Creative Writing Retreat at the Trögern Mountain Estate in Carinthia, Southern Austria.

My first trip this year feels like a journey to the other side of the world. The same excitement. The same promise. Finally out the door again for a real adventure! I actually “only” went to Carinthia this time, to the southernmost part of Austria near the border with Slovenia. But it did deliver on the promise of having had a heartfelt exchange with wonderful people, and hearing their very inspiring stories. Organising it all was a friend and colleague of mine, Anita Arneitz, who is a business writing coach from Carinthia herself. I’ve known her for quite some years and shared travel adventures, leading us to Lake Weissensee for instance or to the city of Baden near Vienna.

For quite a while, I’ve promised myself, and her, to go on one of her creative writing retreats. Finally, the time had come. Because even if, like me, you write a lot and regularly, there is always something to learn and to improve.

Anita Arneitz begrüßt uns zum ersten Schreibseminar in diesem Jahr auf Gut Trögern in Südkärnten, nahe der slowenischen Grenze.

Anita is welcoming us at the Trögern Mountain Estate, to her writing retreat near the Slovenian border.

 

Was für ein wunderschöner Ort für ein Schreibseminar, findet Ihr nicht auch?

And just look at the landscape surrounding us. Wouldn’t you want to become creative there yourself?

 

The right time and place can definitely boost any creative writing endeavours.

My previous writing retreats to Southern France and Central Italy have definitely confirmed that you do need to get away from it all in order to advance on a major writing project, such as writing a book. Besides taking the time, finding that perfect place and all the feeling of creative inspiration that comes with it can be just as important.

It is everything that Anita has thought of in organising her writing retreat at the place and time she did. Her team mate, so to speak, comes with a wealth of knowledge herself: Lydia Kienzer-Schwaiger, who runs the Trögern Mountain Estate together with her family, is a psychologist besides and offers body feedback consultations. I love talking to her and sharing all that matters to me right then and there. Her sister Dagmar spoils us to wonderful regional and local fare, many of it homemade. Anita, too, has turned some of the local produce she grows on her farm into herbal teas, aromas and other little trinkets for consumption during her workshops. I love what these powerful ladies do!

Schon beim Einchecken fällt mir dieser Platz im Haus auf, der sich schnell zu einer persönlichen "Schreib-Ecke" für mich herausstellt ...

Creative writing retreat here we go: I find myself writing everywhere around the house …

 

... auch hier, im gemütlichen Zimmer mit dem klingenden Namen "Aussicht" wird geschrieben ...

… in my room …

 

... der weite Blick über die gesamte Berglandschaft vom Haus aus fasziniert und inspiriert mich ...

… and next to it, that is outdoors, too. What a wonderful mountain view to behold!

 

... die gute Küche des Hauses, wie hier die typischen Kärntner Kasnudeln ...

And did I mention the excellent cuisine here? After months of being locked down, it felt so good having somebody else prepare a real meal for you again, such as these typical cheese dumplings from Carinthia.

 

... und erst die Kachelofen-Stube! Seit hunderten Jahren schon sitzen hier die Menschen beisammen: Kein Wunder, dass hier die Geschichten fließen.

Everbody loves a good story. Especially those told, or written, near a tiled stove in a mountain hut!

 

So what is the nature of a real writing retreat?

For the one part, our retreat followed certain guidelines. Such as fixed meal times, or other times during the day where we came together and shared what we’d already written before, asking for feedback or advice. Anita, too, gave us lots of practical tips on how to write in general, or more specifically, concerning the projects any of us were involved with. She also encouraged us to “write for the sake of it”, and “not to stop when we were right at it”. A lot of her retreats are women-only. It is not something she actively pursues, but it does often happen to be. Very empowering and inspiring, is all I can add.

Einstiegs-Geschenk: Ein kleiner, praktischer Schreibblock für unterwegs. "Für den Geistesblitz-to-go, quasi.

As a welcoming gift, Anita has this little writing pad for us that we may take anywhere we go.

 

Einer der vielen Schreibtipps, die Anita für uns hat, ist Querdenken um Kreativität zu fördern. Warum

One of her tips is to go out and have nature guide or inspire us. What does this tree tell me? If you give it some time, a most wonderful, and often very personal story.

