- GEORGINA HOWARD
- HOLIDAY TYPES
- DATES 2022 & 2023
- PRESS & REVIEWS
Are you in search of an inspirational setting? Of a place where you can shut out the hullabaloo of daily life and focus uniquely on your own creative writing and thinking?
Do you crave a place of peace and solitude, while also seeking warm-hearted exchanges with fellow travellers and like-minded writers?
Do you need professional guidance on how to harness the creativity within you and channel it into your writing?
Are you finishing a novel, or perhaps pondering its inception, and searching for a place to curl up with your thoughts in a private space with a cup of tea - or a glass of wine?
Join us at Pyrenean Experience for a creative writing retreat where you can hunker down and shake away the cobwebs, relax to the sound of the sheep bells across the valley or simply soak up the sublime views that greet you from every window in the house.
We offer a warm welcome to all writers looking for a little headroom at our beautiful farmhouse retreats in the Pyrenees. Whether you are new to writing or an established author we are here to support you. We gather each morning around the kitchen table to explore various pillars of creative writing such as voice, structure and dialogue. Guests are given the option of participating in exercises designed to unleash their creativity. For the rest of the day guests can enjoy the private spaces offered by our beautiful home and take advantage of the charming walks that step out from the door.
At seven each evening we come together for an informal dinner and to share the creative processes we have explored during the day. We also share our daily writing experiences, which may include anything from roadblocks and doubts to triumphs and breakthroughs.
My passion is to unite people from all walks of life and create a truly international meeting of minds, and over the past twenty years my Basque mountain eyrie in the Pyrenees has welcomed some two thousand travellers the world over. Whether my guests join me to walk the mountains, to learn languages, to write their memoirs or simply to enjoy our community spirit and great Basque food, the sublime beauty of the views from my terrace does not fail to humble and inspire us all.
In 2021 The Times voted our language holidays as among ‘the top ten learning holidays worldwide’ and our creative writing retreats are facilitated with the same techniques that earned us this accolade. I have published two books 'Freedom to Choose' and 'Breaking the Language Barrier', and my writing has also been featured in The Sunday Times. I now feel privileged to work with editor and author Diana Friedman who facilitates our writing workshops and whose steady hand helped take my memoir, 'Life on a Basque Mountain' over the finishing line.
“Diana is the consummate writing instructor who checks all the boxes of a great collaborator. She lands squarely among those precious beings who can get out of your way and spark your craft, unearthing a talent you may not have known you possessed. Her endless generosity enhances her easy charm. If you study with her, consider yourself lucky.”
Thomas Rini, MA LMHC
Diana Friedman has taught creative writing for over a decade and loves working with writers of all levels. As a 'midwife' for emerging artists, she especially enjoys helping those new to the artistic process find their voice. Over the years, she has taught professional writing at the University of Maryland and facilitated numerous workshops for writers at all levels. She is delighted to join forces with the dynamic Georgina Howard to bring a new crop of writers and writing workshops to the inspirational setting of Iaulin Borda.
Diana’s fiction, articles and essays have appeared in numerous publications including New Letters, Huffington Post, Newsweek and the Baltimore Sun. She is the recipient of the Alexander Patterson Cappon Fiction Prize and a Pushcart Prize nomination. Her work has been selected as a finalist and short-listed at multiple presses.
"Diana has taught me to trust my voice. She possesses a terrific mix of sensitivity and challenge and helps you to develop those areas - be it dialogue, character, plot – in a clear, smart and inspired way. Diana is dedicated to each student’s process and the seriousness with which she engages in her teaching fosters trust right from the start. My work with her is life-giving and priceless."
Anne E. Wild-Rocheleau, PhD
En-suite rooms with inspiring mountain views from every window. An open house and full use of living rooms, dining rooms, kitchen, log fires and flowery terraces with all sorts of creative nooks and crannies.
The kitchen is stocked with all sorts of food, coffee, teas, wine etc. for help-yourself breakfasts and light lunches. In the evening we enjoy a delicious, communal 3-course evening meal together around the kitchen table.
There are over 10 amazing circular walks from the farmhouse door many leading to small Basque villages. Detailed maps and notes are available and we are happy to show our guests some of the paths personally and tell them the stories of the area.
Each day we offer our guests the option of gathering after breakfast to discuss various aspects of creative writing. We also invite guests to participate in writing exercises designed to stimulate our imagination. But all these exercises are optional. The rest of the day is free for guests to work on their writing before we come together again at dinner time to discuss our day´s work and writing experiences. Evenings are then enjoyed listening to readings (for those who wish to share their work) and exchanging ideas and individual perspectives.
There are easy connections to the house from Bilbao airport and San Sebastian. We operate a pick up from the San Sebastian bus to our local village (Santesteban/Doneztebe) on the first and final day of our retreat. (Please consult us about times).
1250 Euros includes en-suite room, daily morning workshops, all food and wine, full use of the house & bus pick-up.