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' There really isn't a way to thank you enough for the creativity you helped release in me '
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The orientation dinners are on Sunday evenings at 20.00.

The Courses & Retreats run from Monday mornings to Friday lunchtimes

Reservations – Course places may now be reserved
Deposits - subject to the global travel review, deposits may be placed from April 12

Loutro 2021
June 19/20 - June 26/27
Sept 11/12 - Sept 18/19
Sept 18/19 - Sept 25/26

Should a course become fully subscribed, confirmed flight bookings may be necessary

Writers have always come to Loutro - situated within the inspiring natural resource of South 
West Crete and bounded by its positive liberating energy, our writing courses bring together people, 
experts, ideas and artistic creativity. Arriving off weekend flights for the orientation dinners on 
Sunday evenings, the Courses & Retreats run from Mondays to Fridays, with ample free time outside 
the schedule. The writers dine together again during the week, with a closing dinner on the Friday 
evening at a nearby bay for readings of course work, food, wine, moon, stars… then heading for their
return flights over the following weekend, the room changeover days being Saturdays and Sundays. 
Respect for individual space is central to the Loutro writing proposition and all writers are accommodated in their own en suite sea view rooms, situated variously around the small village. 
There are 8-9 restaurants and 4-5 café bars to choose from, with food, drink and accommodation 
all reasonably priced.

'I can't write anywhere in the world like I write here' (poet - 2018)


'Follow the Creative - Return to the Creative'


June 19/20 - June 26/27, 2021
Meet for Dinner - Sun June 20 - 8pm

Poetry Retreat ( by invitation ) with Mimi Khlavati Retreat Fee - £395

Mimi Khalvati
- one of the most inspirational and revered Tutors of the Poetry world, has published nine collections with Carcanet Press, including ‘Child: New &Selected Poems’, a Poetry Book Society Special Commendation, and ‘The Meanest Flower’, shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize. Mimi is the founder of The Poetry School where she teaches. She received a Cholmondeley Award in 2006 and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. Her new collection of sonnets, Afterwardness, is a PBS Winter Wild Card.

Writing Course with Lesley Glaister Course Fee - £335

Getting in the Zone - When you’re in the zone, writing can be 
exhilarating, surprising – sometimes even startling. But all writers 
experience times when it’s harder to get – or to keep - going. It might be a
stalled project, or simply a lack of inspiration or loss of drive. In the 
workshops this week we’ll be aiming for freshness and fun, exploring 
strategies for unblocking, getting those words down – and maybe even 
surprising ourselves.

Lesley Glaister is the author of sixteen novels, most recently Little Egypt, 
The Squeeze and Chosen. She’s also writes short stories, poetry and drama 
for stage and radio. Lesley currently teaches Creative Writing at the 
University of St Andrews 

Lesley Glaister

Sept 11/12 - Sept 18/19 2021
Meet for Dinner - Sun Sept 12 - 8pm

Poetry Course  with Jane Draycott Course Fee - £335

The Sound Of A Poem - What do we hear when we put some distance between ourselves and 
the busy world? What falls into the space on the page when we’re listening out for a poem as we 
try to write it? Using informal guided writing experiments we’ll explore together how to take the 
initial impulse for a poem and push it towards discovery in our mind’s eye and in our ear, opening up 
doors onto even richer associations, finding the poem that you know is there! A week of exploration 
and discovery, reading and writing and listening together, led by an award-winning poet and highly 
popular tutor.

Jane Draycott
has published five collections with Carcanet Press including The Occupant (a Poetry Book Society Recommendation), Over (shortlisted for the T S Eliot Prize) and Prince Rupert’s Drop (shortlisted for the Forward Prize). Her translations include the medieval dream-elegy Pearl, winner of a Stephen Spender Prize, and Storms Under the Skin: poems by Henri Michaux, a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. Jane is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and an experienced tutor for the Arvon Foundation, the Poetry School and Oxford University 

Jane Draycott

Writing Course with David Swann Course Fee - £335
    Combined with Writing Retreat - £595

‘Carry the Fire’ – Though recent global events have tested the resilience of our creative spirits, 
after a summer of recovery and reflection, for many the imagination will be engaged with a world 
emerging from the abyss. On this course, with our thoughts reverberating in the Cretan mountains, 
we'll explore ways to harness the pressing issues of the day, to ignite the creative alchemy that 
summons light from darkness. There’ll be much writing produced on the course for presentation and 
feedback within the group. Those with writing projects under way, in mind or on the page, may 
continue on to the Writing Retreat the following week, for Review of work in progress in one-to-one 

David Swann
is a Senior Lecturer in English & Creative Writing at the University of Chichester. His collection, The Privilege of Rain (Waterloo Press, 2010), based on his experiences as a Writer-inResidence in a prison, was shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Award. Starting out as a journalist, covering Accrington Stanley's matches for the local rag, his stories and poems have won many awards, including eight successes at the Bridport Prize and two in the National Poetry Competition.

