Finish Your Book

Above the rolling hills and golden-green fields of Tuscany, Certaldo Alto's cobbled streets and hidden courtyards hold a fairytale medieval town.

Come and a castle.

October 13 - 20 2019
Save the date!
Your rebirth begins in...
Rebirth Your Book in Tuscany 2019 Rediscover your novel or memoir and your desire for the page.
A full manuscript evaluation
A retreat limited to five writers.
A revival of your creative self
guidance, accountability, and a concrete finish-your-book plan

The Rebirth Difference

Boutique Hotel

Certaldo Alto
Tuscany, Italy

6 days/7 nights

October 13th - 20th, 2019

Personal Guidance

Allison K Williams, "The Unkind Editor" provides editorial feedback & coaching throughout the week

The Venue

Il Castello

Certaldo Alto

A medieval castle-turned-boutique-hotel in the heart of the old town, overlooking hills covered by olive groves, vineyards and cypress trees. Simple rooms with private baths and writing desks surround a quiet courtyard and panoramic terrace.

The Itinerary

Explore & Be Inspired

re-energize with a midweek afternoon excursion
Palazzo Pretorio, Specialty Museums 10min walk
Cucina Guiseppina & Cooking School 5min walk
Funicolare di Certaldo, scenic tram You'll arrive on it
Rebirth Your Book is also a travel experience. Allison is delighted to share a place she loves with a select group.
Explore hidden corners most tourists never see,
make spontaneous connections and renew your creative spirit.

Understand The Experience

From idea to novel; proposal to memoir.

Your pre-arrival manuscript evaluation includes supportive, specific, written critique of your current draft or proposal, a coaching session, and a customized work plan for your retreat.

On location, you'll have daily guidance and one-on-one sessions.

A post-retreat work plan and follow-up coaching session help you sustain momentum at home.

To give the personal coaching and specific editorial feedback your manuscript needs before, during and after the retreat, the retreat is limited to five writers.

Rooms are single occupancy unless you choose to share with a writing friend or travel partner.

Each morning, writers set intentions for this reserved time, then work individually in shared spaces. Post-writing check-ins may include short readings, but this is not a "workshop." Allison provides individual guidance as needed. It's like writing at your favorite cafe—with your personal editor on-call.

The rest of the day is for solo writing time, one-on-one meetings, and relaxation or an excursion.

Focused time away from home helps you plow through pages.

Direct, specific feedback helps you write better.

Rebirth Your Book combines a retreat environment with personal editorial assistance. You'll have a work plan to start writing on day one. Questioning an editorial note? Lost your plot thread? Ask Allison right now—she's across the table.

  • Pre-arrival session with editorial feedback and your work plan for the retreat.
  • Scheduled time onsite to discuss your draft-in-progress and writing goals.
  • Allison's available for informal chats and questions all day long.
  • Follow-up session to sustain your writing momentum back home.
  • Rebirth Your Book happens in beautiful, culturally rich locations with great local food and a calm, supportive writing environment. Each retreat includes energy-boosting excursions to heritage sites and outdoor activities.

    Your Itinerary

    This Week You'll Finish A Draft
    Chapter 1: At Last We Meet October 13th, 2019
    Airport Pickup Florence Airport, Peretola (FLR)
    Arrive and settle in Il Castello, Certaldo Alto
    Orientation Walk & Welcome Dinner Certaldo Alto
    Buona notte Il Castello
    Chapter 2: And So It Begins October 14th, 2019
    Breakfast Terrace (weather permitting)/Dining Room
    Writing In Company Il Castello
    One-on-One Meetings / Open Time Where You Will
    Lunch Terrace/Dining Room
    Open Time for Writing/Exploring Where You Will
    Dinner Terrace/Dining Room
    Chapter 3: The Write Way October 15th, 2019
    Breakfast Terrace (weather permitting)/Dining Room
    Writing In Company Il Castello
    One-on-One Meetings / Open Time Where You Will
    Lunch Terrace/Dining Room
    Open Time for Writing/Exploring Where You Will
    Dinner Terrace/Dining Room
    Chapter 4: Word by Word October 16th, 2019
    Breakfast Terrace (weather permitting)/Dining Room
    Writing In Company Il Castello
    One-on-One Meetings / Open Time Where You Will
    Lunch Terrace/Dining Room
    Open Time for Writing/Exploring Where You Will
    Dinner Terrace/Dining Room
    Chapter 5: Yum Yum October 17th, 2019
    Breakfast Terrace (weather permitting)/Dining Room
    Writing In Company Il Castello
    One-on-One Meetings / Open Time Where You Will
    Lunch: Tuscan Cooking Lesson Cucina Guiseppina
    Open Time for Writing/Exploring Where You Will
    Dinner Terrace/Dining Room
    Chapter 6: Beautiful Discoveries October 18th, 2019
    Breakfast Terrace (weather permitting)/Dining Room
    Truffle-Hunting Excursion
    Lunch Certaldo Basso
    One to One Meetings/Open Time. Il Castello
    Writing In Company Il Castello
    Dinner Terrace/Dining Room
    Chapter 7: All That Jazz October 19th, 2019
    Breakfast Terrace (weather permitting)/Dining Room
    Writing In Company Il Castello
    One-on-One Meetings / Open Time Where You Will
    Lunch Terrace/Dining Room
    Writing Time/Open Time Where You Will
    Farewell Party Jazz Club
    Chapter 8: Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow October 20th 2019
    Breakfast Terrace (weather permitting)/Dining Room
    Departure To Airport (Or train station, if your journey continues!)
    And now...
    Go home and write some more! (or take a day off)


