Vietnam Writing Retreat – Hoi An

February 2-7, 2024

FULLY BOOKED!

Ready for a writing holiday in Vietnam?

 

Imagine unlimited writing time. Your pen glides effortlessly over the page. Stories you have longed to write finally flow. Time disappears as you become immersed in deep creative connection.

Your senses are alive with new sounds and smells, the vibrant yellow of Hoi An, the fragrance of incense, the laughter of local children, the gentle sing-song of a foreign language. Capture it all on the page.

Sharpen your powers of observation while getting lost in the winding alleyways of the World Heritage listed ancient town of Hoi An.

Learn how to play again. Writing through the lens of Vietnam will imbue your voice with a new sense of wonder. Daily writing workshops, 1:1 feedback and a supportive writing group will allow you to grow as a writer.

Let this magical place empower you to delve deep into the stories your body holds and release them forever, onto the page.

Find your way back to your heart and who you really are!

Relax, Write & Transform

Get your stories out of your head and onto the page

connect deeply — emerge creatively recharged

6-day Yoga & Writing Retreat Vietnam – February 2- 7, 2024

 

This writing retreat is for you if you…

  • crave focused writing time
  • need guidance getting started, setting goals, or finishing a draft
  • desire to explore the soul-nourishing power of writing things down
  • want to learn about the essentials of the craft of writing (ie. plot, character, form, narrative drive, pathways to publication)
  • yearn to reconnect with your creativity and your body in a vibrant, beautiful environment
  • need feedback and encouragement on your writing and crave the support of other writers

Whether you have an established writing practice and need dedicated writing time or have always wanted to write but never got started, this writing retreat is for anybody who wants to write.

Gentle morning yoga gets us into the flow, meditation allows us to drop into stillness, delicious home-cooked meals keep us nourished and healthy.

Writing our stories alone together generates focus and creative synergy.

Sharing your writing in a supportive group, will make you feel empowered and help you find your voice!

FIND FOCUS & FLOW at our Vietnam Writing Retreat

 VIETNAM WRITING RETREAT

with Kerstin & Edwina

Let us take you on a journey through the rice fields and alleyways of Hoi An and on an inner journey of creative transformation. Savour beauty and stillness in vibrant yet gentle Vietnam and set your stories free. Benefit from the guidance of TWO experienced writing coaches and published authors. 

INCLUDES:

  • daily writing workshops on the craft of writing
  • guided writing exercises & writing prompts
  • ideas to help you delve more deeply into your stories
  • strategies for incorporating creativity and writing into your daily life
  • one-on-one feedback
  • gentle morning yoga, daily mediation, pranayama & 1x tarot reading
  • cultural excursions & more
Writing and Yoga Retreat Vietnam - Our morning writing session on the beautiful terrace of our retreat in Hoi An.
Writing and Yoga Retreat Vietnam - Our morning writing session on the beautiful terrace of our retreat in Hoi An.

How we roll…

Every day begins with gentle yoga allowing us to settle into stillness.

Mornings are reserved for themed writing workshops that will help you master the craft.

In the afternoons you have the option to participate in guided free-writing sessions, allowing you to dive deep into your creative well. Afternoons are also reserved for rest and free time.

We conclude each day with a scrumptious Vietnamese dinner, sharing, readings and good conversation.

Whether you’ll be bringing a draft or starting from scratch, there’ll be plenty of free time for writing as well as opportunities to share your work in no-pressure readings, as well as one-on-one feedback.

Experience the lantern-lit magic of Hoi An ancient town on a guided excursion by boat. Learn to cook flavorsome, authentic Vietnamese dishes in a cooking school set amid vegetable gardens and rice fields. 

Savour the special time around TET, Vietnamese Lunar New Year, when the streets fill with flowers and the local markets are abuzz with special foods. This photoessay of TET 2019 will give you an idea and an intro to the traditions.

All activities are optional! This is your writing holiday and there is no judgement if you skip the yoga or prefer not share your writing.

Your home away from home

An Villa, Hoi An — Nourished by Nature

ACCOMMODATION

Your home away from home is An Villa Boutique Resort & Anicca Villa, halfway between Cua Dai beach and the World Heritage listed Old Town of Hoi An. Relax in this tranquil riverfront oasis amid palm trees and tropical gardens nestled in an authentic Vietnamese neighborhood.