 

Apropos Bäume und Erzählen: Diese Linde ist viele Hundert Jahre alt und ein nachgewiesen stärkerer Kraftplatz als die dahinterliegende Trögerner Kirche. Stark, welche Kräfte hier wirken.

Speaking of trees: This lime tree here is said to be many hundred years old, and an even greater place of power than the adjacent church. Wow!

 

Digital und analog mischen sich während des Schreibseminars in einer für mich optimal ergänzenden Weise.

I just love how digital and offline worlds combine to form the success of this writing retreat.

 

Hier noch ein Blick auf Anita's Kräuterlei-Produkte ...

Check out what my friend has brought with her to support our creative ideas during the retreat …

 

... und auch der Blick nach draußen, auf eine unserer vielen "Schreib-Inseln" im und rund um das Gut Trögern .

… as well as the view from the window: A lot of room for creative exchange and fresh ideas here.

 

Thank you, dear Lydia, for all your warmth, hospitality and support here in Trögern! We really did learn and progress a lot with you.

Thank you, dear Lydia, for all your warmth, hospitality and support here in Trögern! We really did learn and progress a lot with you.

 

Check out even more images from my time at the Trögern Mountain Estate and our creative writing retreat:

 

You may also like

4 comments

Bea Galvão 9 July 2021 - 18:55

Wow! As always, an inspiring post! As a writer, I really wanted to do the same as you and get to know this wonderful place! Congratulations for the post and the photos!

Reply
Elena 25 July 2021 - 15:57

Dear Bea,

Thank you very much for your comment! Have you since been able to go on a writer’s retreat somewhere? And have you been to Carinthia – or indeed Austria – before? We would love to welcome you here. Thanks for getting in touch 🙂

Reply
Bea Galvão 25 July 2021 - 23:30

Querida Elena,
Eu ainda não fui para a Áustria, infelizmente. Mas é algo que está nos meus planos… Quem sabe, ao final deste ano, ao lado do meu namorado (ele mora na Alemanha, mas sua família é de origem austríaca). É um país lindo, sem dúvida!
Preciso te dizer que encontrar seu post foi como um sinal divino para mim! Sou escritora (além de blogger) e ofereço oficinas de escrita criativa e desbloqueio da criatividade há muitos anos aqui no Brasil (e, agora, online). Entretanto, quando comecei meu blog em dezembro de 2019, minha ideia inicial era levar as pessoas a viajarem ao redor do mundo, comigo, oferecendo-lhes minhas oficinas durante o processo da viagem. A pandemia, porém, me fez adiar meus planos e eu já estava perguntando ao Universo se deveria insistir nesta ideia ou não.
E assim, despretensiosamente, entrei novamente no seu blog (que amo e sigo com frequência) e cheguei neste post! Quase chorei, sentindo que meu desejo de levar as pessoas a viajarem enquanto lhes ofereço minhas “experiências estéticas”, como gosto de chamar, ainda está vivo e pulsante dentro de mim!
Por isso e por tudo, querida: gratidão!
Como eu lhe disse, tenho planos de visitar a Áustria ao final deste ano. E seria lindo se eu pudesse conhecer este lugar tão encantador e, quem sabe, pensar em possíveis parcerias voltadas ao público brasileiro que não fala alemão ou inglês…
Não sei se estariam abertos a esta possibilidade. De qualquer forma, já estou sonhando com o dia de conhecer este local encantador e, quem sabe, poder lhe conhecer pessoalmente também! (É claro que você já está convidada para participar da minha primeira experiência estética em território austríaco, seja onde for, não tenha dúvidas!)
Um grande e fraterno abraço

Reply
Elena 28 July 2021 - 09:46

Querida Bea,
Muito mas muito obrigada pelo seu “post” aqui no blog 😀 Agradeço o esforço em escrever-me, e ainda com tanto coração e emoção!

Enquanto for a Austria, por favor diz para mim e seja bem-vinda aqui em Viena onde moro eu com a minha familia, o meu filho de dois anos e o meu marido. Depois, vamos juntos ao lugar no sul da Austria , não tem problema! Eu conheço muitas pessoas e lugares, e com certeza encontraremos o seu lugar preferido para as suas “experiências estéticas” ! Que bom !

Um forte abraço,

Elena

Reply

Join the discussion

This website uses cookies to make your visit more efficient and to offer you more user-friendliness. By using this website, you consent to the use of cookies. Accept Read More

Cookies Policy