Fifteen minutes long, because you're in a hurry, and we're not that smart.
Writing Excuses Retreats
Since 2013, Writing Excuses has offered retreats and workshops designed to help writers connect, grow, and dig deeper into their craft.
We recognize writing is not as solitary an act as many think. Writing Excuses Retreats aim to create safe and inviting spaces for generating ideas and honing skills. Beyond dedicated time at the keyboard, there are opportunities for instruction and connection, critique and brainstorming.
We’ve grown immensely since our inaugural retreat, where a few dozen writers gathered in a single living room. With over 1,000 alumni from across the globe, the retreats have become an inextricable part of the Writing Excuses experience. This year, we’re excited to announce our first year with three retreat options, two on land and one at sea aboard a cruise ship.
We ‘ re excited about the expanding role the retreats are playing in the lives of our listeners and hope to see you at one of our upcoming events .
2024 Retreats : Register Now
Each of our retreats in 2024 revolves around a different theme, allowing you multiple opportunities to expand your skillset and connect with other writers.
Unlock Your Creative Process Mt. Olivet Retreat Center, MN June 9th – 15th, 2024
Take time to rest, recharge, and build up your writing momentum while honoring your creative process. Register here.
Historical Research & Writing McArthur Manor, Scotland August 2nd – 7th, 2024
Improve your writing skills while swinging swords, enjoying excellent food, and learning traditional Scottish dances. Register here.
WXR Mexican Riviera
Annual Writing Excuses Cruise Departs Los Angeles, CA September 19th – 27th, 2024
Dig deeper into the craft and business of writing aboard our annual cruise, all while sailing the Mexican Riviera. Registration will open in January, 2024.
Find out when tickets become available. Sign up for our newsletter to be among the first to know.
We have two different scholarship types available for Writing Excuses retreats—one for a writer in financial need, and one to a writer of color.
We fund these scholarships through one of our Patreon tiers, donations directly to us, and an alumni fund, generously set up by Heather & Bill Tracy. If you’d like to donate please click here to do so. Each donation makes it possible for us to offer more scholarships and both us and the recipients appreciate it!
Click here to read more about the scholarships .
Jump to navigation Skip to content
- P&W on Facebook
- P&W on Twitter
- P&W on Instagram
Find details about every creative writing competition—including poetry contests, short story competitions, essay contests, awards for novels, grants for translators, and more—that we’ve published in the Grants & Awards section of Poets & Writers Magazine during the past year. We carefully review the practices and policies of each contest before including it in the Writing Contests database, the most trusted resource for legitimate writing contests available anywhere.
Find a home for your poems, stories, essays, and reviews by researching the publications vetted by our editorial staff. In the Literary Magazines database you’ll find editorial policies, submission guidelines, contact information—everything you need to know before submitting your work to the publications that share your vision for your work.
Whether you’re pursuing the publication of your first book or your fifth, use the Small Presses database to research potential publishers, including submission guidelines, tips from the editors, contact information, and more.
Research more than one hundred agents who represent poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers, plus details about the kinds of books they’re interested in representing, their clients, and the best way to contact them.
Every week a new publishing professional shares advice, anecdotes, insights, and new ways of thinking about writing and the business of books.
Stay informed with reports from the world of writing contests, including news of extended deadlines, recent winners of notable awards, new contest announcements, interviews with winners, and more.
Find publishers ready to read your work now with our Open Reading Periods page, a continually updated resource listing all the literary magazines and small presses currently open for submissions.
Since our founding in 1970, Poets & Writers has served as an information clearinghouse of all matters related to writing. While the range of inquiries has been broad, common themes have emerged over time. Our Top Topics for Writers addresses the most popular and pressing issues, including literary agents, copyright, MFA programs, and self-publishing.
Our series of subject-based handbooks (PDF format; $4.99 each) provide information and advice from authors, literary agents, editors, and publishers. Now available: The Poets & Writers Guide to Publicity and Promotion, The Poets & Writers Guide to the Book Deal, The Poets & Writers Guide to Literary Agents, The Poets & Writers Guide to MFA Programs, and The Poets & Writers Guide to Writing Contests.
Find a home for your work by consulting our searchable databases of writing contests, literary magazines, small presses, literary agents, and more.
Poets & Writers lists readings, workshops, and other literary events held in cities across the country. Whether you are an author on book tour or the curator of a reading series, the Literary Events Calendar can help you find your audience.
Get the Word Out is a new publicity incubator for debut fiction writers and poets.
Research newspapers, magazines, websites, and other publications that consistently publish book reviews using the Review Outlets database, which includes information about publishing schedules, submission guidelines, fees, and more.
Well over ten thousand poets and writers maintain listings in this essential resource for writers interested in connecting with their peers, as well as editors, agents, and reading series coordinators looking for authors. Apply today to join the growing community of writers who stay in touch and informed using the Poets & Writers Directory.
Let the world know about your work by posting your events on our literary events calendar, apply to be included in our directory of writers, and more.
Find a writers group to join or create your own with Poets & Writers Groups. Everything you need to connect, communicate, and collaborate with other poets and writers—all in one place.
Find information about more than two hundred full- and low-residency programs in creative writing in our MFA Programs database, which includes details about deadlines, funding, class size, core faculty, and more. Also included is information about more than fifty MA and PhD programs.
Whether you are looking to meet up with fellow writers, agents, and editors, or trying to find the perfect environment to fuel your writing practice, the Conferences & Residencies is the essential resource for information about well over three hundred writing conferences, writers residencies, and literary festivals around the world.
Discover historical sites, independent bookstores, literary archives, writing centers, and writers spaces in cities across the country using the Literary Places database—the best starting point for any literary journey, whether it’s for research or inspiration.
Search for jobs in education, publishing, the arts, and more within our free, frequently updated job listings for writers and poets.
Establish new connections and enjoy the company of your peers using our searchable databases of MFA programs and writers retreats, apply to be included in our directory of writers, and more.
- Register for Classes
Each year the Readings & Workshops program provides support to hundreds of writers participating in literary readings and conducting writing workshops. Learn more about this program, our special events, projects, and supporters, and how to contact us.
The Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award introduces emerging writers to the New York City literary community, providing them with a network for professional advancement.
Find information about how Poets & Writers provides support to hundreds of writers participating in literary readings and conducting writing workshops.
