I work full-time as a copywriter and editor in Munich, and also spend a good deal of time writing for Arts in Munich. From time to time, I contribute to other publications that come my way. As with most others who enjoy writing, I have dreams of publishing a novel, but where do I start and how do I go about it when I already have so little time?
Bernhard Blöchl’s writers’ workshop at a peaceful Bavarian retreat is the answer. Blöchl’s already published a well-received novel about the modern man – Für Immer Juli – which I wrote about last year. As a published author and a journalist at the Süddeutsche Zeitung, he’s also the man behind the successful blog Schluss mit Luschig. I think it’s pretty safe to say that he’s a successful writer.
His workshop will take place from January 22-25 at Relais-Chalet Wilhelmy, close to Lake Tegernsee. Besides the obvious benefits of spending time with other keen writers and receiving tips from a published author, the long weekend also offers the chance to forget the rest of the world – to concentrate on your writing in a peaceful, calming location close to the mountains.
The program’s designed to take you from the start of your novel to the final marketing steps. The first day focuses on getting to know one another and features a reading from Blöchl himself. Day two moves on to practical creative writing tips, and focuses the discussion on getting started on your novel. Day three will focus on exercises, and will include constructive feedback to creative writing pieces, and the final day will focus on publishing the final product – self-publishing versus publishers, and marketing strategies.
Around this time of year (the seasons have changed, there’s more time for reflection, the year’s drawing to a close), I find myself wondering where all the time has gone. If you feel similarly, book in to the workshop with Blöchl for some time to focus on what you love.
For those wanting to stay in Relais-Chalet Wilhelmy, the course costs 580 € – that includes three nights’ stay, breakfast, a two-course lunch and coffee. Without the overnight stays, the course costs 450 € (two-course lunch and coffee included). I highly recommend you stay in the hotel – a) to help you focus, and b) because the breakfast is tremendous. Plus, who wouldn’t be inspired at waking up to the Alps on a cold winter’s morning?
You should be able to speak fluent German to take part in the course, but if you prefer to write in English (I for one am terrible when it comes to creative writing in German), Bernhard’s a bit of an anglophile and will happily advise you on your English pieces.