Tuesday, March 08, 2016

All Good Things

It’s over.
 Our 2016 Writing Retreat with mentors Beth Follett and Stan Dragland,
seen together below on our hill, was wonderful. On weekdays, the arrival of writers from Santiago for discussion and consultations, lunch, supper and/or to stay over, interspersed hours of
quiet writing time, swimming and feeding cats.
A surprise guest was Rosemary Sullivan, who came for a two-day visit during our third week.
It was fascinating to hear about her recent book, Stalin’s Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva” and the tremendous task of researching and writing it. Today, Congratulations are in order.
Her book has won the prestigious RBC Charles Taylor prize!
Regrettably last year, following a significant drop in the price of grapes, we decided to eliminate the vineyard. The eight-hectare field which contained Thomson Seedless and Tintorera grape vines is now ploughed over and rented out to a farmer who has planted beetroot. Sad, as it is, to lose sight of the Sun rising over the pristine rows in the morning, the newly ploughed area has a surprisingly open and pleasant aspect to it.
Thank you, once again, to Beth and Stan for coming so far (from Newfoundland) to Chile
and sharing their literary wisdom.

Monday, January 11, 2016


to experience a Residential Writing Retreat in Chile’s capital, Santiago, a modern and vibrant city. Retreat includes trips to Valparaiso and the Pacific Coast.
Enjoy full board with a menu of local dishes. Write and discuss text with author Stan Dragland and publisher Beth Follett (Pedlar Press).
Cows low, horses whinny, huasos ride by and the signature espino bushes are in full vibrant yellow pom-pom bloom… at Los Parronales
Come and Be inspired!

Thursday, December 31, 2015

 Last Call!
Los Parronales wishes a very Happy New Year …
to everyone, and especially visitors, past and forthcoming, who’ve travelled far (or are thinking of), for the love of Books, Writing, Poetry, Patio Lunches, Ensalada Chilena and late night Word Games.

NOW! One more chance to take part; relax and write in a Retreat here. Join resident guest authors/publishers Stan Dragland and Beth Follett who will be available for literary consultation
Feb 1st - 13th 2016 
An amazing opportunity to enjoy rural surroundings and be productive with pen, paper and/or laptop, in a village outside Santiago. Enjoy cats, horses, hills and visits to Santiago Museums and the Pacific coast.
Email motocad@rogers.com for full details

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Resident Cats


We still have space available. Join our resident cats in the shade of the patio starting Feb 1st - Feb 13th for a retreat full of writing and consultations at Los Parronales, with side trips to the Pacific Coast and Pablo Neruda's houses.
Please email motocad@rogers.com for further details.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

It’s that time of year again; time to think about following the Sun, south.

Change, as explained below, is happening at Los Parronales. The main vineyard in front of the house is now dismantled. Instead of arriving to pristine rows of vines growing along the wires, their leaves sprouting, visitors will face a grassy meadow! Nevertheless, the Sun will be shining, birds singing, flowers blooming in beds and hedgerows and in pots along the patio, but our best news is:
* * *
 Canadian writers/editors/publishers
Beth Follett & Stan Dragland
(seen here at a previous workshop)

will travel to Los Parronales in late January 2016
to work on their own writing projects, and in addition
will offer afternoons for private consultations and group discussions.
For anyone who cares to join us - as with previous more formal workshops -
there will be outings to Pablo Neruda’s houses, walks in the countryside or
up the hills adjacent to the property,
meals and informal conversation:
It will be a perfect brief or extended retreat for anyone who begins to envision
a chapbook or book-length project.
Fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction or memoir:
all genres welcome.
Please contact Susan Siddeley at motocad@rogers.com for further information.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

A Late Sabbatical 

For the first time in ten years 2015 came without a literary session in the sala at Los Parronales. Gordon and myself were reduced to games of Scrabble and watching cats play.


Now, due to the rising cost of airfares and the rapidly changing nature of El Noviciado
from rural village to industrial estate, the 2016 Season is still to be determined.

Our retreats have been wonderful; inspiring and life-changing for all involved.
We hope to keep in touch with the many participants and friends we’ve made and
the writers and poets who took Los Parronales, El Noviciado and Pablo Neruda
away with them in the brilliant words they wrote.

To see the development of the programme for January/February 2016,
please check this blog and/or email motocad@rogers.com, also receive updates on:

Ants, Bulls, Cacti, Dogs, Empanadas, Figs, Grapes, Huasos, Itineraries, Jumbo, Kettles, Lizards, Museums, Neruda, Owls, Poplars, Queltehues, Rabbits, Sofi, The Sotos, U-turns, Verbs, Wine, X-wrenches, Yelps (in the night) or Zip (from a glass of Pisco).

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Santiago in Summer

Santiago, Chile
The Best Place to be in Summer in January 2014! Because…
when we aren’t involved in morning writing-discussion sessions with top Writer/Editors Stan Dragland & Beth Follett, we shall be exploring the old City Centre with its paseos, museos and, the most stunning Metro in the world.
Gazing at the amazing tile and artwork, soaring ceilings and immaculate platforms you may well imagine you’re in the Sistine Chapel; except these galleries are subterranean and full of historical dioramas, giant frescos and historical exhibits.
Uptown, ultramodern towers with grassy sides and rooftops, malls to marvel at and (okay) mini-McDonalds outlets selling ice cream, promise a world class city. And, if that’s not enough, the Pablo Neruda house-museums await; two on the Pacific coast, cram-jam full of personality and poetry. What more?

Participants and facilitators alike agree that the Los Parronales workshops are a great way to come upon your writing afresh while experiencing the climate, wildlife, hospitality, and culture of Chile. ¡Muchas gracias Susan and Gordon! We'll never forget it. Don McKay and Marlene Creates
I did this workshop in 2011 (with Barry Dempster), and I must say, it was a glorious experience – working in a beautiful house with a pool, surrounded by vineyards, and the Andes in the distance… with some visits to Santiago and to various important spots, like Neruda’s home.  Maureen Hynes

My writing benefited greatly from Beth and Stan's complementary mentorship styles during the two week workshop. What a privilege and pleasure to work with them in the charming setting of Los Parronales! Good luck with the workshop Susan - what a lovely image I conjure up when I think of it. Jennifer Savidge