International Writing Retreats

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. 

What our participants have to say

That everyone felt comfortable to read their work before their peers attests to the gentle, supportive and respectful atmosphere that Robin and Xuxi had created, and everyone else had reinforced. This is especially so with those readings that were intensely personal, and deeply moving. It also speaks to everyone’s respect for their fellow writers that we were all there for all the readings, even when it was getting late after a long, hot day, good booze and a full stomach.

Anjuli Pandavar (Shanghai) - Telunas 2016

Any anxieties for first-time participants faded with the comfortable, steady pace of this workshop. Congenial people not competing with each other for attention or preference made this a pleasurable experience.

Diane Gueddes (Australia) - Telunas 2017

What I hadn't appreciate before I attended this week is how personally therapeutic  creative writing can be...This has been both surprising and personally valuable and could only be achieved in the trusting atmosphere of the AAL group I was part of for the week. I'd highly recommend the AAL workshop experience for beginner writers like myself.   

Jane Lockwood (Hong Kong) - Hua Hin 2017

Not only did I figure out how to address some problems in a very pesky work-in-progress, but I also generated new work and came away with strategies for initiating more. . . . Plus, hot springs! Midnight sun! Fabulous coffee! Reading at a local poetry center! And how often will most of us get to hear traditional Icelandic chanting in our lives?  You never know what awaits you at an AAL workshop—and that’s the charm. 

Susan Olding  (Canada) - Iceland 2017

What really separates this program from the many others out there, is its demographics.  This organization's mission isn't about choosing some exotic/elite locale to hold a workshop, but about truly building bridges across cultures and literatures.  My small group of 6 included burgeoning writers from India, Spain, Hong Kong, Canada and the United States . . . Don’t walk but run, no fly, to one of their upcoming retreats.

Marc Nieson (USA) - Iceland 2017

2018 Retreats

In 2018 we are returning to Hua Hin, Thailand with authors Chantelle Aimée Osman, Ira Sukrungruang & AAL founder Xu Xi.  We will offer three workshops in Genre Fiction (fantasy, sci fi, mystery), nonfiction and short fiction/novel. May 31 to June 6.  Click here for information.

And from September we are heading to Orkney, Scotland with AAL founder Robin Hemley who will lead a workshop in literary travel writing.  He will be joined by the novelist James Scudamore who will head the fiction workshop.  September 23 to 28.  Click here for details.

Urban Weekend Retreat

This summer, we will be holding our second urban weekend retreat in Berlin, focusing on the novel.  Come join Xu Xi from July 6 to 8, 2018.  She will lead an intensive writing workshop to help hone and advance your creative work. Workshops focused around aspects of writing craft plus generative exercises to move your novel to the next level. This is an opportunity to connect with other writers, build your literary community and also engage in conversations about the business of writing.  Recommended novel to read before you arrive: A Guide to Berlin by Gail Jones.  Click on this link for further information.


Siglufjordur group at the Icelandic Poem Center where we gave readings with local poets

Siglufjordur group at the Icelandic Poem Center where we gave readings with local poets

Sunset at Telunas

Sunset at Telunas

Past Retreats

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.

To see details of each retreat click on the location names

Lodgings in Siglufjordur, Iceland

Lodgings in Siglufjordur, Iceland

Sea Villas at Telunas Private Island in Indonesia.

Sea Villas at Telunas Private Island in Indonesia.

Café at Ba’an Thai Private Villas in Hua Hin. 

Café at Ba’an Thai Private Villas in Hua Hin. 

Other Services

Authors at Large offers private individual mentorships with our network of international authors who can help improve your creative work.  We do this in the form of book-length or shorter manuscript consultations that are individually tailored to suit your schedule and requirements.  We can also provide manuscript assessments and custom design private writing workshops for a specific group.  Contact us at with your inquiries. 

For our minimum rates please click this link.