Radiant Jane Retreats Presents
WRITE WHAT YOU WANT TO READ
A Writing Retreat in Tuscany with Sarah Selecky
April 24-30, 2022.
Writing is both the excursion into and the excursion out of one’s own life. That is the queasy paradox of the artistic life. — Lorrie Moore
Join celebrated author Sarah Selecky for a week of deep writing in the heart of Tuscany. Spring is Sarah’s favourite time to go on retreat, because equal hours of daylight and darkness make the daily routine feel balanced and whole, without effort. Italy is perfect in late April: the wisteria is in bloom, the sun is warm without being too hot, and the trees are alive with songbirds.
Sarah Selecky, author of Radiant Shimmering Light and the prized short story collection The Cake Is for the Party will be your guide in this master class for writers of all genres, in partnership with Radiant Jane, who will be teaching Loving Kindness and leading guided meditations.
About the Retreat
In the morning, look out the window of your private bedroom with a view of the hills, and walk the path up to the studio to invigorate your body in a morning movement class with Jane. After breakfast, you walk to the restored ancient barn for our late morning workshop session. The afternoon is free for you to write, go for a long walk, or read and research before we gather for dinner — a delicious organic vegetarian feast paired with Fattoria del Colle’s local Brunello wines. You and your fellow writers celebrate another day of deep work, and then settle into the lounge for our evening salon, where you share some of your work and discuss the insights of the day.
Bring whatever you are working on to this retreat. If you’re stalling or circling around writing something new, this is the perfect time and place to start it. You can also bring a craft question or a writing problem that feels unsolvable, and we will look at it together.
Fattoria del Colle, where we’ll be staying, is situated on ancient Etruscan land in the countryside, and the history of this place is fascinating. It is also home to the only all-women owned winery in Italy. The energy here makes it excellent for writers who want to find the courage to write the forbidden.
The slow food movement began in Italy, and this philosophy has a lot in common with the way Sarah teaches. Slow writing, like slow food, should feel good, clean and fair. Our writing should be nourishing. It should connect us — to ourselves, to the earth, and to each other. Good writing does not alienate or isolate; good stories never make us feel silenced. In our writing, we may question the status quo, offer meaningful reflection, create cultural change, and feel less alone.
On this retreat, we will write what we wish we could read, even if we’ve never seen it written before. Our writing will support us by bringing us closer to our true nature — alone and together.
Our retreat includes a nature hike with a local guide who will introduce us to the secrets of the Tuscan forest. Connecting to nature will bring insight to our work in surprising ways. Prepare to feel open and spacious as you tune into a different state of mind.
We’ll also take a break mid-week to refresh our systems and enjoy a visit to Montepulciano for the day. You can use your free time here to wander through the old streets, visit museums, go shopping, or simply sip a cappuccino, write postcards, and watch the street life.
Here’s what a day on retreat may look like…
- 6 – 11 am personal writing time/free time
- 7:30 – 10 am Buffet style breakfast
- 9 – 10 am Movement in the studio with Jane
- 11 am – 12:30 pm Writing Craft Sessions with Sarah
- 12:30 – 1:30 pm Lunch
- 2 – 6 pm personal writing time/free time
- 6:30 – 7:30 pm Dinner
- 7:30 – 8:30 pm Salon and Togetherness
Writing is one of the most challenging things we’ll ever do; it’s also one of the most supreme pleasures in our life. This is one of the many paradoxes of being a writer. While this may never be resolved, one of the best things you can do to support your writing is to give yourself time and space to honour the mystery of it.
That’s why writing on retreat is so special. It initiates the altered state of mind that you’re in when you’re writing, and protects it for a prolonged period of time. That’s when real magic happens.
Don’t try to comprehend with your mind. Your minds are very limited. Use your intuition. — Madeleine L’Engle, from A Wrinkle in Time
We’re going to Bella Italia! To Tuscany. The land of olive groves and vineyards. Tuscany embraces its visitors like long-lost friends. You’re invited to sit at the table like family, while you are nourished mind, body and soul. Prepare for enchanted moments in the lush bloom and warm sun. Tuscany is a place that once visited, engages the heart, and calls it back again and again. Enjoy the bella luna and enlightenment under the waxing moon! Fattoria Del Colle is our retreat location. It is a tranquil oasis that lies in an untouched corner of the countryside, in the south of Chianti. The estate is a small hamlet miraculously unspoiled through the course of the centuries. At the heart of the hamlet stand the 16th century villa and chapel including the old sharecroppers dwellings which have been lovingly renovated into rooms of the agriturismo. Included on the property are an award winning restaurant, Osteria di Donatella, a wellness space and a cooking school. The ancient land, villas, and chapel are infused with Old World charm, a dose of mystery and an invitation to unfetter your senses.