An Villa is a small boutique resort offering self-contained bungalows and comfortable studios.

Anicca is a self-contained villa situated a short walk away across the river. It has beautifully appointed rooms with ensuites, two rooms sharing a bathroom.Both have private pools and there are plenty of quiet spaces to retreat in contemplative stillness and to connect with your creative flow.

LOCATION

Situated in the hamlet of Cam Thanh, you’ll be able to walk to the vibrant local neighborhood market or grab a bicycle and meander through ricefields or catch a taxi into the old town or the beach (each about ten minutes away).

HOI AN

The beautifully preserved ancient seaside town of Hoi An in Central Vietnam was once a powerful trading port along the ‘sea silk road’. Merchants from China, Japan and later Europe settled here, creating a unique architectural fusion of timber framed houses, pagodas, assembly halls and wooden footbridges that survive intact to the present day. Today, the wooden shop houses are abuzz with trendy wine bars, artisan tailors, art galleries, fine restaurants, and everything in between.

Come and explore this fascinating town with us!

Vietnam Writing Retreat

February 10-17, 2025

What’s included:

  • 6x nights accommodation in a 4-star river-front boutique resort & luxury private villa, halfway between the old town of Hoi An and the beach
  • All breakfasts, all lunches & dinners
  • Daily writing workshops & one-on-one sessions led by two experienced writing coaches
  • Guided tour of UNESCO listed old town of Hoi An
  • Authentic Vietnamese cooking class
  • Daily morning yoga
  • Evening meditations and guided gentle breathing techniques
  • A personal tarot reading to help shine a light on your way forward

What’s not included:

  • Airfares & local transport to reach the resort
  • Visa fees and international travel insurance
  • Additional activities can be organised at own cost
  • Alcohol and personal items

 

Book early, don’t miss out!

Cost (in Australian dollars)

Early Bird ends August 31

Private Room with en-suite and private veranda (SOLD OUT) | $2850 (Early Bird)| $3050 (Full Price)

Private 1st floor Studio with en-suite, private veranda/courtyard (SOLD OUT) | $2950 (Early Bird) | $3150 (Full Price)

Private Bungalow with en-suite, private veranda/courtyard (SOLD OUT) | $3050 (Early Bird) | $3250 (Full Price)

Private Room with shared bathroom in shared villa (SOLD OUT) | $2850 (Early Bird) | $3050 (Full Price)

Private Room with en-suite in shared villa (SOLD OUT) | $2950 (Early Bird) | $3150

Shared Room available upon request if booking with a friend/partner (SOLD OUT) | $2250 pp (Early Bird) | $2450 pp (Full Price)

 

*All prices in Australian dollars.

Convert into your currency here: https://www.xe.com/currencyconverter/

A non-refundable deposit of $550 will reserve your spot.

“The retreat has been a way to reconnect with the writing process and has given me some really wonderful insights to take away and create my own writing practice at home. Not only has there been time to fully dedicate to the practice, but also plenty of time to relax, restore and to feel revitalized which was something that I really really needed.”

Emma Lovell, Lovelly Communications

 Meet your Vietnam Writing Retreat leaders:

Kerstin Pilz & Edwina Shaw

Hi, I’m Kerstin

I’m a former academic with a PhD in literature and 20 years university teaching experience. I’m also a RYT 200 qualified yoga teacher and a published author.

My debut memoir Loving My Lying, Dying, Cheating Husband: A Whirlwind Romance Gone Wrong, is out with Affirm Press on February 27, 2024.

My travel features have appeared in The New York Times, The Australian, and The Sydney Morning Herald. My academic publications include a monograph (Mapping Complexity: Literature, Philosophy and Science in the works of Italo Calvino), book chapters and peer-reviewed academic articles.

I called beautiful Hoi An home for several years until a global pandemic was declared and I unexpectedly found myself stranded in Australia.

Reunited with my journals but separated from my partner and my life in Vietnam, I finally wrote my memoir. Sign up to my newsletter to receive monthly writing prompts and inspiration and be reminded of publication date.

I love helping writers at all stages of development and I enjoy the intense focus and joyful synergy we can create at a writing retreat.

Most of all, I look forward to introducing you to the magic of Hoi An.

