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Writing Your Life Stories

Over the years we have run several types of writing courses from Writing Romantic Fiction to Comedy and Drama Scriptwriting. Now we are concentrating on just one genre: Writing Your Life Stories. Our tutor, Joe Parfitt, has won widespread praise for her course with us and participants have been inspired by her teaching. You can find out more details about Jo’s 2024 course by clicking the Programme icon above.

Your hosts at the watermill, Italy

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We would love you to join us.

Your hosts at the watermill in Tuscany

Lois and Bill Breckon

Testimonials from Jo’s 2023 Writing Your Life Stories week

What an invigorating week it was for me~ sweet dreams & soft pillows, lively conversations on the vine (wine) terrace, out-of-this-world food and natural beauty around each curve. Thank you, thank you, thank you!CB

Writing My Life in My Twenties: I arrived at the Watermill knowing I was going to be a lot younger than the other participants (I just turned 23!), but I knew in my heart that this course was something I really, really wanted to do. To say it exceeded my expectations is an understatement!

I was welcomed with open arms from the minute I stepped in the front door, after arriving hassle free to the Mill thanks to Bill and Lois’. I instantly connected with everyone in the small group as a result of hearing their life stories. They took me under their wing, making me feel safe and included, knowing this was my first solo trip!

Jo, our tutor, can only be described as magic (she will definitely hate that I used an empty adjective here..sorry!) The tasks she set pushed me out of my comfort zone and allowed me to find my authentic writing voice. She encouraged me to pursue my goal of writing about my life now, in my twenties, and taught me how to do this effectively. I produced more stories that week than I had in my three years as an English undergraduate.

The hard work of Bill, Lois, Karsten and the rest of the marvellous staff will have you wanting for nothing at the Watermill. Food, drinks and transport are all taken care of for you. The carefully crafted itinerary meant that not only did we get to do our classes with Jo, but were brought to many different landmarks such as a castle, a monastery, the market and the dazzling city of Lucca.

Finally, the Watermill itself is like a movie set. I already miss opening the door of the Donatello suite and being met with the beautiful landscape in front of me. I can’t recommend the Watermill enough, no matter what age you are or what stage of life you are at. AS

Exceptional workshop holiday in beautiful Italian retreat. We attended a one week 'writing your memoir' course at this idyllic location. Lois and Bill have created something which is truly magical. Sense of being welcomed and the relaxing environment is among the best we have ever known in our extensive travels. Everything is included and nothing is too much trouble. It was an exceptional week with the retreat element being calm and the teaching sessions very stimulating. We met a diverse group of like-minds and hope to stay in touch for a very long time. J&PL

Testimonials from Jo’s previous Writing Your Life Stories weeks

Thank you for a wonderful week at the beautiful Watermill. I’ve had the best time and have returned home with lovely memories of time spent in Italy with such an inspirational group of people. I couldn’t have asked for better hosts… This trip for me has been a massive tick off my bucket list and it was made even better by the lovely group of people whom I’ve had the privilege to share the week with. It was an absolute delight, I enjoyed every minute. KH

Jo has been an inspirational teacher. I am heading home with a head full of writerly plans. This week has been an absolute delight. The setting magnificent, food sublime, and our hosts charming. The attention to detail and beauty are a sure recipe for a wonderful stay. SR

I had a really brilliant time at Posara, everyone was so hospitable and Jo is a brilliant tutor. What a joyful and inspiring world you and Lois have created there. RM

Bring your partner or friend!

Why not bring your friend or partner? They don’t have to participate in the course, but they will be able to enjoy the wonderful hospitality of the mill and, whenever they want, to come out with you to our beautiful locations.

We also offer a range of Alternative activities for partners on all our creative courses, as well as a generous £GBP 250 discount if they share a room with you.

Stay Cool and Green at the watermill in Tuscany Italy

You'll be Cool and Green at the Watermill

Solar-powered air-conditioning will keep you cool and environmentally friendly. For more information, please visit our Cool and Green page