Bring the literary world to your door—at half the newsstand price. Available in print and digital editions, Poets & Writers Magazine is a must-have for writers who are serious about their craft.
View the contents and read select essays, articles, interviews, and profiles from the current issue of the award-winning Poets & Writers Magazine .
Read three decades of essays, articles, interviews, profiles, and other select content from Poets & Writers Magazine .
View the covers and contents of every issue of Poets & Writers Magazine , from the current edition all the way back to the first black-and-white issue in 1987.
In our weekly series of craft essays, some of the best and brightest minds in contemporary literature explore their craft in compact form, articulating their thoughts about creative obsessions and curiosities in a working notebook of lessons about the art of writing.
The Time Is Now offers weekly writing prompts in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction to help you stay committed to your writing practice throughout the year. Sign up to get The Time Is Now, as well as a weekly book recommendation for guidance and inspiration, delivered to your inbox.
Every week a new author shares books, art, music, writing prompts, films—anything and everything—that has inspired and shaped the creative process.
Watch videos, listen to audio clips, and view slideshows related to articles and features published in Poets & Writers Magazine .
Ads in Poets & Writers Magazine and on pw.org are the best ways to reach a readership of serious poets and literary prose writers. Our audience trusts our editorial content and looks to it, and to relevant advertising, for information and guidance.
Start, renew, or give a subscription to Poets & Writers Magazine ; change your address; check your account; pay your bill; report a missed issue; contact us.
Peruse paid listings of writing contests, conferences, workshops, editing services, calls for submissions, and more.
Poets & Writers is pleased to provide free subscriptions to Poets & Writers Magazine to award-winning young writers and to high school creative writing teachers for use in their classrooms.
Read select articles from the award-winning magazine and consult the most comprehensive listing of literary grants and awards, deadlines, and prizewinners available in print.
- Subscribe Now
Conferences & Residencies Contact Form
Help us keep this database current. If you know about a conference or residency that is not currently listed, please let us know. Be sure to include the name and email address of an appropriate contact person.
Conferences and Residencies Database
- Help Keep This Database Current
Looking to meet up with agents and editors? To join a supportive writing community? Or to find the perfect environment to fuel your writing practice? The Conferences & Residencies database includes details about over two hundred writing conferences, writers residencies, and literary festivals.
A Rally of Writers
The 37th annual A Rally of Writers conference will be held on April 13 at the West Campus of Lansing Community College in Lansing, Michigan. The conference features workshops, panel discussions, and readings in poetry, fiction, and creative...
A.I.R. Studio Paducah
A.I.R. Studio Paducah offers residencies of two weeks to three months year-round to poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers in the Lower Town Arts District of Paducah, Kentucky. Residents are provided with a private apartment and...
Agents & Editors Conference
The Writers’ League of Texas (WLT) 2022 Agents & Editors Conference was held from June 24 to June 26 at the Hyatt Regency on Lady Bird Lake in Austin, Texas. The conference featured presentations, panels, authors in conversation, a keynote...
All Write Creative Nonfiction Conference
The 2022 All Write Creative Nonfiction Conference was held from October 19 to October 23 at the Spencertown Academy in Columbia County, New York. The conference featured one-hour workshops to discuss 15 to 20 pages of each writer’s work, an...
All Write Fiction Conference
The 2023 All Write Fiction Conference will be held from November 9 to November 12 at the Spencertown Academy in Columbia County, New York. The conference features workshops to discuss 15 to 20 pages of each writer’s work, an opening night...
American Literary Translators Association Conference
The 46th annual American Literary Translators Association Conference was held from November 8 to November 11 at the Tucson Marriott University Park Hotel in Tucson. Programming included panels, roundtables, bilingual readings, a bookfair, a...
American University of Paris Summer Creative Writing Institute
The American University of Paris Summer Creative Writing Institute offers workshops to poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers from July 1 to July 23 on the university’s campus in the seventh arrondissement of Paris. The faculty...
Anderson Center Artist Residencies
The 2024 AWP Conference and Bookfair was held from February 7 to February 10 at the Kansas City Convention Center in Kansas City, Missouri, and included a virtual component comprised of prerecorded and livestreamed events. The conference features...
Atlanta Writers Conference
The spring 2024 Atlanta Writers Conference, sponsored by the Atlanta Writers Club, will be held from May 3 to May 4 at the Westin Atlanta Airport Hotel. The conference includes a book fair featuring attendees’ books; presentations on the craft...
Biographers International Organization Conference
The 2023 Biographers International Organization (BIO) Conference was held from May 19 to May 21 at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York in New York City as well as online. The conference featured panels on current issues in...
The Bogliasco Foundation offers month-long residencies from January to May and from September to December to poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers in the coastal fishing village of Bogliasco, Italy, located seven miles southeast...
Brattleboro Literary Festival
Come write with us—from home..
The Center for Creative Writing offers annual writing retreats on multiple topics and genres for writers who seek an immersive experience.
Our writing retreats for the foreseeable future will be supportive, community-building, intensive…and 100% virtual. We adapted some of our in-person offerings to provide an incredible retreat experience you can enjoy from the safety and comfort of home. 2024 dates coming soon!
Center writing retreats are nurturing:
- We connect you with a passionate teacher for expert guidance;
- We help you build a tiny but mighty community of other writers; and
- We offer private, luxury accommodations in beautiful, vacation-worthy places around the U.S.
Center writing retreats are accessible:
- Our long-weekend intensive format provides an escape for even the most time-challenged writers, for whom a week or two away from jobs, families, and responsibilities is simply not feasible;
- Our teachers work with retreat registrants to optimize sessions and content for their individual goals and projects, no matter their level of experience; and
- We strive to choose locations that accommodate a range of special needs and requests, so your time spent writing is as comfortable as possible.
Center writing retreats are transformative:
- You will be (re)energized in group sessions with people as dedicated to writing as you are and want to be;
- You will remember why you write in productive solitary sessions; and
- You will carry a renewed sense of wonder and inspiration home with you to fuel your creativity long after the retreat concludes.
VIRTUAL Write for Your Life retreat
Writing for Children long weekend intensive writing retreat
Write for Your Life long weekend intensive writing retreat
Writing a Small-Scale Memoir long weekend intensive writing retreat
Copyright 2020 ~ Center for Creative Writing
COACHING + PUBLISHING
FORMATTING + DESIGN
16 Writing Retreats for Women: Dream About Them, Then Apply
by Farrah Daniel | Dec 7, 2020
Since COVID-19 has drastically changed the world we live in, these retreats may be canceled, postponed or moved online. Check with each individual retreat for details.
