Summer Writing Retreats, the Pause that Inspires

My writing station

I just got back from a writing retreat on Cape Cod. I go to a retreat every July and January. It’s an amazing, inspiring, informative, fun experience and it builds community. I often start the draft of a novel in July, and this summer was no exception. Finally, I had the time and peace of mind to plunge into an NA historical fantasy, set in the 1930s. I also had time to open a Pinterest account and create a board for my new novel. Why did I wait so long to visually organize my novel elements?! Wanna follow me there? I’ll follow you back!

At the retreat we do readings in the evenings,

Our gang

and they’re always helpful. There’s nothing like running your newest work by fellow writers who you trust implicitly, to make sure you’re on the right track with a fledgling project. Each night someone makes a dinner. Good way to sample interesting food.

Emily’s veggie fest dinner

Other retreats and conferences that I recommend are Squaw Valley, the SCBWI Summer Conference out in LA (& winter one in NYC), the Mendocino Writers’ Conference, the Chautauqua conference & Southampton workshop. If you have the time, you could do a residency. I have a friend who liked Ragdale.

Emily and her coconut yogurt
with lemon zest!
Stairs to beach
Helen ordering pizza



Maggie being writerly

Have you attended a retreat or conference you’d recommend?

In June, I also taught at a writers’ retreat in Rosemont College for MFA students, which rocked the house. I got to try out some crazy-fun new writing prompts on them *insert evil cackle here*

My smart & uber-creative MFA students
Rosemont gargoyles
Some of the Rosemont teachers & faculty

So, do you do retreats, conferences or workshops? Have you ever organized your own? If not, how do you refresh and relight your creative spark?

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