FAQ

Q:

Are the classes in English?

A:

Yes.


Q:

Do I need to speak French in Paris?

A:

No. The workshops are in English. You can get along in Paris with a dozen common French phrases, but more important is a certain politeness and courtesy that the French appreciate.
We will go over this in our orientation session.


Q:

I'm a reader, but I'm not really a writer.

A:

Yes, you are, even if you don't do a lot of formal writing. You write letters, emails, notes of condolence, postcards.

You will get writing prompts that will improve your everyday writing. The process is gentle and positive. A new environment can be very inspirational.


Q:

I am a published writer. Will you work with my copy?

A:

Cool. That's who we usually edit and teach. You'll be turning out smiles as hot as your morning baguettes - even better than that one.


Q:

I will be traveling alone, and I have never been to Paris. Will I be comfortable?

A:

This varies with individuals, of course. We have designed this week so that we share many meals and events, especially the first three days. This is a good time to make new friends and perhaps make plans for the more open days.

Paris is an easy city to get around. We will go over some of the highlights during orientation and set you up with a map and some Metro tickets.


Q:

How much of the day will I be writing?

A:

It will be tempting not to write - there is so much to do and see in Paris! That is why we meet most mornings.

We will use excercises and small group assignments to get you started writing in the workshops and odds are excellent that you will continue to jot down thoughts most afternoons or evenings.

Even 20 minutes can exercise your writing muscles.


Q:

So there's plenty of free time?

A:

Yes. Writing is solitary work. You need time to be alone. To work. To relax.


Q:

But by the end of the week, I will have written... something?

A:

That's the goal. The morning seminar sessions are varied so you can try your hand in different directions.

Experiment. Then select one piece that we work on privately, on-on-one. This is the piece that you will read at the final lesson.


Q:

In which part of Paris should I stay?

A:

We suggest that you select an apartment or hotel on the Right Bank in the Marais area (3rd and 4th arrondissements) near the morning cafe writing workshops. See “Housing” for some ideas.


Q:

Can you help me find a roommate?

A:

When you register, we will provide an email list of other participants who may be looking to share a hotel room or an apartment that week.


Q:

May I travel with a spouse or friend?

A:

Yes, sharing a hotel room or an apartment is a good way to reduce costs. Your companion may certainly pay $700 to join us for the meals, tour and jazz. However, only participants may attend the daily morning workshops.

Also, when you settle in for some afternoon café writing, you are encouraged to be alone. Writing is a solitary art. If you are traveling with someone, be clear that you need some time to be alone.

Q:

Is there an age requirement?

A:

The minimum age requirement is 18. There is no maximum, but all adults should be able to walk at a comfortable pace, including stairs, for up to two hours.


Q:

What is the weather like? What kind of clothes should I bring?

A:

The June week is late spring, so bring a sweater. July is summer, but you may need a sweater at night. November is late fall, so bring a jacket—and a scarf, bien sûr.

A small umbrella is always wise.

Dress is casual during Paris Café Writing, but Parisians appreciate style: good-looking jeans but no shorts; “baskets” (as they call the slim, maybe colorful gym shoes), but no bulky running shoes.

For evening, jeans and a nice top can work in many places, or a simple dress or skirt with one piece of jewelry or a scarf.


Q:

Is Paris safe?

A:

You may be surprised at how comfortable you feel in Paris. Most museums, restaurants, and monuments that visitors want to see are in the center of Paris, that is, the 1st through 8th arrondissements. (Our Marais area is in the 3rd and 4th.)

These areas are quite safe, even at night. Like any big city, however, you do need to watch out for pickpockets. Take big-city precautions about how you carry your wallet or purse.


Q:

Do I need to bring my computer?

A:

You can go low tech (just a notepad, a pen), high tech (bring your laptop) or combo tech (type up your notepad material at an internet cafe and save to a thumb drive). If you bring a computer, bring a plug adapter.


Q:

Will you read the manuscript for my future novel, short stories, etc.?

A:

Sorry. The close editing will be limited to the assignments that we do that week.


Q:

I am a teacher. Can I get professional advancement credit?

A:

Some states will allow professional credit for Paris Café Writing. Check with your state education board.


Q:

Can our book club come as a group?

A:

We set a limit of eight students, so if the session is not yet full, that’s fine. If the session is full and you have at least six students, we might be able to add a new week, customized with an assigned book. Contact us.


Q:

What are the approximate costs for airfare and hotels?

A:

Economy airfare from Chicago has been $1,000 to $1,500. Some hotels or apartments in out Marais area start at about $109 to $131 (100 to 120 euros) a night.


Q:

And the other meals and optional excursions?

A:

Expect to pay $16 to $22 (15 to 20 euros) at a little cafe for lunch, $33 to $55 (30 to 50 euros) for a moderate dinner, $76 to $98 (70 to 90 euros) for a ballet ticket, and $109 to $196 (100 to 180 euros) for the opera.

These figures are based on the 2017 average exchange rate of about .94 euros to the dollar (ot $1.09 to the euro).


Q:

Explain the exchange rate again, please.

A:

The rate varies daily. For many years now, the dollar has been weaker than the euro. This means that when you exchange dollars at a bank or use an American bank card to get Euros out of an ATM in Paris, you get roughly .90 euros for every $1.00.

This is the same for any country you visit in the European Union, such as Germany, Italy, Ireland, or Spain.

Use the currency converter below to find your exchange rate!

FreeCurrencyRates.com
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