The course consists of five morning workshops devoted to the discussion of techniques, generating material, writing exercises and two one-on-one sessions.
Allegra Huston is the author of the memoir Love Child and novel Say My Name. She has been described as ‘an absolutely outstanding writer, incapable of writing a dull sentence’. Allegra is also a highly experienced workshop leader who has taught at universities all over the world.”
As Workshop Director Rosalinda Much explains, ‘ When I decided to launch a series of literary workshops, memoir was the inevitable starting point. Having read Love Child, it was clear that Allegra was the perfect person to lead such an event, not only for her own exquisite writing but also because of her history as the editorial director for so many great writers. We are more than fortunate to collaborate with Belmond La Residencia. Its magical setting and exceptional staff make everyone feel at home.’
Kate O’Toole of Dublin, Ireland said of the first course, ‘I was struck by the quality of Allegra Huston’s teaching. It bestowed a touch of magic. The leader, the people, the setting, the entire workshop was truly gorgeous in every detail.’
Having interviewed Allegra a couple of times, I can well believe she’s a wonderful teacher. When we spoke recently, I began by asking her if this year’s course will be different from last year.
‘There are small refinements of one kind or another,’ she told me. ‘But it went so well last year that there’s no need to change anything. Of course, I always try and surf the energy of the participants. That way people receive as much energy and inspiration as possible rather than simply being on my agenda.’
The workshop has opened a whole new world of seeing through the written word for me; Allegra’s knowledge and generosity kept all of us in awe during this unique atelier. The location added to the enchantment of the mind as well as the senses. Unforgettable.
Hemant Sagar, New Delhi, India
I get the impression Allegra thoroughly enjoys giving the workshops. ‘Oh, absolutely. I only teach a maximum of two workshops a year because I put a lot into making sure people benefit from them. It also means taking time out from my own work. But I do always feel re-inspired by the magic of what we’re all doing. I always learn something. I’m also thrilled when my workshops get real results. At least two people from last year’s course have first drafts of books completed and I’m delighted.’
Last year was the first time Allegra had been to Deià and I was curious to discover what she thought of the village.
‘I loved it,’ she said. ‘I wanted to spend weeks there photographing ancient olive trees. It has a sort of timelessness, solidity and lack of pretension. Nobody really cares who you are in the bar. The weather’s fabulous and the scenery’s inspiring, which is great for a writers’ workshop.’
Wouldn’t a beautiful location be more likely to be a distraction? ‘Not at all. One of the things about writers’ workshops is that people are often very nervous because they don’t think they know what to write about. Deià offers plenty of sensory input which is definitely really helpful to get the pen moving across the page. Look at Robert Graves. I’m sure it was far easier to write about ancient Rome in Deià than SW3, London.’
And what about Belmond La Residencia? ‘It’s one of the most wonderful hotels I’ve ever stayed in anywhere in the world. Luxurious but laidback and not at all pretentious. It feels authentic. I absolutely loved it.’
Ulisses Marrieros, General Manager at Belmond La Residencia, added ‘It was a real honour for us to host Allegra Huston’s memoir writing course last year. We’re very much looking forward to welcoming her again in October and playing our part in making her course the success we’re sure it will be.’
As you might imagine, places on this year’s workshop are being snapped up. Find out what the workshop is all about at www.allegrahuston.com/workshop.
For more information or help with booking, travel or other arrangements, please contact Workshop Director Rosalinda Much on +34 634 360 073 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.