October 27-November 3 (Sunday to Sunday)–Day of the Dead
Laura’s Mexican Writing Fiestas are dedicated to the notion that writing can be a pleasure as well as a serious craft. Immerse yourself in your writing and be inspired by the beauty of San Miguel– its art, food, and culture.
The October Writing Fiesta will coincide with Day of the Dead, and focus on memoir. The Day of the Dead is beautiful in San Miguel de Allende, filled with marigold-strewn altars with mementos to the departed. It will be a lovely week to focus on memories. There are lots of events, incuding the La Calaca arts festival, during the week.
Laura’s Mexican Writing Fiesta is much more than a writing workshop–it’s an immersion in Mexican culture, a chance to relax and pamper yourself in a luxurious environment, an opportunity to eat great Mexican food, meet some of the interesting local artists, shop for some beautiful jewelry and pottery, and have a few margaritas along the way. You’ll have the advantage of seeing the beautiful colonial town of San Miguel de Allende with someone who knows its secrets well.
The writing workshop is small–limited to ten–so that you will get very individualized attention from Laura. She’ll talk about your writing goals, and finish up with a one-on-one coaching session. The workshop is held in a refurbished 300-year-old colonial villa, filled with gardens and private writing spaces, right in the center of town.
“I attended this in October and it was AMAZING. Laura Fraser is a gifted teacher and group facilitator. And besides the great lesson in writing, she created a cultural experience of Mexican culture and art. I highly recommend it!”
About the workshop: This workshop is for experienced (though not necessarily published) writers who would like an unhurried, relaxing, but serious atmosphere to write stories from their life experiences–whether travel, memoir, personal essay, or family history. We will work on loosening up your writing, paring it down, finding themes, structuring your piece, and polishing your prose into something you might publish. While the workshop will mainly focus on writing, I will also discuss the practicalities of publishing, finding an agent, editor, and publisher, as well as self-publishing.
I will tailor the workshop to your writing needs, and to talk about your progress. Each day will begin with a free writing exercise, and then a writing topic to discuss in depth, with readings, including structure, writing from the senses, character, dialogue, and others. You’ll have writing assignments that involve exploring and experiencing San Miguel de Allende.
Between workshop sessions, there will be plenty of time to explore the colonial artists’ town of San Miguel de Allende, to wander its cobblestone streets, and visit its galleries, restaurants, and live music venues. We will have several meals and excursions planned, but plenty of free time for writing or sitting in the sun.
Workshop price for those staying in the villa includes five morning workshops, two evening receptions, a daily main meal at the villa, a guided tour of town, a cooking class with lunch, and optional excursions to hot springs, botanical gardens, ceramic studios, a design center; and a celebratory dinner and reading. Mexican goody bag includes class materials and a signed hardcover copy of Laura’s latest book. On your own you can schedule massages, astrology readings, yoga classes, horseback rides, mountain bike rides, and many other activities. (You might want to come early and stay late!) The workshop starts with a reception Sunday night and ends with a meal on Saturday. Workshop times are 9-12 every morning, with writing time and activity time in the afternoons.
PLEASE NOTE THAT SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE IS A VERY SAFE DESTINATION.Of course, as in any foreign country or U.S. city, you have to use your common sense–dress modestly, mind your purse, take official cabs, and walk with someone at night.
Cost:$2400 includes workshop, activities, two meals a day, and accommodations for seven nights at the Seis Fuentes villa in a luxurious private room or suite with your own terrace, kitchenette, and bathroom. $2250 for twin bedroom. $250 extra for a shared room for a nonparticipant (includes meals and activities). $500 deposit required to hold your spot in the workshop; an additional $650 is required to hold your room in the villa. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for registration and to ask any questions. Workshop-only rates available for locals or of villa is sold-out ($1100, including meal). October workshop sells out fast!
Accommodations: Seis Fuentes is a grand and gracious Mexican home that resonates warmth, style and elegance. Recently featured in Architectural Digest and Casas & Gente, Casa Seis Fuentes is the reconstruction of a 300 year old home. With its original three-foot thick adobe walls, it combines the style and charm of the colonial period with all the modern comforts and conveniences, including a complete gym, heated pool, mini-kitchens and private patios for all bedrooms. The dedicated staff of seven make this a perfect place to stay when exploring San Miguel de Allende, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Guests enjoy ten fireplaces, a rooftop garden with a 360 degree view of the city, a grand piano, a wine cellar and high speed internet access. There is beautiful landscaping, unique architectural design elements, and a series of enchanting terraces with flowing fountains. Very central location. You can see more photos and a video of the villa here.
