Creative Writing + Pilates Retreat

May 12th - 18th 2024 
September 29th - October 5th 2024

The time, the space, the writing tools and the nurturing support is all here for you to let your imagination free. Aga takes you through aspects of character, plot, narrative and now screenwriting elements are included. Enjoy amazing massage, delicious food and learn pilates to take care of your body as you write.





Salon Review
Susan Reid
My time with Aga and Shine Retreats was simply fantastic. I expanded my abilities as an artist and writer. I discovered things within myself. I established new friendships. The balance of relevant lectures and creative writing exercises led by Aga helped to...
Salon Review
Thank you so very much to Aga, Sophie, Georgie, Andy, and Lily…and Jola too…for a wonderful retreat! You all were so warm and welcoming. A perfect backdrop for writing, thinking, talking, and eating. Forever grateful.
Salon Review
To the amazing Natalie, Sophie, Aga & Georgie (and Andy, Lily, and Carla!) Plus, Yola!! Thank you for making my writing retreat at Siliano Alto one of the most wonderful weeks of my life. I have been inspired to write by Aga, to cook by Natalie, to do more...
Salon Review
To Aga, Georgie, Sophie, Natalie, Andy and Lily, thank you so much for opening your hearts and home to us for the special retreat. It was a very inspiring and restorative time and a great pleasure to be in the company of such a talented, kind and special group...
Salon Review
Anne-Wyman Black
Aga is a sharp, kind, engaging person, who sets the tone in her workshop immediately with calm and focused energy. She easily navigates the range of personalities in the room, encouraging us to discuss our differing opinions and styles in a constructive...
Salon Review
What an absolutely wonderful space to relax and be creative. Thank you so much for everything. Natalie and Andy for having us, Sophie for putting it all together and Georgie for keeping us relaxed and strong. And a massive thank you to the wonderful Aga, you...
Salon Review
The most wonderful place with the most fantastic people. So very grateful! I am energised, refreshed and full of creativity. Big love, SGR.
Salon Review
"This has been a week of replenishment, of adventure, and above all alignment creatively, personally and physically. I appreciate the extraordinary generosity and dedication you bring, and my only regret is we didn't have another week together! It's been...
Salon Review
Dear Sophie, Aga and Georgie, you have created something truly special here and it's been a privilege to be part of the first Creative Writing Retreat. Aga's insights have been invaluable. Georgie's teachings have made the perfect release every morning and...
Salon Review
Thank you, thank you, thank you! My heart is filled with gratitude and I had a wonderful time learning, giving and receiving knowledge and energy. What a beautiful environment you created.
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Everything included on Retreat
Daily writing workshops with Aga
Daily Pilates sessions with Georgie
1-2-1 sessions with Aga to guide your writing project
A 90min Massage or Reflexology treatment
A Beautiful bedroom and communal spaces
All food and soft drinks at the House
Countryside walks and trips to local Italian spots that we love
Gaining all the tools that writers need
Connection with like minded Creatives

Not included on retreat:
Travel insurance
Flight costs
Airport transfers
Visa fee
Additional treatments
Meals when we go out to restaurants
Additional activities not included in the itinerary

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The Writing Course:

Everyone has a book in them – the old cliché is true – but the trick is how to turn that everyone into a writer.

There is no universal recipe for becoming a writer, every author has their own, unique way of working, but the process always starts with finding a headspace – as well as a physical space - to develop and nurture your idea. And what better place to kick-start your writing project than a beautiful 19th century farmhouse in Umbria, Italy?

Here is a unique opportunity to give your full attention to the writing project you’ve always wanted to develop - be it a short story, a novel or a film script - but never had the time to do so.

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Obviously, you won’t be able to write a whole book or script during the course – but we'll give you the tools, the space, and the motivation to continue. You can start each day with a beautiful walk around the idylic countryside or have a Pilates sessions to get your body enlivened, so that your imagination can follow.

The course is structured in a way that will benefit both beginners who want to learn basic technical skills, as well as writers who might need feedback and help with their existing projects.

In an informal blend of practical morning workshops, discussions with fellow participants, and one-to-one afternoon sessions, we will concentrate on the process of writing, as well as its key aspects: the plot, the characters, the dialogue, and the style. And, last but not least, we will explore ways of finding an agent and getting published.

Aga offers WhatsApp or Facetime follow-up 1-2-1 tutorials which are an hour long and include discussion of up to 3000 words of text you can send her in advance. The discounted price for the retreat clients is £80 per session or £260 for a block of four sessions.

If you haven't been on retreat with us yet, but would like to find out more about having 1-2-1's with Aga or about the writing component of this retreat, you can email Aga for more information.


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Your Writing Teacher, Aga Lesiewicz, is a London-based fiction author and screenwriter.

