Serendipity Art and Writing Retreats

Want a supportive, inspiring, and beautiful environment in which to develop a writing project or explore your creativity? Join a small group of writers and/or artists on a retreat to Spain, France, or Portugal and give your artistic process space to flourish.


Each day will open with an idea or theme to consider, followed by time and space to paint or write as you wish. One evening we will read and discuss a book set in the area. Excursions every other day will inspire and inform your work, whether it's the Picasso museum in Barcelona, Gaudi's castle in Pubol, or a walk through a 10th century village. Every outing is optional and you have total flexibility to come and go as you wish. Many evenings we will meet to discuss our work and inspiration for the day. Your guide is available to advise you on your own personal creative projects.


To keep costs reasonable and available to many budgets, accommodation will be charming rather than luxurious. We will travel respectfully, supporting local businesses and staying in family homes when possible. To facilitate movement and sharing, the group will be limited to 5 participants.

For these trips, there is no required definition of "writer" or "artist" beyond someone who enjoys writing and/or art. If you have wanted to start writing or painting, let these magical areas inspire you, as it has so many others. If you are an experienced artist or writer, come and receive the time and guidance you need to further your craft. Bring art supplies and a creative, open mind, willing to share and nurture the other artists around you.


About your guide: I'm an avid traveller who has been to more than 35 countries. I tend to travel slowly and get to know the local customs and people. I'm conversational in the Spanish language and have studied French. Though by no means a particular expert on the areas, I've received training in art (watercolors, oils, and acrylics) but my primary background is in writing. I've published nine books and hold an MFA in creative writing from Vermont College. I've taught Creative Writing for over twelve years at the college and university level. My best qualification is probably that I'm particularly adept at finding forgotten out-of-the-way places that look like they straight out of a novel. I'm excited to combine my three greatest passions--travel, art, and writing--and I look forward to many lovely adventures.


For pricing and upcoming itineraries, see tabs at left. 

What former participants are saying:


"The thing that made the retreat for me was the chance to interact with locals and go to out-of-the way places that are off the beaten tourist path." -Karen


"Thank you for an amazing experience. I will be telling these stories for the rest of my life. I wish I were back there right now!"



"If you can't find the time in your daily life to develop your writing or art, Serendipity Retreats may be your answer. I was awestruck by the unique, off-the beaten tourist path places, and appreciated writing and painting prompted by Marianne's excellent teaching insight and direction!"



"I came back with all my creative juices flowing! Marianne was an incredible guide."  -Cheryl


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What's New?

Frontier Grit was nominated for the Amelia Bloomer Award by the American Library Association!


Now offering Writing and Art Retreats overseas.

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