As cures for writer's block go, this is a good one.

In July, Authors At Large - a network for fiction and non-fiction writers - will host its inaugural writing retreat, on the private Indonesian island of Telunas.

About 18 writers will assemble for five days of literary discussion, manuscript workshops and, of course, writing. While mornings will be left free for the writers to relax and pen their masterpieces, bringing family members or other loved ones along is strictly forbidden.

"This is not a holiday," says Hong Kong-born Xu Xi, author of Habit of a Foreign Sky - a Man Asian Literary Prize finalist. She co-founded Authors At Large this year with writer Robin Hemley, who has won three Pushcart prizes.

Interested parties must submit a manuscript of 5,000 words; Hemley and Xu will then invite the writers they feel would combine to create the most inspiring, meaningful trip.

"There's a gap in Asia for writing retreats and workshops for people who have written manuscripts and are published authors, run by those who know how to teach," says Xu, who ran City University's master of fine arts in creative writing course until it was shut down this summer.

Located in the Riau archipelago, Telunas has just 15 villas, each with a sea view and close to mangroves and mountain trails and hopefully conducive to writing a masterpiece.

The writing retreat will run from July 24 to 28 and cost US$750 per person. For details, visit