Get ready to dig your toes into warm sand and the trenches of your manuscript! Margie Lawson teaches writers how to use her psychologically-based editing systems and deep editing techniques to create page turners. She has presented over ninety full day master classes for writers in the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and on cruises in the Caribbean.

Margie Lawson Immersion grads know that she works hard to help us polish our manuscripts. On this cruise, we’ll be laser-focused on editing, deepening our writing, and taking our manuscripts to bestseller quality. This retreat does have prerequisite courses that are required for all authors attending.

Prerequisites for Immersion Master Class Writing Cruise

These three on-line courses or lecture packets:

  1. Empowering Characters’ Emotions
  2. Deep Editing: The EDITS System, Rhetorical Devices, and More
  3. Writing Body Language and Dialogue Cues Like a Psychologist

Port of Departure
Galveston, Texas
First Day
12/02/2018
Last Day
12/09/2018
Price
$1595
Cruise Line
Carnival
Ship Name
Vista
What's Included
  • All meals while onboard
  • Shared Interior stateroom (upgrades are available!)
  • Port taxes and fees
  • 18% gratuity
  • Onboard entertainment and shows
  • All events associated with the retreat
  • Multiple one-on-one deep editing sessions with Margie Lawson
(See Details Tab for More)
Writing Cruise and Author Retreat

The Ship - Carnival, Vista

We’ve built a lot of ships over the years, but for a truly unique experience at sea, you’ve gotta see our latest, Carnival Vista. Carnival Vista has a whole new relationship to the sea, and you get to experience this as you explore the Caribbean with all-new views.

It’s only natural that you’ll want to start outdoors, so let’s. You can’t help but have your eye caught by — wait, are those flying bicycles? Pretty much! SkyRide at SportSquare is a twin-track suspended bike course — strap in and race around for the win or just cruise for great views. At Havana Bar & Pool you’ll find an island retreat that evokes classic Cuban-style lounging with an emphasis on style… and on views, and on traditional cocktails! Carnival WaterWorks is packed to the gills with wet ways to get-a-splashin’, including Kaleid-O-Slide which adds funky light and color effects to the usual “speed-n-splash” story. If you can’t get enough Guy Fieri, we invite you to try at Guy’s Burger Joint and Guy’s Pig & Anchor Smokehouse. Rounding out this ship’s sunlight highlights is Serenity Adult-Only Retreat, the low-key grown-up spot that’s more lounging and hot tubs than action and adventure. (But Serenity’s complimentary chopped salad station gets our inner grown-up excited!)

Indoors, things are every bit as cool. Take RedFrog Pub & Brewery for example — yes, you read right, the latest incarnation of our Caribbean-cool pub has a fully-functional onboard brewery that produces exclusive craft beers you can enjoy just feet from the brewing kettle. If you do seafood, you’ll want to direct your appetite to Bonsai Sushi or the seaside Seafood Shack, while JiJi Asian kitchen and Cucina del Capitano are prepared to satisfy cuisine-specific cravings. Of course Carnival Vista features a Dr. Seuss Bookville and youth activities for all kinds of kids (the smallers, the tallers and the in-betweens). On the stateroom side, Carnival Vista adds two new types of rooms to the mix: Family Harbor is a special area reserved for families and features a private 24-hour lounge and concierge service. All Havana staterooms and suites are located just off the Havana Bar & Pool and feature a unique tropical décor, while Havana Cabanas add a patio with hammock chair!

One last thing you should know: on Carnival Vista more onboard places than ever before span the indoors and outdoors — so whether you set the thermostat to “cool-and-crisp” or “sea-breezy perfection” you’ll enjoy your kind of Caribbean comfort on Carnival Vista.

Speakers

Margie Lawson

Psychotherapist, Editor, and International Presenter

Margie teaches writers how to use her psychologically-based editing systems and deep editing techniques to create page turners. Margie has presented over ninety full day master classes for writers in the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and on cruises in the Caribbean. Writers who have studied her material credit her innovative deep editing approaches with taking their writing several levels higher—to publication, awards, and bestseller lists.

