In This Issue
· THREE RESIDENTIAL
RETREATS OPEN IN NORTH CAROLINA, TENNESSEE AND NEW HAMPSHIRE IN THE UNITED
· STILL ONLY 24 HOURS IN A DAY
· MAKING WRITING A PRIORITY - A SPECIAL CHALLENGE FOR WOMEN
· NEW POETRY WORKSHOPS IN VERMONT - SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE!
Upcoming workshops and clinics:
To enroll in a workshop of your
choice, please browse our Workshop Page at www.WritersRetreat.com
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organization/retreat for accuracy of dates, times, submission criteria,
Shape your Vision into Reality with The Writers' Retreat!
Greetings from Micheline
Happy Summer writing, everyone!
officially here, and those long lazy days are not conducive to dedicated
quality writing time - or are they?
As a writer, I
feel this is a good time to change my work schedule and adapt to the
season in a way that allows me to maintain and even boast productivity.
Around this time a couple of years ago, the weather was hot and instead
of holing up in a dark office with only my computer screen for light, I
chose the beach - a four-hour drive from home. I checked the weather in Maine,
printed my first draft, and packed my car with camping gear to stay
within my tight budget.
By noon, I had my toes in the sand listening to the sound of
splashing waves. Energized and inspired by the vibrant life around me, I
spent the rest of that day under a parasol contentedly focused on my
writing project. I reviewed, re-wrote, and self-edited that first draft
by hand - yes, with a pen! Back home two days later, I updated the
manuscript on my computer and generated another printout for my next beach
I made four trips that summer and by the time the cool autumn
nights returned, my final version was ready for the editor. I never thought
I would have such a good time writing my first book! Although there were
moments of difficulty, the process was also refreshing and inspiring
because of the way I did it. And I
plan to renew the experience with my 2nd book this summer!
It's that season again, time to play catch, jump off a dock into
the lake, weekend at the beach or plan a mountain hike. Summer is here
and I hope you all find it an enjoyable one. As always, have fun and keep
writing! Remember, just because we say we are "working" on our writing
projects doesn't mean that it actually has to feel like work.
Visit the retreats around the world at http://www.writersretreat.com/ and book your own retreat soon.
—Micheline Côté, The
THREE RESIDENTIAL RETREAT OPEN IN NORTH CAROLINA,
TENNESSEE AND NEW HAMPSHIRE, UNITED STATES
and welcome to Jacquelyn Schuman, on-site mentor, for opening a new retreat in
Bostic, North Carolina.
The Deer Mountain Writer's Retreat is located in Bostic, North Carolina and situated on seven acres.
Jacquelyn Schuman is a college nursing professor, and when she is not
teaching she's writing. She's a member of the Florida Writer's
Association, has written a fiction novel and currently working on her
second novel along with her first children's book.
more information, please contact Jacquelyn Schuman firstname.lastname@example.org
or The Writers’ Retreat at Bostic, North Carolina.
A warm welcome to Karen
Walasek, on-site mentor at the retreat
in Pulaski, Tennessee.
Writers’ Retreat is a 34-acre sustainable farm nestled in the hills of
Tennessee in the hometown of Southern Agrarian writer John Crowe Ransom
(of the Fugitive Poet fame alongside William Penn Warren).
relationship with animals interweaves throughout her creative work and
practical life. Appropriately the first story she ever published “Is your
Pet a Spiritual Weathervane?” (Earth to God, Come in Please..., 1991)
explores the metaphysical side to these relations. She is the Fiction
Editor at Elohi Gadugi
Journal and writes a blog about radical motherhood.
For more information, please contact Karen Walasek via e-mail at email@example.com or The Writers’ Retreat in Pulaski,
We are also delighted to welcome Elizabeth
Tillar, on-site mentor, for opening a
new retreat in Tamworth, New Hampshire.
The retreat is located in Tamworth,
New Hampshire, a village with spectacular mountain scenery, quaint shops
and cafes, and a library within walking distance. The Lakes Region and
White Mountains offer plenty of winter and summer outdoor activities with
easy access to nearby towns and villages.
In addition to teaching
university students for more than 25 years, Elizabeth Tillar has written
and edited fiction and numerous scholarly articles and books, Elizabeth
is available for consultations and editing during the writer's stay. She
has a M.A. Creative Writing from the University of New Mexico in 1983.
information, please contact Elizabeth Tillar via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or The Writers’ Retreat at Tamworth,
24 HOURS IN A DAY
By Kathleen Hegedus
Congratulations, you’ve set aside some time (a
week, a month, or more) and booked yourself into a writer’s retreat.
Finally, some uninterrupted
time to focus on your writing! Before you start packing, there are a few
things you can do to ensure you’ll have a successful writing experience.
First, set a
goal – a clearly articulated goal, such as finish the manuscript. Or,
perhaps several smaller goals, such as daily word-counts, or polish the
first three chapters, or strengthen the character traits of your
protagonist. Having clearly defined goals help you to gauge your progress
and motivates you to stay on task.
Second, create a
schedule. It can be flexible, but it’s helpful to have an idea about how
you want your day to be organized. How many hours a day do you want to
write? Are you more creative in the morning, the afternoon, or the evening?
Are you also planning to do some online research? Schedule that apart from
your dedicated writing time. Be sure to include some physical exercise to
keep yourself alert and energized. Perhaps the retreat has bicycles
available or access to other activities. You may not have enough time every
day, but some days it might be nice to step out for a cultural activity,
like visiting a nearby town, historical site, or art gallery. These outings
can also fuel your creativity.
advantage of the literary services your retreat offers. These vary greatly
from one retreat to another. Some are highly interactive, making use of
workshops you can register for and other writers you can interact with.
