Some writers work best in their office or home while others benefit from the stimulation and fresh perspective that a foreign sky affords. International authors Robin Hemley and Xu Xi are definitely two of the latter types and have taught writing workshops and retreats around the world for many years. Authors at Large (AAL) was designed to cater to and benefit like-minded writers, both established and emerging, who love travel, time and space to write, and the community and fellowship of other writers at the end of a productive writing day. We select participants carefully for our writing retreats and workshop groups from the applications we receive to create a conducive environment that is culturally diverse and intellectually stimulating.
In 2017, we held three international week-long retreats. The first retreat at the end of May was in Siglufjordur, a historic fishing village in northern Iceland. Eleven writers participated in workshops led by Xu Xi (fiction) and Brenda Miller (nonfiction).
In July, twelve writers joined us for a retreat in Hua Hin, a beach resort town on the southern coast of Thailand, location of the royal family’s summer palace. Madeleine Thien led the fiction group and Robin Hemley led a generative writing workshop in fiction & nonfiction. Xu Xi made a brief appearance and gave a salon on publishing. The following week, Robin Hemley returned to the private island of Telunas in Indonesia (site of our inaugural retreat in 2016) to hold our last summer retreat of 2017 with four writers for an intensive workshop week.
And in fall we held our very first Urban Weekend Retreat in Hong Kong led by Xu Xi where 14 fiction & nonfiction writers gathered for an intensive workshop centered around writing craft using their own work as text for discussion and further generative exercises. We also had lunch/informal sessions on publishing & the business of writing.