DEPOSIT, PAYMENT & CANCELLATION POLICY
Laura’s Mexican Writing Fiesta workshops are limited to a small number of participants, typically 9 or less. Therefore we require a $500 non-refundable deposit to hold your space. The $500 will be applied towards the fee of the workshop. In addition to the deposit for the workshop, there is another non-refundable $650 deposit required for housing if you are staying at the villa. Fees vary depending on the time of year. Final payment is due no later than 30 days prior to workshop. One exception to the non-refundable deposit policy: with adequate notice of a documented family emergency we will permit you apply all but $250 administration fee towards another workshop within one year. The room fee is non-refundable unless the room can be rented to another student, which Laura’s Mexican Writing Fiestas will attempt to do, in which case the room deposit or the difference between the deposit and what the room could be rented for at a late date will be refunded.
Laura’s Mexican Writing Fiesta is subject to a minimum of four students. In the unlikely event that Laura’s Mexican Writing Fiesta is cancelled for any reason, we will refund your full deposit and final payment if it has been made. In no case are we responsible for airline change fees; therefore, we strongly recommend that you purchase trip insurance. We also recommend that you hold off buying your airline ticket until you get confirmation that the workshop will be filled, one month before.
If the rooms at the villa are sold out, other hotel accommodations are available nearby at budget, moderate, and luxury rates. In case the villa becomes unavailable for any reason, we will find another of equal value or change the price accordingly. Contact email@example.com for details.
REGISTER NOW (Contact Laura if San Miguel de Allende resident for discount)
The Writing Fiesta can also arrange your transportation to and from the airport and reservations at other hotels if you would like to stay before or after the workshop, and Laura will make suggestions or reservations at her favorite local restaurants. It’s never a bad idea to book an extra day or two to become acquainted with the town before the workshop. It’s closest to fly in to the Queretaro (45 minutes) or Leon (1.5 hours) airports, where shuttles can pick you up, but flight layovers may make it easiest to fly in to Mexico City, where we can also arrange a shuttle or driver at a slightly higher cost.
Sign up soon to hold your spot!
Laura Fraser is as gifted as a writing instructor as she is a NYT best-selling author. Not every great writer can teach writing, but Laura excels at both. With enthusiasm and compassion, she breaks down each aspect of personal writing and invites her students to be honest, bold and daring on the page. Under her guidance the words easily flow and what seemed challenging and confusing before, takes shape with new structure and voice. Her “Writing From Experience” workshop in San Miguel is much more than a workshop – it’s a cultural fiesta! While the writing classes are incredibly constructive and informative, the excursions into San Miguel’s colorful lifestyle, food, music and history make the whole experience one I’ll never forget.
–Gwen Mayes, Lawyer, Freelance Health Policy Writer
Laura Fraser’s writer’s workshop in San Miguel was everything I’d hoped it would be and much, much more. The accommodations were not just comfortable, they were absolutely luxurious and very secure. Our classes were enlightening and constructive with feedback given in a very positive manner. Sometimes it can be beyond intimidating to bare your soul in a writing group, but Laura made it a wonderful experience. She is an intelligent, experienced and very skillful writer who understands and embraces the craft of writing. She’s able to get that across easily in her classes. I left with renewed enthusiasm to see my writing project through to completion.”
–Fran Tunno. Copywriter and voiceover actress
“Laura’s workshop was a pleasure and more importantly, the structure of the sessions and her facilitation allowed for very practical feedback. I do not think that every writer can create an environment where the workshop portion is actually useful, that is, where the participants can be constructive, not too nice and not too mean. But that is exactly what happened. The format allowed for a lot of learning (for me, especially on structure), a lot of re-writes and a lot of fun. And of course, San Miguel! What can you say? Beauty, charm and friendly people – a perfect spot for a workshop.”
–Carol Merchasin, lawyer and essayist