Laura's Writing Retreats - US and International

Cultivating Joy and Resilience in Uncertain Times: A Weeklong Retreat

Tuesday, October 29 - Monday, November 4, 2024
Commonweal, Bolinas, CA

This immersive seven-day retreat, featuring writing, guided meditation, and healing rituals will strengthen your resilience, develop your inner resources, and revitalize your creativity. In a deeply restorative environment, surrounded by the wild beauty of the Pacific coast, step into the powerful embrace of sacred community. Just as a single flame can light up a darkened room, this retreat will empower you to live, thrive, and act in uncertain times.

Write, Travel, Transform: A Creative Pilgrimage on the Camino De Santiago, Spain

Sunday, September 1 - Monday, September 16, 2024

Hiking the Camino was on Laura's bucket list for years—and maybe it's on yours. She loved the Camino so much in 2023 that she's decided to go back. This famous pilgrimage trail, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has attracted people from all over the world for more than 1,000 years. Our 16-day trip will combine eight days hiking the last 100 km of the French Camino de Santiago with six days focused on creative expression. At the beginning, middle, and end of our trip, non-hiking days will be set aside for Laura to teach writing and our lead hiking guide, Brenda, to teach quick sketching and watercolor techniques, helping you experience and reflect on your journey. Beginners in both disciplines are welcome. After 16 days in Spain, immersed in beauty and an intimate traveling community, you'll return home with a personal journal documenting your journey. (This retreat sold out right away when we listed it last year, but due to a pair of cancellations, there are spots open again.)

Write, Travel, Transform: Turkey: A Creative Pilgrimage on Land and Sea

Sunday, April 6 - Sunday, April 20, 2025

If you're seeking a transformative journey full of rich cultural heritage, breathtaking natural wonders, adventure, and creative discovery, join master writing teacher Laura Davis, artist and hiking guide Brenda Porter, and a wonderful community of writers for an immersive exploration of the fascinating history and breathtaking landscapes of Turkey.

We begin in Istanbul, a modern city steeped in ancient wonder that Laura fell in love with on her first visit to Turkey six years ago. After exploring the sprawling Greek ruins of Ephesus, we head to the Turquoise Coast, a slice of Mediterranean paradise where we will live for seven days on a traditional Turkish yacht, cruising the azure waters, hiking picturesque cliffsides, visiting tiny mountain villages and ancient Lycian ruins. This retreat also includes intimate writing circles and instruction in sketching and watercolor, designed to help you integrate and reflect on your journey within a safe, supportive community. Beginners in both disciplines are welcome.

After 15 days in Turkey, with an optional five-day extension visiting the breathtaking valleys and cave cities of Cappadocia, this journey is sure to leave you renewed, inspired, and awed by the richness of Turkey and the transformative power of creative travel.

Laura's Writing Retreats - Waiting to Be Rescheduled

Online Work Weekend

Not yet rescheduled

Laura is now offering her popular work weekend in an online format. Work with Laura and an inspiring group of committed writers from the comfort of your own home, without having to travel, or worry about Covid surges. Same deep focus and support—with the added bonus of getting to develop and practice focused work skills at home.

If you’re longing for a restorative creative journey to one of the most beautiful, welcoming, deeply spiritual places on earth, join master writing teacher Laura Davis, high priest Made Surya, Bali scholar Judy Slattum, and a supportive community of fellow writers for a deep dive into the healing arts of Bali.It is impossible to visit this enchanting island without being aware of the devotion the Balinese show every day in the practice of their religion. Our exploration into Balinese healing arts will include the history of traditional herbal medicine, the art of making temple offerings, and the importance of purification ceremonies. This retreat also includes daily writing workshops, providing participants with the perfect opportunity to record their experiences and integrate their learning while benefiting from the transformative power of a safe, intimate writing circle.

Writing as a Pathway through Grief, Loss, Uncertainty and Change: A Weeklong Retreat

Not yet rescheduled

This retreat is for people who have come to a crossroads in their lives, due to the death of someone close, a loss like divorce, empty nest, or a move, an illness, a major life transition, shift in status, aging or simply the deep inner urge to chart a new course or make significant change in your life. If you're feeling "ripe with uncertainty" or are in transition from one phase of life to another, this retreat is for you. Experience the power of healing, the gift of supportive community & the profound impact guided writing can have in facing the unknown with courage.

From Memory to Memoir: The Art of Crafting Compelling, Vivid, True Life Stories

Not yet rescheduled

Many of us hold a deep dream of writing. We want to tell our stories so we can understand ourselves more fully and make sense of our lives. We want to pass on our family stories. By giving our life experiences shape, texture, and beauty, we can create a lasting legacy that will inspire and inform.

From Memory to Memoir will teach you how to take your life stories and craft them into a memoir. We will examine what transforms a personal story into something that has value and meaning for others.

In this transformative four-day writing workshop, we’ll connect with our inner voice, discover the healing power of language, and birth powerful true stories onto the page. Evocative prompts will lead you deeply into the world of memoir and story. Discover how to “find the story beneath the story,” why writers need to “slow down where it hurts,” and the secret of crafting tales rooted in the immediacy and physicality of the moment.


Writing at Tassajara with Laura: Crafting Personal Stories That Are Vivid, Compelling and True

Carmel Valley, CA
Not yet rescheduled

Discover how writing practice, meditation and deep listening from a supportive community can unleash your most powerful, compelling stories. This five-day retreat, co-taught with Zen teacher Tova Green, will be held at the Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, a deeply restful remote valley famous for its healing hot spring waters. This healing, transformative workshop will utilize writing practice, developed by Natalie Goldberg, to create a vibrant writing community. Alternating periods of writing with meditation, we will deeply listen to each other from a place of focused attention and unconditional acceptance. Soak in the hot springs, celebrate the glory of nature, meander along the trails and creek, and savor Tassajara's gourmet vegetarian cuisine.

Write, Travel, Transform . . . and Eat! in Tuscany

Tuscany, Italy
Not yet rescheduled

Journey to sun-soaked Tuscany for a ten-day retreat at a majestic 15th century estate seated on the rolling hills of the Italian countryside. Located just 45 minutes away from Florence, the Villa I Bonsi is a vineyard and olive farm ideal for relaxing and exploring the cultural wonders of a region celebrated for its history and food. Writing and yoga will be at the heart of the retreat and will help us bond as a group. This intimate and magical vacation includes an olive oil making tour, truffle hunting, a wine tasting tour, cooking lessons, and a day trip to San Gimignano, with its medieval tower houses, encircling walls, and the unforgettable view from its hilltop setting. Spouses and non-writing friends are welcome.

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"I return home from each of Laura's trips a little wiser, a little more open, and a lot more compassionate. I greet my family, friends and daily life with sparkly, clean energy and a renewed patience, brought about by way of re-writing old stories that I needed to let go of. I come home ready to move forward in my life.

A retreat with Laura Davis is one of the best gifts I ever received and gave myself. It took many years to realize that I was worth the time and financial investment, but now there is no looking back."

—Julie Sheehan, Livermore, California

The Burning Light of Two Stars: A Mother-Daughter Story

"I read all night, and I do not give up sleep easily. The Burning Light of Two Stars fed my soul."

—Eileene Tejada, Ph.D. Professor of English and Anthropology at Napa Valley College

My riveting new memoir examines the endurance of mother-daughter love, how memory protects and betrays us, and the determination it takes to fulfill a promise when ghosts from the past come knocking.

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