Robert Pimm

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Dancing for New Orleans: a writing course in Greece

I recently attended an outstanding Arvon Foundation writing course in Shropshire.  I will write a blog about that shortly.

In researching, I found this piece, commissioned long ago by The Boston Globe but never published, about a writing course on the Greek island of Skyros.  It follows the rules on structure set out in my piece The 4 elements of the perfect article: Nut-grafs and Cosmic Kickers.  

Dancing for New Orleans

Ten would-be writers sit on a terrace high above the Aegean. We’re lapping up the bright sun, the cool breeze, and advice on how to get our books published.  Suddenly we’re interrupted: up the hill, participants in another course are venting their emotions in a cacophony of eerie howling. In response, a donkey brays: a shocking, raucous noise.  Everyone laughs.

The entrance to the Skyros Centre is low key

There’s a huge amount of laughter on a Skyros holiday. That’s the idea: by combining holistic holidays, writers’ courses and a Greek island, operator Skyros holds out the promise of both self-improvement and self-discovery in an idyllic setting. But how well do the different elements fit together?  The answer is: better than you’d think.

You sense the island of Skyros is something special before the ferry from the Greek mainland even moors.  As ship nears shore, music floats across the sea.  A cafe on the waterfront is playing “Also Sprach Zarathustra”.  (more…)

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