NEKLogoSmallThe Writers’ Retreat Newsletter

July 2012, Volume 12, No 2


In This Issue

· FIVE NEW RESIDENTIAL RETREATS OPEN: Canada, Ireland, Sri Lanka and the United States.






Upcoming workshops and clinics:


To enroll in a workshop of your choice, please browse our Workshop Page at





Are you looking for a space where you can shut out the world and dig in deeply internally? The Writers’ Retreat network provides the perfect balance of leaving you alone and at the same time making sure you have everything you need while staying with us. The Writers’ Retreat network offers a worldwide selection of retreat locations to choose from. Go to to find out where your next writing retreat will be!


Shape your Vision into Reality with The Writers' Retreat!




Our subscribers are actively looking for a retreat and literary services you offer!


The Writers’ Retreat Network provides the perfect source for you to promote your retreat and literary services and to maximize your visibility. Rather than reaching as many people as possible, our network provides an efficient way to reach the right people – writers and authors.


Join our network today and reach 2,000+ subscribers with the publication of your article in our October 2012 issue. Reserve your space now; our deadline is October 10, 2012.


A Writers’ Retreat: Starting from Scratch to Success!  

Testimonials from retreat operators confirm the very reasons why I wrote this guidebook in the first place and I am so glad to see it serves its purpose, to assist you all in contemplating your dream of operating a writers’ retreat business.


With this book you will simply rediscover your standards and realize that a successful retreat business is a calculated formula that anyone can follow. More than a guide, it is an inspiration. Follow my guidance to a vibrant residential retreat you will be proud of.

To read a few pages of the book, visit; the book is available in print, e-book, and audio formats.

Micheline Côté, The Writers’ Retreat.


We are proud to announce the opening of five new residential writers’ retreat. A warm welcome to all of you! To find out more about each of them or to secure your space, please use the link below to go directly to the retreat page or simply go to our home page at


The Writers’ Retreat in Schull, IRELAND. Please contact Katarina Runske at

The Writers’ Retreat in Oak Island, NORTH CAROLINA. Please contact Susan W Vereen for more at

The Writers’ Retreat in Klamath Falls, OREGON. Your contact is Sharon Chinook at

The Writers’ Retreat in Tamworth, Ontario, CANADA. Please contact Carolyn Butts at

The Writers’ Retreat in SRI LANKA. Your contact is Dr JT Nash at 





By Sharon Chinook


The directions were clear. You arrived at the guest house in good order. You find it to be as advertised. The door closes behind you. You are now truly alone.


You can see another house a quarter mile away, but cannot hear people. The cows are closer. Maybe an eighth of a mile, and across the gravel road – and behind a fence. You hear the creek – softly. It won’t run much longer. The Cascade snowmelt is spent.


You look for distraction, for entertainment. You see a CD player/radio with table top speakers. NPR stations posted on the side. No television. Your cell phone does not work. Your I-pad does, but you were told that if you use more than .5 gigabytes a week, you will be charged extra. So you don’t want to stream movies. How much gigabytes is required to visit your Facebook or look up a few things?


Like recipes. You have a big, beautiful farmhouse kitchen. The spigot is a French farm house black arch. The oven is large. Refrigerator/freezer much bigger than you need. Soup pot and cookie sheets, steamer and skillets. Groceries are a half an hour away. There are no curtains on the dining room windows.


Very little between you and the natural world. You find many places to sit. Tables or desks in every room. Decks with lounge chairs, benches, rocks, tree trunks to lean against, all awaiting your sitting. And then you are no longer alone. Two kinds of rabbits cross the front meadow. Deer are working up the hillside from the creek, towards you. Small lizards visit in and out holes in rocks before you. You were told these rocks fell from the sky. Volcanic power wresting them from Mount Shastina, throwing them a 100 miles. Landing hot and making their mark on this land forever more. Were there people here? When the fiery rocks rained on this front yard like hail?