The wellness center at Fattoria del Colle offers a breathtaking view of the Val d’Orcia and Crete Senesi – Tuscany. In the wellness centre there is a Turkish bath, sauna, relaxation room, sensorial shower, foot bath and Jacuzzi. The massage room and the vinotherapy cave with its juniper wood tub, are known for their detoxifying qualities and magical elixirs. The Casato Prime Donne wines are used for bathing in and for cosmetics such as grape dust, saline wine face scrub, massage wine serum, all of which contain rejuvenating essences. All contain healing energy from the ancient land that surrounds the estate.
The Wine and Food
Fattoria Del Colle is the family estate of Donatella Cinelli Colombini, who is a celebrity in Tuscany and the award winning entrepreneur of the only all-female owned winery in Italy, where they produce the memorable Brunello wine. Donatella’s ancestors first owned land in the Montalcino area in the 16th century, and recent generations have passed property down the female line. When Cinelli Colombini inherited the estate from her mother in the late 1990s, she went in search of a female staff at Siena’s oenology school. The vintners are all women, as is the winemaker, a unique situation in Italy, a flagship for women in the wine business. The winery, Il Casato Prime Donne makes their wine on and around the estate of Fattoria Del Colle, and retreat guests will not only get to walk among the vineyards, but take a wine tour, and drink these wines with each meal. The distinctive element of the wine is its elegance: red harmonies able to last in time.
As you sit at the white linen lined tables and sip your organic local wine, you’ll indulge and appreciate the gorgeous regional, organic food from the in-house chef of an award winning restaurant. You’ll feel cherished by the warm hospitality of the wait staff as they serve exquisite, lavish, and healthful Italian meals for lunch and dinner.
About Author Sarah Selecky
Sarah Selecky is the author of the novel Radiant Shimmering Light and the short story collection This Cake Is for the Party, which was a finalist for the Giller Prize, shortlisted for the Commonwealth Book Prize, and longlisted for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award.
She earned her MFA from the University of British Columbia. In 2011 she founded the Sarah Selecky Writing School, which has become a creative community for more than 13,000 writers from around the world. She lives in Prince Edward County, Ontario.
This retreat will complement the benefits of Sarah’s creative writing school, which offers extremely thorough writing study—including deep reading—that’s laced with kindness and consciousness. This retreat will create a peer-based community that’s built on shared intellect, a spirit of generosity, and mutual respect.
YOUR $3,650 RETREAT PACKAGE INCLUDES:
- °Writing instruction with author Sarah Selecky
- °Gentle Yoga and Guided Meditations
- °6 nights lodging
- °Daily Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
- °Vegan and Vegetarian Options
- °Group transport to and from the retreat from the Rome airport (Fiumicino)
- °Excursion to Montepulciano
- °Wine tasting
- °Tour of Fattoria grounds and ancient chapel
- °Pici pasta making class
- °Wellness spa access
- °Beautiful classroom studio
- °Bicycles to use
- °Concierge office staff
- °On-site laundry
Airfare not included.
Guest rooms are a private bedroom within a 2 or 3 bedroom shared apartment and bathroom. We’ll pair you with a like minded roommate, or bring a friend!
Guests are encouraged to travel to other areas in Italy before or after the retreat, so that the retreat itself can be a time for replenishment, focus on writing, and centering into the experience at Fattoria del Colle. If you would appreciate a few insider tips about travel plans before or after retreat, ideal ways to be in Tuscany, and some of the bigger cities such as Rome, Florence, Naples and Venice, just ask. We are happy to help you make the most of your trip to Italy!
Jane Reeves is the founder of Radiant Jane Retreats, has led over 70 retreats worldwide, and is an author and master teacher of Loving Kindness. On this retreat, Jane will lead gentle yoga and morning meditations, using her book A Heart of Gold as a guide into the practice of Loving Kindness.
Radiant Jane Retreats will send you an FAQ when you make your reservation and will provide information to help with initial logistics and travel plans. Beyond that, Radiant Jane Retreats offers travel assistance at $35 per hour which you can purchase as needed. Travel plans must be made to match the group transfers. No exceptions. Group transfer leaves Rome Fiumicino at 2 pm April 24. (Plan to arrive in the morning and allow 90 minutes to get through customs.) Group transfer departs Fattoria at 9 am April 30 for Rome. Please schedule departure accordingly. Radiant Jane Retreats will provide a suggested packing list. You will need your own laptop and writing materials. Bringing a meditation mat is encouraged.
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Plan now! This will be a small, intimate group, so reserve your spot early.
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We are committed to diversity and inclusion.
We believe strength, creativity and power comes from different perspectives, backgrounds and cultures.
We open-heartedly invite diversity in attendees including ethnicity, race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, size, religion, and physical ability.
We have created a program that honors every body, that is gentle and loving and supportive.
If you want to ask any questions about specific needs you have, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.