Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Your Best Writing Experience Ever!
 Jan 19th–Feb 1st 2014

A 14-day, 13-night Adventure in Santiago, Chile.

Be inspired relishing a second culture, in a village outside the city, with inspiring writer-editors Stan Dragland and Beth Follett. Stay in the home of long-time Chile residents and grape-growers Susan & Gordon Siddeley. 
Sleep, after gazing at a sky full of stars, waken to the sight of the snow-tipped Andes Mountains, and the throaty crue of owls.   

Writing Workshop Itinerary:

Sunday: Be met and welcomed at the airport and lunch on Merlot, empanadas and Chilean tomato salad. Walk through the vineyard, explore our lower hill slopes and meet our wonderful on-site family. In the evening dine on salmon and sip Chardonnay.  

Monday & Tuesday: Read, write, listen and discuss during the first Morning Session. Lunch on traditional soup and salad, relax and enjoy afternoons of free writing, consultations and possibly a trip to Chile’s famous Jumbo store.

Wednesday: Love our Day Out at the coast! Travelling down Ruta 68, past eye-burning, pink Bourgainvillea, marvel at the pristine vineyards as we head for Isla Negra, favourite museum home of Nobel, prize-winning Chilean Poet, Pablo Neruda. It’s perched on the cliff tops overlooking the rolling breakers of the South Pacific. Run your fingers along his desk, appreciate his rooms, admire his amazing collections. Then, buy arty souvenirs from local writers and craftsmen in the nearby square. Returning via Ruta del Sol, explore the village of Pomaire where people devote themselves to pottery -making and afterwards swap notes over tea in a rustic restaurant.  

Thursday & Friday: Morning sessions and free-time afternoons. Now is the time to go walking…enjoy the gardens and hillside views. In the evening join in a game of Scrabble or our hilarious Dictionary Game!

Saturday: Our 5th morning session, and after lunch, taking advantage of a quiet weekend (many Chileans go to the beach in January) we head for the City Centre for an afternoon of sightseeing. This includes the Presidential Palace-La Moneda, Plaza de Armas, the Cathedral and the Pre-Columbian museum. We sometimes manage to squeeze in a drive around Las Condes, passing the impressive Canadian & American Embassies on our way to Los Dominicos, a high-end craft market in a historic cloister - a tourist favourite for shoppers before travelling home.

Sunday The morning is free, but we have horses! Those who would like, can join us  on a ride around the neighbouring hill where the last of the real huasos (Chilean cowboys) live! After a traditional Sunday lunch of empanadas we return to Santiago to see Pablo Neruda’s main house in the bohemian Bellavista District, We usually eat out there, with your choice of restaurant – choose from chic to the popular Chop (beer) and Papas Fritas,  pub-style eateries.

Week Two: Repeats the pattern of Week One

… Except forWednesday, when we go to Valparaiso, Chile’s amazing world heritage port; a stunning semi-circle of hills, covered with pastel-coloured houses packed precariously on the ravine sides. Views are astounding, especially for those who take a deep breath and ride up in one of the creaky funiculars. Valparaiso is also the site of Pablo Neruda’s third house. High on a hill, this one so tall and narrow, tours are self-guided. We usually taxi up and walk down. Also to see are the unusual Parliament buildings, docks, Naval Headquarters and vivid street murals.

Saturday: The wrap-up session with a celebratory Despedida (good-bye) lunch and the treat we all enjoy - our own Folklore Show where the local family so kindly show us how to dance! It is always as moving as it is brilliant.

Cost: is $160 per day (single room)* inclusive of the workshop sessions, consultations, breakfast, lunch, Happy Hour, dinner with wine, tea and coffee. Plus: Free airport pick up and drop off.

Please email motocad@rogers.com

For costs re: shared rooms and non-workshop participants

Does not include: Airfare, meals eaten ‘out’ or the small charge (about $20 per day-trip) to cover transport costs.
Medical insurance - a must!
to see our slide show on Shaw Guides

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Beth Follett and Stan Dragland
Los Parronales
Jan 19th-Feb 1st, 2014

Join us!
Discuss, think and write; around the table, under the trees, by the pool.
Share critiques and consultations.
Dine on classic Chilean food and wine
Explore Chile’s Central Valley and spectacular PACIFIC COAST
email: Susan Siddeley: motocad@rogers.com


 “Run, don’t walk, to sign up for a Los Parronales writing workshop. Situated in the middle of a vineyard, surrounded by the foothills of the Andes, it’s a bona fide paradise. My head is still spinning from the camaraderie, the field trips, the visits to Neruda’s houses, and the perfect weather. Life-changing things happen at Los Parronales!”  Barry Dempster
If you are able to go to this retreat in Chile, it will be a memorable thing. Beth Follett and Stan Dragland are extraordinary as people and as teachers. They will push you in your writing to the place you need to go. ronna bloom
The time spent in Los Parronales studying with Beth Follett and Stan Dragland was a great boost to my writing. Beth created an atmosphere of warmth and daring, encouraging us to discover hidden depths. Stan, just as warmly, provided a rich foray into language and literature. Both gave generously of their time, editing and re-editing with gentle insight and professionalism. I came home with several poems near-ready for publication, and a strengthened belief in my work. Cynthia French

For me, two weeks spent at Los Parronales under the mentorship of Beth Follett, basking in the hospitality of Susan and Gordon Siddeley, was a discovery of the importance of writing in my life and the realization that being "away" can really be the thing that brings you home. Beth has a quiet intensity that allows you to breathe deeply and listen and to begin to hear things that have always been there but have gone unnoticed; to pay attention to the meaning within the words. The day trips to Valparaiso, Isla Negra and Santiago and the homes of Pablo Neruda enhanced the experience, as did evening meals around the family table at Susan and Gordon’s. A fabulous experience in every sense. Janet Hepburn

I never knew I could write anything as beautiful as I did at Los Parronales with Beth and Stan. R. Rubenstein
My writing benefited greatly from Beth and Stan's complementary mentorship styles during the two week workshop. What a privilege and pleasure to work with them in the charming setting of Los Parronales!Good luck with the workshop, Susan.  What a lovely image I conjure up when I think of it.  Jennifer Savidge