Write your Story Retreat September 2018

Fri Sep 7, 12:20 - Fri Sep 7, 21:55



Do you want to record your own life, or a slice of it? Do you have someone you want to remember ....or record their life? Join us and find the magic thread in your life and write your book.

Join writing coach and agent Sarah Bullen and author Kate Emmerson and in Cape Town, South Africa on a magical five-night retreat in spring. 

This retreat is for any writer who wants a creative space to write. You need nothing but your ideas and a willingness to put pen to paper. 

If you want more information About The Writing Room - please visit our website and find out all about our courses and retreats here  or email Sarah 


September 7 - 12, 2018

In Tulbach, 1.5 hours outside Cape Town, South Africa


Single rate       R12,900

Sharing rate      R9,900

Deposit         R6,000 

A deposit of R6,000 is required on all bookings. You can select that option above. You can also pay via EFT rather. 

* Costs include 5 nights accommodation, all meals and course material for the duration of the Retreat. 

* Costs exclude your flights to Cape Town or transfers to Tulbach


Sarah Bullen has been working with writers for 15 years to tell their stories. Unlike many courses that take you through the theory of writing and plotting, the course that you will follow on this retreat is geared towards getting you going on your book in a very practical fashion. 

You can write your story for your family, for your children, for a publisher or a magazine. But most of all you can also write it for yourself. You can write to record your life, or a part of it. It is a way of finding meaning. It is creative journey of the soul.


This retreat is designed for new writers who want to write,  or experienced writers who are stuck. It will guide you through the process of writing a book from start to finish. You need nothing but your ideas in order to attend. You need no experience to attend. 

Unlike many courses that take you through the theory of writing and plotting, this course is geared towards getting you going on your novel. By the end of the retreat you will be well on your way to writing your book. You will have the key scenes plotted, you characters developed and a few chapters written. 

It can be a year, a single incident or a theme that runs through your life - or someone else's. It can be a deep love of food, a passion that has driven you, an obsession or a love affair that marked your life and changed your course. The job of a writer is to find your own story. In some way it is the greatest job.

And sometimes the writing becomes the adventure. Writing your own story is not as linear as writing to be published.


Like Frank McCourt (Angela’s Ashes) you can write about your childhood. You can write about places you’ve visited, as Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love). You can write about a particular person who influenced you, as Lorna Kelly did in The Camel Knows the Way, which chronicles her time with Mother Teresa and the Missionaries of Charity. You can write about a crime or injustice you encountered. You can write about your relationship with food, your relationship with your sister, your trip down the Amazon, your struggle with disease….

You can write a memoir about anything, any part of your life that you want to record. No matter how small or seemingly inconsequential.

You can write your story for your family, for your children, for a publisher or a magazine. But most of all you can also write it for yourself. You can write to record your life, or a part of it. It is a way of finding meaning. It is creative journey of the soul.


  • What is your story? Let’s find it together. 
  • The basics of planning a compelling story
  • Researching and remembering your life
  • Giving your story a structure
  • Finding your own writing voice
  • Finding your life story
  • Including characters and events
  • Limiting your time
  • Handling point of view
  • Working with dialogue
  • Finding your life theme
  • Knowing what to include and exclude

Why should you write your story down?

  • To find some meaning to your own life
  • To set the record straight
  • Ensure your children and grandchildren know who you are
  • Preserve your family’s history
  • Capture a slice of history
  • Leave your legacy

“This memoir writing course is not about how to write well. It is about how to write honestly. I firmly believe there is not really such a thing as a good writer. But there are honest writers who dig deep into their own hearts and find the core of issues. So this course is a journey. It is fun, big and brave. It requires you to go and find elements of your life - documents, photos, images, letters, diaries - that fill in the pictures of your memory. But most of all it is a wonderful adventure back into your own life.”   writing coach Sarah Bullen - 

You will be guided on your writing journey by writing coach and agent Sarah Bullen. Sarah has been working with writers and publishers since 2009 and actively works with writers to complete and place a book. She is a structure and planning fiend and will help you plot your book, and push you to finish it. 


The retreat is held in a magnificent farmhouse situated just 1.5 hours outside Cape Town. It is on the fringes of the small town of Tulbach. 