Hi, I am Edwina,

I’m an Australian writer of fiction, memoir and screenplays. My books include the critically acclaimed Thrillseekers, In The Dark Of Night and A Guide Through Grief. You can find some of my publications here.

I’ve been writing and publishing since 2002 and have been teaching Creative Writing at the University of Queensland and in the community since 2005.

I love helping people get their stories out of their heads and onto the page.

I’ve run Relax and Write Retreats in Queensland for over six years and just love connecting with writers at all stages of their development.

Like Kerstin, I have a long-standing yoga practice and over twenty years teaching experience.

The mix of yoga and writing has been a great healing force in my life and I love to share the magic of these transformational practices with others.

I look forward to joining you for our adventure together in the streets of Hoi An and delving deep into the stillness of An Villa through yoga and writing, deep into our creative selves and beautiful spirits.

Book Now

Vietnam Writing Retreat 

Februrary  2-7, 2024

Price per person from: $2550*
A $450 deposit will reserve your spot.

*All prices in Australian dollars

 

Have more questions? Please get in touch:

10 + 10 =

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What kind of writing will we do?

The daily writing workshops are designed to help you unleash your creativity, connect you with your voice and to lead you towards the stories you need to write.

There will be a two-hour formal writing workshop each morning after breakfast exploring a particular aspect of the craft of writing and also some free-writing exercises to carefully selected writing prompts.

Timed freewriting allows you to bypass your inner critic so that you can write straight from your core, without stopping to think or edit or worrying about grammar and spelling.

There will be many opportunities for sharing. Sharing your writing is totally optional, but we find that reading your writing out aloud helps build confidence, momentum and creative synergy!

The writing sessions are aimed at any level of writer, whether you are working on a project, or simply writing for yourself as a way to make sense of your personal self-narrative.

What if I don't write in English?

You are encouraged to write in your native language as this will allow you to connect more deeply with your inner voice.

The writing you will be doing in this retreat is for your eyes only. Sharing is optional but encouraged. Some of our foreign language writers in the past have opted to summarise their words in English .

What kind of yoga will we do?

We will start our days with a gentle Vinyasa flow sequence to wake up the body and get you connected to your breath.

The classes are designed for people who have some experience with yoga but you don’t have to be an experienced yogi to participate.

Sample schedule

7:30 Morning Yoga

8:30 Breakfast

10:00 Workshop

12:30 Lunch

Free time

15:00 1:1 sessions/tarot card readings/massages/ guided free-writing in a group setting

17:30-18:00 Pranayama

18:30 Dinner

Terms & Conditions

• A non-refundable deposit of $450 is required to book your spot.

• Full payment for all bookings is required 3 months prior to retreat start. Any bookings made thereafter, must be paid in full.

• To participate in our international retreats, you will need to provide evidence of international travel insurance. This will also protect you in case of flight cancellations or any unforseen events.

REFUND POLICY
We understand that circumstances can change. In the unlikely event of another Covid related lockdown, any monies paid will be transferred to a future date.

If you cancel 3 months out from the retreat, we will refund your fee minus the $450 deposit.

Cancellations up to eight weeks prior to retreat start will receive a 50% refund.

If you cancel one month out from the retreat, we are unable to provide any refunds.

However, if you can find a replacement to fill your spot, we are happy to transfer all fees paid to the new participant minus a $250 administrative fee.

Where do I fly into & how do I reach An Villa?

Da Nang, the third largest city in Vietnam, has the closest international airport.

Airport transfers are not included but airport pick-up by private taxi can be arranged upon booking through An Villa.

I want to add extra nights & trips

We always encourage our participants to arrive a few days early in order to acclimatise and absorb the jetlag if you are travelling from faraway.

The friendly staff at An Villa can help you add extra nights to your booking (pending availability) and we are more than happy to put you in touch with our local contacts on the ground to help you organise additional excursions and onward travel.

Praise for our Writing Retreats

Writing and Yoga Retreat Vietnam - One of the writers sharing her story with the rest of the group.
“This was an outstanding, deepening and inspiring experience. Kerstin clearly poured her heart and soul into providing the most spacious, accepting and safe environment for writing together. There was a great balance of prompts, discussion and teaching, writing, reading and sharing.

As the week progressed, we all went deeper and deeper into our creative expression. I particularly liked that there were a variety of approaches to opening up our writing: visual, verbal, drawing.