Many people who identify as women feel their writing lives can be made all the more challenging due to their lives as women.
Perhaps they are largely responsible for childcare or housework, putting their creativity on the backburner; perhaps they were not encouraged to follow their dreams and skills in the same way their male counterparts were.
Whether or not that sounds like you, there’s no doubt many women writers crave the idea of retreating from their everyday lives to focus on their creative work with groups of like-minded women. Enter the writing retreat, made sweeter when you’re surrounded by other writers who are women who also get you.
Whatever your motivations for seeking out a writing retreat, you will likely find one that suits your needs.
Retreats are an investment worth taking from time to time — you’ll get a chance to reset your creativity, be newly inspired and meet good friends.
Is a women’s writing retreat just what you need?
These women’s writing retreats happen annually (or many times a year), in a variety of North American and international locations.
There are itineraries to suit all kinds of interests, plus budget-friendly (or free!) retreats as well as more luxurious options.
Our team at The Write Life has not personally attended these retreats, so please consider this list as a starting point and do your own due diligence before attending.
Here are some women’s writing retreat options to consider:
1. Pink Pangea Travel Writing Retreats
Pink Pangea is a community for women who love to travel, and in addition to holding online writing workshops, they run international writing retreats.
While travel writing is the primary focus, writers interested in a broader range of genres are encouraged to attend.
What’s special about Pink Pangea’s Travel Writing Retreats is several are held throughout the year, in different locations all around the world: Iceland, Switzerland, Spain, Israel, Greece, Portugal, France and Italy.
The prices are a bargain and include many accommodations, which definitely make Pink Pangea retreats an affordable option for non-funded retreats.
2020 pricing: Starting at $985.
2. Sacred Expression Women’s Retreat
The Sacred Expression Women’s Retreat is held at Lake Atitlan, Guatemala a couple of times per year.
In a peaceful and inspiring setting, the calming lake spread out below the resort plus the pointed volcanic peaks rising behind are just some things that will make it easy to engage in the retreat’s intimate and honest gatherings.
The retreats incorporate yoga, meditation, and spiritual and creative expression. And the best part is participants don’t need to formally consider themselves writers — just be interested in a “self-exploratory creative and spiritual journey of the pen and heart.”
Before you register for one of the multiple retreat opportunities available, know the organizer admits this isn’t the best retreat for those who have a single project they want to focus on during the retreat.
2020 pricing: Starting at $722.
3. TLC Retreats for Women
The TLC Retreats for Women are held for up to five days in various locations like Greece, Mexico, Italy and throughout the U.S.
Host Tammy Coia specializes in helping women feel empowered and get unstuck in their writing projects. She also works with participants to release and let go of any memories that “remain a part of their pain through writing.” The focus is mainly on making progress in your writing, but there are other activities scheduled, including sightseeing and cooking classes.
Shorter, three-day retreats are held in Georgia, California and Washington, which may be ideal for women who don’t have a big budget or a lot of time for international travel.
2020 pricing: Starting at $600 for shorter U.S. retreats; $$1,950 for longer international ones.
4. Retreat & Create
Did you know The Write Life’s founder Alexis Grant offers a writers’ retreat for women?
Open to writers and career-focused women who yearn for the space and solitude to focus on their work, this retreat is held in the scenic and historic mountain town of Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. Only some of Grant’s events are women-only, so look out for those cohorts when you apply.
Official 2021 dates have yet to be announced. In the meantime, you have tons to look forward to at Grant’s retreat: plenty of time to make headway or finish a project, an easy-to-moderate hike each morning, plus group dinners at cozy, local restaurants.
If you’d rather dive deep into solo work time, Retreat & Create can help you there, too.
2021 pricing : TBD, but the cost includes meals, accommodations and activities.
5. Page Lambert Retreats
Nature writer Page Lambert has led some unusual and adventurous writing retreats for women for more than 20 years.
Each retreat provides a secluded place to work on a novel, memoir or work of poetry. In addition to the unique kind of writing and artistic focus found here, adventures like hiking and snowshoeing will no doubt inspire participants in new ways.
Writers can enjoy a retreat in the Grand Canyon, or one in Lambert’s renovated cabin in the mountains of Colorado, making it the perfect retreat for any writer who wants to be surrounded by thousands of acres of open space meadows
2020 pricing: Starting at $7701,725.
6. The Taos Writer’s Retreat
Led by writer and personal growth pioneer Jennifer Louden, these writers’ retreats for women are mainly held in Taos, New Mexico, but she’s also hosted them in Mexico, California and other parts of the U.S.
Unlike many writers’ retreats for women that include daily yoga/meditation or activities designed to be therapeutic, the Taos Writer’s Retreat was created specifically to help women writers hone their craft and work on a project.
Jennifer’s retreats are for writers of all levels who work in various genres and have a story they intend to deepen, clarify and shape.
In 2021, up to 22 women can attend the two retreat opportunities available with Louden: The Taos Deep Dive and Revision Writer’s Retreat from October 24-30 in New Mexico, and the The Desire Retreat in North Carolina from September 4-9.
Registration is open!
2021 pricing: Starting at $2,390.
7. Creative Revolution Retreats
Creative Revolution retreats are held in Salta, Argentina, with Nicaragua and Costa Rica destinations in the past.The Argentina retreat is held in a three-bedroom private space in the heart of the city, so you know the only distraction you’ll have is resisting the urge to endlessly explore all the picturesque attractions.
The philosophy behind the Creative Revolution Retreats is that all women have an amazing story inside of them. “I want to help more women feel confident with their writing, finish their masterpieces and build professional careers,” writes host Leigh Shulman.
No writing sample here; just a short questionnaire.
2020 pricing: Salta retreat starting at $2,500.
Hedgebrook is technically a writing residency , as successful applicants are given a fully-funded stay on a 48-acre peaceful country property for a period of two to four weeks, throughout the year.
The beautiful handcrafted cabins that house the residents are tucked away on Whidbey Island in Washington State. While there, writers of all backgrounds and experience levels explore their work, share their processes and stories with other writers — not to mention tour beaches to see cliff top views.
Fair warning: The application process is competitive!
2020 pricing : Free for all women.
