Write and Travel

Write and Travel Venice

Read the pdf for Norwegian version of this wonderful workshop.
Please email merle@merlelevin.com for details and current prices and to confirm availability.

Write and Travel: Venice

'Venice is like eating an entire box of chocolate liqueurs in one go.'

Truman Capote

Writers Merle Levin and Kristin Flood have been facilitating Writing Workshops for the past 12 years in Italy, France and Norway. On this tour, Merle and Kristin are launching their latest “Write and Travel” workshop. It is a combination of writing, literature, art and culture.  Kristin and Merle have developed a “mind-free” writing method that uses writing:

  • To stimulate creativity and deepen your inner, self-exploration;
  • To release the bonds of the inner- saboteur and discover the joy and power of the writing flow; 
  • To discover your own unique writing voice which is honest, clear and direct.

Instruction is given in both Norwegian and English.  Your writing will of course be in your language of choice.

Anyone can participate, regardless of writing experience.


Imagine yourself living as a writer in the city made for and by writers, poets, philosophers, painters – the city of imagination, memory and art. The cafés buzz with discussion, the light is soft, the canals glisten, and there are no sounds of traffic other than footsteps and the calls and songs of the gondoliers.  Your heart and mind sing with the richness of history, beauty and pleasure as you step out of your own apartment or small hotel each morning on the way to writing class in Gabriella’s charming  little Minotta palazzo in the Dorsoduro area. You will experience what it is like to be “local” as you step into rhythm with others walking to work or school, stopping at the coffee shops for a quick espresso, watching the loading and unloading of goods into boats – the only form of transport other than by foot. There is a unique atmosphere in Venice in these early hours, before the city becomes busy with tourists.

Venice is a cultural gem; it is a living museum with narrow alleys, exquisite architecture, a frescoed treasure just over a bridge or around a corner. Most of the buildings are from 14th, 15th, 16th and 1700's.  The city is an inspiration to all artists and you will be part of a select group of like-minded people, who enjoy combining travel with writing, and use their inspiration to discover deeper things about themselves and the world around them.  There will be around 15 people in the group, many of whom have participated in previous workshops with Merle and Kristin. These adventurous facilitators share a love of the way art inspires mindfulness and a deeper awareness of Self and they use this city as a backdrop to this process.

Many participants, who have attended Kristin and Merle’s writing workshops, have experienced profound changes in their lives. They have deepened their self-awareness, and have developed a new focus and inspiration to pursue their writing goals - whether it is to publish a project or to write for their own inner journey. The participants find they are inspired by the authors’ zeal and enthusiasm, their non-judgmental way of teaching and the supportive atmosphere they create to help writers to find their “voice”.

Each morning we will meet in the reception room of a stunning palazzo from the 1700s, with a view of the Gaffaro Canal and the famous architect Torres' private residence. The reception room will be transformed into our teaching room, with chairs and tables.  We will gather from 0930 to 1330. Gabriella, who lives in the palazzo and is our hostess, will prepare lunch for us.  The afternoons are free – our intention is that you use this time to sit and write and be inspired by this magical city.


Two events are included in the cost of the program:

  • A welcome dinner in a Venetian palazzo with our charming and wonderful hostess Gabriella. We will be hosted in her gracious and beautifully decorated Piano Nobile, overlooking the Rio del Gaffaro.  This will also be where the daily teaching will be held.
  • On the first afternoon we will explore Venice and get to know the city's amazing history. Kristin is our guide and will take us off the beaten track into the narrow alleys where few tourists wander.  She will introduce us to the ‘secret garden of Venice’ - the personal favorite places and regions of the local population. The walk lasts approximately three hours.

Three events are an optional extra and are not included in the price. They are scheduled for late afternoons/evenings for those who would like a break from writing or to have a cultural feast.

  • Afternoon tea at Europe's oldest café, Café Florian in St. Mark's Square.
  • Slow Food evening with an extreme-gourmet Italian, Maurizio Gasparello, who is a longstanding member of Slow Food. We will taste wines, cheeses and olive oils and learn about Italian food.
  • A ‘surprise event' in a lavish, private, historic palazzo, with a friend of Kristin’s who lives there with her family. She only opens the doors of her Piano Nobile (the aristocratic reception hall, with fresco paintings, antiques and giant chandeliers) to the public by special invitation.


A basic overview of the morning sessions in the week-long program:

  • Each day there will be a presentation of different writing genres -  non-fiction, memoir, fiction, poetry, journaling, writing for children, travel etc.  We will encourage you to choose a main genre that you would like to work on during the week.
  • There will be daily writing exercises.
  • Meditation and self-exploration exercises are built into the program.
  • Insight into the inner-saboteur - the inner-voice that stifles your creativity and writing.
  • Exploration of how to set the story in Venice.
  • Language, Rhythm and Poetry.
  • 'Show don’t Tell' - the art of focusing on the details.
  • Editing and cleaning the script of the writing project you have chosen to work on.
  • Time to gather the threads of your story and see the writing with new eyes.
  • Obstacles and inspiration that you may face when you get home, and how to deal with them.



  • Journalist and author Kristin Flood is known from her articles in Norwegian newspapers and magazines in Norway, but also through her books: “Beyond the beaten track”,  “Amor Fati – Embrace your Destiny” , “Space for Silence  - Search for another wealth in the footsteps of St. Francis of Assisi. She lives in Venice, lectures, teaches, co-facilitates Silent Retreats, conducts walks and events in Venice. See more on www.kristinflood.com.
  • Merle Levin is an author, anthropologist, and storyteller, born in South Africa and lives partly in Canada and partly in Cape Town. Her children's book 'Listenbear' is translated into a number of languages, used by Save the Children International in the rehabilitation of traumatized children. She has also co-written a book on the Bushmen of the Kalahari, published in German.








NY Veneziaworkshop - 2016.pdf NY Veneziaworkshop - 2016.pdf
Write and Travel Venice 2016