    Writing around the world.
    Ready to Finish Your Book? Schedule your complimentary 30-minute editorial consultation to start your journey.
    Special Package
    $ 2850
    • Full MS Evaluation: $1200+
    • Pre-arrival coaching: $135
    • Airport Transfers: $200
    • Single Accommodation: $750
    • Meals & Excursions: $500
    • One-on-one Session: $135
    • Editor on call: $700
    • Work plan & follow-up: $135
    • RETREAT VALUE: $3755

    Sign up before July 1 and receive a FREE bonus coaching session right away!

    Frequently Asked Questions

    You probably have a few

    Joining the Retreat

    it starts with one call

    Contact Us

    You should be working on a book.

    It can be a novel, a memoir or an essay collection. It can be an outline or proposal and some material, a partial manuscript, or a draft that isn't singing yet.

    • You're ready for direct and specific feedback about your work.
    • You're writing in English, because Allison isn't fluent enough to edit in any other language.
    • You DON'T need a degree in writing (or anything else!).
    • You DON'T need previous publication credits.

    Everyone focuses on their own pages, so the experience level of your fellow writers isn't a big factor in your work.

    Some writers come with drafts for revision; others arrive with an idea and notes. If your work is still very much in-progress, we'll use the week to generate as much of a first draft as possible. In that case, the manuscript evaluation will happen after the retreat and guide you into the next draft.

    A friend or family member age 16+ sharing your room pays a companion fee of about 1/3 the writer's fee. Their trip will include lodging, group meals and activities, local tours and airport transfers. It doesn't include Writing in Company, one-on-one time or manuscript evaluation. Single occupancy is available for an additional charge.

    If you'd like to share a double with another writing participant, you'll each receive a discount of $300.

    Your Travel

    get here and get writing

    Contact Us

    US and Canadian citizens do not need a visa for Italy and other European Union countries.

    Travelers to any destination should update routine vaccinations and bring a small supply of stomach remedies and sufficient prescription medications.

    Airport transfers are provided in and out of Florence Peretola Airport (FLR).

    For group sightseeing, transportation will be provided. For personal exploration, all of Certaldo and the lower town are walkable, with a funicular connecting the two areas.

    Most of Certaldo Alto is wheelable and the pavement is relatively—but not consistently—smooth. Most businesses have steps at their entrances.

    While wider public awareness of human rights has led to new laws being implemented, Italy does not have consistent accessibility. If you have mobility concerns, let us know.

    Allison has worked with writers who are Deaf, deaf, hearing-impaired, blind, visually-impaired, neuro-atypical and with physical disabilities. She wants to work with you—let's discuss how to make it an excellent experience.

    Our writing time and excursions are in English; many local residents speak enough English to chat and answer questions. The welcome orientation will include useful phrases; we recommend keeping Google Translate on your phone with the Italian dictionary downloaded, or carrying a phrasebook.

    The vast majority of Italians are friendly, hospitable and kind to tourists.

    Certaldo has a low crime rate and is safe for solo walking day and night. As on any trip, be aware of your surroundings and your belongings. Keep an eye out for pickpockets in crowded locations like train stations.

    Il Castello's award-winning restaurant features fresh local and Continental cuisine.

  • Breakfast includes bread and pastries, meats and cheeses, and delicious coffee.
  • Lunch is available at the hotel and several restaurants within walking distance.
  • Family-style dinners will include salad, appetizer, main dish and wine.

  • There are a grocery store and a farmers market in the lower town, for in-room snacks and impromptu picnics.

    Please advise us of any dietary restrictions and we will work with the hotel to accommodate your needs as much as possible.

    We’re happy to provide personal recommendations or connect you with a local travel agency to extend your trip. Italian trains are fast and convenient, as are short-hop discount airlines to Rome, Milan, and points farther afield.

