Finish Your Book

Stately colonial buildings meet modern hospitality and contemporary Indian art in Fort Kochi, Kerala.

Come and India.

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Your rebirth begins in...
Rebirth Your Book in India 2024 Rediscover your novel or memoir and your desire for the page.
A full manuscript evaluation
A retreat limited to six writers.
A revival of your creative self
"Allison, working with you and the retreat have totally transformed me
as a last, I know where I'm going with this book."

- Amy Evrard Young -

The Rebirth Difference


Fort Kochi, Kerala

7 days/8 nights

Spring 2024

Personal Guidance

Allison K Williams, "The Unkind Editor" provides editorial feedback & coaching throughout the week

The Venue

Your Guide

Allison K Williams "The Unkind Editor"
photo of Allison K Williams

From idea to novel, proposal to memoir, first draft to first royalties, Allison K Williams brings deep understanding of dramatic structure, sensitivity to voice and theme, technical expertise, and contagious enthusiasm for your work.

Allison has edited and coached writers to deals with Penguin Random House, Knopf, Mantle, Spencer Hill, St. Martin’s and independent presses. She’s guided essayists to publication in the New Yorker, Time, the Guardian, the New York Times, McSweeney’s and TED Talks. As Social Media Editor for Brevity, she inspires thousands of writers with blogs on craft and the writing life.

Allison is the author of Get Published in Literary Magazines and Seven Drafts: Self-Edit Like a Pro From Blank Page to Book (March 2021, Woodhall Press). A former circus performer, Allison has written for NPR, CBC, the New York Times, the Christian Science Monitor, Creative Nonfiction, McSweeney’s, Kenyon Review Online and Travelers’ Tales.

Trinity & Malabar

Fort Kochi

Boutique heritage sister-hotels showcasing antique furniture and contemporary Indian art. Around a verdant courtyard, sleek contemporary rooms have queen beds, private patios and separate dressing areas.

Breakfast in the garden. Candlelight dining by the pool. Walking distance from everything.


Explore & Be Inspired

re-energize with a midweek afternoon excursion
Overnight Houseboat Kerala Backwaters
Santa Cruz Basillica 5min walk
Cultural Visit 10min walk
Rebirth Your Book is also a travel experience. Allison is delighted to share a place she loves with a select group.
Explore hidden corners most tourists never see,
make spontaneous connections and renew your creative spirit.

Understand The Experience

From idea to novel; proposal to memoir.

Your pre-arrival manuscript evaluation includes supportive, specific, written critique of your current draft or proposal, a coaching session, and a customized work plan for your retreat.

On location, you'll have daily guidance and one-on-one sessions.

A post-retreat work plan and follow-up coaching session help you sustain momentum at home.

To give the personal coaching and specific editorial feedback your manuscript needs before, during and after the retreat, participation is limited to five writers.

Rooms are single occupancy. unless you choose to share with a writing friend or travel partner.

Each morning, writers set intentions for this reserved time, then work individually in shared spaces. Post-writing check-ins may include short readings, but this is not a "workshop." Allison provides individual guidance as needed. It's like writing at your favorite cafe—with your personal editor on-call.

The rest of the day is for solo writing time, one-on-one meetings, and relaxation or an excursion.

Focused time away from home helps you plow through pages.

Direct, specific feedback helps you write better.

Rebirth Your Book combines a retreat environment with personal editorial assistance. You'll have a work plan to start writing on day one. Questioning an editorial note? Lost your plot thread? Ask Allison right now—she's across the table.

Pre-arrival session with editorial feedback and your work plan for the retreat.

Scheduled one-on-one time to discuss your draft-in-progress and writing goals. (Allison's available for informal chats and questions all day long.)

Follow-up coaching session to sustain your writing momentum back home.

Rebirth Your Book happens in beautiful, culturally rich locations with great local food and a calm, supportive writing environment. Each retreat includes energy-boosting excursions to heritage sites and outdoor activities.