9. The Kentucky Foundation for Women Retreats and Residencies
The catch with the Kentucky Foundation for Women Retreats and Residencies is only women residents in the U.S. state of Kentucky are eligible for these retreats of up to six days.
However, if you meet the criteria, know the retreats and residencies are open to women artists of all genres who are committed to feminism and activism. If you also want to advance artistic expression and social justice for women and girls in Kentucky, even better.
Participants of all stages in their artistic and social change development are hosted in Hopscotch House, a renovated old farmhouse on the 10-acre property of a classic Kentucky ranch.
2020 pricing : Free.
10. Storyknife Writers Retreat
These two- to four-week residencies in mountainous Homer, Alaska are all about celebrating vital stories by women, whether they’re in the form of plays, novels, essays or memoirs.
Since these stories aren’t promoted as often as those authored by men, Storyknife Writers Retreat provides this time for woman-identified or nonbinary people to explore their craft in a distractionless, supportive environment where each writer knows their work is valuable.
2020 pricing : TBD. The 2020 retreat was postponed due to COVID; price information is unavailable.
11. A Writer Within’s Writing Retreats for Women
Writer and editor Kathryn Kay hosts week-long writers’ retreats in a villa in Tuscany, Italy, where she invites women to use this time to expand the boundaries of their imaginations.
Here, all writers have to do is relax, attend workshops to learn how to master writing elements, generate new ideas and break through writing blocks. With the stunning views and mouthwatering cuisine to boot, Kay hopes participants can reconnect with their creative flow and write like they never have before.
To create a stress-free environment, all accommodations are taken care of, including meals, transportation, plus a robust schedule of outings and excursions.
2021 pricing : Starting at $2,900.
12. Unplug and Write All-Inclusive Writers’ Retreat
At author Jess Lourey’s retreat in St. Paul, Minnesota, your focus will be on four objectives: Claiming your voice, nourishing your body, honoring your courage, connecting with your creativity.
And as a tenured writing professor who has authored 20 books (and counting!), she has the skills and experience to help you accomplish those things through group workshops plus a private coaching session.
While your mornings at the beautifully-restored Summit Avenue mansion will feature meditation, yoga and writing, you’ll be free to read or relax in the afternoons. This retreat is open to female writers of all stripes and stages.
2021 pricing : Starting at $1,150.
13. Find Your Story: The Life Writing Conference for Older Women
If you’re an older writer looking for a writing coach to help you start (or get unstuck with) your memoir, Jennifer Westrom’s conference in Dallas, Texas is where you need to be.
As an author, writing coach and licensed professional counselor, Westrom focuses on telling and shaping the stories of older women. That’s why she hosts these guided writing events, where she assists writers with therapeutic writing exercises and instruction about story structure organization. At this retreat, Westrom aims to find and feel your story, so you can have more confidence writing it.
Plus, proceeds from Westrom’s event help women even more: all profits pay for long term, individual trauma counseling for women who want to exit work in the sex industry.
2021 pricing : Starting at $795.
14. Poets on the Coast: A Weekend Writing Retreat for Women
Authors Kelli Russell Agodon and Susan Rich bring poets together in La Conner, Washington to write, read, share work and be a part of a creative community.
Their main goal is to support and encourage writers, so participants are welcome to spend this time however they choose. (Even if you only want to write to yourself and walk along the riverfront.)
Since sessions are designed so writers can find something valuable to take away, there’s plenty of opportunities to nudge writers of all levels out of their comfort zones.
While Agodon and Rich give each writer personal attention to help them along individual goals, everything from the sessions, workshops, one-on-one’s with the authors, writing prompts and more are all optional.
Note: 2021 registration is closed, but you can still bookmark this one to attend in 2022!
2021 pricing : Starting at $495 (does not include lodging).
15. Salty Quill Writers Retreat
Imagine this: A week-long retreat on a 110-acre private island filled with rocky coves and beaches, fields, forest, and wildlife; days of uninterrupted writing time in rooms with ocean views; catered meals; and after-dinner readings and critiques.
That’s just some of what awaits you at this writers’ retreat for women at McGee Island in Maine. In the real world, writing time is a luxury most can’t afford. That’s why Salty Quill retreats aim to help writers dedicate themselves to their craft.
After kayaking, hiking, rowboating, and enjoying relaxing (or adventure-filled) afternoons, you won’t want to leave this retreat. But when you do, you’ll leave with a renewed sense of purpose and value in your work — not to mention a brand new supportive community of writers.
2021 pricing : Starting at $1,375. Scholarships available.
16. Edgewalkers Women’s Writing & Walking Weekend
Dr. Erika Jacobson is a creativity specialist who has spent the last 15 years helping people connect with their self-expression and creative source — when you attend this Edgewalkers retreat in Australia, she can do the same for you.
Whether you need inspiration to start or revive a writing project, or if you just need time in nature to explore ideas and write, this is just the three-day retreat you need to discover how creative you truly are.
Set in the beautiful town of Margaret River, this retreat invites you to go on exciting walks and dive into storytelling and techniques as you learn from a dedicated team of artists. Most of all, go to celebrate your strength and how sensational you are.
2021 pricing : Starting at $1,380.
Want more options? We have another post on writing retreat getaways for all genders.
Have you attended any of these writers’ retreats for women? Have any others to recommend? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
This is an updated version of a story that was previously published. We update our posts as often as possible to ensure they’re useful for our readers. links yes 1 links yes 1
Honor your writing and sell your book.
Carmel-by-the-sea, california beckons….
“I’ve never paid to go on retreat before and joked that I didn’t need to come, but I really did. I needed to get out of my loft, out of my office. To be in a beautiful place, surrounded by other writers. It didn’t matter to me if they were published or not. The bottom line was that we were all there trying to do the same thing, and I appreciate and thank every one of them.”
Terry McMillan , #1 New York Times bestselling novelist (author of 10 books, including Waiting to Exhale and How Stella Got Her Groove Back , both of which became hit movies)
Current Carmel Schedule Jan. 29 – Feb. 2, 2024 (full) Sept. 9 – 13, 2024
Hello! I’m so happy you found me. The Internet is magic! I’m Linda , and since 2009, I’ve led nearly 100 dreamy writing retreats in my favorite place growing up, one of the most desirable artist communities in the world, Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA. In this treasured hamlet, a longtime favorite of legendary residents Jack London, Mary Austin, Upton Sinclair, and Ansel Adams (rated the #8 Travel Destination in the U.S. by Condé Nast magazine), countless bestsellers, friendships, and writerly, business, and book dreams have been birthed.