Others are much more reclusive, where you have the opportunity to work
independently, but may still have access to literary consultations either
on site or by email. Often, some of these services are included in your
retreat fee so don’t miss the opportunity to learn from others.
remember to reward yourself. You’ve probably chosen a retreat that is in a
beautiful location. After you’ve put in the hours of hard work writing,
treat yourself to that walk on the beach, that swim in the pool, or that
fresh seafood dinner with your toes in the sand, watching the moon’s
reflection over the waves with a margarita in your hand.
successful and enjoyable retreat!
Kathleen Hegedus is the retreat operator for Casa Larimar on Cabarete beach.
Even you are not able to visit Casa Larimar in
the beautiful Dominican Republic, you can inquire about our literary
services via e-mail at email@example.com for help with your writing project.
For more information, please contact Kahleen T Hegedus-Beeksma at firstname.lastname@example.org or The Writers’ Retreat in Cabarete, Dominican Republic
MAKING WRITING A
PRIORITY - A SPECIAL CHALLENGE FOR WOMEN
By Suzan Erem
The greatest struggle for writers, especially
women, is making writing a priority. It’s easy to find men in history who
found time to write. Hemingway went through a few wives in aid of his
addictions, including writing. Henry Miller lived on thin air and the good
will of his friends while pounding out his tropics and trilogies.
If the movies are any indication, the last women
who hired people to raise their kids so they’d have time to write died with
Victorian England. Today’s woman wants it all – career, children, spouse.
That’s tough competition for something as “selfish” as writing. We are the
caretakers after all. We’re here for our loved ones. Our day jobs, if we’re
lucky, are where we can find fulfillment.
But what if you must write? If you wake up every morning wondering if you’ll
find time to write, and go to bed wondering how you’ll ever find time to
write, you’re in trouble. This is not, as they say these days, sustainable.
What to do?
First, wrap your head around the idea that your
mental health is important. When you are happy and fulfilled, you have more
of yourself to give those you care about. When you are resentful and angry,
that’s all you have to offer. Figure this out and the rest is easy.
Second, once you know your needs are important,
your writing becomes important. Let it compete fairly with your other
priorities. Think about that. Your writing is just as important as, say,
your job, or cheering your kids on at their basketball games or cuddling with
Third, apply solutions from other parts of your
life to your writing. Who watches the kids when you have to work late?
What’s for supper when there’s no time to shop? Those same solutions apply
to writing time. Ask for help from friends and neighbors. Take shortcuts on
a meal now and then. Let someone else help with the homework one night a
week. Turn off the TV!
Fourth, don’t look for other things that will
occupy that time, and if they show up, don’t let them in. Once you’ve
scraped away an hour or two to write, sit down and do it. If you have to
leave the house, do that. If you can’t find any privacy, take over the
bathroom or the basement. It might mean staring at a blank page the entire
time, but that’s OK. Gathering wool is permitted, so long as you’re not
pretending to gather wool while doing the dishes or laundry or driving to
work. That’s not writing. It’s rationalizing about writing.
Finally, if you’ve discovered that writing is what
you must do, invest in your craft – a conference, workshop or yes, week or
two at a writer’s retreat. Working writers know this kind of investment is
crucial if we want to hone our craft. Time away can give you the
opportunity to hear your own voice, or enough time to finish (or finally
abandon) a project you started years ago. It can be a time when you decide
for yourself whether you’re a writer or not. What could be more important?
“Life isn’t a first draft,” someone once said.
This is your life. Remember to let yourself become the person you were meant
Suzan Erem is author of Do I Want to be a Mom? A Woman’s Guide to the Decision of a
Lifetime, and several other books, magazine, newspaper and journal
articles. She invites men and women to come hone their writing at Draco
Hill, 80 acres of rolling prairie, timber and river valley in eastern Iowa.
Contact Suzan Erem at email@example.com or see more about The Writers' Retreat in Iowa City, Iowa.
NEW POETRY WORKSHOPS IN
VERMONT—SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE!
By Tamra J. Higgins
In the northern beauty of Vermont, you can join
other poets to discuss poetry, share your work, receive feedback, and
muse over new creations. Included in this idyllic workshop setting are
four gourmet meals and the chance to read your work at a community
reading at our local art gallery.
Located on forty-six acres in beautiful
north-central Vermont, SPR offers two-day workshops on particular themes
in poetry. For the fall 2013 session, these include Introduction to
Poetry, Nature Poetry, and Narrative Poetry. During each workshop, you
will discuss poetic elements, share your work, give and receive feedback (sharing
and feedback are optional for the Introduction to Poetry workshop), and
partake in poetry writing exercises. Delicious catered meals (lunches and
dinners) are sure to keep you energized and are included with the cost of
the workshop. Time is built into the program to enjoy the outdoors,
whether it is getting some physical exercise or sitting and reflecting by
the pond. You may also partake in an optional public reading at a fine
arts gallery in our quaint Vermont village.
Choose from four two-day workshops offered this
summer and fall by Sundog Poetry Retreat, LLC. Themes include: Introduction to Poetry
(August 9 and 10), The Poetry of Nature (September 13 and 14), Narrative
Poetry (October 4 and 5) and a newly added Poetry and Loss (November 8 and
9). To learn more about Sundog Poetry Retreat, go to
Sundog Poetry Retreat or e-mail Tamra J.
Higgins, owner, Sundog Poetry Retreat at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are located in Jeffersonville, Vermont, 45 minutes drive from
Burlington Vermont, two hours from Montreal, and four hours from Boston. I
look forward to seeing you in Vermont!
The Writers' Retreat
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