The farm itself is out of town, nestled amongst indigenous fynbos. It is the ideal space for rest and relaxation and to let the muse of writing find you. You can immerse yourself in nature and the tranquility of the abundant fynbos and bird life. The farm has a swimming dam, vineyards, olive groves and walking trails through the pristine countryside. 

It is a full day of writing but it is also a total immersion in your own writing process and a slow down. The farm is magnificent and remote. 




This "write a novel" course was the best birthday present I ever gave myself. It was set in a beautiful and peaceful environment, was well paced, was information packed with all the basics of how to really write a book, had surprising acts of art and physical exercise included to move the thinking through the body, was practical and honest about how dedicated one must really be to write, and was delicious to be around such inspiring facilitators who are warm, caring and so professional too. Thank you! - Kate 2017 

I spent this last week with Sarah and the other writers at the Write your Novel Retreat in the Cape. This was truly the most inspiring and motivating thing I have ever done for myself. Sarah's guidance is invaluable. Working our way through the writing process with Sarah has left me feeling far more equipped to pursue my dream. And her personal insights into my project has taken it to another level. I highly recommend this retreat to anyone, regardless of where you are writing wise. Amazing experience. - Jill Aslett 2017
“Sarah took my lifelong dream of writing a book seriously. In four inspiring lessons she equipped me with the framework to succeed by teaching me how and by pushing me to start. Her advice is frank, her direction crystal clear and her insight invaluable. I started the course with only a burning desire and left with a genre, characters, a plot and my first few chapters written.” Anne 2012 
“I give Sarah's course a 5* rating.”
Zanozuko Mzamo, A Year of Staying Positive (2008)
“This is a life-changing course. I spent a month course immersed in my ideas for a book and I came away with a way to write it. Sarah is hard-core and she pushed me all the way to the end. I only wished it could go on and on.”
Rajesh, January 2013. 
 –  Dr Sal Muthayan 2017, I love the fast kick-ass pace, because it forced us to write and write with focus. I would absolutely recommend this retreat to others I know, because it’s not just about writing, but about ‘becoming’ as we write. I have been on several self-development experiences and experiential learning opportunities – this one exceeded all my expectations and experiences. 

Anna-Claire Marshall 2016 http://annaclairemarshall.wix.com/kissingfrogs"  This was the most amazing time -  the serenity of the island - a place to write/reflect/allow yourself to be inspired, the birthplace of Sappho, simple/outstanding Greek cuisine, ability to swim in the ocean everyday, take hikes at sundowners, come away with a solid plan for writing/publishing a book, bond with other writers. The course served almost as a week-long therapy session for me - which is what I think people will kind of be looking for - a therapeutic getaway on a beautiful island.?
 Theresa Kapp 2017I reflected on my life and it gave me a vision, a confidence in myself. It exceeded all my expectations, and more. It will have a special place in my life always. I will always remember Lesvos. Thank you Kate and Sarah. You changed my life. I think so differently, not just about the writing. –

 – Sandra Byrne 2017If you wish to write, go on this learning curve. It’s steep, it’s hard, it’s worth the climb! Skala Eressos is an excellent place to hold such a writing retreat. The people are lovely and you can be yourself, whether you’re seeking solitude for writing (or not!) or enjoying the bustle of the seafront, the cocktails and great Mediterranean food.?I found Sarah Bullen's Memoir Writing Workshop to be highly useful and informative, I had been writing memoir for years with books as my guide, but she broadened my awareness of what good memoir writing consists of better than any book I've ever read on the subject. Her teaching style is concise, clear, inspiring, and filled with rich suggestion, I left feeling much more aware of what it takes to write good memoir and would highly recommend this workshop to anyone who is interested in memoir writing. The setting in the beautiful Greek village of Eressos is magic as well, perfect for one's imagination to flourish! - ?Jackie Heim (Canada) 2015

 Mandy CollieI loved all the extras – the storytelling session with Maria, the interviews with author Karin Giphart. These were the most magical moments that made this incredibly special –

One size does not fit all, but they catered for the most diverse needs and requirements. The skill and empathy of the course leaders is excellent. – Roger Wanless