Everyone says it. Carmel is magical! Our participants are, too. They come from every career background and country imaginable, with open hearts and unbounded talent that wows me each time. In this creative soup, new books emerge, old books are sorted out, and we all have psychic revelations for each other. Yep. It’s that otherworldly. And, most importantly, it’s WORKING, as you’ll see by the book-deal testimonials sprinkled throughout. It’s been my great pleasure to connect 50 retreaters so far with their literary agents , resulting in book contracts with traditional publishers at a rate of something like 26 x the national average . [These stats are far more significant now and need to be updated, but math scares me, so bear with me.]
I cap the retreat size to 5 participants , which means lots of space to dive deep for everyone.
Spots fill fast! If your intuition tells you it’s time, and you’re jonesin’ to join us, join the wait list below (no commitment necessary) so we can schedule a phone/Zoom chat to discuss your project. I. Cannot. Wait.
“… I’ve had so many pinch-myself moments. I’ve dreamt of this for so long; I’m trying to soak it all in that it’s happening. And I simply can’t overstate your influence on my career, my debut novel, and my writing community. I’ve written two novels since my debut—one set in Bali, and one in Tel Aviv, and both in the same book club fiction vein—and am just really happy. Thank you thank you thank you, Lin. You really are my fairy bookmother! ❤ XO”
Jaclyn Goldis , novelist, When We Were Young (Grand Central Publishing/Hachette, 2021), and The Chateau , a Novel (Atria Books, 2023)
“By the end of the retreat, Linda had helped me sort through whether to pitch my book direct to my dream publisher or go with an agent, which has been a lifelong dream. She hooked me up with my first choice of a NY agent before the retreat was up, and a week later I signed with that agent, who not only agreed to represent my next book, but also brought me in to ghostwrite for one of my longtime, personal (s)heroes, Erin Brockovich . (We finished the proposal, which sold for a significant deal, and just finished the book!) Also, after a brainstorm with a friend at the retreat, we’re working on a super cool book too.
“In one week I filled the next few years of my writing career with dream projects. Plus, Carmel is one of the most magical places I’ve ever visited; we ate delicious food, and I left with some amazing new girlfriends and a forever friend in Linda. How’s that for wow?”
Suzanne Boothby , co-author of Erin Brockovich’s Superman’s Not Coming: Our National Water Crisis and What WE THE PEOPLE Can Do About It (Pantheon/Knopf, Aug. 2020)
What do we work on?
Breathe life into your book proposal , novel , memoir , non-fiction business , self-help book , cookbook , overall business & career marketing plan … WHATEVER’S whispering (or yelling) in your ear for time and loving attention.
Show up with merely a few ideas, a belly full of them, nothing but a title and a gut feeling, or two full manuscripts. It all works. I love helping wide-eyed first-time writers and veteran authors, people at the BEGINNING of their creative process (to shortcut their path from IDEA to DONE), and battle-weary pros in need of a creative B12 shot. If you’re a newbie, we’ve got you. You won’t feel that way past day #1 (and, we’ll likely save you years of doing it the hard way).
Conversely, if you’ve been at this FOREVER and ache for fresh perspectives and insights, you’re coming to the right place. And I’ve got one hell of an address book, so if it’s connections you long for, I love making those intros when the time is right. Birthing a book takes a team; I’m all about team love.
Jennifer Cramer-Miller , from the Acknowledgment pages of Incurable Optimist: Living with Illness and Chronic Hope (She Writes Press, 2023)
“Linda is the literary Fairy God Sister sprinkling pixie dust over your book proposal. Having gone to her Carmel Writing Retreat and then taken her Book Proposal Magic course online, I can say firsthand that every time we interact, I leave feeling so much clearer and more able and motivated to create my own magic.”
Penelope Patricia Jagessar Chaffer , Sundance Artist in Residence in partnership with Johns Hopkins University and MIT Research Fellow
Taylor Dayne , singer/songwriter, with 18 top-10 Billboard hits, Tell It to My Heart: How I Lost My S#*T, Conquered My Fear, and Found My Voice (Wyatt-MacKenzie, 2019)
Erica Mather , founder of the Yoga Clinic of NYC, The Adore Your Body Transformational Program, and author of Your Body, Your Best Friend: End the Confidence-Crushing Pursuit of Unrealistic Beauty Standards and Embrace Your True Power (New Harbinger, 2020)
“I didn’t come to make new friends, yet I left with sisters. I wanted hard criticism, yet I was given constructive, loving responses. I didn’t want to write the tough stuff, yet I was supported through nerves and tears. I wanted to resist, resist, resist, but the energy in the room wouldn’t allow the muse check-out.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re a writing lion or a cub, just attend the retreat. Release your ideas from captivity. Receive the gifts that await you. You won’t regret it. In fact, your life will be altered forever and for the better!”
Dina Eastwood Ruiz , journalist, Carmel magazine
Elise Museles , founder of Kale & Chocolate (.com) and author of Food Story: Rewrite the Way You Think, Eat, and Live (Sounds True, October, 2021) and Whole Food Energy: 200 All Natural Recipes to Help You Prepare, Refuel, and Recover (Barron’s Educational)
Dr. Dave Davis , novelist, family doctor, and professor at University of Toronto. (Dr. Dave’s wife bought the retreat for her husband for their anniversary, and we found another “dude” for the good doctor to bunk with:) )
I live to help you. I’ve written book proposals for clients that have garnered 6- & 7-figure book deals and have worked with most major publishers. (Retreaters have also received 6- & 7-figure book deals.) In the last decade, aside from interviewing many of the world’s most beloved authors for my top-rated Literature podcast, the BEAUTIFUL WRITERS PODCAST , and championing/ coaching several hundred writers (both individually and in groups), I co-authored among other collaborations: Harmonic Wealth , Hyperion Generation Gree n , Simon & Schuster; Closer Than You Think , Hampton Roads, and Your Big Beautiful Book Plan , self-published with Danielle LaPorte. The first two won multiple awards and hit the bestseller lists, the third is now published in 9 languages, and the fourth has led to countless book deals. I also collaborated with Emmy-winning life coach Rhonda Britten on Do I Look Fat In This? (Dutton) , and with the publisher of SUCCESS magazine, Darren Hardy, on his business bestseller, The Compound Effect (Vanguard Press, a NYT , Wall Street Journal , and USA Today bestseller). Meaning: I love this stuff!
