WORDS FOR HAITI
WHAT CAN YOU LEARN IN A WEEKEND?
FIND YOUR PASSION IN 2010 AND WRITE ABOUT IT
NEW YEAR-ROUND RETREAT OPENING IN PA
HOW TO SET UP AND OPERATE A RETREAT?
your busy, over-stressed everyday work world and journeying to powerful,
soothing, and exciting destinations around the world. Our retreats,
guaranteed to ...
Renew your body, mind and spirit
Ignite your imagination
Revitalize your vision and passion
Empower your mindset and thinking
... while, HAVING
THE TIME OF YOUR LIFE!
Folly Beach, South Carolina
Ojochal, Costa Rica
Stanstead, Quebec, Canada
The Spring Creek Retreat of
To contact a retreat directly,
please go to our Web
Site home page at
to browse them all.
You will be able to contact the on-site mentor by sending a question
or reservation with the online form.
The wealth of experience • The sharing of
Imagine how powerful your
writing can be when it gathers with thousands of others. Imagine
the power that we each possess if we decide to use the power of words. Imagine
the power of knowledge when shared and discussed. Imagine
a writers’ retreats network that is defined by its leaders’ interests and
passions. Imagine a network of mentors
for whom personal and professional development is exquisitely exciting… a
network of people who discuss their creativity, accomplishments, success
and happiness. Imagine the sharing of
inspirational experiences... Imagine
writing that metamorphoses, spreads its wings and spans the planet.
In the same way that Nature transforms the butterfly,
your writing has the power to transform those touched by it.
Join The Writers’ Retreat and discover a world of workshops,
training and discussions led by your preferred instructors/mentors,
authors and speakers. Seize the opportunity to create a forum of
expression and witness change as you would never before have imagined.
One word after another, your writing becomes a magic wand.
Communicate and, for one moment, stop and think about the incredible
number of people that your wand can reach, bring together, touch and
perhaps even transform.
Côté, The Writers’ Retreat.
Shape your Vision into Reality with The Writers' Retreat!
WORDS FOR HAITI
events often remind us of the comfort which we take for granted or the lack
of compassion for the rest of the world. Words for Haiti
gives this poem to the world in an attempt to remind you that there
is a world beyond our own. May our words linger on in the minds of the
apathetic, causing a stench that demands the attention of those who choose
to look away.
Words for Haiti is a concept
organized by Jason Mars carried out by some of the most talented poets of
this generation. As poets our words carry life, our words guide readers to
truths hidden behind facades. This site features a POEM concocted by poets
from many different backgrounds who recognize the effectiveness of their voices. – Jason
WHAT CAN YOU
LEARN IN A WEEKEND?
Mary Ann Henry
Let’s face it: we writers spend our entire lives
working on our craft. For those of us who have come late to the game, we spend the
entire rest of our lives working on it. So the question goes begging: can a
person actually learn something about writing in a weekend workshop? The
short answer is: it depends on the person and on the workshop.
a mentor and writing teacher, I have observed a variety of writers: all
ages, shapes, sizes, temperament and interest and ability levels. The
writers who seem to get the most from a workshop are those who arrive with
an open-mind. They bring an attitude that suggests that they know that the
onus for learning is on them. They seem to accept that a workshop leader
can only lead the writer to the literary trough, so to speak, and it’s up
to them to decide whether they’re going to take a tentative sip or a long,
cool drink. To add a slaughtered simile to my murdered metaphor, the
successful workshop participant is like a successful therapy patient: they
go into each session with a willingness to be manipulated. They’ve already
done the really hard work: they’ve acknowledged that there’s more for them
to learn and they‘re open to trying a new approach. And they know that if
any miracles are to happen, they’ll begin with small steps. But those small
steps are the most important.
received a call from a writer the other day who is interested in an
upcoming Short Story Boot Camp workshop. She said that she’d been talking
about ‘becoming a writer’ for most of her life and an anonymous person sent
her the information. At first she was insulted because she felt that
someone was challenging her for being all talk and no walk. Then, she
embraced the concept behind the workshop: that of starting and actually
finishing a short story in a weekend.
