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 played out in Fort Kochi, India. Rediscover your novel or memoir and renew your desire for the page. Transform your next draft from a dreaded chore to a driving vision.
Your journey through book rebirth is led by editor, writer and speaker Allison K Williams. As your personal writing coach, Allison brings deep understanding of dramatic structure, sensitivity to voice and theme, clear technical/craft guidance and contagious enthusiasm for your work.
Allison has guided authors to publication with Penguin Random House, Knopf, Mantle, Spencer Hill, St. Martin's Press, Black Rose, independent presses and self-publishing. She coached the writing of Rhiannon Navin's Only Child, and has edited work for essayists and humorists in McSweeney's, Refinery29, Belladonna, Brevity and Hippocampus.
Before arrival, Allison will do a full manuscript evaluation with editorial letter and get to know you and your work via a Skype call. At the retreat, she'll guide you through key revisions and generating new material, and spend One-on-One time discussing your work, goals, and writing career. She'll create a personalized work plan for finishing your draft or starting the publication process, and help you stay on track with a follow-up call after the retreat.
"As your writing coach and personal editor, I have three jobs:
To identify what's working and help you define and use technical choices arising from your instinctive grasp of style and storytelling
To tell you clearly and directly not only what needs work but how to address those challenges
To inspire your excitement to return to the page and reach the next level."
Allison's own writing has appeared in Kenyon Review, Prairie Schooner, Brevity, Hippocampus, the Christian Science Monitor and the New York Times. Her radio stories have appeared on National Public Radio's The Moth and Snap Judgment, and CBC Canada's Love Me and Definitely Not the Opera. She serves as Social Media Editor at Brevity, and hosts the Brevity Podcast.
Still need more? Allison's website is here.
Your pre-arrival manuscript evaluation will include supportive, specific, written critique or 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 say what they plan to achieve, 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.
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.
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 AC, 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 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. Optional group tours include 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
12:30-1:30PM: Group Lunch (included)
3:30-6PM: 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.
Rebirth Your Book, including full manuscript evaluation (a $950+ value!) and pre-arrival meeting, single accomodation, 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.
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
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, but 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 work and how to schedule your Rebirth Your Book time, as well as answer any travel questions you have.
Escorted airport transfers in and out of Cochin International Airport (COK), Ernakulam train station, or the Cochi bus station.
Single accomodation 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 (but optional) group outings.
Transport and guides for all scheduled group outings.
Overnight luxury houseboat tour of Kerala backwaters, including dinner, breakfast and lunch, and a visit to a traditional village.
Tips for guides and drivers on group outings, and a contribution to a reputable children's charity.
Daily breakfast with Western and Indian options.
Water, coffee and chai throughout breakfast and workshops.
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 check in on how your work is going.
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, mini-bar, room service, etc.
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).