Join us in September for 5 days of writing and walking in the fabulous Axarquía. Competa Hikes/Holidays and Writing Axarquía have joined forces to create a bespoke creative retreat that is designed to relax and inspire you.
Nature Writing has become an increasingly popular genre in the UK, whether it’s writing about nature, or writing inspired by nature across non-fiction, poetry or fiction. Classics of the genre include Nan Shepherd The Living Mountain, Robert Macfarlane The Old Ways, The Wild Places, Landmarks and Holloway, memoir such as Helen Macdonald H is for Hawk or Katharine Norbury The Fish Ladder and essay/life writing such as Sharon Blackie If Women Rose Rooted. A quick google of Nature Writing will elicit many more authors and poets who are drawn to and inspired by nature and a strong sense of place, by the human traces and impact upon the landscape.
During this week of writing and walking, we’ll be thinking about place, history and landscape, becoming conscious of the echoes of deep geological history as much as the echoes of the human steps that have gone before us. Daily writing workshops will connect words to walking through the natural rhythms of pace. There’ll be plenty of fun too – time spent with like minded people, good food and wine, traditional cultural entertainment and the warmth of Andalusia and her people.
The week is suitable for most levels of fitness and all levels of writing! All you need is a sense of curiosity and a willingness to explore, both landscape and language.
Experienced tutors Fi Mason and Andy Reynolds deliver creative writing workshops in the UK and Spain. They’re both passionate about sharing their love of writing and nature.
“Well-structured, prepared and delivered with humour and sensitivity, inspiring me to write, equipped with knowledge and skills I could never have gleaned from my reading experience.”
“A teaching duo, whose love for writing shines through, complemented by their ability to teach the building blocks to me, a novice.”
“Supportive leaders, who inspire confidence.”
“They absolutely know what they are talking about and have a great feeling for explaining even difficult contexts in a simple way.”
As well as being a writer (and one half of Writing Axarquía), I am a yoga and relaxation instructor and I am looking forward to uniting these elements during our week together. If you’re interested in finding ways unplug and unblock your creative potential, perhaps you’d like to try Creative Imagination Meditation. That’s just a fancy way of saying relaxation with visualisation and it’s not as scary as it sounds. Give it a try. I love being in the mountains, walking along ancient paths in the footsteps of traders, brigands, lovers, farmers and warriors. To be in this landscape is to awaken your senses to the hidden histories, the human and animal and mineral traces of deep time. This mountain range was once sea-bed, before the tectonic shifts that divided this end of Spain from the top of Africa. I am inspired by nature and our sense of place in the world. Let’s get off the beaten track and get creating!
I love stories – reading them, writing them, watching them, living them. When I visited the Shetland Isles, I imagined the viking raiders’ silent, deadly glide through the mist in a long-boat. Here in Andalusia, I’m fascinated by the layer upon layer of human history. Neanderthals, Phoenicians, Celts, Carthaginians, Romans, Visigoths, Moors, Sephardic Jews, Christians and Bourbons have successively conquered and settled here, leaving their mark from cave paintings to palaces to tracks through the mountains. The history of modern Spain is no less potent and it’s all here, in the faces, the buildings, the pathways and customs of this region. Whether an ancient or a futuristic setting, story is what drives me. I love creating worlds, populating them with characters and putting obstacles in their way to see what will happen. I’m excited about sharing my passion for story with you during our week together and guiding you to tell stories of your own.