Topics

The EDITS System: The Ultimate Fix-Your-Scene Power Tool

The EDITS System is a tool created for writers to analyze scene components. It’s the ultimate fix-your-scene power tool. It shows writers what’s working, what’s not working, what’s missing. Writers learn how to take a scene from the POV character’s head, to the reader’s heart.

When writers use this five highlighter system, patterns emerge for each scene. The EDITS System helps writers find a compelling balance of emotion, dialogue, internalizations, tension, conflict, setting, description, action, senses, body language, dialogue cues, and more, that works for their specific scene. The read is enhanced, and the writer’s voice remains intact. Using the EDITS System can contribute to making your book a page-turner.
If you are so right-brained the thought of using highlighters, and a system, gives you hives, trust me. Learn the EDITS System. Lock it in your brain. You’ll have an overlay of the colors in your mind and edit to the system while you write. Save the highlighters and red pen for those don’t-know-why-it’s-not-working scenes. Grab the highlighters, you’ll see why it’s not working, and you’ll know what to do to make it strong.

Workshop participants are requested to bring five highlighters (Blue, Yellow, Green, Pink, and Orange), a red pen, and five chapters of their WIP—double-spaced, printed on one side, in a binder.

Writing Fresh Body Language and Dialogue Cues

Learn how to add psychological power to body language and dialogue cues by writing fresh, amplifying, creating hyphenated-run-ons, and using the body language or dialogue cue as a stimulus and including the response.We’ll cover lips, mouth, eyes, full face, flicker-face emotion, and deception flags, as well as Margie’s six categories of dialogue cues (not just dialogue tags) that cue the reader how to interpret the subtext of the dialogue.

Top 20 Rhetorical Devices for Fiction Writers

Learn 20 rhetorical devices—why, how, and when to use them to add the most power to your scenes. Learn how to strengthen your writing with rhetorical device combos. Learn which rhetorical devices compress time and expand time. Learn how to use some rhetorical devices to slip multiple hits of backstory into one eloquent sentence. Learn which rhetorical devices are frequently used by some NYT bestselling authors to empower their openings and turning points.

Not Your Mama’s Character Descriptions

Not Your Mama’s Character Descriptions teaches writers how to avoid the predictable, how to use deep editing tools, and the unexpected, to make their character descriptions fresh. Margie’s Top 10 Tips for Writing Fresh Character Descriptions includes contrasting what was anticipated with what presents, making your character descriptions themed, using description to show the POV character’s attitude toward a non-POV character, and more! Learn how to be strategic. Craft your descriptions to deepen character and carry more psychological power. Examples of make-you-envious character descriptions will be analyzed.

*Immersion Master Glass Grads may opt to hone their deep editing skills, make their WIP stronger. Margie will work with groups. Think one room schoolhouse.

Destinations

Montego Bay, Jamaica

Montego Bay is home to golf courses and sandy beaches, with shopping galore! Visit the Haunted Rose Hall Great House for a spooky time, or bobsled down a mountain, no snow required!

Georgetown, Grand Cayman

Grand Cayman is not recorded to have a human inhabitant until the early 1600's. Local folklore tells of two original settlers, Mr. Walter and Mr. Bodden, likely arriving after serving in Oliver Cromwell's army in nearby Jamaica. The first Caymanian was Issac Bodden, son of Mr. Bodden. The islands were inhabited by those looking to serve visiting ships with fish, turtles, and even hogs. Many who were shipwrecked along its coast remained on the island as well. As you walk along the Georgetown beaches, ask yourself the unanswerable questions. How did Walter and Bodden get to Grand Cayman? The mother of Issac Bodden is not recorded. What was her story? Take the time to reflect and soak in the multitude of untold stories waiting for you in Georgetown.
Writing Cruise for Authors

Cozumel, Mexico

Cozumel, Mexico is one of the top diving destinations in the world. Known for its bright coral reefs and abundant sea life, you won't want to miss a snorkeling adventure off the coast of Cozumel. A little history and some flint for your imagination... Cozumel means "Land of the Swallow" and is named after the seafaring bird. Settled by the Ancient Mayans over 2,000 years ago, Cozumel was a mecca for Mayan women to worship Ix Chel, the Goddess of Fertility. The remains of Ix Chel's alter and sacrificial site can be found at the San Gervasio ruins site near the center of the island.

