Please note that 2017/18 will be the last winter of the Book Coach Retreat.
Once a month, from October through March, I offer a one-on-one intensive writing workshop in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico (see Google Map), voted by Condé Naste Traveller “The World’s Best City.’
This retreat is intended for writers with a manuscript close to completion. You should have a full draft that is close to final. In the space of a week, working intensively together, we should be able to bring the manuscript up to publishing standard.
The writer stays in a fully independent casita attached to our house in San Miguel. The casita has a bedroom with writing space, a kitchen/livingroom, and a full bathroom, with a private entrance and a private balcony, as well as access to the second-floor and third-floor outdoor terraces. Wi-fi and local telephone are included. The house is within two blocks of a variety of food stores as well as an excellent fruit and vegetable market and is a 15-minute walk to the Jardin at the centre of town. San Miguel is at 6,000’ elevation and the streets are hilly so writers should be fit and used to living and working independently. On the day of arrival, we do a walkabout to orient you to the neighborhood and to pick up supplies.
You will work independently on your writing in the mornings, and spend three hours every afternoon in close editorial consultation with myself, or with my husband, writer Wayne Grady.
We select one writer to work with each month. Selection is based on a review of the manuscript and a phone conversation to establish goals and compatibility. Writers can enquire at any time, although spaces are usually filled 3-4 months in advance.
Selected writers submit a final manuscript one month in advance of their arrival. The work plan for the week is based on the manuscript, and may include a substantive edit, a line edit, and advice on submission and publisher/agent selection.
Best of all, the conversations will be enlivened by the endless sunshine of this beautiful UNESCO city.
$2,500 for the week-long retreat includes:
A deposit of $1,000 is required one month in advance. The balance is payable on arrival. Cheque or email transfer is preferred.
Note: For Canadian writers, HST of 13% is charged. The retreat and travel are tax-deductible as a professional writer’s business expense.
The fee does not include food or transportation. You can get to San Miguel by flying to either Mexico City or Léon and taking a car service for $75 from Mexico City or $25 from Leon.
The retreat at San Miguel de Allende with Merilyn exceeded my expectations. The town is captivating and Merilyn’s casita perfect for immersion into writing. After an intense week of writing, I left feeling I had made significant progress in my manuscript. My thanks to Merilyn who was an exacting and supportive mentor and friend.
-Shelley O’Callaghan, 2016 Retreat
Three months after the retreat, Shelley signed a publisher’s contract for How Deep is the Lake, to be released in 2017.
To apply, send details of your writing project to email@example.com.
One candidate will be accepted for each month October through March. Successful candidates will be notified as soon as possible. At that point, we’ll decide together on a schedule for manuscript evaluation. Once the manuscript evaluation is complete, we’ll determine a work plan for the retreat.