You are still and alone. There is a land line phone with long distance. Cell reception is two miles away, back on the blacktop. You have no one who needs calling.


You are alone. You take your clothes off and wander through the guesthouse. You spend two hours reading in the deep soaking tub surrounded by slate tile, soaps and salts, beeswax candles.


The door closes and you are alone. Unwitnessed, timeless, and free. Here, you can work.


For more information, visit Retreats at the Chinook Aerie, Klamath Falls, Oregon or contact Sharon Chinook at




By Julia Shipley


Chapbooks: Lovely, Bookish and Short


A what? People often ask, and I reply: Chap Book, emphasizing the compound nature of the name for a kind of publication, originally published cheaply and hawked on the streets of Medieval Europe by Chap Men, traveling peddlers. Some of the world’s first chapbooks were made from folding a single sheet of paper, the size of a Broadside* [for more on Broadsides, please see the Spring 2012 newsletter] again, and again and again into a simple booklet. Akin to the pamphlet, the chapbook is slender, often less than 40 pages, and is therefore portable, and in some cases, possible to consume in a single sitting.


With the advent of e-books, nooks, and kindles, Chapbooks have again become vogue as a kind of artisanal alternative venue, a pushback from cold electronics to the tactile, unique, and often quirky format of the paper and ink.


As a publishing option, the Chapbook is perfect for a group of poems, a short story, even a bunch of recipes or an essay. My collection of more than fifty includes Robert Flynn’s 40 page memoir, Burying the Farm: Memories of Chillicothe, published with handmade paper covers and hand-sewn by Wings Press in San Antonio, Texas; Lia Purpurra’s eight page lecture, The Nature of Innovation, published using a desktop printer by Welcome Table Press in their Pamphlet Series; my neighbor, Erik Gillard’s typed, photocopied, and rubber band bound 46 page poetry collection, I am a catch and release poet created and assembled at his kitchen table; and Timothy Barcomb’s Repercussions, his 12 page poetry collection, made on an letterpress in limited edition of 150 by Plowboy Press in East Burke, Vermont. And this is just the tip of the iceberg—there are so many choices available for writers, which is why it’s a wonderful venue for emerging writers to explore.


In addition to the ones I’ve already mentioned, my favorite chapbook publishers include Ugly Duckling Presse in Brooklyn, Woodworks Press in Seattle, and Adastra Press in Easthampton, Massachusetts. But I’m also a fan of the Pudding House Press Series in Ohio, the Finishing Line Press in Kentucky and Dudley Laufman’s Wind in the Timothy Press in Canterbury, New Hampshire.


However, chapbooks can be so simple to design and assemble (or exquisite and complicated and ornate) that writers can tackle publishing and promoting them on their own, like my neighbor Erik Gillard, and like a former student, Janice Rebecca Campbell in Texas. Janice’s 41 page poetry collection Pink Merrymaking Allowed in the Midst of Green Geometry is a mix of the old and new technology, in that Janice did the design and layout of her slender, portable, inexpensive book, exactly as she wanted, and published it via LuLu Enterprises, Inc., an online site, a virtual street corner peddler, for publishing and selling author’s books. The result of Janice’s decisions and planning is a unique, artisanal volume, pleasing inside and out.


The tapas of literature, chapbooks offer a small plate, a taste of someone’s sentences and stanzas, and what a wonderful way to debut your work, or sample someone else’s.


To learn more, I’m offering a two-session workshop called “The Chapbook: Reading and Writing the Slender Book” this August. We’ll cover a brief history of the chapbook, discussing production techniques from photocopiers and staplers to letterpresses and hand-sewn bindings using a variety of chapbooks for participants to examine and handle. The process of assembling a chapbook manuscript and finding the best venue for publishing it, from small presses, contests and contests to Do-It-Yourself options will also be considered.


Julia Shipley operates a writer’s retreat in Craftsbury, Vermont. To reach Julia, please dial 802-586-7733 or send an e-mail to




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