We talked about how hard it is to take those first steps; to put
ourselves out there. We spoke of how brave we have to be to believe in
ourselves as writers. She added that she “expected and wanted” me to be
tough with her, to not let her get away with not getting the job done. I
assured her that, while she would not have to get down and give me twenty
push-ups, I would take my job as the group facilitator and teacher
seriously. I know that when she arrives, she’ll do well because she’s
already doing the psychological work. And she’s bringing the f-word that
makes or breaks a good workshop experience: focus. She’s already focused on her goal. And
even though she feels some trepidation, her enthusiasm will carry her here,
to Folly Beach, and then back home where she
will be more likely to meet with success.
colleague of mine who teaches workshops is famous for saying, “If one
person thinks I’m God and someone else thinks I’m the devil and everyone
else learns one thing, then I feel successful.” I don’t think it’s quite
that cut and dried. I think that sometimes writers are simply ready for the
next piece of the puzzle and they can get that piece in one weekend. Other
times, it’s more about growing in self-perception. Being around other
writers and comparing one’s work can help to facilitate that, too. The most
important thing a writer can take to the workshop is an openness; a
willingness to feel the fear and write anyway. And, yes, when a writer
arrives with that kind of an attitude, much can be learned in a weekend.
Ann Henry, M.Ed., will be teaching three workshops this spring: Writing Is
Good for the Soul: Exploring the Connection Between Spirituality and
Creativity; Short Story Boot Camp (The No-Experience Necessary Writers
Workshop, and Fiction Writers Workshop: Focusing on the Elements of
Mary Ann can be reached at The Writers’ Retreat in
Folly Beach, South Carolina at LowcountryWritersRetreat@comcast.net or by telephone at 843
FIND YOUR PASSION IN 2010 AND
WRITE ABOUT IT
writers have all heard, “Write what you know.” But, I say, “Write what you have a
fiction professor told me years ago that when I wrote anything with a
medical theme or had a nurse as the main character, it was some of my
better writing. Not only did I have
first hand knowledge, but my characters came alive, imagery resonated, and
consequently, more reader interest.
we take assignments for money or byline, and when duty calls, we write
whether our heart is in it or not.
But, consider this, first write about what really interests you, and
then find the market.
years ago, I was working in labor and delivery, and not only did I have a
current knowledge base for this specialty area at the time, but I also had
a new-found interest in HIV/AIDS.
The combination worked, and I had an article accepted by a nursing
journal about preinatal patients (before
delivery) with AIDS.
follow up to this more research-based article was a short piece in another
nursing periodical about one of my patients who died of AIDS at the age of
nine. It was accepted for publication, and I only had to change one
found my voice in the nurse character.
I am wired to look at life through my senses with a more global
perspective and have the need to find the character’s moral compass in my
writing. So my character can say,
“This is what I see; this is what I feel; this is what I hear; so this is
how I am going to get you through your life dilemma, and in the end, the
character will have a life-changing revelation to be able to move on.
if you are wired to see life in slices or in little pieces, and you are
more linear in your way of seeing and dealing with the world, then your
passion might be to write the “How to book” with lots of details and
sequential steps toward the outcome. Or, you might be like an Emily
Dickenson and should write about that buzzing fly or the murmur of a bee,
because you have a passion for the minutia in life.
outside of your own perception of yourself, and let go of notions of what
you think you ought to write and write about what drives you – your
you have no imagination, and never have, then fiction is not for you. Real
life circumstances might be your passion rather than flying saucers and
your writing safe, because you do not want to write the passion you felt
about having to deal with an abusive parent whom you could incorporate into
a fiction or nonfiction piece and find some resolution? Do you continue to edit, because you have
never thought that you could write something that people would read. Let go of your comfort zone and write
with untapped passion in 2010!
