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Writing in Paradise


 February 1 - 7, 2023  


Writing in Paradise with Shelley Kenigsberg | A writing retreat by the sea in Beautiful East Bali


7 nights, 8 days including your departure. We begin at 3 pm on Day 1, and the retreat ends after breakfast on Day 8

Are you a novice writer with a story you’d love to tell but aren’t sure where to start (or continue)? Perhaps, you’re happy with your writing and want to write more stories to truly capture your readers? Or, are you a seasoned author somewhat stuck and know your writing needs that extra something?


Then why not come and join us for this intimate 6-day writing program week in beautiful East Bali?

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Writing in Paradise caters for both seasoned and unseasoned writers who are looking to find, or recharge, their voice — it’s an extremely powerful program that blends writing time with editorial guidance and support.


It would be a pleasure to have you join us for this intense (and intensely fun-filled) week. You might keep working on your current project, or produce new writing but there’s no doubt you’ll develop new writing skills and invigorate your energy for telling the stories you want to tell, in the most engaging way that you can.


What You’ll Do

With expert guidance, from an experienced and acclaimed presenter, you’ll:

  • create new pieces of writing or finesse something you’ve ‘prepared earlier’

  • write a piece so charged with sensory and descriptive detail that it captivates your readers

  • find new ways to explore storytelling

  • discover techniques to write with authenticity and depth

  • edit and refine — we’ll cover the essential tools of editing

  • have free time to get on with your own writing or indulge in an afternoon siesta or wander, wonder and be inspired .

Shelley has presented writing and editing programs since 2009, where hundreds of writers have filled their pages with stories and thrilled at the outcomes, with many publication successes.


During your week of Writing in Paradise, you’ll be guided to learn about, and refine your writing craft to find your true writing voice and create pieces so powerful that you’ll connect with your readers in a deep way.

"Write with the door closed, rewrite with the door open. Your stuff starts out being just for you, in other words, but then it goes  out. Once you know what the story is and get it right — as right as you can, anyway — it belongs to anyone who wants to read it "   Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

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Get your ideas onto the page or screen — no matter how messy. Stephen King’s advice is, really, encouragement to ramble, to write for yourself without stopping to censor, or worry about the ‘mess’. You’ll do the redrafting and editing — refining and finessing — at a later stage. (Yes, I’ll guide you on that process, too.)

A sure-fire way to find your voice as a writer is to let your personality shine, through your choice of scenes, your choice of words, the tone, levels of formality you use. Your writing voice is the distinct personality of a piece of writing. It’s what sets you apart from other writers. And, if you hear publishers being asked what they’re looking for, in books they want to publish, it’s invariably, ‘an interesting, fresh voice’. Make yours one they can’t resist.


You will have unique opportunities to really notice, and write about, the large and small details in front of you and learn how to use them in your story. During the retreat you’ll be immersed in an environment so rich with nature, inspirational settings and the wit of your fellow writers, you’ll be able to create a new lexicon of words and ideas that come from the exercises, writing and our excursions. You’ll learn how to avoid cliché and hackneyed terms. You’ll leave with a superb new toolkit for your writing that will enrich and deepen your expression when you return to your ‘writing room’ at home.

We’ll definitely be using our senses of play, spontaneity, adventure and, Shelley’s personal favourite, humour.

 ‘Play around. Dive into absurdity and write. Take chances. You will succeed if you are fearless of failure.’

  — Natalie Goldberg

Is there more?

Lets find out.....


Yes. We’ll cover the essentials that you need to begin an edit of your own writing (and rewriting). ‘Books are not written,’ said science fiction novelist, Michael Crichton, ‘they're rewritten’. So, your first draft, will need to be redrafted. Every good writer does many drafts. It’s essential. We’ll cover the processes you’ll need to get your final draft into the best shape it can be. I don’t advise editing too early in the process. Leave the words, for a while. And, with time away from the writing, you’ll have a different and more removed approach to what you’ve written. In a good way. This allows you to come back to the piece and harvest — find the best of it by seeking out great sentences, deciding on scenes, rewriting, decluttering, cutting or lengthening the story. (Editing doesn’t always mean making shorter.) I’ll guide you on the first forays into this process, and you’ll make your work sparkle.


What have other writers said about Shelley’s courses?


" I am so glad I made the decision to come. It was brilliantly organised. So much more than I would have expected to get from one week’s workshop. We worked hard, and I achieved so much with the help of this enthusiastic and encouraging team "  Christine Eyres, The White Apron, Bali

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"Another stunning day at the retreat... Such a great experience to have the time, space and guidance to really get into the guts of my manuscript! It’s not nearly as hard as I thought. Writing, editing, delicious food, birds, tranquillity, wonderful people and conversation and words, words, words. Thank you" Helen McLennan, novelist, Kangaroo Valley


" I’m back to writing after such a dry spell.  It wasn’t that I was out of things to say or words to say them with, it was that I had fallen out of the habit of making time for myself.  I had fallen out of the habit of listening to myself.  I had fallen out of the habit of observing my world and reaching for the words to express the aching gratitude I feel for its ferocious beauty "  — Kelly McDonald, memoirist, Bali


 "Couldn’t have been better! The whole week was great. We covered so much, and the time was split so appropriately… A dream comes to reality " — Helen Kinny-Lewis, novelist, Bali


" was so inspired by the group and by the main thing I took away: my voice, told with honesty and thoughtfulness, is worthwhile" — QH, essayist, Bali


More about this program of Writing in Paradise and why we’ve chosen this location in beautiful East Bali


From the moment you arrive into Bali, most everything is included in your retreat package. Our aim is to make sure that you just float from one lovely thing to another without thinking how it happens.  Just bring your intention – we’ll take care of the rest.