It’s your retreat to work on anything you want feedback on—your pitch, book outline, chapters, and even your website! If you’ve been avoiding pieces at home, bring them here. We will wrangle you!
Afraid of writing your book proposal (the lengthy business plan publishers must have before offering you a book deal)? Most people are. Let my enthusiasm rub off. The good news: If your topic is non-fiction, you don’t have to write your whole manuscript to get a lit agent or a book deal. You only need a unique concept backed by a winning book proposal with a few beautifully written sample chapters.
To help in a big way (something you can start the minute you sign up), you’ll receive access to my Book Proposal Magic course (normally sells for $800), where I walk you through every step of your proposal from Idea to Done & Sold. We can review it together during the retreat if you decide to work on it before you come. Also included: Your Big Beautiful Book Plan , my co-creation with Oprah 100 Leader Danielle LaPorte. Write on!
No matter what you’re working on , you’ll dance with your muse during this retreat and rock your book’s casbah once and for all! Hasn’t that idea been rolling around in your brain long enough?
Retreat size = intimate, so everyone gets maximum value.
The deets (what, where, when, price…).
Where: Only the most beautiful hotels! I have a theory, often corroborated by our retreaters: When you put yourself in extraordinary beauty and receive pampering far outside your norm, it’s easier to raise your vision of what’s possible for your life and writing future. (Think about it. You’re so busy taking care of your people—who has time for much writing, much less luxury? I make sure you do!)
I started these Carmel retreats in a lovely redwood rental treehouse by the sea. I saw that inspiration flowed when women gave themselves the gift of traveling to and surrounding themselves with a mix of natural and artistic beauty. Magic unfolded. Our home base is the La Playa Hotel, a newly renovated 1905 gem initially built by the Ghirardelli heir for his ARTIST wife steps from the sands of Carmel Beach. It’s a three-minute walk from the ridiculously darling shops, galleries, & cafes of this charming hamlet. And there are all sorts of nooks and crannies for writing—in your private room overlooking the Pacific, in the hotel’s lush gardens, intimate patios, secluded courtyards, and at the beach, in a cafe or patisserie, or in front of the fire.
I’ve taken these retreats on the road, once into Carmel Valley when the La Playa was full, and another time to the Four Seasons, Scottsdale (where my husband and I live with our herd of horses and our pack of dogs), and both were divine. Look for our main hashtag #CarmelWritingRetreat hashtag on social media or #BeautifulWritersRetreat.
When: Each retreat starts Monday before our group dinner and ends Friday after our delicious brainstorming brunch. Some retreaters stay to enjoy the town for an additional day or two. All know their next steps, with solid plans for maintaining their magical momentum once they return home.
What : Dinner on Ocean Ave., at my favorite eatery, il Fornaio, where we gather to share our dreams and intentions for the week and evermore. Hint: Tell us what you’re REALLY up to so we can help you get there!
Our days together are rich and full:
- Private consulting, writing, and editing sessions with me.
- Hours of peaceful writing time.
- Energizing daily reading & brainstorming sessions with the group.
- Brisk walks on the beach or through the heavenly town.
- Exceptionally delicious meals (napping anyone?).
- Sisterhood (and sometimes brotherhood!).
- Synchronicity, and more laughter and perhaps tears than you’ve had in years.
You’ll arrive as strangers and depart as lifelong friends & writing comrades. For an in-depth breakdown of our daily schedule, click here.
Price: For in-person retreats: $14,000 ($7,000 due upon sign-up to hold your spot, & the balance due 30 days later). This covers ALL retreat expenses—lodging, food, & instruction—except travel. Plus, you’ll receive two private sessions with me when you’re ready after we return (plus any unused private time you may have banked during the Retreat)—usually used for pitching to agents. I’m generally available for additional editing, brainstorming, and agent connecting for an hourly rate when needed.
This is a sizable investment, maybe more than you’ve ever spent on yourself. But my retreaters consistently tell me it’s more than worth the price for how it catapults their lives and work and that the incredible beauty and pampering of our hotels and natural surroundings help supercharge the magic. (We women are so busy caring for everyone else that giving ourselves such a gift is rare and life-changing.) Because I keep the groups so small, and they’ve replaced my ghostwriting—and radically slowed down my book writing—not everyone can afford to spend a week with me. But for those who do, I work hard to ensure the experience is priceless.
My father raised me with the notion that business should be collaborative and a “win-win” all around. This is his philosophy in action. The agents win. My clients win. And I have the most incredible experience acting as midwife.
Virtual Retreat: $8,000 ($4,000 due upon sign-up, to hold your spot, & the balance due a week later). You get all of the instruction, connection, and value—in 3.5 weeks instead of 5 days—without having to find a sitter for the dogs and kids or pay for travel. Receive my 6-module Book Proposal Magic course (that sells for $800) for free upon sign-up.
My goal is to help make you agent ready and to facilitate those introductions when you are! I work with top agents in NYC and elsewhere and can’t wait to send them your project. They’re always looking for new, powerful voices + material. If you think about it, helping you WIN helps everything I’ve worked a lifetime to create rolling.
Kelly Noonan Gores, actress, writer, director, and producer of HEAL , the award-winning film (#1 Best Seller on iTunes, streaming on Netflix) and book (Beyond Words/Simon & Schuster)
“From there, things happened fast. Linda introduced me to my perfect match lit agent , who wrote to me right before I spoke with her that her heart is totally in this project! We’re so aligned and I feel she will have my back, just as Linda did in affirming my dream and voice and how best to move forward. Contracts have been signed and I’m floored. My heart is overflowing with joy, love, and gratitude!”
Diane Danvers Simmons , My Mother Next Door (Koehler Books, November, 2021)
“The Carmel Retreat feels like a dream now. Except that in so many ways I now divide my life into BC, Before Carmel, and AC, After Carmel. BC I was terrified of investing money in my writing, nervous about getting the most out of the week, worried I wouldn’t be able to write. All of that seems impossible and ridiculous in my AC hindsight.
