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The Ultimate Writing Challenge

We are teaming up with Isla de Crear, a new and unique art centre in the south of Spain, to offer residencies for writers.


Isla de Crear is an art centre, combining a range of different disciplines, to explore creating and crafting in a new method, away from commercial constraints or industry guidelines, based on the principles of the Fantasism manifesto. 

The centre is located in Úbeda, in the Jaén region of Andalusia, the sunny south of Spain, where the sun is out 300 days of the year, in the middle of the Sea of Olives with no neighbours for miles, but it is by a main road (so it can get quite noisy sometimes), Úbeda is a UNESCO world heritage site and home to a buzzing community of artisan craftspeople and a lot of cultural events.

(and other forms of writing that can’t fit due to lack of puns) 
When: 8-14 October
Where: Isla de Crear, Úbeda, Jaén, Spain
​Deadline for applications: ????
Come and take your writing to a new level, with the ultimate writing challenge.
The Literal Challenge is collaborating with Isla de Crear, a new creative space in southern Spain, to offer 6-8 bold writers a writing challenge like no other.
In one week, you will be tasked with writing in different styles, forms and on various subjects, in true TLC fashion. All this, while enjoying the Spanish weather in a secluded old farmhouse, away from people and daily distractions, and surrounded by undying olive trees, cute animals and awesome, like-minded people.
Is there a theme?
There sure is – every day, apart from changing our style, form and subject – we will also travel to a different region in the world – and tell you what… in order to create a fully Fantasist experience of holistic creation that brings together all aspects of our lives, this will also include the menu!
Fantasist what now? 
Isla de Crear is a new creative centre that is guided by the Fantasism Manifesto and has inspired this carefully curated writing challenge. 

So what does this include?
Every evening, at the end of dinner, you will receive a brief for a writing task – and you will have 24 hours to complete it.
During the day, you will have workshops, and group tasks to help you advance your writing and push it to the next level.

A typical day:
09:00  Breakfast:  Pastries, cereals, unique homemade spreads

10:00  Workshop:  Each day we will discuss, learn and practice a new style, which will also fit with our daily world-region theme. Through exercises, we will practice a technique to help inspire us to respond to our daily brief. 

12:00  Group challenge:  On top of our daily briefs, we will have a daily group challenge in which we will learn and practice collaborative improvisational techniques (think of it like the game “Exquisite Corpse” but with real corpses… or maybe not, but slightly more sophisticated. Or maybe a lot more sophisticated!)

13:30  Lunch:  Light lunch will include sandwiches and ???

15:00  Individual writing time:  This will be your time to work on the daily brief.

17:00  Snack:  Fruit and/or cake

17:30  Group sharing:  Like group therapy… without the therapy… or the group! Just a bunch of pretentious writers sitting and navel-gazing!

20:00  Deadline for delivery of daily brief +  Dinner:  A culinary exploration and inspiration of the region that you are about to explore in the new brief which you will be getting… just as you take your last bite… (of dinner, not of your life) – on the final evening, we will have group reflection instead of a brief.

Timetable for the week


Who is it for?
The challenge is carefully created to fit all levels of experience.
If you are a professional, you will get an opportunity to push your writing muscles, out of and away from the comfort of your technique, to explore new realms.

If you’re a beginner, you will be thrown into the deep-end and have to force yourself to write 5 new and complete pieces of writing in different genres.
Group size: 6-8
What do I get at the end?
If you manage to complete the challenge, you will leave with 5 new pieces of writing: A play, a short story, a short collection of poems, a short film and a non-fiction text.
You will also have challenged yourself to go to new places – metaphorically, culinary, physically, artistically and… uhm… symbolically – whatever that means.
Who is running the workshops?
For all you TLC graduates, you won’t be surprised to know that Sebastian Rex will run the workshops, as he has done the past 10 years of TLC challenges, so you know you can expect a smorgasboard of exciting things that are carefully designed to entice, enthral and mostly challenge. 
You can choose between a private room or a shared room – all rooms are large, with a single, double or even bunk-beds. If you choose a bunk bed – you will get the admiration of the entire team!
Every room has its own shower/toilet, and you will also have access to communal living spaces, and your own writing space. 
There is also a garden to enjoy… unless the draught kills everything (except for the olive trees… there are a lot of olive trees, so you need to really not hate olive trees!)
All food will be vegetarian, and we can cater for different allergies, please make sure to include that in your application.
For private room:
For shared room:
Early bird offer:
Price includes: 

  • The full writing programme

  • A private one-to-one session with Sebastian to discuss your writing goals, outside of the programme

  • 6 nights’ accommodation

  • Transport to and from Ubeda-Jodar train station/Ubeda bus station/Linares-Baeza train station

  • 3 meals a day

  • Local if you need to go into town

  • A kitchenette, with tea and coffee

  • Wifi

  • Full use of the spaces, shared with other writers and artists in residence.

Price does not include: 

  • Flights

  • Airport transfers (can be arranged at an extra cost)

  • Insurance

Potential activities (at an extra cost):

  • Flamenco class for beginners

  • Olive oil tasting at a local organic field

  • A trip to the beautiful UNESCO world Heritage city – Úbeda

Applications are now open.

To apply, please send the following:


  1. A writing sample (this can be anything, but please, no more than 10 pages) to email address:

  2. Fill in the questionnaire below:

Successful applicants will be invited to a virtual chat.

​If you have any questions or want to chat - please click here.

Residency Writers
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