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Writing in Ubud

The art and craft of writing the senses

Come with writer Patti Miller to Ubud for a unique writing enrichment course. This will show you how to create the colour, texture and weave of lived experience on the page. Read more

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Upcoming dates

Starts2016 dates to be announced

Location Ubud,
Balinese Writing Retreat

When8 days and 7 nights tour
(including 5-day writing program)

PricePlease see itinerary for price

Presenters Patti Miller

Your unique writing program

Enrich your writing with the sensory richness of your creative expression

Come with writer Patti Miller to the highland town of Ubud, the artistic centre of Bali, for a unique writing enrichment course. Whether you are writing from actual or imaginary life – memoir, autobiography, short stories or novels – The Art and Craft of Writing the Senses will show you how to create the colour, texture and weave of lived experience on the page.

This is a very special writing course, uniquely focused on developing the sensory richness of your creative expression. Immersed in the natural beauty and rich cultural heritage of highland Bali, mind, heart and body all engaged in the writing process, you will explore how to translate the physical world of the senses into words.

The Art and Craft of Writing the Senses will reveal how the secret of powerful writing is to create a world our senses will believe is real. Brimming with both creative and sensory delights, Ubud is the perfect place to ‘write the senses’.

Staying in your own room at a beautiful resort set on the outskirts of Ubud, you will be able to write every day and explore the ancient culture of Bali. We will have welcome and farewell meals together and breakfast and morning tea are also included.

The writing course

In the peaceful, creative and luscious atmosphere of Ubud, long regarded as a cultural capital of Indonesia, this writing course will re-awaken your senses. You will taste, touch, see, smell and hear the world again. You will read and discuss extracts from a wide variety of writers such as Annie Dillard and Patrick Susskind, and participate in exercises designed to revitalise and extend your creativity.

Each morning for five days, from 10am to 1pm, the workshops will offer readings, discussions and writing exercises designed to re-awaken the senses and heighten observation, to explore the rich symbolic world of sensory images. You’ll learn how to use the senses to convey – or create – scene, characters and texture. You’ll also discover how sensual writing can be used to further narrative and even to convey ideas.

If you want to move from more factual styles of writing – academic, journalistic, technical or report writing – or simply feel your writing needs revitalising, then this workshop will help you make the leap into the rich textured world of powerful writing. This workshop is for both memoir and fiction writers and, whether you feel you are a beginner or more experienced, it will extend your creativity and enrich your writing.

Cultural experience

In the afternoons you will be able to write in the solitude and quiet of your own room, or you can head out to explore the fascinating town and countryside of Ubud. You can walk in the Monkey Forest and rice paddies; visit local temples and enjoy the vibrant colour of ritual and ceremonies; immerse yourself in the arts and crafts at the famous Neki Gallery or at nearby artist villages. If you like, you can take a cultural tour arranged by our tour manager to explore more of the richness of Bali.

In the evenings you can attend a performance of the traditional Barong or Kecak dances or simply enjoy some of the exquisite local cuisine. And of course, there are also the delights of the Ubud market, the rejuvenating pleasure of a therapeutic Balinese massage, or a quiet coffee at the Lotus Pond café, whenever you need a break from writing.

Your tour director and writing teacher – Patti Miller

Patti Miller is a highly experienced writer of both memoir and fiction, and a writing teacher. She is the author of the best-selling Writing Your Life, The Last One Who Remembers, Child, Whatever The Gods Do and The Memoir Book.

She has taught writing at university and writers’ centres for over 20 years and has taken a number of writing workshops in Paris and Fiji. Her inspiring approach to writing is both passionate and attentive to the art and craft of writing. For a list of publications and further information on her work see her website: www.lifestories.com.au.


  • Patti Miller

    Patti Miller, Melbourne, Sydney

    Patti Miller has taught creative writing, with a particular focus on autobiographical writing, for more than 20 years.... View Profile

Graduate testimonials

  • “The course has opened my mind to attend to the details of writing and the sensory input that can create a world and characters to draw the reader in. The ideas and inspiration that came from participating in this writing course exceeded anything I might have anticipated. Patti is very focussed and very professional. Every lesson was well prepared and delivered with a great understanding of how we, the students, could develop and deepen our writing skills. Patti is passionate about her art and she shared her knowledge generously. I loved the whole experience. At a very personal level, in relation to my writing, it has been life- changing. It is an invaluable opportunity to inform your writing and take it to another level.”

