Pre-Valentine's "Love Boat" cruise

Our writing workshops: 

Whether you’re looking to unwind, to write, or explore new niches in a writing arena, this retreat will provide a creative environment.

Our Workshops offer Story Development, Craft of Writing, Visual Thinking and Journaling.  Our goal is to give you a chance to be published in our anthology, Shades of Culture. 

Who will benefit: Writers, non-writers and authors of all skill level and genres. 

Out workshops are designed to inspire you  to write about your life experiences.

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To learn more about our master teachers and the thread of their instructions please  click on the "Instructors" page at the top of the pannel 

Sunday 5:30pm – A welcome reception for our writers and their guests. We will have a briefing, an overview of our week, and an introduction of the instructors. Registration will follow.

Monday Feb 6: (at sea)

 9:00 to 10:30 AM 

Get started and hone your writing skills

Carolyn Howard-Johnson: Techniques to improve Poetry  

Ten easy ways to make your poems Sparkle: Carolyn will share ten ways that poets (beginners or advanced) can use to write new poems or improve old ones. 

Kelly Hayes-Raitt: Creative Prose 

In this course you will explore creative nonfiction. You will learn using fictional techniques to develop tension and conflict in a non-fiction setting.  You will be guided to transform your personal stories into artful narratives.  It is advisable to read the following authors:  David Sedaris, Janet Fitch or Susanna Kaysen

Catherine Yesayan: Introduction to Journaling:

A quick look into masters of Journaling such as Anne Frank, Leonardo Da Vinci, Lewis & Clark and others. by hearing their stories You will be inspired to start writing your own journal.  You will have total of 10 quiet supervised hours to write about your past travels or our cruise to the Mexican Riviera. We have already lined up your colorful notebooks. 

Assembly (11:00 AM): Our Keynote speaker, Jeraldine Saunders, who has written many bestsellers, (check her bio) will tell us about her life experiences and how she pushed her luck and became the world’s first female cruise director and wrote a novel that made history. We will also hear her secrets of getting published as a prolific author (Q&A follows)

3:30 to 5:00 PM

Panel discussion: Jeraldine, Carolyn, Kelly (fundamentals of writing, editing and getting published)

7:00 to 8:00 PM

Carolyn Howard-Johnson: Poetry Critic group 

This is a time to share your poems for pleasure or valuable suggestions. Carolyn will also share her own critique group guidelines she perfected in combination with accepted group therapy techniques and classes she taught for UCLA Extension's renowned Writer's Program and the critique group she founded for the Glendale Library system.

Kelly Hayes-Raitt: Creative Prose will continue

8:00 to 9:30 PM

Happy Hour / Open mic / reading our own words.

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday Feb 7, 8, 9: 

  During the day: Shore excursion + One on one coaching with instructors and private sessions with Ms. Saunders, who is a renowned astrologist, numerologist and palmistry. You may discuss your goals, dreams and writing projects with our Masters – Saunders will give private readings on your palm and birth date. Pre-signup necessary 


 8:30 to 10:00 AM: Journaling: (Catherine)

11:00 AM to 4:00 PM 

Private coaching with Jeraldine, Carolyn or Kelly (signup necessary) Ask our experts about your writing--from creating to editing to shopping or submitting your work.

Here is the process of one-on-one coaching:

1- Getting to know you

2- Understanding your Objectives & goals.

3- Defining a path to reach your goals.

4- The needed steps to get to your goal. 

7:00 to 8:00 PM

One hour class with Caroline and Kelly. 

 8:00 to 9:30 PM: happy hour / Open mic / reading our own words

Friday, Saturday Feb 10-11: (two full days at sea)

Workshops will continue.  In addition we will have private coaching 

Friday Feb 10:

9:00 to 10:30 A.M.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson: Use of Dialogue 

Using Dialogue in Fiction and Nonfiction: The mistakes many writers make with dialogue--even experienced authors--are often the tipoffs to agents, contest judges and publishers that the writer is an amateur. Carolyn promises you will learn at least a few dialogue techniques you never knew existed.   

         Kelly Hayes-Raitt : Structuring a Travel essay and creating a sense of place. you will discuss ways to structure a travel essay.  Kelly will cover mistakes that travel writers make and how travel can enhance your imagination.  

Catherine Yesayan: Journaling

11:00 AM to 4:00 PM 

One on one with Jeraldine, Carolyn or Kelly (pre-sign up necessary)Ask our experts will lead you -- from creating to editing to shopping or submitting your work.  


7:00 to 8:00 PM

Carolyn Howard-Johnson: Finding your voice and POV (point of View)

 Your Voice: Easier Than You Imagined: Carolyn will help you find your voice and make understanding what voice and point of view are easy as pie.

         Kelly Hayes-Raitt: travel essay continues

Friday evening: Happy hour /Open mic / reading our own

Saturday Feb. 11

 9:00 to 10:30 AM

Carolyn: finishing the work in process

  Kelly: finishing the work in process

Catherine: Journaling (finishing the work in process)

11:00 AM to 4:00 PM 

One on one with Jeraldine, Carolyn or Kelly (pre-signup necessary)


4:00 PM to 5:00 PM 

 Last Call: Carolyn, Kelly and Catherine

9:00 PM: Final Joyful happy-hour (wrap-up of the event)

Each participating writer will leave the conference with memories they'll treasure forever and series of written narratives: Poems, essays, stories and Journals.  You will have a full productive week away from home and an opportunity to be published in an anthology.  

Don't miss out! Join our one-of-a-kind retreat TODAY!

                     #33600 Clip Art Graphic of a Mexican Man Strumming A Guitar And Singing While A Little Dog Howls by Maria Bell

For more info contact Catherine: 818 497 0707 /