She began her career as a radio presenter, and subsequently worked as a voice-over artist, interpreter, TV promo producer and director. A serious knee injury in 2013 forced her to give up her day job and write her first novel.
Her two psychological thrillers ‘Rebound’ and ‘Exposure’ have been published by Pan Macmillan. A feature animated film based on her screenplay is currently in pre-production. She writes full time and is now working on her third London-based psychological thriller as well as a historical novel.

Aga has an MA in English from the University of Warsaw and an MPhil in English Literature from the University of Lancaster.



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Your Pilates Teacher and Massage Practitioner:

Now what makes this Writers Retreat any different to what else is out there?sg health georgie 280

We are combining the writing tools that you will be given with detailed pilates practices to help you embrace the physical demands of writing. Imagine having a pilates lesson in the morning so that you are primed and ready for the writing workshops ahead.

People often get stiff lower backs, tight hips, weak cores and uptight shoulders when they commit to the writers life, or simply spend a lot of time at a desk each day. We welcome Georgie Chester, Massage Practitioner and Pilates instructor to accompany Aga on retreat, so that you may get physically and mentally in the zone for writing each day.

Georgie has over 25 years experience as a Massage Practitioner and has been part of the Shine team for almost 20 years. Her skills are impressive, adaptive, powerful and peace giving.






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During the retreat you will enjoy a 90min Massage or Reflexology session to clear your mind, ease your muscles and give you freedom to create.

More treatments are available and bookable to add to your retreat experience.

Georgie offers the following treatments:

Holistic, Deep Tissue, Hot Stone Massage, Lymphatic Drainage and Reflexology.
Book in an extra treatment and we can add it to your invoice.

45mins = £50
60mins = £75
90mins = £100





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All of your meals at home will be tasty and nutritious. Everything will be laid out for you, so that you can focus on writing and get time to quieten your mind amongst nature. Equally though, we will be more than happy to show you our favourite spots in the area for delicious dinners, an apertivo or ice cream!!


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The Creative Writing Retreat Price List.

We have a few options to tailor to all of your needs. Whether you need your own space, want to come along with a few friends or share with a partner, we have you covered.
This retreat is ideal for 5 - 8 guests only. Everything included on retreat is reflected in your choice of investment below.

Deluxe Ground Floor Room, Private Bathroom, Single Occupancy = £2760.
Deluxe Ground Floor Room, Private Bathroom, Double Occupancy = £2070 (pp) based on two people sharing a King bed or Twin beds.
Deluxe Ground Floor Room, Private Bathroom, Triple Occupancy =£1725 (pp) based on three people sharing with a single bed each.
1st Floor Room with a Shared Bathroom, Single Occupancy = £2415
1st Floor Room with a Shared Bathroom, Double Occupancy = £1840 (pp) based on two people sharing a Queen bed or Twin beds.

Payment plans are available upon request.

Travel Details

We are set in the beautiful countryside on the border of Tuscany and Umbria.
Our nearest train station is Chiusi-Chianciano Terme.
Our nearest local airport is Sant'Egidio Airport (PEG - Perugia)
Our nearest major airports are Fiumicino Airport (FCO - Rome), Galileo Galilei Airport (PSA - Pisa)

If you are flying in to Perugia, a taxi is your best method of transport to come to us and is around 90euros from the taxi rank.
If a few of you are flying in that way, the cost will of course be less. We can help organise a larger pick up if necessary for you to split cost.
Train transfer from all other airports is quite easy, and we can help you with tickets and directions.
We will always be happy to pick you up from Chiusi train station.


Follow us on Instagram @_a_time_to_shine_

The incredible reality of the ever changing hot springs. ...

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A few miles from our hilltop home, we have what the locals call “The Millennials” Olive trees dating back 2000 years.

We often take a wee detour on our way out to our morning coffee and enjoy a walk among these 4 majestic trees.

It’s impossible not to take a moment and wonder about the history these trees have been witness to.

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The joy of getting back to retreats in May is so close!!! We are so excited. Sunshine, country walks, epic views, creative pursuits, wonderful people, delicious food and the best holistic treatments.
La dolce vita!
Join us! Link in bio


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Carla’s latest blog is in the bio. Why she fasts, what it does and then how she loves to indulge. That to her is balance. That is joy. That is la Dulce vita 🍦


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Hear about the last day’s adventure on the writers retreat.
Link in bio for more information and for the latest blog featuring @sophiemcnic experience of writing fiction for the first time, guided so wonderfully by @aga_lesiewicz


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The joys of being on the Creative Writing Retreat. Learning, writing, eating, exploring, playing, giggling, writing some more, forging fun connections with like minded people in the joyous lands of Umbria and Tuscany. Join us in May!! @aga_lesiewicz
Link in bio


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