When you started your manuscript your vision was clear. Now you're lost in the middle, mired in the "current" draft, wondering why you ever started this crazy project.
You need a personal guide.
A full manuscript evaluation from an editor who sees your strengths—and where you need a new technique or approach.
A retreat limited to six participants.
One-on-one time to discuss your book, challenges, and goals.
A customized work plan to finish your draft and renew your stamina on the journey to publication.
An imagination-stimulating, heart-freeing place to revive your creative self.
Shared energy with fellow writers while staying focused on your own pages.
For hundreds of years, the cycle of reincarnation and regeneration has fueled Fort Kochi, India. Rediscover your novel or memoir and your desire for the page. Transform your next draft from a dreaded chore to a driving vision.
From idea to novel, proposal to memoir, first draft to first check, Allison K Williams brings deep understanding of dramatic structure, sensitivity to voice and theme, technical/craft expertise and contagious enthusiasm for your work.
Allison has edited and coached writers to publishing deals with Penguin Random House, Knopf, Mantle, Spencer Hill, St. Martin's Press and Black Rose. She's guided essayists and humorists to publication in media including Time, the Guardian, McSweeney’s, Refinery29, Brevity, Hippocampus, the Belladonna and TED Talks. As Social Media Editor for Brevity, she inspires thousands of writers with her weekly blogs.
I call myself the Unkind Editor because writers need direct, specific feedback, and that can feel a little bracing. But writers seeking serious professional guidance are investing their time and money. Clarity of critique respects and supports that commitment.
In Rebirth Your Book, your work receives the care and attention publishers invest in their top authors. You’ll get specific, sit-down-and-do-it strategies to finish your book and make it sellable.
Before arrival, Allison will evaluate your full manuscript with an editorial letter, and meet you via Skype. In India, she'll guide you through key revisions and new material, and spend One-on-One time discussing your writing career. She'll create a personalized work plan for finishing your draft and help you stay on track with a follow-up call after the retreat.
Rebirth Your Book is also a travel experience. As a travel writer and natural explorer who has visited 49 countries and led experiential tours on four continents, Allison is delighted to share a place she loves with a select group. Our intimate coterie will explore hidden corners most tourists never see, seeking spontaneous, genuine connections and renewing your creative spirit.
Your pre-arrival manuscript evaluation will include supportive, specific, written critique of your draft or plan.
In Fort Kochi, you'll have guidance on your daily work and One-on-One time to discuss your manuscript, goals and writing life.
A customized work plan and follow-up Skype session help you stay on track and take your work to the next level.
To give the personal coaching and specific editorial feedback your manuscript needs before, during and after the retreat, class size is limited to six.
Rooms are single occupancy unless you choose to share with a writing friend or travel partner.
Each morning, writers share their goals for this reserved time, then work individually in the same room with personalized exercises and specific guidance.
At the end of the session, sharing the day's progress can include reading a short section for brief feedback, but this is not a "workshop." Allison is available throughout for brainstorming, plot issues and craft questions.
It's like writing at your favorite cafe—with a clear strategy and your personal editor on-call.
Experience traditional kathakali dances, bird-feeding as sacred practice at the Jain Temple and meditative time in the oldest synagogue in India.
Discover Kerala's matrilineal heritage at Mattancherry Palace and world-class Indian art at contemporary galleries. Cruise jungle-lined canals and visit a traditional village in the magical Backwaters of Kerala.
Upscale cafes and laid-back coffee shops invite afternoon journaling. Individually decorated tuk-tuks open to the breeze allow comfortable sightseeing at street level. Barter with artisans and street vendors. Luxuriate with Ayurvedic treatments, massage and yoga.
New colors, tastes and sounds inhabit every moment—yet Fort Kochi is a quieter, gentler India. Stately colonial buildings meet modern hospitality and charm in the walkable Old Town of heritage buildings, bustling waterfront and quiet backstreets.
A town of many lives, Fort Kochi bears the legacies of immigrants, colonists and rulers from China, Portugal, the Netherlands, Mysore and Britain. A safe harbor nestled on a breezy peninsula in the state of Kerala, Fort Kochi embraces newcomers (even timid ones!) with native food, customs, traditions and arts.
You will be welcome here. Or, as you will hear in our time together, Namaste.
The Trinity heritage boutique hotel, resurrected from a 17th-century Dutch East India Company headquarters, has the feeling of a sleek gallery. The verdant gardens, sheltered courtyard, and stunning art will inspire your imagination while sustaining your writing focus.
In the heart of Old Town, it's a 9-minute stroll to Kollam Beach and an easy tuk-tuk to historic Mattancherry. A 2-minute saunter leads to the pool, wine lounge and Ayurvedic spa at sister property Malabar House.
Single-occupancy, Deluxe Rooms showcase antique furniture and contemporary Indian art, and have queen beds, private patios and separate dressing areas. Facilities include air-conditioning, WiFi, TV, minibar and in-room tea and coffee. Double rooms are Junior Suites with shower-gardens, contemporary tribal art and photography, and additional mezzanine beds. Upgrades are available from Deluxe to Junior Suite, or to a Roof Garden Suite with private terrace.
