A creative writing immersion experience
Join us in Collioure, France
Drexel Storylab is designed for adult learners who want to explore careers as writers. The program offers creative writing workshops and study abroad retreats geared towards non-traditional students – including working professionals, Drexel alumni and other community members. Storylab is taught by Drexel faculty members and visiting, accomplished authors of note. This program can serve as an immersion experience for anyone who is interested in pursuing Drexel's Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing. Storylab, an initiative of the Drexel University College of Arts and Sciences, is hosted within our Department of English and Philosophy.
Sold Out! — 2024 Planning Underway
Our creative writing retreats for summer 2023 are sold out! If you would like to learn more about our 2024 summer programs, or if you have any questions, please email Nomi Eve, email@example.com.
- Craft Talks
- Author Talks
- Sensory Experiences around Collioure
- One-on-One Writing Consultations
Writing Retreat in Collioure, France
Our Storylab creative writing retreats are designed for beginning, emerging, and published writers — anyone who feels the urge to reconnect with their writing self, or deepen and improve their craft is invited to attend.
The village of Collioure is in the very south of France, where the Pyrenees meet the Mediterranean. The place smells of salt, earth, lavender, citrus and rose. Attendees will stay at the historic Hôtel des Templiers, in the center of the old village, steps away from the beach, cafés, shops and the Château Royale. The Templiers was a popular haunt of Matisse, Derain, Picasso, Dali and other painters who came to make art in Collioure, and continues to be popular among artists and writers to this day.
Our 2023 summer retreats are sold out, and 2024 program planning is underway. If you would like to learn more about our popular StoryLab retreats, or if you have any questions, please email Nomi Eve, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sample Schedule – Arrival
Attendees are met at Perpignan train station by retreat staff, where they will be greeted and escorted to Hôtel des Templiers in Collioure. (Approx. 37 km distance/30 minutes).
Attendees are greeted by staff at Hôtel des Templiers, where they are checked into their rooms, and are given time to unpack and settle in. Retreat staff will be on hand to answer any questions.
6:30-10:00 p.m. | Welcome aperitif and dinner
Attendees gather in lobby of Hôtel des Templiers, where they will be met by retreat staff and escorted to Karen Karbo’s house, where all meals and evening craft talks will be held. House is easy walking distance from the hotel. (1.0 km/15 minutes). Attendees are welcomed by retreat leaders Nomi Eve and Karen Karbo. The week’s mission and writing goals are introduced. After dinner and wrap-up, retreat staff will escort attendees back to their hotel.
Meals throughout the retreat will be prepared and served by a master chef of Mediterranean cuisine.
Retreat staff escort attendees back to hotel.
Sample Schedule: Day One
9:30-10:15 a.m. | Karen welcomes attendees
Karen opens the writing day with any announcements and discusses the writing focus of the day. The focus of the retreat is learning how to incorporate the senses into our writing to create powerful scenes and draw the reader into our work. Each day will begin with a short talk by Karen on this subject.
10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. | Craft workshop with Nomi and Karen
1:00 p.m. – Lunch on your own (lunch pail supplied by retreat)
3:00-4:00 p.m. Le Petit Train
Retreat staff meets attendees at Le Petit Train for a tour of the village, the Fort St. Elme, ancient vineyards, and neighboring Port Vendres. Retreat staff purchases tickets.
Attendees return to hotel to work on that day’s writing assignment, or explore the town
Sumptuous Dinner and Craft talk at Karen Karbo’s house
- Take a deeper dive during two one-hour workshops offered throughout the week.
- Enjoy a one-on-one writing consultation with retreat leader Karen Karbo.
- Lodging is included for first-time retreat participants, but not for retreat alumni.
- Meals are NOT included for anyone participating in this extended retreat option.
This week is meant for you to have more time by yourself in Collioure while still within the embrace of our retreat community. Informal gatherings at the beach and impromptu meals in town will supplement the formal second week schedule of two workshops and a single one-on-one consultation.
If a program participant cancels their registration in writing received by Drexel by January 15th, 2023, Drexel will refund ALL program fees paid to date except for the $250 deposit.
If a program participant cancels their registration in writing received by Drexel –after January 15, 2023, and on or before March 1, 2023– Drexel will refund half of the program fees paid to date except for the $250 deposit.
If a program participant cancels their registration after March 1, 2023, they will not receive any refund.
Participants are urged to purchase ‘Cancel for Any Reason’ travel insurance. This generally needs to be purchased around the same time you start paying for your trip.
Meet Your Instructors
Karen Karbo is the author of fourteen award-winning novels, memoirs and works of non-fiction including the best-selling “Kick Ass Women” series. Her first novel, Trespassers Welcome Here (1990) was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and a Village Voice Top Ten Book of the Year. Her other two adult novels, The Diamond Lane (1991) and Motherhood Made a Man Out of Me (2001) were also named New York Times Notable Books – and were just re-released in beautiful editions by Hawthorne Books. Her 2004 memoir, The Stuff of Life (2004), about the last year she spent with her father before his death, was a New York Times Notable Book, and a People Magazine Critics’ Choice.
Karen's short stories, essays, articles and reviews have appeared in Elle, Vogue, O, Esquire, Outside, The New York Times, salon.com and other magazines. She is a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Fiction, an Oregon Book Award for Creative Nonfiction, and a winner of the General Electric Younger Writer Award. Recently, Karen was one of 24 writers selected for the Amtrak Residency.
Nomi Eve is the author of Henna House and The Family Orchard, which was a Book-of-the-Month Club main selection and was nominated for a National Jewish Book Award. She has an MFA in fiction writing from Brown University and has worked as a freelance book reviewer for The Village Voice and New York Newsday.
Her stories and essays have appeared in The New York Times, Glimmer Train Stories, The Voice Literary Supplement, Conjunctions, and The International Quarterly. She directs the Creative Writing MFA program at Drexel University and lives in the suburbs of Philadelphia with her family.