The yoga, meditation, sound baths and excursions were all wonderful. Kerstin attended to every aspect of being in a foreign country. The individual consultations were extremely helpful, motivating and inspiring and as a result, I am leaving with a project that I knew I needed to do but was avoiding.”

Heidi, craniosacral therapist, Woodstock, NY

Writing and Yoga Retreat Vietnam - Sharing one of many joyful moments in our Hoi An Writing and Yoga Retreat

“If you are thinking of a writing retreat, I wholeheartedly recommend Kerstin’s retreats, for seeing with fresh eyes. You will love the self-care, stimulation, reflection and perspective it provides. The writing experience on the retreat prompted us to hone in on our unique voice. Writing sessions focused on a theme such as beginner’s mind, writing for the senses, storytelling, memoir and crafting a personal creative manifesto.

Kerstin was adept at crafting a gentle writing curriculum experience that opened us up to our voice and skill. It was so valuable for me to work with themes, prompts and exercises to dust off and access my voice.

An individual hour-long sound bowl meditation with Nigel was included and involved the placing of sound bowls around us and on our body. It was the deepest of relaxation experiences. That night I slept like I hadn’t slept for a long time.

Kerstin arranged a well-balanced itinerary and journey through the week. The yoga and writing complemented each other perfectly as we attended to both practices.”

Terri, life coach, Sydney. Read her full write-up on her blog Quiet Writing.

Writing and Yoga Retreat Vietnam - Flora getting ready for a trip to the pittoresque Old Town of Hoi An, Vietnam
“I truly enjoyed the entire writing workshops! There was so much content to cover however it was just enough to allow creativity to flow, so much scope for the imagination. I really liked the format and basically how the workshops were not structured but very free flowing. It was awesome! Till this day I am so grateful that I randomly did a Google search and found this retreat in true millennial style!

The individual sound bowl session that I had with Nigel was my first time doing sound bowl meditation. I will definitely be trying it again, it was so relaxing and calming, literally the best thing ever!

The overall organization was fantastic. I enjoyed everything about An Villa! The staff were fantastic it was so good of them to provide us with all that we needed and go out of their way to ensure that we were comfortable.”

Flora, poet, activist & youth worker, Melbourne

 

Can’t make Vietnam?

 

Join us on our next Blissful Bali Writing Retreat

 

