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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

Early Booking Discount - end of February
There is a £25 discount for Course reservations received by the end of February. Should
a course become fully subscribed then confirmed flight bookings may be necessary.

Loutro 2018

June 10 - June 17

June 17 - June 24

June 24 - June 30

Writers have always come to Loutro so for a few weeks each year, not for profit travel outfit Espirita offers a dedicated Poetry and Writing programme within the inspiring natural resource of South West Crete - one of the most beautiful parts of Europe. The village of Loutro is intimate, ancient, friendly, and tranquil - equally good whether alone or in company. Loutro and its surrounding environment, serves as our centre. Bounded by this positive, liberating energy, our writing courses bring together people, experts, ideas and artistic creativity. 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.


'Follow the Creative - Return to the Creative'


Sun, June 10 - Sun, June 17, 2018
Meet for Dinner - Sun June 10 - 8pm

The Metamorposis of Poetry with Antony Dunn  Course Fee - £320

Transform everyday subjects into the freshest new poetry, and turn stories from your own imagination and experience into extraordinary poems. We'll take inspiration from each other's tales, from our collective story-bank and from the landscape. We'll write plenty of new 'metamorphs', and we'll probably laugh quite a lot. This course will stimulate your creativity through a mix of reading, writing and discussion exercises, and equip you with all kinds of transformative skills, so that you may never more endure writer's block.

Antony Dunn
teaches for The Poetry School and at
the Arvon Foundation and is Artistic Director of the Bridlington Poetry Festival. He has published four collections of poems, most recently 'Take This One to Bed' (Valley Press), and edited 'Ex Libris', poems by David Hughes (Valley Press).

The Alchemy of Story with Lucy Christopher Course Fee - £320

A good novel needs a good story, which depends upon how the basic elements of story telling fuse together. For those with an untold tale to tell or a story that's not quite sparked into life, with the wind off the sea, the fire of the sun and the endless stars to assist, we will explore the key components of novel writing - character, structure, voice, setting, dialogue etc - for you to forge the
right amalgam of elements for your story.

Lucy Christopher
is the bestselling and internationally award-winning author of 'Stolen', 'Flyaway', 'The Killing Woods' and 'Storm-wake'. She is Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University, where she has a PhD in Creative Writing.

Sun, June 17 - Sun, June 24, 2018
Meet for Dinner - Sun June 17 - 8pm

Raising The Bar  with Carrie Etter Course Fee - £320

For practicing poets who feel they have taken their work as far as they can on their own, this course offers techniques for improving the quality of their poetry. Seminars for discussion and analysis of these techniques will be paired with exercises for composition and revision to put the techniques to work. The course will also address raising the bar in terms of publication in magazines, pamphlets, and books. The idea is to give participants a new sense of purpose and hope for their poetry. 

Carrie Etter - misleadingly brought up in Normal, Illinois, Carrie has been resident in Britain for many years. Her fourth collection of poems 'The Weather In Normal' explores weather, climate change, place, and family history. A highly regarded poetry tutor at Bath Spa University, her poems have been published in such journals as the TLS, Poetry Review, The New Statesman, The New Republic, and many others in the UK and US.

Rise & Shine with David Swann Course Fee - £320

Lit up by the serene beauty of a Loutro morning, these stimulating workshops, aimed at writers of all levels, will give you techniques for kick-starting the writing process, unlocking your imagination and creating forms and stories that you didn't realise you could write - so that you can return home with a bag full of sketches, scenes and schemes that shine through the winter. Expect high standards, good humour, and for your writing to leave you scampering after its new-found momentum. 

David Swann
- After teaching writing in prisons, schools, homeless centres and Greek harbour-sides, David emerged in the present day as a Senior Lecturer in English & Creative Writing at Chichester University, where he has tutored a number of successful novelists.His short stories and poems have been widely published, with eight successes in the Bridport Prize. His book, ‘The Privilege of Rain’, based on his experiences as a writer-in-residence in a high security jail, was shortlisted for The Ted Hughes Award.


Sun, June 24 - Sat, June 30, 2018
Meet for Dinner - Sun June 24 - 8pm

Poetry Retreat with Hannah Lowe Retreat Fee - £360

Hannah Lowe
is a lecturer in Creative Writing at Brunel University, and a judge of this year's National Poetry Competition. Her first poetry collection 'Chick' won the Michael Murphy Memorial Award for Best First Collection and was short-listed for the Forward, Aldeburgh and Seamus Heaney Best First Collection Prizes. In September 2014, she was named as one of 20 Next Generation poets. She has also published a memoir 'Long Time No See', which featured as a Radio 4 Book of the Week. Her latest poetry collection is 'Chan'. 

Writing Retreat  with Jenny Parrott  Retreat Fee - £360

Jenny Parrott
- This is an opportunity for your work to be reviewed at the highest level by a literary consultant with enormous experience of the publishing world. Jenny has acquired for Bloomsbury, Virgin, HarperCollins and Little, Brown. Currently she specializes in literary fiction and is the publishing director for Oneworld’s Point Blank literary crime imprint and is a preliminary judge for one of the Costa awards. She has three-novel deals with both Orion and HarperCollins under two pseudonyms. Her free time is spent at the Kent coast, in the sleepy town of Deal. 



Course Details

June 10 - June 17   Courses & Workshops
June 17 - June 24   Courses & Workshops 
June 24 - June 30   Retreats

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 Course 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.

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. Retreat participants are requested to attend without partners or travelling companions. Six applicants per Retreat maximum. Further details on application.

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.

Writers arrive from their flights on Satudays 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. 

Early booking discount - end of February - There is a £25 discount for Course reservations received by the end of February. Should a Course become fully subscribed, confirmed flight bookings may need to be submitted.

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. 

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. 
Payable to: ‘Espirita’ at : Espirita, 12 Vale Road, Bowdon, Cheshire, England, WA14 3AQ

Partners / Companions - There is limited availability each week for the partners or companions
of writers attending Courses & Workshops. By application

Course Arrangements

Accommodation - We Reserve/You Pay - Rooms : E30-E35 (budget) / E35-E45 (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. Course + Room + Food = £650 - £775/wk (7 nts)

Local Fees - final invoices add £10 for Local Fees which Espirita pays on your behalf - for the E5 '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. 

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.

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