Adrift in the landscape: place and writing

“In every out-thrust headland, in every curving beach, in every grain of sand there is a story of the earth”

Rachel Carson.


12-19 October 2014

A Creative Writing Course at OZU, Italy

Presented by Sheree Mack

Taking inspiration from the surrounding landscape, this year we will explore what place means to us, emotionally, psychologically, culturally and personally. Drawing upon Sheree’s expertise in writing about nature, place and belonging, this week will combine walking, memory, story-telling, narrative and science, as we explore how we negotiate place in our writing. Each day we will connect with our surroundings, both rural and urban, to explore how we gather locations, directions and borders to gain or not, that sense of belonging to a place. We will practice paying close attention to our surroundings in order to capture those fully-engaged moments of writing. We will keep our eyes, ears, nose, mouth, fingers, feelings and minds open as we write beyond our expectations.

Tuition, accommodation and full board are provided at OZU.
Summer countryside

Writing creatively requires time and space.

Writing creatively requires training the eye to observe closely what goes on around us.
Writing creatively requires discipline and the fostering a habit.


Far too often, in our everyday lives the hustle and bustle of work, family and other commitments get in the way of writing. You want to write creatively but it usually ends up at the bottom of your to-do list.

How good would it be then to spend a week away with writing being your chief priority?

How good would you feel if you had the opportunity to get away from all those usual commitments and distractions?

How good would you feel if you could explore your writer’s voice in a safe environment with a professional writer and a supportive, encouraging group of other writers?

Writing Tutor Sheree Mack will bring her writing and teaching skills to your aid for a creative journey at OZU this autumn. In the beautiful and historic countryside of Lazio, Italy you shall be roomed, fed and watered, with no responsibilities except to enjoy, relax and listen to your writer within.

Throughout the week you will meet for a taught workshop-session in the mornings. You will have writing exercises to kick-start new projects. You will journey out into the surrounding area to gain inspiration from the  places, environments, both rural ans urban that we encounter. Ideas will flow giving you a fresh approaches to creating new pieces of writing or a fresh pair of eyes on an on -going project.

As a group, you will read published authors, as a springboard into your own writing as a variety of exercises and methods are employed. You will gain vital feedback on your work from the other writers in the group sharing this experience.

Writers are always on the alert for potential material and your own life – what you see, experience,
think, and feel – will provide the principal source. A notebook is an essential tool for any writer and has several functions. ‘Notebook’, ‘journal’, ‘scrapbook’, which ever word you use, during this adventure you will keep one. These are helpful tools for the daily discipline of writing. Here you are encouraged to jot down observations while you are out and about, your rants and raves, ideas for poems, single words, clippings from newspapers, responses to books or poems you’ve read, notes from research, all kinds of ‘gathering’. Your notebook is for you, and it needs to contain whatever helps you or fuels your writing. You are making a kind of creative compost heap to draw upon when needed.

After lunch there will be free time in which to write and develop your ideas, have one-to-one feedback sessions and explore the surrounding countryside. During the week you will take a specially tailored tour of the capital, Rome.

Turano lake and the village Colle di Tora

This adventure is suitable for beginners, more experienced writers and for anyone interested in exploring their creative potential.

Creative Writing Retreat with Sheree Mack

Born in 1971, Bradford, UK. Lives and works in the North East of England. Sheree Mack completed a PhD in Creative Writing at Newcastle University in 2010, after completing an MA in Creative Writing at Northumbria University in 2003. Family Album is her first full collection of poetry published in 2011 with Flambard Press. She is an active freelance writer and artists within the UK, having worked with, among others, New Writing North, Creative Partnerships Durham Sunderland, Cumbria and Northumberland, Arts UK, Sangini, The Poetry Vandals, Diamond Twig, Live Theatre, Durham Literature Festival, Apples and Snakes, Malika’s Kitchen and New Writing North.  More…

Dates: 12-19 October 2014

Price: 610 Euro, including:

  • 5 days professional tuition
  • 8 nights full-board accommodation in OZU (all meals included)*
  • Transportation to and from Fara Sabina train station (direct connection with Rome Fiumicino Airport)**
  • Shared room facilities
  • Exceptional food in outstanding surroundings
  • Wine with dinner
  • Vegetarian and special diets on request
  • Guest Kitchen – Tea, coffee and biscuits always available
  • Wi-Fi access and guest PC
  • Course Transport when needed
  • Rome and other trips out to explore the region
  • Italian cookery lessons
  • Literary sharing evenings
  • Good company

*Additional cost if you wish to be accommodated in the nearby Agriturismo: 40 Euro per night. Extra nights and single room supplements available on request. Additional cost if you wish to stay longer in OZU or if you wish to book a single room: 20 Euro per night

**We will arrange several picking up points at Fara Sabina train station. The exact timing will be defined accordingly to landing times of guests.

Not included: airfare, spending money.

Sagra delle Words website:

For information and registration:


2 thoughts on “Adrift in the landscape: place and writing

  1. Pingback: Adrift in the landscape: a free place is offered! | OZU activity

  2. Pingback: words words words | OZU activity

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