Writing from the heart is a bold act.
It is not for the faint of heart.
truthfully we both confront and expose the most vulnerable part of ourselves, by discovering who we really are and sharing
with others what we really believe. This can be both liberating and terrifying.
What if what I believe is mistaken, or stupid?
What if I offend someone?
What if people
won’t like who I really am, or what I have to say?
These kinds of doubts can make it hard to find the
courage to write with honesty and depth. And yet when we do, the almost inevitable result is that others respond with understanding,
acceptance, and interest.
Do you know what you
believe? (If not, writing can help you discover it…)
you know what you want to share with others?
you have the courage to express your beliefs and the wisdom you have gained through living?
from the Heart is a journey into the heart of France and into your own heart…
“Essoyes, where my mother
was born, has remained more or less unspoiled. There is no other place like it in the whole wide world. There I spent the
best years of my childhood.” Jean Renoir
"A nice peaceful place with some good light."
The workshop will be held in the inspiring village of Essoyes, in the heart of Champagne country, two and a half
hours southeast of Paris.
is surrounded by the rolling hills and open fields of the beautiful countryside that nurtured the creative genius of both
Impressionist painter Pierre Auguste Renoir, and his son, filmmaker Jean Renoir, who made this their summer home.
A small village very conducive to peaceful contemplation,
Essoyes offers quiet streets pleasant for walking in; there are also trails that lead visitors past rural landscapes that
Renoir painted, to other nearby, picturesque villages. Many local caves offer visitors the opportunity to learn about
the process of making champagne and participate in degustations ; and nearby Bar-sur-Seine and Troyes are rich in
history, art, and architectural beauty.
Participants will stay in the Hotel des Canotiers, a clean, modern hotel that offers beautiful views of Essoyes and the surrounding hills, fine French cuisine, traditional
hospitality, and warm accueil. Breakfast and dinner in the hotel restaurant are included.
Participants can either arrange their own transportation
to Essoyes (where the hotel offers free parking), or ask the instructor for assistance in making arrangements for transfer
to the hotel from the train station in Troyes or Vendeuvre (both easily accessible from Paris by rail).
“Everybody is talented, original, and has
something important to say."
author of “If You Want to Write”
This one-week writing workshop is for anyone—from novice to professional writer—who would like to write,
or write more, about what matters to you, whether it be personal, political, fiction, nonfiction, poetry, or prose.
We will address many of the obstacles that can prevent
people—whether they think of themselves as writers or not—from expressing themselves with clarity, fullness, dignity,
and passion, and from enjoying the process of writing. While the main emphasis will be on writing for the joy of self-discovery
and self-expression, practical advice and information that will help guide those who wish to pursue publication will also
will have the opportunity to work with others as well as independently and one-on-one with the instructor to identify their
own personal obstacles, dismantle them, and unleash their creative energies, allowing their writing to flourish. (Note:
Those who wish to share their work with others will have the opportunity. But no one will be required, or even subtly pressured,
to share their work.)
Classes will be
held in the mornings, leaving afternoons and evenings free to read, write, or discover Essoyes and the surrounding area. (Private
tutoring by the instructor is also available in the afternoons by special arrangement.) While one of the main benefits of
the class is the chance to "get away from it all" (whatever "it" is), past participants have also enjoyed
the chance to discover and explore a beautiful and relatively unknown part of France.
"This was a life-altering experience; mind,
body and soul coming together with similar people with infinitely different lives, in search of a common thread: the written
word. Janet provided the environment in which we were able to weave our individual threads into a lovely fabric of stories,
descriptions, poems...and support for tender subjects. The citizens of Essoyes showed us the true meaning of hospitality;
and the hoteliers, Jean-Jacques and Evelyne, made us feel like honored guests. Renoir said the best years of his life were
in Essoyes. When you are here, you understand why." Renee Johnson, Writing from the Heart participant
is a writer, editor, and teacher based in Silver Spring, Maryland. Her essays and articles have been published in the Christian
Science Monitor, International Educator, Guide to Retirement Living, Smithsonian.com, and many other publications.
She studied essay writing with Anatole Broyard and literature with Philip Roth, and has taught writing and literature
at Hunter and Queens Colleges of the City University of New York. Her first book, Moving On: A Practical Guide to Downsizing
the Family Home, was reviewed in the national press and widely praised: she and her coauthor now blog on this topic at Downsizing the Home: Lessons Learned. She is a frequent contributor to Bonjour Paris and writes essays on travel and literature for her blog, Writing from the Heart, Reading for the Road. She teaches literature and culture classes at Politics & Prose bookstore in Washington, D.C., and is currently working on her next book, A Long Way from Iowa, a writer's
memoir. Her relationship with the village of Essoyes goes back to 1978, when she and her future husband met and
fell in love while picking grapes in the vineyards surrounding the town.
Cost: 1295 Euros* includes workshop, six nights in the hotel, 2 meals a day (breakfast and dinner).
Transportation and beverages with dinner not included. Registrations now being accepted. Hotel accomodations not guaranteed
for late registrations. $350 secures your place: remaining balance due on August 15, 2012. (50% refundable, less $50 cancellation
fee until September 15, 2012.) Limited to 10 students.
*Payable in US dollars based on current rate of exchange.
Enrollment limited to 10. For
additional information contact firstname.lastname@example.org