Itinerary

Sunday, 12/02/2018

Time
Activity
Location
4:00pm - 4:00pm
Depart Galveston
Galveston, Tx
7:00pm - 8:00pm
Welcome Cocktail Party & Registration
TBD
8:15pm - 10:00pm
Late Dining with Group
TBD

Monday, 12/03/2018

Time
Activity
Location
9:00am - 12:00pm
Morning Workshop
TBD
12:00pm - 1:30pm
Lunch Break
Ship
1:30pm - 3:30pm
Afternoon Workshop
TBD
3:30pm - 7:00pm
One-on-One Sessions
TBD
3:30pm - 7:00pm
Writing Sprints / Free Time
TBD
8:15pm - 10:00pm
Late Dining with Group
TBD

Tuesday, 12/04/2018

Time
Activity
Location
9:00am - 12:00pm
Morning Workshop
TBD
12:00pm - 1:30pm
Lunch Break
Ship
1:30pm - 3:30pm
Afternoon Workshop
TBD
3:30pm - 7:00pm
One-on-One Sessions
TBD
3:30pm - 7:00pm
Writing Sprints / Free Time
TBD
8:15pm - 10:00pm
Late Dining with Group
TBD

Wednesday, 12/05/2018

Time
Activity
Location
9:00am - 6:00pm
Port Day
Montego Bay, Jamaica
3:30pm - 7:00pm
One-on-One Sessions
TBD
8:15pm - 10:00pm
Late Dining with Group
TBD

Thursday, 12/06/2018

Time
Activity
Location
7:00am - 3:00pm
Port Day
Georgetown, Grand Cayman
3:30pm - 7:00pm
One-on-One Sessions
TBD
8:15pm - 10:00pm
Late Dining with Group
TBD

Friday, 12/07/2018

Time
Activity
Location
9:00am - 5:00pm
Port Day
Cozumel, Mexico
3:30pm - 7:00pm
One-on-One Sessions
TBD
8:15pm - 10:00pm
Late Dining with Group
TBD

Saturday, 12/08/2018

Time
Activity
Location
9:00am - 12:00pm
Morning Workshop
TBD
12:00pm - 1:30pm
Lunch Break
Ship
1:30pm - 3:30pm
Afternoon Workshop
TBD
3:30pm - 4:00pm
Official Wrap Up
TBD
4:00pm - 7:00pm
One-on-One Sessions
TBD
4:00pm - 7:00pm
Writing Sprints / Free Time
TBD
8:15pm - 10:00pm
Late Dining with Group
TBD

Sunday, 12/09/2018

Time
Activity
Location
8:00am - 8:00am
Arrive in Galveston
Galveston, TX

Details

Your retreat fee includes all events associated with the retreat, including one-on-one sessions, all workshops, and general writing fun! If you’ve purchased your stateroom through us, please see below for what the stateroom ticket includes.

From Carnival (please refer to Carnival’s website for most up to date information)

The price of your cruise vacation includes:

  • A well deserved vacation!
  • Your stateroom (shared – roommates will be assigned), featuring the Carnival Comfort Bed Collection and nightly turndown service… additional stateroom features include a television, in-stateroom safe, individual climate control, full bathroom and ample storage space.
  • Gratuities, taxes and port fees if room is booked through Cruising Writers
  • Spectacular production shows and entertainment, including hysterical comedians
  • Numerous lounges featuring live music and entertainment
  • Fitness center
  • Pools, whirlpools and waterslides
  • Year round youth programs for kids 2-17 years of age
  • A variety of dining options for breakfast, brunch, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner and late night in the Main Dining Room and/or Lido Restaurant.
  • A variety of dining options for breakfast, lunch and snacking at specialty food spots (featured on select ships), such as but not limited to: Guy’s Burger Joint, Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse, BlueIguana Cantina, Mongolian Wok, the Taste Bar, Sea Dogs, Fat Jimmy’s Seaside BBQ and Lanai Oceanside BBQ
  • 24-hour Pizzeria
  • 24-hour soft serve ice cream and frozen yogurt
  • 24-hour Room Service (excluding specialty items)
  • The following beverages served in the Main Dining Room and 24/7 in the Lido Restaurant: non-bottled water, lemonade, unsweetened iced tea, hot chocolate and non-specialty coffee and tea

