Hilary Sideris reviews Writers’ Retreats in Greece

Hilary Sideris

It was a joy to spend two weeks in this wild, but serene and ancient place, walking on shepherds’ paths and seeing goats, sheep, frogs, and gorgeous crows in the olive groves. The locals are very friendly if you know a few Greek words, which I found really fun. The water of the Evian Gulf is transparent, and there’s a lovely beach nearby with mountains in the distance. The house is spacious and old, but beautifully renovated. 

Nikos and Georgia clearly care about food (a delicious Greek dish was delivered daily!) and about writers. They are true travelers with open minds and hearts who know the value of their own place and traditions. I felt well taken care of, but had plenty of space and time for writing. I’m working on a book of poems, and my time at La Casa Grande was very productive. 

Hilary Sideris‘s poems have appeared in The American Journal of Poetry, Arts & Letters, Barrow Street,The Cortland Review, Connecticut Review, Fourteen Hills, Green Mountains Review, Gulf Coast, Poet LorePoetry DailyRhinoQuidditySalamanderThe Southern Poetry ReviewSouthampton Review, Sugar House ReviewRoom, and Tar River Poetry, among others.

Her work appears in the anthologies Stronger Than Fear: Poems of Empowerment, Compassion, and Social Justice, edited by Carol Alexander and Stephen Massimilla, Pomegranate Seeds: An Anthology of Greek-American Poetry, edited by Dean Kostos, Token Entry: NYC Subway Poems, edited by Jerry LeFemina, and Rabbit Ears: TV Poems, edited by Joel Allegretti. She is the author of five poetry chapbooks: The Orange Juice Is Over (Finishing Line Press 2008), Baby (Pudding House Press 2009), Gold & Other Fish (Finishing Line Press 2011), Sweet Flag (Finishing Line Press 2013), and The Silent B (Dos Madres Press 2019), as well as five full-length collections: Most Likely to Die (Poets Wear Prada Press 2014), The Inclination to Make Waves (Big Wonderful Press 2016), Un Amore Veloce (Kelsay Books 2019) Animals in English, Poems after Temple Grandin (Dos Madres Press 2020), and Liberty Laundry (Dos Madres Press, 2022).

Hilary studied English Literature at Indiana University and received her MFA from The University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She works as a professional developer for the CUNY Start program at The City University of New York and lives in Brooklyn, NY.

You can follow Hilary here: http://www.hilarysiderispoetry.com & https://instagram.com/hilarysideris

Hilary spent two weeks at La Casa Grande in Agios Ioannis, Evia in mid May 2023.

Preston Eatery Reviews Writers’ Retreats in Greece

preston eatery

My family and I (10 people) spent a full day here doing a cooking class. Everything was perfect. We all felt right at home, we learned so much (ate so much), and made friends in the process 🙂 We can’t wait to return!

Preston Eatery is a family run business in Columbus, Ohio that highlights a passion for fresh ingredients, honest cooking, and an atmosphere that feels like home. With some of the most delicious combinations of ingredients, there is something for everyone to enjoy.


You can take a look on their menus here.

More info can be found on their website, Facebook and Instagram accounts.

Contact details: 1093 Bethel Road, Columbus, OH 43220,

Email: [email protected], Tel: +1 (614) 867-5585

More info about our cooking classes and private dining can be found in our website.

Jinny Webber Reviews Writers’ Retreats in Greece


Unable to decide whether to book La Bodeguita or La Casa Grande, I spent a week in each. Both are peaceful and conducive to focused work. In such beautiful, calm spots, I accomplished more than expected and felt lucky every minute! Each residence has advantages, so I can’t recommend one over the other. La Bodeguita in Dafni is more remote, with the sea at the end of the lane, an outdoor shower, and an enjoyable walk into the hills where a taverna is located. La Casa Grande, in the small village of Agios Ioannis on a hillside, is larger with constant internet. 

I appreciated the enthusiasm Nikos and Georgia have for their retreats. They’re helpful organizers, friendly and accommodating to guests’ needs and wishes. Mine included swims at the beach by the nearest town, Aliveri, and its Saturday Farmer’s Market, an excursion to the Aegean side of the island, and various special treats. Georgia’s excellent meals add to the delight of being in Greece, and the residences were well stocked with delicious fruit and snacks. 

Best of all, however, is the stimulating atmosphere: lovely places to work. I hope to return soon.

I had such a wonderful time!


My stay with you exceeded my expectations! 

Jinny has been born in Los Angeles, Califoria and living in Santa Barbara since she came to UCSB as a freshman, she has spent a great deal of time in England, watching the construction of the new Globe, the restoration of the Rose theatre ruins from Shakespeare’s London, researching at the British Library and Cambridge University Library, and best of all, visiting historical sites and attending plays.

All of these contributed to her historical novels set in Shakespeare’s England. Each features a girl who disguises herself as male in order to perform on the London stage, when only men were allowed to act: The Secret Player, Dark Venus, and, published in November, 2021, Bedtrick.

Her own amateur theatrical experience contributed to her backstage view: she has played Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Corin the shepherd in As you Like It (as a woman), and the widow in The Taming of the Shrew. As a sabbatical project, she co-directed and stage managed a faculty production of As You Like It with Jim Edmondson of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

Her short stories and essays have appeared in Blood and Roses, Library Book, Splickety Spark, and Greek Myths Revisited. Plays include Dearly Begotten, a spin off from Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus, and Bedtrick, based on the novel, as well as Queeen Undaunted: Margaret of Anjou, Qualities of Mercy, Tales of Woo and Woe, and From Eve’s Fair Hand for DramaDogs of Santa Barbara.

Jinny spent one week in each residency in September 2022.