Your Itinerary

This Week You'll Finish A Draft
Chapter 1: At Last We Meet Day One
Airport Pickup Cochin International Airport (COK)
Arrive and settle in Trinity Boutique Hotel, Fort Kochi
Orientation Walk & Welcome Dinner Malabar House
Chapter 2: Settling In Day Two
Breakfast Available Courtyard (weather permitting)/Dining Room
Tuk-Tuk Tour The sights of Kochi
Lunch Malabar House
One-on-One Meetings / Open Time Where You Will
Dinner David Hall Art Cafe
Chapter 3: And So It Begins Day Three
Breakfast available Courtyard (weather permitting)/Dining Room
Writing In Company Trinity
One-on-One Meetings / Open Time Where You Will
Lunch Local Restaurants
Tuk-Tuk Tour of sights Fort Kochi
Dinner Local Restaurants
Chapter 3: The Write Way Day Three
Breakfast available Courtyard (weather permitting)/Dining Room
Writing In Company Trinity
One-on-One Meetings / Open Time Where You Will
Lunch Local Restaurants
Open Time for Writing/Exploring Where You Will
Dinner Local Restaurants
Chapter 4: Word by Word Day Four
Breakfast available Courtyard (weather permitting)/Dining Room
Writing In Company Trinity
One-on-One Meetings / Open Time Where You Will
Lunch Local Restaurants
Open Time for Writing/Exploring Where You Will
Dinner Local Restaurants
Chapter 5: A Whirl of Gaiety Day Five
Breakfast available Courtyard (weather permitting)/Dining Room
Writing In Company Trinity
One-on-One Meetings / Open Time Where You Will
Lunch Local Restaurants
Open Time for Writing/Exploring Where You Will
Depart for Kathakali Dance Performance Fort Kochi
Dinner The Asian Kitchen
Chapter 6: Beautiful Discoveries Day Six
Breakfast available Courtyard (weather permitting)/Dining Room
One-on-One Meetings / Open Time Where You Will
Lunch Malabar House
Depart for Kerala Backwaters Trinity
Dinner on board Houseboat
Chapter 7: Backwaters Day Seven
Breakfast available Houseboat
Writing In Company Houseboat
One-on-One Meetings / Open Time Where You Will
Lunch Local Homestay
Relax Onboard
Farewell Party Houseboat
Chapter 8: Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow Day Eight
Breakfast available Houseboat
Departure To Airport (Or train station, if your journey continues!)
And now...
Go home and write some more! (or take a day off)
Ready to Finish Your Book?
Schedule your complimentary 30-minute editorial consultation to start your journey.
Special Package
  • Full MS Evaluation: $1350+
  • Pre-arrival coaching: $135
  • Airport Transfers: $200
  • Single Accommodation: $750
  • Meals & Excursions: $500
  • One-on-one Session: $135
  • Editor on call: $900
  • Work plan & follow-up: $135
  • RETREAT VALUE: $4105

Not ready yet? Fill out our contact form to join the mailing list.

Frequently Asked Questions

You probably have a few

Joining the Retreat

it starts with one email

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You should be working on a book.

It can be a novel, a memoir or an essay collection. It can be an outline or proposal and some material, a partial manuscript, or a draft that isn't singing yet.

  • You're ready for direct and specific feedback about your work.
  • You're writing in English, because Allison isn't fluent enough to edit in any other language.
  • You DON'T need a degree in writing (or anything else!).
  • You DON'T need previous publication credits.

Everyone focuses on their own pages, so the experience level of your fellow writers isn't a big factor in your work.

Some writers come with drafts for revision; others arrive with an idea and notes. If your work is still very much in-progress, we'll use the week to generate as much of a first draft as possible. In that case, the manuscript evaluation will happen after the retreat and guide you into the next draft.

A friend or family member age 16+ sharing your room pays a companion fee of about 1/3 the writer's fee. Their trip will include lodging, group meals and activities, local tours and airport transfers. It doesn't include Writing in Company, one-on-one time or manuscript evaluation. Single occupancy is available for an additional charge.

If you'd like to share a double with another writing participant, you'll each receive a discount of $300.

Your Travel

get here and get writing

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US and Canadian citizens need a tourist visa for India. The e-visa process is simple and details will be provided on registration.

Travelers to any destination should update routine vaccinations and bring a small supply of stomach remedies and sufficient prescription medications.

Airport transfers are provided in and out of Cochin International Airport (COK).

For group sightseeing, transportation will be provided. For personal exploration, all of Fort Kochi is easily accessible on foot and by auto-rickshaw.

Most of Fort Kochi is wheelable and the pavement is relatively—but not consistently—smooth. Most businesses have steps at their entrances.

While wider public awareness of human rights has led to new laws being implemented, India does not have consistent accessibility. If you have mobility concerns, let us know.

Allison has worked with writers who are d/Deaf, hearing-impaired, blind, visually-impaired, neuro-atypical and with physical disabilities. She wants to work with you—let's discuss how to make it an excellent experience.

Our writing time and excursions are in English; many local residents speak enough English to chat and answer questions. The welcome orientation will include useful phrases.

The vast majority of Indians are friendly, hospitable and kind to tourists.

Fort Kochi has a low crime rate and our neighborhood is safe for solo walking day and night. As on any trip, be aware of your surroundings and your belongings. Keep an eye out for pickpockets in crowded locations like train stations.

Malabar House's award-winning restaurant features fresh local and Continental cuisine.

  • Breakfast at Trinity's in-house coffee shop includes toast, eggs, fruit, and coffee or chai.
  • Lunch is available at the hotel and several restaurants within walking distance.
  • Dinner is available at the hotel and several restaurants within walking distance.

Please advise us of any dietary restrictions and we will work with the hotel to accommodate your needs as much as possible.

We’re happy to provide personal recommendations or connect you with a local travel agency to extend your trip.