Christine W
Christine W
2019-10-14
Being a part of writeyourjourney is a rewarding experience I've enjoyed and benefited from the writing prompts which Kerstin provides and found our group sharing inspiring. For anyone hesitant about getting into writing this forum provides great support. We are often critical of our writing but with the camaraderie of other writers many wonderful stories are created and shared,
fLo_lexpat
fLo_lexpat
2019-10-14
Fantastic writing workshops with Kerstin - highly recommended! Kerstin uses her heart and long standing expertise to guide others through their writing journey. She typically starts a writing workshop by a meditation, which always put me in the best mindset to write but also to relax, unwind and unfold details of my stories. I really enjoyed the feeling of learning a lot while relaxing and finding peace. I gained a lot from every sessions I did with her and I took the wisdom to my daily life. I can't recommend her enough.
Kay
Kay
2019-10-12
Wonderful experience I went to the September 2019 retreat in Hoi An. Kerstin and Nigel take such good care of everyone, the hotel An Villa where we stayed also looked after our group so well. Nothing was too much bother for staff and they got to know everyone in the group well. We were treated to amazing local food and trips into the village and surrounds. Make sure you go to the cooking class, it was really fun and we were able to see how they grow their vegetables for the district as well as make some amazing flavorsome food and have a lot of fun at the same time. On top of all the cultural experiences we also did a lot of writing! Kerstin's incredible background as a writer and her ability to tune to individuals and the group created such a nurturing experience for us all. We were given prompts to encourage some creative flow and able to share our writing with others which really did enhance the experience and bonded to the group together. It's amazing to hear what other people write as well as getting the courage to read out your own. The great thing is that it's always optional too. Nothing is forced. The yoga by Victoria each morning was just such a wonderful way to wake up to the day, followed by meditation and lovely sound bowls. It is hot in September, but it didn't rain much. It's all such a wonderful experience, I couldn't say which part was my favorite. The whole retreat blends in so well together. If you think this is for you, don't hesitate. You will get something out of it.
tackygift
tackygift
2019-10-10
A magical week It may sound hyperbolic to describe the Write Your Journey retreat as magical, but that is the word that comes to mind each time I'm asked about it. From the daily writing sessions, early morning yoga, and sound bowl meditations, to the excursions into Hoi An and the cooking class, everything was perfect. Although I wasn't sure what to expect, I can say with conviction that everything exceeded my expectations. I am new to creative writing, but that didn't matter. The nine women on the retreat were all at very different stages of their journey, and the camaraderie was lovely. The venue - An Villa - is an idyllic place run by beautiful people. Heaven. A special mention, of course, goes to Kerstin, the retreat conductor, as well as to Nigel on sound bowls and Victoria on the yoga mat. See you there next year!
Heidi Washburn
Heidi Washburn
2019-10-10
The experience of a lifetime! I was blessed to attend a weeklong Write Your Journey retreat in Vietnam in September of 2018. (The option didn't allow me to select September so I selected the closest mont). The week with Kerstin was an outstanding, deepening and inspiring experience. Kerstin clearly poured her heart and soul into providing the most spacious, accepting and safe environment for writing together. There was a great balance of prompts, discussion and teaching, writing, reading and sharing. As the week progressed, we all went deeper and deeper into our creative expression. I particularly liked that there were a variety of approaches to opening up our writing: visual, verbal, drawing. The yoga, meditation, sound baths and excursions were all wonderful. Kerstin attended to every aspect of being in a foreign country. The individual writing consultations were extremely helpful, motivating and inspiring and as a result, I am leaving with a project that I knew I needed to do but was avoiding. If any part of you is pulled toward this experience: GO!! Heidi, craniosacral therapist, Woodstock, NY
foody174
foody174
2019-10-10
Kerstin gets you writing! I have been visiting the Hoi An Writers Group on and off for the last 1.5 years and I always enjoy it. Not only is it a very well-prepared and well-lead class with a great combination of meditation and writing (which works for me personally very well!), but there are also always great laughs. It's a really nice and welcoming group of people. I've also joined a few of Kerstin's Yin yoga, sound bowl and writing workshops that were equally wonderful. Highly recommended to check out her website for any events when you're in town.
HoiAnAnna
HoiAnAnna
2019-10-09
Unearth the stories you didn't know you had! I love attending Kirsten's Friday workshops whenever I get the chance. She is a very kind and nurturing person and this seems to overflow into the rest of the group, so you feel very comfortable writing about and sharing things that are sometimes quite personal. Sometimes it's a surprise what you find yourself writing about and sometimes it can also be a surprise to find out how creative you can be. And in the middle of a busy life, it is a joy and a pleasure to spend some time nurturing yourself in this way, in this very nice group and under the care of this very special and creative woman.
Sushi
Sushi
2019-10-08
Write Your Journey at Hoi An! I participated in one of Write Your Journey's sessions in Vietnam (Hoi An) along with my husband, who is actually an engineer...not a writer. But both of us enjoyed the session and it brought out a lot of stories and ideas from both of us. I think the whole point about participating in any writing session is to be able to come out of it with your head full of motivation and memories and ideas that could shape themselves into an essay or book in the days to come. Write Your Journey is a good way to kickstart the writer in you. I recommend this with all my heart.
Emma
Emma
2019-10-07
A safe space and fun place to unleash your creativity! I've been coming to Kerstin's Write Your Journey workshop every Friday for the past few months. It is, without a doubt, one of the highlights of my week. Having struggled to write anything for quite some time and now feeling the flow of creativity, the desire to tell a story, pretty much every day, is just proof of how effective those couple of hours are. From the gentle meditation to help us relax, to the clever writing prompts to help us focus, to the well-planned exercises and discussion points of the workshop, Kerstin never fails to deliver a Friday morning that's insightful, creative and fun! Not to mention the support and feedback from our wonderful group members – who I'm very grateful to call both teachers and friends. Their advice is invaluable, and inspiring. Whether you're just visiting Hoi An for a few days, a few weeks or you've come for a longer day, Kerstin (and the rest of us!) will make you feel welcome at the group. You won't regret this great gift to yourself! :)
Janie L
Janie L
2019-10-07
Amazing Time At Write Your Journey Kerstin was such a lovely facilitator. I would absolutely recommend this experience. It's also a great way to meet other travellers.