' I now know the last 30,000 words of my novel, and I'm going home to bash them out…….
.......I'm pleased to report the Loutro effect has not worn off and I'm writing away like crazy. ' ( writer-2018 )

Sept 18/19 - Sept 25/26 2021
Meet for Dinner - Sun Sept 19 - 8pm

Writing Retreat with Christopher Wakling Retreat Fee - £395
    Combined with Writing Course - £595

The writing of books is a complex process, and much thought is often expended before words take 
form on a page. Though solid work in progress is the norm for Review, first drafts may also be 
submitted for checking out the architecture of a project. See Tutored Retreats.

Christopher Wakling - his seven novels include ESCAPE AND EVASION and WHAT I DID. He’s also co-written adventure stories for younger readers with Wilbur Smith, and is a longstanding tutor of creative writing for The Arvon Foundation and Curtis Brown Creative. He writes travel journalism as well.

Poetry Intensive with Kathryn Maris & Maurice Riordan
Course & Review
Course Fee - £595

There are two components in this week's poetry schedule - regular 3 hour morning course 
sessions with Kathryn Maris (D-Vices), and pm appointments with Maurice Riordan for the high level 
professional reviewing of ten of your poems. It's intense and costs more - but it's worth it. And there
will still be plenty of time to relax and enjoy.

D-Vices : Have you ever felt, or been told, that you are writing poems the ‘wrong’ way? That you 
are using words that are too poetic, or you are overly attached to rhyme, or you aren’t concise 
enough, or you sound like you’re writing ‘chopped up prose’? Perhaps there is some truth to these 
criticisms, and perhaps you’ve been steered—with good intentions—towards different modes of 
writing. But could there be a way to make our vices into devices? Might we exploit our weaknesses 
as well as our strengths? Is it possible for weaknesses to become strengths? This course will 
encourage you to take stock of your poetic ‘vices’ and help you channel them towards an authentic, 
original voice. We will read and analyse classic and contemporary poems, engage in daily writing 
exercises and share poems in a ‘workshop’ format.

Kathryn Maris (Course) is an American-British poet and critic who has 
published three poetry collections and a pamphlet. Her work has appeared in Penguin Modern Poets 5, The Pushcart Prize Anthology, The Best British Poetry, The Forward Book of Poetry and elsewhere. A selection from Kathryn's recent collection, The House With Only An Attic And A Basement (Penguin 2018), won the Ivan Juritz Prize for creative 
experiment and was the subject of an exhibition by artist Pete Swann. She works at City & Guilds of London Art School through the Royal Literary Fund.

Maurice Riordan
was born in Lisgoold, Co. Cork, and lives in London. 
His fifth collection from Faber, The Shoulder Tap, will be published in 
October. Among his previous books are The Water Stealer (2013), The 
Holy Land (2007), Floods (2000) and A Word from the Loki (1995). He 
edited The Finest Music (Faber, 2014), an anthology of early Irish poetry in translation. He is a former editor of The Poetry Review and is Emeritus Professor of Poetry at Sheffield Hallam University. 

Tutored Retreats

Maurice Riordan

For Whom - There are a variety of Courses from open creative Courses for all writers, including new writers, to advanced options for more experienced writers. Our Courses can be used as an inspiration for completely new work, or as an opportunity to apply a more critical eye to what you are currently writing. If you have never shown your work or discussed it with others, these weeks will offer a supportive environment to do so. They can also be used as an opportunity to get feed back from the group about any work in progress, or simply as a means of re-energising the writing process.

Courses - take place over five days from Monday mornings to Friday afternoons, and with a maximum of eight clients. Morning sessions (c. 3 hours) focus on content, as directed by the course leaders. Afternoons are free for immersing oneself in one’s writing or for reading, relaxing, hiking, swimming, sunbathing etc. Course based feedback / work in progress sessions ( 1-2 hrs ) take place on three early evenings, one half day is set aside for writing and there is a readings dinner on the Friday evening. Within these arrangements Espirita supports whichever way a tutor conveys their ideas, whether highly structured or deeply intuitive.

