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Writing in wine country

A fun but challenging retreat to help you turn your experiences into narratives.

Courtesy of the Tallman Hotel

Every writer, fledgling or veteran, gets trapped in his or her own mind sometimes, and it becomes hard to tell what works and what doesn't. If you’ve been writing a memoir, travel stories, or personal essays and want to get some valuable feedback, a five-day April retreat in Lake County with San Francisco writer and teacher Laura Fraser will be an intensive but fun way to do it. It’s intended to help a small group of writers of all stages figure out how to give their personal experiences narrative structure.
     “Writing is hard work, and as a professional writer, you develop a thick skin,” says Fraser, author of the travel memoirs All Over the Map and New York Times best-seller An Italian Affair. “But as a teacher, I’ve learned how sensitive writers are. I want to both nurture and challenge them.” Fraser, local novelists Peter Orner and Tom Barbash, and memoirist Victoria Costello will lecture and conduct panel discussions, and Fraser will work one-on-one with workshop participants.
     It won’t be all work and no play, though. Set at the elegantly restored 1890s Tallman Hotel in Upper Lake, this retreat will afford plenty of opportunities to listen to blues at the adjacent saloon, check out nearby Lake County wineries, and explore the county’s historic small towns in between workshopping. $1,250 for five nights, including lodging, instruction, breakfast, four dinners, and two lunches. Life into Literature, April 22–27, Tallman Hotel, 707-275-2244 ext. 0.

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