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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. More detail

Upcoming course 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

Presenter Patti Miller

Course description

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:

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

  • "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

    "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

    "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

    "Patti’s knowledge of writing practice is encyclopedic. She incorporated excellent exercises and just the right amount of homework. The experience was challenging and affirming. And the unexpected bonus was the camaraderie that quickly developed with the other participants."

    - Gail Mahon

    "What a writing course and what a holiday! Ubud was the perfect place to explore sensory experiences and Patti made brilliant use of it. She is brilliant and supportive, one of us and a guru at the same time. The volume and variety of courses at the Australian Writers’ Centre is amazing. There is a course for any type of writing that you are into. The availability of online courses is also a big plus for those of us not living in Sydney."

    - Jacqueline Quantock