Nick Lambrianos 2017 I would certainly recommend it. It is indeed a RETREAT, more than a writing workshop: a life-enriching experience. - 

If a restorative time in an idyllic location is what’s needed, go! If you’re intrigued about writing a story, the special combination of Kate and Sarah as experts and facilitators will more than adequately reveal the multiple facets of this personal process. – Lynne Loggie 2017

– Tracy Gibbs 2017I know have a much clearer idea of what I need to do to write a book that will be considered by publishers. Sarah’s approach is reasonable and practical. Kate’s sessions allowed me to stay in touch with my heart. Free time and day trips either on foot or by boat to neighbouring villages created an enjoyable balance between working hard and loving the journey. 

– Jennifer Cole 2017It was good to be away from home in a new setting. There’s something about a foreign country that makes you push your own boundaries + step out of your comfort zone, and do things you otherwise wouldn’t. Learnt a lot even though this is my second book. Looking forward to coming back to Greece when I am a twice published author;' 

 – Anne Wanless 2017 Everything worked – even the rock swims. I wouldn’t change a thing. Thank you for treating us as individuals so that we could each go through our own journeys at our own paces.

 This has been the second best gift I’ve ever given myself next to my child. – Wendy Stumper 2017
‘All aspects of writing became clear in this course. I knew what to do with my book and how to complete it.” S Redelinghuys, A Life Interrupted (2008) 
It was an absolute pleasure today chatting to you for my coaching session . You walked me through my entire book and fixed the structure in 60 mins. You have given me hope and inspiration again. I was soooooo stuck and now I just feel like something just released today. I have just completed writing what I think could be the list of 96 scenes for my book. YEYYYYY!!!!! I feel soooo Exhilarated!!!!!
Hawa Charfaray, Dubai (writing her memoir, 2015) 
“This course comes highly recommended. If you need a clear direction or a new take on your book, you will get more than your money’s worth out of this one – you may come away with a bestseller.” Michelle Matthews, former publisher Oshun Struik SA (2007) 
“I am loving the writing course btw…it is the best money I have ever spent.” 
Andy Moss 2013 

“Holy smoke Sarah, I actually sat and did it. It was a crash course in writing, but it worked like a charm. The plotting spreadsheets I got to the end, with a 60,000 word first draft of my book,” Miranda Guest, New York 2010


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About Sarah and Kate
Sarah Bullen is an international writing coach, author and book editor who has worked with over 2,000 writers since 2005 and has 31 published authors that have come through her mentorships at The Writing Room. She works with writers and publishers all over the world to help them find and tell their best story - in any format. Sarah has written six books and writes for magazines internationally. She is a regular guest on talk shows and a keynote speaker at writing workshops internationally and does one-on-one writing coaching, journaling journeys and development work through writing and is the book coach for BossLady. Sarah’s clients are based all over the world and she runs courses and retreats in the UK, US, Greece, Ireland and South Africa. Sarah runs a “Write your Story” group for the CANSA Association and speaks on her own cancer journey to inspire others.

Kate Emmerson  - known as THE QUICK SHIFT DEVA shares her enLIGHTening ideas of LIVE LIGHT LIVE LARGE around the globe. She is South Africa’s foremost clutter expert, sought after international speaker, professional lifestyle coach, mentorship facilitator for writers and runs retreats and masterminds in idyllic locations, including Greece, Rome, Dubai, USA and South Africa. She has had 2 books published in South Africa with Metz Press and recently joined forces in the USA to publish her 3rd book and written 6 online courses.

She was interviewed in an award winning film, “The Secrets of the Keys”, alongside the world’s self development leaders Brian Tracy, Johan Assaraf and Don Miguel Ruiz. Her clients include the YPO, Nike, Massmart, Sage VIP Payroll, Investec, Air Mauritius, Dove, HP, Tsogo Sun, EY and Dermalogica. She is a sought after expert and has been published in Psychologies, Shape, Longevity, Destiny, Beeld, Cosmopolitan, Entrepreneur, Fair Lady, Woman and Home and appeared on Morning Live, Expresso, Afternoon Express, SABC 3Talk, 702 amongst others.




Write your Story Retreat September 2018
Tulbagh, 6820, South Africa
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