“Carmel was the best money I ever spent on myself . I wrote 2,800 words in four days. Figured out a title and a plan for two projects. Met the most extraordinary group of women who will be my friends for life. And maybe most importantly, I came back not only reinvigorated in my commitment to my writing, but with a new momentum throughout my life. I’m back at the gym twice a week, took up transcendental meditation (thanks to my Carmel roomie!), and generally feel more optimistic about a future that I now deeply believe includes success in my writing. You are truly magic, Linda. You have an extraordinary ability to bring the right people together at the right time, an uncanny gift for facilitation (the perfect title, the perfect edit, the perfect plan), and a very special way of bringing forward the best in those around you. The supportive, girl power, creative experience you’ve created is like no other and one that I will treasure always.”
Allison Hill, Former CEO/President of Vroman’s and Book Soup (L.A.’s two largest indie bookstores), and current CEO of American Booksellers Association
“I saw Linda speak at a writer’s conference, and her expertise, warmth, and genuine passion for supporting others were evident. I jumped at the chance to join her Beautiful Writers Retreat – a truly transformational experience. Linda’s industry knowledge, honest and insightful feedback, loving heart, and unwavering support create a space for focused, vulnerable, high-quality work. She reinforced the value of my story, made it better than I could have alone, and gave me the momentum to finish my manuscript.”
Jennifer Maggiore , CEO, writer, media consultant
Janice MacLeod , artist & author of New York Times bestseller Paris Letters, Sourcebooks ( click here for Janice’s thoughts on her follow-up memoir, Paris Year , with St. Martin’s Press–Summer, 2017)
“She knew exactly who would be right for me. By our second day together I already had a promising lead with an agent at a big, badass agency. I ended up signing with that agent (at Writers House ) and a month later we pitched my book to publishers. MULTIPLE publishers were interested–including a top publisher who said my title was “too edgy.” That’s a deal breaker for me.
“Thankfully, an indie press–ECW (who, according to Publishers Weekly , is “one of the most diversified independent publishers in North America”)–courted me and I fell in LOVE with the editor. SOLD! Somebody pinch me! I wouldn’t have found my agent without Linda. Seriously, just give her all of your money and go to Carmel. #WORTHIT”
Sarah Vermunt , author of Careergasm: Find Your Way to Feel-Good Work , (where it became the #1 bestselling Career book in Canada!)
“I had a big speaking event planned and needed a book—no time for traditional publishing! I wrote as fast as I could and Linda squeezed in time for some MASTERFUL edits. Eight months after the retreat, I self-published Kids These Days . Now, one-month post-launch, we’re #1 in Calgary! We’ve sold our first 10,000 copies, with 5000 more on order . And, my book is next to my idol Brené Brown’s latest in bookstores! Whaaaaat?! I’ve scheduled Carmel for my next book—another story that needs to be told. Linda says she can’t wait to take me to agents, wanting me to experience a bidding war this time. I can’t even. We’ll keep you posted!”
Jody Carrington, Ph.D. Speaker. Author of Kids These Days: A Game Plan for (Re)Connecting with Those We Teach, Lead, & Love
Can’t come in person or you want to start sooner? Check out my super fun Virtual Retreats without the travel expenses! A few “regulars” who’ve been to multiple in-person retreats swear the vibe & results are the same. They, maybe like you, have hectic careers and need to schedule their writing with inspirational support and group accountability, over a longer period of time. Ahhh.
Additional ways to work together: private consulting , my membership community (the Beautiful Writers Group ), my downloadable Book Proposal Magic course (w/ add-on one-on-one brainstorming sessions), and Your Big Beautiful Book Plan . xo
For lots more retreat testimonials…
Have questions? Want more in-depth details? The FAQ page has so much more…
Want the scoop on our hour-by-hour daily schedule ?
Read about these retreats on Forbes.com and CARMEL magazine .
Space fills up quickly, so take a minute to fill out the wait list form!
In closing, as of January 2018, Merry, my 8 lb toy poodle angel (as seen in many of these pics), is now a literal angel. There are no words for how much I miss her, my soulful ball of joy and love. All the more reason to live my best life—our best life. Time is precious. So, so precious.
Publish or Perish: Ready to Launch Your Writing? My Top Secrets to Landing the Deal
Download my free audio right now for :
- THE #1 secret I’ve ever found for taking writing from good to unignorable —fast!
- The top 3 little-known mistakes I see most new writers make, preventing them from landing that coveted book contract.
- How to script your Book Proposal’s success so that you land your dream agent and dreamier book deal .
You’ll also be added to my monthly newsletter for all the latest intel.
💜 The BEST video you’ll see on publishing, maybe ever. So much success for a gal who said on my pod and in my #BeautifulWritersBook, “Oh my God. If you could see my first drafts, you’d think Sabaa doesn’t know what she’s doing!” 😂 Isn’t that a relief? Keep going, y’all. And if you haven’t heard Sabaa with one of her besties, bestselling author @tomiadeyemi (two of the top YA fantasy authors of all time, talking about how hard it is to write, how rewarding it is, and how to ask for/demand what you’re worth), you’re going to LOVE them. 🌟🌟 Watch #readwithjenna tomorrow. And, if you need a date tonight, make it these two! 💜💜https://bit.ly/3UBDfFC (link in bio). Congrats, Sabaa! 🎉Write on. LS #BeauifulWritersPodcast #SabaaTahir #TomiAdeyemi #PublishingSuperstars #coverreveal repost @sabaatahir. . . Check out @readwithjenna for the announcement of my next book with a cover and release date, at 10am tomorrow. ...
My funny valentine. You still make me laugh EVERY day, babe! xo ❤️❤️❤️ ...
“You had me at martini…” According to #CarmelWritingRetreat alum @beckyfeola2930, a good martini is elegant, sophisticated, and divine. . . and offers an abundance of delicious choices for whatever your taste buds prefer. This title is new to me (a non-drinker for most of my life—a shock to my father, a wine collector—but look how purdy this cover is!). 💜 Becks came to an early retreat, and we had the BEST time working on (and getting her an agent for) what would become her multiple award-winning book, #eldercareconsultant. I had no clue my friend here had this other skill as a mixologist. Ha. But with 66 recipes, Becky says that even those who swear they don’t like this iconic cocktail will find a version to change their mind. #Carmelies! Let’s support our sister! There’s no need to read through pages of history and details you may or may not care about; Desert Rose Martinis takes you straight to the recipe with gorgeous photos for each concoction. You may find yourself trying flavors you never imagined simply because of the pics. So, grab your cocktail shaker and start mixing. And let us know in the comments which ones you try. #BeckyFeola #MartiniRecipes ...