    Jo McCann

    “This experience will help me both in my work as a copywriter, and my own personal writing. Patti was wonderful, she is a natural presenter and had such great tips and ideas every day. Her feedback on our writing was also honest but kind and really helpful. I loved it — there was enough time for the course, plenty of time for relaxing in the afternoon and then to meet up for dinner with the group. By the end of the week I was both relaxed and inspired! The accommodation was lovely and in a perfect spot — close enough to town to walk, but far enough away from the busy street and tourists/shops. This was a nice balance between learning something new, meeting new people, having a holiday, going somewhere new and relaxing! Perfect.”

    Sarah Morton

    “Patti is excellent in her teaching, facilitating and guiding role, alternating between supporting and extending us and our writing. I learnt a lot and surprised myself with how easy it was to let words pour out on the page. An excellent boost for re-energising and re-focusing any writer, but especially for emerging writers or those who have mainly written in their professional lives.”

    Anni Webster

  • “I am so inspired by the course. I found even personal writing becoming more sensory by the end of the week. I have come away with brand new ideas for stories and a new focus for my passion. I cannot fault the Australian Writers’ Centre’s service. They have great courses, great teachers. It’s a dynamic centre for writers to find like-minded people.”

    Rebecca Smedley

Life Writing

Tell your story, your way…

Do you have a story to tell from your own experiences? We’ll show you how to bring it to life through storytelling methods and structure. More detail

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Upcoming course dates

StartsSaturday 11 April 2015

Location Sydney
Ground Floor
55 Lavender Street
Milsons Point NSW 2061

WhenSaturday classes
(two consecutive Saturdays)


Presenter Patti Miller

Book Now

StartsFriday 16 January 2015 – BOOKED OUT
Call (02) 9929 0088 to join the waitlist

Location Sydney
Ground Floor
55 Lavender Street
Milsons Point NSW 2061

WhenFriday MORNING classes
(once a week for six weeks)


Presenter Patti Miller

Booked Out

StartsTo be confirmed

Location Melbourne
The Abbotsford Convent
1 St Heliers Street
Abbotsford VIC 3067

WhenSaturday and Sunday classes
(two consecutive days)


Presenter Patti Miller

Booked Out

Course description

Write your story

The Australian Writers’ Centre is delighted to present a course on Life Writing with Patti Miller. The course explores creative autobiographical writing and will set you on the journey of writing your life. Patti is the author of the bestselling book Writing Your Life and she will show you how to shape your experiences into a well written, absorbing story.

The course will help you:

  • awaken memory and creativity
  • create the lived reality of your experience on the page
  • bring details to life
  • find structure to your work
  • and MUCH more.

There will be some readings, discussion and lots of writing with individual comment on your work. By its completion you will have made a start on your life story and have the confidence and techniques to continue.

You know you have a story to tell.

It’s your story.

You can be young, old, or any age in between.

  • You don’t need decades of experience to write about your life.
  • You don’t have to write about achieving success or overcoming obstacles.
  • You can have a perfectly ordinary life – and this course will help you learn how to find and reveal the extraordinary part of it.
  • You’ll discover, heal, share and explore a world of writing that’s bound to change … your life.

Exclusive access to our AWC Graduates’ Club

Want to know where all the cool kids hang out? The Graduates’ Club of course! Now, calm down – there’s no cigars, leather armchairs or loud ticking grandfather clocks here. But it IS exclusive invitation only (on completion of a course) and it’s free!  Meet other writers online and share successes, seek help or just get something off your chest. Many students believe this ‘legacy learning’ is one of the most valuable things about our AWC community, and who are we to argue?

So if you want to receive feedback, support and a heads-up on opportunities … join the Club!

Your presenters

  • Patti Miller

    Patti Miller, Melbourne, Sydney

    Patti Miller has taught creative writing, with a particular focus on autobiographical writing, for more than 20 years.... View Profile

Graduate testimonials

  • "Patti's approach to the topic was a good balance of presentation and writing exercises. I gained so much valuable information and have told many people that it is not an exaggeration for me to say it was 'life changing'. Patti has a great ability to provide honest feedback while at the same time being very encouraging. She creates an atmosphere of support where even the least experienced life writer (I put myself in that group) feels inspired, not diminished by the more experienced participants."

    - Linda Chaousis