Retreat Days

write, relax, write some more

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Everyone works on their own manuscript with the energy of a shared writing space. As Allison says, "If I'm writing with a buddy and I start to get bored or frustrated, I look up and think, I can't quit now—she's still going!"

At the beginning of each session, we set our intentions for the day. We take a short stretch break at the halfway point. Afterwards, each person shares how their work went and may—but doesn't have to—read a short passage for brief feedback.

Throughout Writing in Company time, Allison will be available to talk through problems, suggest new ways to tackle a tough section, or give you a quick exercise to shake your writing loose.

Nope. While reading group members' work in advance and noting points for discussion is a valuable practice, it's not what we're doing here. Your focus is on your book. At the end of the week, we'll have a casual evening reading in the Malabar House bar. This is an opportunity to share aloud pages you've been working on with a small, supportive audience. Travel partners and new friends are welcome.

Allison will read each writer's full draft (or pile of material or proposal) before arrival, and send you an editorial letter with feedback on concept, voice, themes, plot, story, character and craft. After the evaluation, you'll have an editorial session of about 30 minutes to discuss your work and what you want to accomplish during the retreat. If you're at an early stage and don't have a lot of pages, we can extend the call to discuss your idea, execution and process. During the Rebirth week, you'll have a scheduled one-on-one meeting to discuss how the week is going, your writing in general and your writing career. This time can also be used for query feedback or discussing your publication goals.

Throughout the week we'll have plenty of casual chatting time, and you're welcome to start/participate in writing-related discussions with Allison and/or your fellow writers just about anywhere.

After returning home, you'll have another 30-minute editorial call to check in and address questions or new challenges as you finish your draft.

To give each writer the individual and specific attention their manuscript needs, the retreat is limited to six people. Non-writing travel partners may join us for tours and activities.

Booking & Payment

let's work with your budget

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Rebirth Your Book accepts Venmo, Zelle, Canadian e-transfers, US checks, PayPal and credit cards via PayPal. Payments can be made as follows:

  • 20% Deposit on acceptance to reserve your place
  • 30% Payment 90 days prior to start date
  • 30% Payment 60 days prior to start date
  • 20% Balance due 30 days prior to start date

Or talk to us about a plan that works for you.

Rebirth Your Book/Rebirth Your Writing participates in AWP's Kurt Brown Prize, which awards $500 each year to emerging writers in fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction who wish to attend a writers’ conference, center, retreat, festival, or residency. Winners and six finalists also receive a one-year individual membership in AWP. For more information, visit the AWP website.

Before You Arrive:

  • Full read and editorial feedback on your manuscript draft or work so far (a $1350+ value!).
  • Initial call to discuss your work and goals for your Rebirth Your Book time, and answer any travel questions.

In Kochi:

  • Escorted airport transfers in and out of Cochin International Airport (COK)
  • Single accommodation in the boutique hotel.
  • 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 tickets on scheduled group outings.
  • Transport and guides for all scheduled group outings.
  • Daily continental breakfast.
  • Water, coffee and tea throughout breakfast and Writing In Company time.
  • Most lunches as indicated on itinerary, including water and non-alcoholic drinks.
  • Welcome dinner.
  • Snacks and drinks at the end-of-the-week reading.

Returning Home:

  • Work plan to finish your draft.
  • Follow-up call 2-4 weeks after returning, to sustain and support your writing momentum.

  • Flights or other transport to the pick-up points in Cochin.
  • Vaccinations and any other travel medication you wish to bring.
  • Travel insurance.
  • Hotel incidentals such as laundry, mini-bar, room service, etc.
  • Alcoholic drinks on tours and excursions.
  • Personal expenses/shopping/souvenirs.
  • Transport on non-group exploration.

We strongly recommend travel & trip-cancellation insurance.

If you are unable to attend and we can fill your place from the waitlist, we will refund your tuition on a pro rata basis:

If you have not submitted your manuscript:
you may apply your $500 deposit to another Rebirth Your Book retreat, and you will be refunded any additional payments.

If your initial manuscript read has taken place and you have paid at least $1450:
we will still schedule your two coaching sessions and Work Plan, and you will be refunded payments over $1450. It may be possible to apply your $500 deposit to another retreat on a case-by-case basis.

If we can’t fill your place:
we’ll provide you with documentation to support a claim to your travel insurance provider, but any payments made are nonrefundable. If you have paid at least $1450, you will still receive your manuscript read and coaching sessions.

Refunds will be sent within 30 days of receipt of notice of cancellation.

Rebirth Your Book reserves the right to cancel the retreat in the event of civil unrest, natural disaster or Act of God. In the event of cancellation of the retreat in its entirety, you will receive a full refund of any fees paid. You agree to release Rebirth Your Book and its agents and/or representatives from any liability, including consequential expenses you may have incurred in planning to attend. We will provide you with documentation to support a claim to your travel insurance provider for flights and other expenses not paid to Rebirth Your Book.

Have another question? Want to talk payment plan? contact us
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