WHEN: 4-22nd March, 2018
COST: Early Bird: $AUD 3,595 or FULL $AUD 3,895 after 30th May
For writers and artists of all modalities.
Our fourteen day creative adventure into the Moroccan desert will take you deep into the heart and essence of your writing or creative idea. Start a new project, revitalise an old one or simply write the journey. All genres and levels of experience welcome.
We begin our creative adventure into the heart of Moroccan culture in the world heritage city of Fes, home to the oldest continuously functioning university in the world.
Known as the Mecca of the West and the Athens of Africa, we spend a day exploring its fascinating markets and medinas before heading out for our desert retreat. Our destination is a retreat in the Saharan village of Tissardine owned and run by Australian artist Karen Hadfield.
Listen to an interview on ABC Radio with Karen here. >>
Situated in an oasis, this tiny traditional Berber village comprising of 15 houses, is perched on the edge of one of the Sahara’s most extraordinary natural wonders, Erg Chebbi, a large dune stretching 22 kms long and 5 kms wide and peaking up to 150 metres high.
Formed by wind blown sand, Erg Chebbi is celebrated for its unique golden-orange sand formations that start at the most northern tip of the Sahara and undulate across Morocco to Tomboctou.
Located 30km from the more well-trodden towns of Erfoud and Rissani, Tissardmine is a place of tranquility, where the loudest sound you will hear is the birdsong’.
After our eight day writing retreat in this peaceful oasis, we cross the high Atlas Mts and continue on our desert journey to Marrakech to end our caravan feasting on the sights and sounds of this famous Moroccan city.
" Jan’s rare quality lies in her ability to get the best out of any aspiring artist / worker / client. Her wealth of experience in the creative field and her relaxed nature, make explorations to the heart of creativity so much easier for those who work with her. " -
Richard Oh, former CEO of QB World Books, Jakarta
About Jan Cornall
Jan Cornall is a writer, performer and teacher based in Sydney, and one of Australia’s top writing mentors. She has written fifteen produced plays, musicals, a feature film, a novel and three CDs of songs. Jan has taught creative writing for over a decade at writer’s centres, community colleges, universities (UTS, WSU) and writer’s festivals in Australia and Asia. Using a technique she has developed called Meditative Writing, Jan takes writers deep into their creative source. Dedicated to nurturing the unique attributes of each writer, her writing workshops produce startling results.
Jan has taken several groups of writers to the desert and we are thrilled to be working with her on this trip.
About the Workshops
Daily workshops begin in Fes and follow the cosmology of the eight pointed star, which is the base of Moroccan decorative arts, architecture and Islamic symbology. Each day as we travel the desert sands from the ancient city of Fes to our eight day oasis retreat in Tissardine and on to Marrakech, we will explore the mystical significance of the eight cardinal directions and the areas of writing craft they relate to. Meditative writing and creativity techniques combined with image and sense explorations will take your writing or creative explorations to new and unexpected places as the journey reveals the geographic treasures of the shifting Saharan landscape. With the Moroccan star as our map and guiding light, on our last day we will arrive at the ninth point, the centre of the octagon, which in Sufi beliefs represents wholeness and perfection. As we pack our bags for our return we can be sure the profound knowledge and newfound discoveries of our adventure will be useful in our creative projects for years to come.
‘I’ve done nothing since I returned except tell everyone to go to the desert and get inspired.’ -
– arrive at our Fes riad (accommodation), welcome dinner.
Day 2 -
morning workshop, Introduction to the Moroccan Star and its relevance in Writing the Journey, explore Fes on guided tour, evening readings and dinner.
– travel to Tissardmine, Travelling South – Observation Workshop – tasks and discussion en route.
– Retreat Day 1 – morning desert meditation (east)10am -12.30pm meditative writing workshop on Collecting Creative Material ; afternoon free writing time, 5pm – 6.30pm early evening readings.
– Retreat Day 2 – morning desert meditation (on south east), 10am -12.30pm meditative writing workshop on Setting The Scene, afternoon free writing time, 5pm – 6.30pm early evening readings.
– Retreat Day 3 – morning desert meditation(on north), 10am -12.30pm meditative writing workshop on Finding Your Voice , afternoon free writing time, 5pm – 6.30pm early evening readings.
– Retreat Day 4 – morning desert meditation (on north east), 10am -12.30pm meditative writing workshop on Driving the Characters, afternoon free writing time, sunset excursion to the dunes by 4WD and camel.Dinner in Erg Chebbi camp and sleep over.
– Retreat day 5 – morning desert meditation(on north west), 10am -12.30pm meditative writing workshop on Plotting the Action, afternoon free writing time, 5pm – 6.30pm early evening readings plus trip to Rissani Markets.
NB –Days 6, 7 and 8 may be trekking by camel and foot, camping and workshopping along the way through the dunes and desert. This will dependent on the weather and fitness levels of the individuals. It is a unique opportunity to feel the soul of the desert and discover so much more about your self and your writing.
– Retreat Day 6 – morning desert meditation(south west), 10am -12.30pm meditative writing workshop on Resolution/Impact, afternoon free writing time, 5pm – 6.30pm early evening readings
– Retreat Day 7 – morning workshop on Arriving at the Centre of the Moroccan Star, final Salon with dinner and soiree.
— Free day.
— Bus to Marrakech over the High Atlas Mountains. Check into our Marrakech riad.
— In Marrakech you will spend the day being guided through the crowded souks, where you can shop until you drop. Final readings at our Marrakesch riad and dinner in the square at Jemaa el Fnaa.
— Time to depart or continue on your own itinerary – Australian participants will be driven 3 hours to Cassablanca Airport for flights home to Oz via Dubai.
NOTE: There is an option to extend your time and do a Sefrou residency 17th - 23rd March $500 accommodation only.
This itinerary may change to accommodate local events and conditions
- Tuition and guidance
- Full board at Tissardmine (breakfast, lunch and dinner plus snacks) 7 nights.
- Half board on the road (breakfast and dinner) (2 nights – Fes, 1 night
- Boumaine Dades, 2 nights Marrakech).
- All accommodation (twin share).
- Bottled water (3L per day)
- 3 hour guided tour Fes and Marrakech
- Excursions to Erg Chebbi and Rissani
What's NOT included
- International air fares*
- Travel insurance**
- Travel between city of arrival (if not Fes) and Fes or city of departure (if not Marrakech) and Marrakech.
- Lunches and refreshments on journey to and from Tissardmine (or other incidental food supplies you may want to bring).
- Personal shopping.
*Etihad has the cheapest direct flight, approx $1700AUD. Qantas/ Emirates have the next best return airfare from Australia to Cassablanca. We will meet the Etihad flight at Cassblanca airport on the 26th and drive you (3 hours) to Fes.
**NOTE that travel insurance is essential. You will be able to obtain a free quote from our Travel Insurance partner WorldNomads through our site shortly. Ask us about that now.