To reach Lynda Stear at
The Spring Creek Retreat in Macungie,
Pennsylvania, please go to www.WritersRetreat.com or send an e-mail to
6-7, 2010: Script Consultant Clinic (see www.lindaseger.com)
8-10, 2010: Screenwriting Clinic: Making
a Good Script Great
online on our workshop page at www.writersretreat.com or
26-28, 2010: Writing Is Good for
26-28, 2010: Short Story Boot
Camp: The No-Experience Necessary Writers Workshop
30-May 2, 2010: Fiction Writers’ Workshop:
Exploring the elements of
Cost: $175; partial scholarships available.
Foley Beach, South Carolina
online on our workshop page at www.writersretreat.com or
February 13, 20, 27, and March 6 and 13, 2010 from 9-11 a.m.:
The Lyric Essay: “What
happens when an essay begins to behave less like an essay and more like a
online on our workshop page at www.writersretreat.com or
participate in a workshop, you will find the full description on the Workshops’
page at www.writersretreat.com
and the online registration form.
NEW YEAR-ROUND RETREAT OPENING
case you missed our last missive, SPRING CREEK RETREAT of MACUNGIE in PENNSYLVANIA, United States will open to
residents this May, and you may already write and secure your space.
two-story home located in the Lehigh
Valley near the cities of Allentown and historic Bethlehem
faces an old farm house and Spring
It accommodates one resident at the time. It offers a little bit of country
for that “get-a-way” feeling, and enough city to
enjoy local attractions and some of Pennsylvania’s
finest university and college libraries.
In Lehigh Valley,
the retreat is a 2-hour drive from New York City,
one hour from Philadelphia and a short
commuter flight from Toronto,
mentor: Lynda Stear. Lynda is a medical
professional and freelance writer with a degree in creative writing. Her
thirty years of writing includes nonfiction (medical, religious, and
miscellaneous freelance), and creative writing (poetry and short story).
Lynda is currently preparing several books for publication for the
religious and cross-over market.
to Spring Creek
Retreat of Macungie on our website or write to Lynda Stear to book your studio.
HOW TO SET UP AND OPERATE A
WRITER’S RETREAT IN YOUR COUNTRY OR REGION?
a residential retreat for
writers differs from a B&B or Guesthouse establishment in a number of
important respects. What is exactly a residential writers’ retreat? What natters for a successful
are the requirements to operate your own writers’ retreat, the criteria? Do
you want to earn a living running a retreat or at least make a
profitable venture out of it?
If you are looking for advice on the whole “setting up a
retreat business” in your area or if you only need to improve the
visibility of your established retreat, we’re here to help!
of the residential retreats for writers are
located in beautiful natural settings where writers are pampered with good
food, comfortable rooms, ample technology, and access to professional
editors. Do you think you could replicate this with your limited budget and
your own property? Of course, you can! And we’re here to guide you if you want to do it right
the first time. We help people get started with the logistics of retreat
all the way to success! We will even share our marketing strategies with
you are ready to open your doors, please read the registration process
online and post your retreat on our Web site at www.WritersRetreat.com Follow the link ADD YOUR RETREAT
where you will enter all your retreat information and pictures. Do
not worry if you have started filling out the online form and you decide to
postpone your decision, your retreat will not be published on the Internet
until we review it and we approve it by sending you a confirmation. Also, keep
in mind that you may join The Writers' Retreat network even if your retreat is
not quite set up to officially open its doors to residents. A note will be
posted on your Web page indicating your official opening date; it will
allow writers to contact you for information and you will be able to accept
reservations prior to your official opening.
We are excited by the
growth of The Writers’ Retreat network, the possibilities of innovative
literary projects, and by the prospect of serving more writers at more
locations. We welcome your
participation in creating a broader choice for our community of writers.
us directly at 819-876-2065. You may
also send us an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Micheline Côté, Executive Director
The Writers’ Retreat
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