Writing spaces (all with WiFi) include our air-conditioned Writing in Company room with plenty of table space, the on-site coffee shop with outdoor terrace, a breezy upstairs lobby with comfy chairs and couches, and the air-conditioned wine lounge at Malabar House. Across the street, the David Hall Gallery & Cafe has WiFi and a communal table with power outlets. Several A/C and non-A/C coffee shops are within a five-minute walk.
Trinity's on-site coffee shop hosts our included breakfast (eggs, toast and fruit as well as Indian dishes) and serves light bites throughout the day; there's a full restaurant and wine bar at Malabar House.
The David Hall Gallery & Cafe serves hot and cold drinks, sandwiches, crepes and wood-fired pizza.
Around town, enjoy fresh local seafood at Oceanus, pan-Asian dishes at Tokyo Bay and snacks and sweets at Kashi Art Cafe. Vegans, vegetarians and carnivores will find a variety of clearly marked choices.
You'll be surprised and delighted every day, excited to be out touring and glad to be in writing. There's always time for a nap (it's hot!).
The Welcome Orientation covers local customs. You'll receive an Indian SIM card for your own (unlocked) mobile phone.
Daily time to explore solo and with your fellow writers. Included group tours are led by knowledgeable local guides.
Friday night, enjoy an informal reading in the Malabar House wine bar.
Saturday morning, embark on a glorious overnight trip on fully-crewed luxury houseboats through the fabled Backwaters of Kerala.
Sunday afternoon, you're delivered to the airport for your return home—or your next destination.
9AM-11AM: Writing In Company
11AM-12:30PM: One-on-One meetings, Open Time
12:30PM-1:30PM: Group Lunch (included)
4PM-6PM: Sights with Local Guide (included)
Evening: Enjoy traditional performances or sunset on the beach. Dinner on your own or with fellow writers
All group activities are optional; you may prefer more writing or personal exploration time.
One-on-One time is a scheduled hour that's entirely yours to discuss your book, writing life, goals and/or publication process.
In addition to scheduled One-on-One time, Allison's available throughout the day for casual chat about craft, publication and your work.
To apply for Rebirth Your Book, submit 20 pages from your manuscript or proposal, and tell us about your writing. It will take about 20 minutes to fill out the application and upload your work. You'll be notified of your acceptance in about a week. A deposit of $500 reserves your spot. Complete list of inclusions and exclusions, retreat fee, and flight checker are below.
Rebirth Your Book, including full manuscript evaluation (a $950+ value!) and pre-arrival meeting, single accommodation, breakfast and lunch, daily feedback and coaching, One-on-One time, guided local tours, luxury houseboat trip, individual work plan and follow-up call to keep you writing after returning home.
$2745 (Payment plans available)
Non-writing travel partners age 16+ may attend group meals, activities and tours, and share your room. Single occupancy is available for an additional charge. $1100
For a complete list of inclusions and exclusions, please scroll down.
All rates in USD; resident Indian nationals wishing to pay in rupees, please contact us for a rate reflecting local standard.
Whether you're emerging or experienced, Rebirth Your Book supports your needs as a writer and a human being undertaking a life-changing creative project. You get a professional editorial read, a personalized work plan and a week to free your vision with guidance and support.
You don't need a degree or prior publication. It's not who you know or where you went to school—it's your commitment to do the work your book needs.
If you want—need—to finish your book, but need direction, feedback and a concrete plan, Rebirth Your Book is for you.
Want to talk it through? Email us.
Before You Arrive:
Full read and editorial feedback on your manuscript draft or work so far.
Initial call to discuss your manuscript, how to best use your Rebirth Your Book time, and any travel questions you have.
Escorted transfers in and out of Cochin International Airport (COK), Ernakulam train station, or the Cochin bus station/ferry terminal.
Single accommodation in a beautifully appointed, serene room.
Welcome Orientation with useful local phrases, customs, and great things to see and do.
Complimentary local SIM for your unlocked mobile phone.
WiFi at the hotel and in the Writing In Company space.
Focused One-on-One meeting to discuss your work.
Excursions, activities, entry fees and show tickets on scheduled group outings.
Transport and guides for all scheduled group outings.
Overnight luxury houseboat tour of Kerala backwaters, including dinner, breakfast, and a lunch visit to a traditional village.
Tips for guides and drivers on group outings, and a contribution to children's charity Home of Hope.
Daily breakfast with Western and Indian options.
Water, coffee and chai throughout breakfast and Writing In Company.
Most lunches as indicated on itinerary, including water and non-alcoholic drinks.
Snacks and drinks at the welcome party.
Snacks and drinks at the end-of-the-week reading.
Work plan to finish your draft.
Follow-up call 2-4 weeks after returning, to see how your work is going and provide additional support.
Flights or other transport to the pick-up points in Cochin.
Vaccinations and any other travel medication you wish to bring.
Hotel incidentals such as laundry, minibar, room service, etc.
Dinners in Fort Kochi (dinner on the houseboat cruise is included).
Drinks at evening events and on tours and excursions.
Transport on solo exploration (we will orient you with normal costs for tuk-tuks and the hotel can call drivers respectful of the agreed-upon fare).