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While staying in your choice of 3 stunning seaside accommodations (from 5-star to 3-star, and even at the entry level, very comfortable), you’ll have daily writing sessions with Shelley in the living rooms of Villa Nilaya, and the option to participate in a variety of activities that reflect the unique environment of East Bali.

Your workshop fee includes:

  • 7 nights of accommodation of your choice with breakfasts

  • 7 lunches, 4 dinners

  • Taxi collection from the airport to your accommodation

  • 12 sessions of writing tuition, totalling 27 hours of ‘class time’ with Shelley

  • A welcome BBQ at Villa Nilaya, with wines and mixers

  • Farewell evening dinner with drinks

  • Midweek dinner at Villa Nilaya

  • Midweek dinner at our favourite seaside restaurant 

  • Morning and afternoon teas and evening snacks

  • Tea, water, coffee throughout the retreat

  • Cultural tours and activities as an option

  • A complimentary Balinese massage from our experienced masseuses at Villa Nilaya

  • You will have 2 evenings to yourself

  • Yoga and art materials if you feel like indulging

And there are options, you can choose to:

  • have a one-on-one hour with Shelley during the afternoon ($100/hour)

  • have a Balinese, warm stone, or Nilaya Signature recovery massage with our trained masseuse at Villa Nilaya


Our Daily Program:

  • Mornings: Session of writing (directed and freewriting), group classes on elements of the writing craft.

  • Lunch together at the resort/local restaurant.

  • Afternoons: Free time to rest, explore, be pampered, read, muse, write. 

  • Evening 1 Reconvene at 6.30pm for drinks/snacks and dinner 

  • Evenings: 2 - 6, a reading/writing session. Shelley says "I really encourage you to read your work to the group — and, there’s also no pressure to do so. However, you’ll discover that the camaraderie (which develops pretty quickly), will mean everyone’s keen to venture a bit of their writing; it’s a lovely process and we are careful to moderate any feedback. We aim to finish around 9pm".

This week is all about words and language. The process provides for a powerful collaboration with a small group of supportive and enthusiastic fellow writers. Given considered feedback, support and encouragement you’ll be able to find the magic of the newly imagined … break through with what Hemingway described as the hardest thing about the whole endeavour: ‘Getting the words right’.


Ideas, writing, support and guidance, boating, touring, restaurants, live music, cultural visits, yoga, meditation, great food, laughter and a stress-free week away from it all by the beach, and … what are you waiting for? ur part of the island here. 


About Shelley Kenigsberg

Shelley Kenigsberg is a prominent freelance editor, writer and trainer who’s worked in publishing for over 30 years. 

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She works in most genres (except scientific books) for publishers (including Penguin Random House, Murdoch Books/Pier 9, TAFE NSW, McGraw-Hill, Brandl & Schlesinger) and authors preparing to submit to publishers and those doing their own independent/self publishing. She works with commercial and government organisations and has, more recently, been co-writer/ ghostwriter on memoirs. Her favourite? Being a true collaborator on a writing project, as editor/writing mentor.

Shelley worked (as editor and publisher) at Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Harper Collins, John Wiley, and Macquarie University. Since 1998, she’s been freelance as proprietor of S K Publishing, in Sydney.

She was Head of Macleay College’s Book Editing and Publishing Diploma for 27 years and, since 2009, has led long and short courses in editing and writing. She presents at literary festivals (Ubud Writers and Readers), writers’ conferences (Asia Pacific Writers and Translators), and at writing centres in Australia, Indonesia and Singapore (Academy of Literature and Publishing).

She was president, NSW Editors Society 2000–‘03; vice president ‘03–‘06) and chaired committees for the Institute of Professional Editors (IPED), Australia. Read more about Shelley:


The images below show Villa Nilaya and the exquisitely unique aspects of life in beautiful East Bali, which, for those already familiar with the more populous areas of the island, offers a welcome insight into a Balinese lifestyle, more authentic, a little slower, and perhaps more as you might recall Bali if you have been visiting for many years.

There are  also some blogs about our part of the island here. 

Ceremonies in our village
Villa Nilaya's 14 x 4 m pool
VILLA_NILAYA-5 fromout at sea towards th
VILLA_NILAYA-25 sea deck
VILLA_NILAYA-28 viving areas
VILLA_NILAYA-1 aerial from seafront
your boat awaits you just at the bottom
Our fabulous chef Ketut
We are located on the South coast near Candi Dasa
Island paradise in beautiful East Bali w
Villa Nilaya's Seadeck
When you set here the sea is just behind you
From the dining room to the sea
Spacious and airy
Dining at Villa Nilaya
Our gardens are perfumed and private
Ceremonies in our village
Never the same twice - beuatiful sunsets from the seadeck
Great place for a party

PRICING - AUD |  An Early Bird Bonus will be offered once dates are confirmed

Yes! You can bring a friend who would like to participate in trips and restaurant dinners only. Prices on request.


  Receive this generous offer from Shelley - dates wille notified - sign up for our newsletter to be kept in touch

See Pricing.....

  • 1 Hr one-on-one before the retreat with Shelley looking at 15 pages of your manuscripts

  • One private (1hr) session with Shelley during the retreat

  • One private (1hr) session with Shelley after the retreat valued at $300


  interested ?


we'll let you know the retreat dates

 the moment Bali opens for Australian travellers

so please subscribe below

We can't wait to get back to beautiful East Bali!

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