The following services are not included in the cruise price:

  • Dining in specialty restaurants and snacking at cafes and lounges (featured on select ships), such as but not limited to: The Steakhouse, Bonsai Sushi, Ji Ji Asian Kitchen, Seafood Shack, Cucina del Capitano, The Chef’s Table, Shake Spot, Javablue Cafe, Promenade Cafe, Lido Coffee Bar, Ocean Plaza Cafe, Havana Bar on the Carnival Sunshine, RedFrog Pub and other lounges that may serve light bites.
  • ‘Steakhouse Selections’ served in the Main Dining Room
  • Specialty items on our 24-hour Room Service menu
  • Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages (excluding non-bottled water, lemonade, unsweetened iced tea, hot chocolate and non-specialty coffee and tea served in the Main Dining Room and Lido Restaurant)
  • Dr. Seuss Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast
  • Gift Shop purchases
  • Purchases at Cherry on Top and Special Occasions (featured on select ships)
  • Thrill Theater and IMAX Theatre (featured on select ships)
  • Spa treatments, Salon services and select fitness classes
  • Gambling in the casino and Bingo
  • Video Arcade games / SportSquare Clubhouse games on Carnival Horizon and Carnival Vista
  • Art Auction Program
  • Shore Excursions
  • Photographs
  • Internet access and ‘chat’ option on the HUB app (app available on select ships)
  • Use of your smartphone
  • Ship-to-Shore telephone calls
  • Medical services
  • Laundry services (valet or self-service)

Travel Tips

Carnival’s Houston Cruise Terminal is located at:

Port of Galveston

2502 Harborside Dr.

Pier 25

Galveston, TX

Directions to Port of Galveston:

From Hobby (HOU) Airport:
  1. Take I-45 south to Exit 1C, and turn left (east) onto Harborside Drive/Hwy 275.
  2. Continue about 4.7 miles to Kempner / 22nd street (which is the street leading into the Cruise Ship Terminal entrance), and turn left.
  3. The are adjacent to the terminal is for loading/unloading luggage curbside only.
From George Bush International Airport (IAH):
  1. Exit the airport and turn right onto Eastex FRWY/US-59.
  2. Merge onto US-59 S via the ramp- on the left.
  3. Take I-45 south to Exit 1C, and turn left (east) onto Harborside Drive/Hwy 275.
  4. Continue about 4.7 miles to Kempner / 22nd street (which is the street leading into the Cruise Ship Terminal entrance), and turn left.
  5. The are adjacent to the terminal is for loading/unloading luggage curbside only.

Parking Information:

Port shuttle buses will transport guest between parking lot and terminal. Payment: Cash, Visa, MasterCard  (Guests can pre-pay for parking by going to the port web site.)

At the Pier:

Please expect delays related to security procedures when arriving at the port to board the ship. These procedures have been designed for your safety and all attempts will be made to expedite you through the process as quickly as possible. Please do not arrive before 11AM as space is limited in the terminal.

Embarkation:

  • Luggage must be unloaded at the cruise terminal curbside prior to parking; the shuttles do not handle luggage during embarkation.

Debarkation:

  • Return directly to Parking Lots A and B to retrieve car without luggage and then pick up the guests and luggage at the terminal curbside.
  • Depart the terminal on luggage-capable shuttles; there will be a short to moderate wait time. Note: This is only provided in parking lots where luggage drop-off is indicated on the parking lot sign.