided to participants after registration. The schedule of when works will be individually workshopped will be arranged prior to the retreat, with the pages emailed ahead of time for the participants to print and bring.

Saturday morning will be reserved for rehearsal practice for whoever wishes to participate in our Saturday Night Reading Event, which will be open to the public. 

The last retreat took place in the

Hudson Valley

The Cagibi Retreat:
Qu’est ce que c’est?

"The Cagibi retreats provide unique and stimulating place experience. In one interpretation, le cagibi is the place at which a writer’s inspiration is rendered into story, or shaped into poem".

 

This retreat will enrich your writing projects and your writing life. It will deepen your understanding of craft and mechanics, while fostering a discussion around aesthetic choices and creative freedoms. You will have many opportunities to ask questions in private and group settings; conversations to motivate you to bring your best self to this and future projects; conversations to decipher what it takes to get published, nuts and bolts, how to navigate the editorial process; conversations about the realities of, the commitment to, the regular practice of a writing life.

  • Sunday night Opening Remarks and Reading by retreat leaders

  • Daily craft discussion, practice exercises and activities, and group workshop sessions

  • In-depth work with you on the project you choose to bring with a roadmap for revision and next steps

  • Plenty of access to the leaders all week in impromptu conversation, to learn about lessons and tips they’ve learned along the way and joys of the creative process

  • Reading event for the participants

  • Private, quiet writing time (designated silent areas)

  • Pre-dinner group and evening social time, if you choose

  • Readings and conversations with guest authors

Activities and Free Time

There will be lots of free (and private) time to take advantage of the gorgeous premises (or the cafes in the village, which is within walking distance) to pursue your own writing. The week will also include excursions and activities in the area such as:

  • Excursions to Luberon medieval villages.

  • Afternoon to reputed vineyards of the Côtes du Rhône and Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

  • A day trip to the Calanques of Cassis nestled in the pristine waters of the Mediterranean.

  • Hiking trails in the Luberon Range overlooking the area of Lourmarin.

  • A morning at the famous Marché Provençal of Lourmarin.

  • Free yoga classes.

  • Cycling in Luberon trails *

*Extra charge

Participation in this retreat will be limited to 20 people. Selection is based on first come, first serve.
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Sylvie Bertrand

Retreat Leader

Sylvie Bertrand is a writer, editor and teacher living in Brooklyn. A native French speaker, she was born and grew up in Montreal.  Her stories and poems have appeared in Peregrine Journal, Epiphany, Cleaver Magazine, december, and other journals. Her first published short story received a 2018 Pushcart Special Mention. She was a finalist for the 2019 Jeff Marks Memorial Poetry Prize and nominated for the 2017 PEN / Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers. Sylvie has degrees in Literature & Communications, Political Sciences, and a MA in Anthropology from Princeton University.  She is the co-founder of Cagibi and faculty at The Writers Studio in NYC, where she teaches memoir and creative writing workshops. svbertrand.com

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Jennifer Lang

Retreat Leader

Jennifer Lang's essays have appeared in Under the Sun, Ascent, Hippocampus, and forthcoming in Consequence, among others. A Pushcart Prize and Best American Essays nominee, she holds an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts and serves as Assistant Editor for Brevity.

Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, she now lives in Tel Aviv, where she runs Israel Writers Studio and searches for a special home for her first memoir in vignettes. American born, French by marriage, Israeli by choice, Jennifer Lang writes mostly about her divided self and home.