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All posts by julie@juliehartley.ca

Costa Rica Writing Retreat – The Adventure Begins

Costa Rica Writing Retreat – The Adventure Begins

It’s day one of our 2017 writing retreat week, and I’m excited, nervous, eager to meet this year’s writers as I thread through the manic crowds of San Jose’s international airport. It seems everyone is shouting, the voices echoing the thrill I feel inside. I join the throngs of tour

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Writing and Teaching Writing – Both Matter!

Writing and Teaching Writing – Both Matter!

A few years ago, I was interviewing to find a new writing teacher for our arts camp. One applicant told me in the interview: It’s good that teaching positions exist because when you can’t make enough money in the arts, teaching is the next best thing. Wrong. If an artist

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Spooky Prompts for Writers

Spooky Prompts for Writers

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If you enjoy writing, and you also love Halloween, here are THIRTEEN writing prompts to get you in the mood for trick or treating! ONE: You take an elevator at the mall. The elevator goes down… and keeps on going. Where are you when the doors open? TWO: It’s a

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Beat the Blank Page: Inspiration for Writers!

This post is most definitely for the writers among you! Have you ever sat down at your desk and tried to write – only to find you have no ideas at all? Here are 6 ways to get you started on a new piece of fiction: Choose a novel off

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Writing Matters – a Newsletter for Writers

Writing Matters – a Newsletter for Writers

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Several weeks ago, I started a newsletter for writers. The newsletter is a free service. It goes out every Friday by email and is packed full of prompts and writing tips. This blog is an excerpt from the very first newsletter. If you like what you see here, and you

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Costa Rica Retreat – Days 6-8

Day 6… After breakfast by the pool to a cacophony of screeching parrots, we set ourselves a bizarre challenge this morning: use what we have learned this week to collaborate, in just an hour, on the plot outline for a novel! We explored different ways to generate ideas, warmed up

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Costa Rica Retreat – Days 4-5

Our lives have fallen into a wonderful pattern, here. We wake to a cacophony of rainforest noises in the morning, drink coffee and eat a breakfast that consists of produce either grown or made right here at Fina Luna Nueva: delicious breads, jams, kafir, kombucha, farm fresh eggs, chaya and

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Costa Rica Writing Retreat – Days 2/3

The retreat is now in full swing! We began yesterday with a tour of the spectacular bio dynamic farm at Finca Luna Nueva, seeing toucans, flocks of parrots and much more. Then we dove into the first writing workshop – a 2-hour session about inspiration: where to find it as

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Costa Rica Writing Retreat – Day 1

Costa Rica Writing Retreat – Day 1

One of my favourite activities each year is taking a group of writers from all over North America to an incredible eco lodge in the Costa Rica rain forest, where I lead writing workshops and discussions for seven magical days. There are few things more inspiring than the opportunity to

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A Typical Day on our Writing Retreat

Early Morning… We wake to the smell of tropical vegetation and the screech of parrots. The world is glistening as we make our way through the trees and down to the poolside restaurant to greet the group. There are fresh fruit smoothies, slices of papaya, ice cream fruit, tortillas, rice,

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