Sunday, February 10, 2008

Writer Retreats

We've been discussing writer groups over at Jordan's blog, and I mentioned writer retreats as a working alternative to the annual org cons. I've been on a few private retreats and they were all good experiences -- got to hang with a good variety of writers, knocked out a lot of work, relaxed, talked about the reality of the biz, etc. Because they were private events we arranged ourselves, all we had to pay for was travel costs, hotel rooms and meals. Car pooling and sharing rooms helped keep those reasonable, too.

There are commercial writer retreat sites out there like this one that offer a variety of locations, services and pricing. I recommend getting in touch with a writer who's attended the retreat and asking some questions before committing.

Are there any commercial/non-commercial writer retreats you all know of that you can recommend for the working writers in need of a getaway/battery recharge? If you do, please post some info and any links you might have in comments.

9 comments:

  1. Romance Divas is planning a few retreats. One as a whole Diva Thing, and some of us are planning regional ones. I'm going to be planning one at the Jersey Shore in the off season at a rental house that sleeps 24. Should be reasonable as that works out to $100 for the week per person. But we're in the checking out interest phase.

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  2. Anonymous1:54 PM

    Hi Lynn,
    There's one in Washington State that's for women only and you have to apply for it but it always seems to get raves. Gloria Steinem has done it a couple of times. You can check it out at www.hedgebrook.org .
    Mary-Frances

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  3. The only writers retreats I've done have been on my own. A couple years ago my hubby rented me a room at a B&B so I could write without interruption. I highly recommend it.

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  4. The Kentucky RWA chapter has a group event yearly. I've never been because it's always right around the bratlet's birthday or spring break but I know a lot of the writers love it.

    Sigh. I could use a recharge.

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  5. I'm curious to see what everyone comes up with.

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  6. Great idea for a post, Lynn! I (selfishly) hope someone adds information about retreats in the southern U.S. (I'm near Memphis, Tenn.)

    Or maybe I should organize something like this on a small scale myself for other unpublished fiction writers like me. Know anyone who' done this before and has any tips? :o)

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  7. Shi, the CBC group does an annual cabin weekend in McCall, but I've never gone, either. The more I think about this, the more I think I need a writing retreat!

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  8. The closest thing I've ever done to a retreat was Clarion East, and going into that was scary because I'm such a hard-core loner. The idea of living in a house with strangers and sharing my writing seemed like a nightmare. But I did it anyway, because at the time I thought I needed a jump start and I was a fan of some of the teachers -- and I never regretted it. It was a huge amount of fun, and very relaxing. For me. Others might not feel that way. It is, after all, described as a "bootcamp" for writers, and if you have the wrong mix of personalities (or if you're easily crushed by criticism, some of which may not be remotely intelligent or valid), watch out.

    http://clarion.ucsd.edu/

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  9. Lynn -

    I've attended the Lowcountry Romance Writers' retreat in the Charleston SC area twice and would recommend it highly. It's held in a huge beach house on Isle of Palms which holds about 25 people, and it's really laid-back and relaxed. They schedule a couple of speakers each day of the weekend, but there's lots of time for writing privately or walking on the beach.

    They've also added a 'hermit' week on each side of the retreat for those who want to arrive early or stay late and have more space to themselves.

    It's held in early November. The info is at their website which I can't seem to open right now -- www.lowcountryrwa.com

    Oh, it's not necessarily for romance writers only...

    Terri

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