Tutored Retreats - an ideal opportunity for an individual and expert review of your work, combined
with abundant time for a sustained and undisturbed focus on your writing. After a short introductory group session, the Retreat schedule is appointment based over the five days, with timings arranged prior to your arrival in Loutro. At the initial meeting with the Tutor, two sizeable extracts from work in progress and a synopsis of previous works are presented for review, together with a general writing plan for the week which the Tutors may oversee and inspire. The review process works best with poems that are approaching their final state, whilst submissions to the Writing Retreat can vary from first sketches/drafts to near completed works and may include plays, scripts and media writing. Expert guidance on the submissions is offered in subsequent private one-to-one tutorials. Rewrites of reviewed material may be assessed by Tutors during the week. Not least, Loutro’s strong suit rests in it being a great place for clarity of thought, for unravelling awkward technical writing issues, for unlocking complex creative processes. Six applicants per Retreats maximum. Further details on application.

With the wine dark sea, the magnificent scenery and a variety of eating places within easy reach, Loutro is ideally constituted for the Retreat process. There is good company at the various dinners and meeting points during the week, the writers and tutors may meet occasionally to share ideas and practice and there is on site management to make the week run smoothly.

Course Technicalities - Please bring your own writing machines or materials with you, plus a European standard adapter for your laptop. Please note that there are no computers or printers on site. English will be the language of the group.

Partners / Companions - There is some availability each week for the partners or companions
of writers attending Courses & Workshops. By application.  Retreat participants are requested to attend without partners or travelling companions.

Course Arrangements

Course + Room
(7nts) + Food (7days) = £725 - £850 per wk

( There may be minor increases to room and food costs when Loutro 2021 reopens )

Course Reservation : Please check availability by making contact at :
Flights should not be booked until your Course or Retreat availability has been confirmed

Upon application, a £25 / $40 deposit ( non refundable ) per person is placed by various means - bank transfer, card or cheque.

Writers arrive from their flights on Saturdays and Sundays and there is an orientation dinner on the Sunday evening. The writing courses run from Monday mornings to Friday afternoons, with ample free time outside the schedule. The writers eat together again during the week and then on the Friday evening - an invariably joyous occasion following a boat trip to a nearby bay for readings of course work, food, wine, moon, stars etc… The writers head for their return flights from the following Saturday morning onwards, the room changeover days being Saturdays and Sundays.

Please click through to the Travel page for detailed travel information. (to be updated for 2021)

Accommodation - We Reserve/You Pay - Rooms : E30-E40 (budget) / E40-E50 (standard) per nt. For personal privacy and individual creative space, all the writers are spread around the village in different houses, in separate ‘Greek Island style rooms’, simply appointed with sea view balconies, en suite bathrooms, towels &bedding provided. Upon Course reservation, we reserve a room for you, changeable on site by arrangement, which you pay for and manage on an independent traveller basis. Espirita does not offer the sharing of rooms by clients that do not know each other beforehand. 

Food - E20 - E30 per day - The various tavernas offer an extremely good level of cuisine with many vegetarian options, all at reasonable prices. The good food of Loutro begins with a rather popular gratis 'vegetarian feast' on the Sunday evening dinner of each week.

Young Writer Discounts : Under 25yrs of age : £50 / 26yrs-29yrs : £25

A Fortnight’s Writing - The course dates and contents offer maximum flexibility for those staying for two weeks. You can choose between Poetry & Poetry, Writing & Writing, Poetry & Writing or Writing & Poetry. For those booking two consecutive courses, there is a £25 discount. With just one unscheduled day during the week, a one week Writing Course can be quite intense. But with 3-4 free days in a fortnight, attending two consecutive Courses feels more relaxed.

Local Fees - final invoices add £12 for Local Fees which Espirita pays on your behalf - for the Writing Terrace fee and for the boat transfers to and from the Readings Dinner on Friday evenings

Etc - Loutro still operates largely on a cash basis and clients should arrive with sufficient cash for the whole week . Those on a tight budget should bring a travelling kettle and basic utensils for drinks and light meals, but allow for eating out in the evenings: (E12-E15). A gift shop and some well stocked minimarkets provide fresh food, beach wear, basic commodities etc. Three or four stylish bars with laid back music offer a mellow starlit nightlife... Regrettably, the steep inclines and steps around the village are not appropriate for wheelchair use. Wifi works in the tavernas and cafes and there is a small Internet facility. Mobile phones cover most of Loutro most of the time, and are integral to on site communications. The crystal clear water and the sheltered bay of Loutro offer some of the best sea swimming conditions of anywhere in the world.

Climate - Apart from an occasional windy cool day, there is a 90-95% chance of perfect weather with highs of 27-33°C in June. Evenings and nights can be cooler in early June, for which jackets, sweaters and scarves might be appropriate.

' a very well executed week again……. I am deeply appreciative of what has been created for us. ' ( writer 2018 )

Espirita is an independent not for profit organisation

For general viewing, for viewing whilst in Crete……… 

Sfakia - a Greek Island film - 72 mins

Streaming - Free

Inspirita Books Loutro Poems Book

Espirita - Forest Donation Policy