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Dancing for New Orleans: a writing course in Greece

I recently attended an outstanding writing course in Shropshire.  I blogged about the experience in my piece: Arvon residential writing courses: review (links in bold italics are to other posts on this blog).

Researching for my Arvon post, I found this piece, commissioned long ago by The Boston Globe but never published, about a rather good 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.  It sums up the Skyros course well.

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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