    Retreat Days

    write, relax, write some more

    Everyone works on their own manuscript with the energy of a shared writing space. As Allison says, "If I'm writing with a buddy and I start to get bored or frustrated, I look up and think, I can't quit now—she's still going!"

    At the beginning of each session, we set our intentions for the day. We take a short stretch break at the halfway point. Afterwards, each person shares how their work went and may—but doesn't have to—read a short passage for brief feedback.

    Throughout Writing in Company time, Allison will be available to talk through problems, suggest new ways to tackle a tough section, or give you a quick exercise to shake your writing loose.

    Nope. While reading group members' work in advance and noting points for discussion is a valuable practice, it's not what we're doing here. Your focus is on your book. At the end of the week, we'll have a casual evening reading in the Jazz Club. This is an opportunity to share aloud pages you've been working on with a small, supportive audience. Travel partners and new friends are welcome.

    Allison will read each writer's full draft (or pile of material or proposal) before arrival, and send you an editorial letter with feedback on concept, voice, themes, plot, story, character and craft. After the evaluation, you'll have an editorial session of about 30 minutes to discuss your work and what you want to accomplish during the retreat. If you're an early stage and don't have a lot of pages, we can extend the call to discuss your idea, execution and process. During the Rebirth week, you'll have a scheduled one-on-one meeting to discuss how the week is going, your writing in general and your writing career. This time can also be used for query feedback or discussing your publication goals.

    Throughout the week we'll have plenty of casual chatting time, and you're welcome to start/participate in writing-related discussions with Allison and/or your fellow writers just about anywhere.

    After returning home, you'll have another 30-minute editorial call to check in and address questions or new challenges as you finish your draft.

    To give each writer the individual and specific attention their manuscript needs, the retreat is limited to five people. Non-writing travel partners may join us for tours and activities.

    Booking & Payment

    let's work with your budget

    Contact Us

    We accept Mastercard, Visa and American Express through PayPal. You may also choose to pay by check, Zelle or direct deposit. Payments can be made as follows:

    • $500 Deposit on acceptance to reserve your place
    • $785 Payment 90 days prior to start date
    • $785 Payment 60 days prior to start date
    • $780 Balance due 30 days prior to start date

    Or talk to us about a plan that works for you.

    If you prefer to pay in one transaction, we offer a 5% discount for payment in full within two weeks of acceptance.

    Before You Arrive:

  • Full read and editorial feedback on your manuscript draft or work so far (a $1200+ value!).
  • Initial call to discuss your work and goals for your Rebirth Your Book time, and answer any travel questions.
  • In Tuscany:

  • Escorted airport transfers in and out of Florence Peretola Airport (FLR)
  • Single accommodation in the boutique hotel.
  • Complimentary local SIM for your unlocked mobile phone.
  • WiFi at the hotel and in the Writing In Company space.
  • Focused one-on-one meeting to discuss your work.
  • Excursions, activities, entry fees and tickets on scheduled group outings.
  • Transport and guides for all scheduled group outings.
  • Daily continental breakfast
  • Water, coffee and tea throughout breakfast and Writing In Company time.
  • Most lunches as indicated on itinerary, including water and non-alcoholic drinks.
  • Welcome dinner.
  • Snacks and drinks at the end-of-the-week reading.
  • Returning Home:

  • Work plan to finish your draft.
  • Follow-up call 2-4 weeks after returning, to sustain and support your writing momentum.
  • Flights or other transport to the pick-up points in Florence.
  • Vaccinations and any other travel medication you wish to bring.
  • Travel insurance.
  • Hotel incidentals such as laundry, mini-bar, room service, etc.
  • Alcoholic drinks on tours and excursions.
  • Personal expenses/shopping/souvenirs.
  • Transport on non-group exploration.
  • We strongly recommend travel & trip-cancellation insurance. If you are unable to attend and we can fill your place from the waitlist, we will refund your tuition minus a $200 processing fee. If we can’t fill your place, we’ll provide you with documentation to support a claim to your travel insurance provider. Refunds will be sent within 30 days of receipt of notice of cancellation. Rebirth Your Book reserves the right to cancel the retreat in the event of civil unrest, natural disaster or Act of God. In the event of cancellation on our part, you will receive a full refund of any fees paid. You agree to release Rebirth Your Book and its agents and/or representatives from any liability, including consequential expenses you may have incurred in planning to attend. We will provide you with documentation to support a claim to your travel insurance provider for flights and other expenses not paid to Rebirth Your Book.

    Have another question? Want to talk payment plan? contact us.
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    Let's Talk!

    Ready to finish your book?
    Allison will email you to set a convenient time to chat.