Author 🌿 Beautiful Writers Podcast & Book! 🎧FSC Ambassador🌲 Carmel & Virtual Writing Retreats📚
Need more permission to shine, write, and live your dreams out loud? A little ramble you may find helpful. I LOVED this chat with fellow dog & horse lover Elizabeth Murdoch, a professional dog talker at Talking with the dogs show. I especially adored the part where my pup Bodhi appears. 🐶 Such fun! 💕 PS. I’m not a trash collector, but I’ve worn this hat for years and can’t retire it (ha!). Plus, I’m a massive fan of how #wastemanagement turns trash into legit energy to fuel their trucks. 💚 To watch this interview on all things writing, permission, and intuition…🪄👀: bit.ly/44wZ3nT 💜 #BeautifulWritersBook #WritingMemoir #WritingTips #BookMamaMusings #animalcommunication ... See More See Less
- Comments: 2
2 Comments Comment on Facebook
This is so true. The gift of permission is so important! And BTW/ this is a brilliant book promo. With QR codes to boot!!!!
Are you retarted
Mother & daughter. ❤️❤️ #gsp #bestgirls #dogsarelove ... See More See Less
chew dems chops!!!
Linda Sivertsen Follow 6,687 2,718
Author (Beautiful Writers, GenGreen🌿...). FSC Ambassador🌲Beautiful Writers Podcast 🎧Writing Retreats: Carmel & Virtual📚🐴 🐶🧑🏻🦱mom. https://t.co/eIUBkqlHAO
My funny valentine. You still make me laugh EVERY day, babe! xo ❤️❤️
“You had me at martini…” According to #CarmelWritingRetreat alum @beckyfeola, a good martini is elegant, sophisticated, and divine. . . and offers an abundance of delicious choices for whatever your taste buds prefer. This title is new to me (a non-drinker for most of my life—a…
CHARLEY 🌟🌟🌟 Dude! We’re cheering at the TV over here. LOVE! ⛳ 19 seasons on tour. 💚 @hoffman_charley @WMPhoenixOpen #nicestguyingolf #wmpo
We all need coaches & editors. Even the most talented, tapped-in, & successful bloggers, writers, & podcasters like Jordan Younger. I say it all the time—I have the best gig in the world, getting to play on the page (and IRL, when I actually leave the house, ha) w/ the coolest…
Pin It on Pinterest
Take time out to explore, develop and craft your own creative writing practice on retreat with ex-publisher and published writer, Harriet Griffey.
Just turn up. Be free and easy in your writing. Don’t bring your reason to it too much. Just have a go and see what comes out. Anna Burns, 2018 Booker Prize winner
Writers’ retreats 2024, June 15th – 22nd & September 22nd – 29th
At Las Chimeneas (click on link for further information and to book) in the Alpujarra mountains of Granada, Southern Spain.
“Harriet Griffey offers beginners and experienced writers creative space to write, one-to-one feedback, and group opportunities to share and discuss their progress.” – The Guardian
Take time out to explore, develop and craft your own writing practice on retreat at this beautiful and peaceful Spanish location, epitomised by Bloomsbury writer Gerald Brenan in his 1957 literary memoir South from Granada .
Whether you are completely new to writing or trying to develop or complete a piece of work, this retreat offers a creative space for a concentrated daily writing practice, with one-to-one feedback, and group opportunities to share and discuss writing development. Whether you want to focus on memoir, fiction or non-fiction writing, poetry or prose, this retreat provides an opportunity to create the time and space to focus on your own writing.
Prior to the retreat, each participant will be invited to submit a piece of writing along with an outline of their individual aims for the week, in order to develop, extend or problem solve some aspect of their writing practice.
The provision of a supported environment at Las Chimeneas allows the freedom to write, whether or not you want to pursue publication, and can provide either a first step into committed writing or a final push to completion.
The location offers a tranquil space in beautiful dwellings, with home-baked bread and delicious meals produced from the abundant local produce. There is a small pool in a relaxing courtyard, free Wifi connection in most areas of the accommodation, good connections via Almeria and Malaga airports, plus all the benefit of experienced hosts David and Emma who have lived in the area for over 20 years.
If there is a book you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, you must be the one to write it. Toni Morrison
About Harriet Griffey
Harriet Griffey leads and facilitates Writers’ Retreats. She is a London-based ex-publisher, published author and journalist, with an MA in Modern and Contemporary Literature.
She is a past commissioning editor at George Allen & Unwin, past editorial director at Macdonald Publishers, a member of The Royal Society of Literature and a tutor with the Creative Writing Consultancy .
Author of over 20 books, she has been published by Penguin, Bloomsbury, Pan Macmillan and Hardie Grant publishers.
She is also editorial consultant to One Hand Clapping magazine, columnist at In The Moment magazine and cultural editor at The Ecologist .
As a print journalist, she has written for all the UK national newspapers and was a past book reviewer for the FT newspaper. As a broadcast journalist, she has worked for both BBC and LBC radio.
Every first draft is perfect because all the first draft has to do is exist. Jane Smiley
About Writers’ Retreats
The provision of a supported environment in peaceful and beautiful locations allows writers the freedom to explore creatively the craft, structure and narrative of their writing and develop their individual voice.
Whether or not writers want to pursue publication, this retreat can provide either the first step into a committed writing practice or a final push to completion. At all times the focus is on individual development, led by an experienced, published writer and facilitator.
The retreat offers a creative space for a concentrated daily writing practice, suggested writing tasks and one-to-one consultations, plus group opportunities to share and discuss writing development.
Whether the focus is on memoir, fiction or non-fiction writing, poetry or prose, this retreat provides an opportunity to create the time and space to concentrate on writing. Prior to the retreat, each participant will be invited to submit a piece of writing, along with an outline of individual aims for the week.
Feedback from participants June 2023
‘If I hadn’t come on this week’s writing retreat, I probably wouldn’t have started to write the novel that’s been in idea form for a while.’ Cathy
‘The whole thing was worth it solely for the one-to-one! And I absolutely loved the interviews with Chris Stewart [author of Driving Over Lemons] and David Illsley [author of The Heart Of a Life].’ Diane
‘Very helpful and enjoyable week – inspirational on the creative side.’ Katherine
‘The freedom and flexibility of the week has been one of the highlights for me. A nice balance was struck as the one-to-one session was invaluable but knowing that Harriet was available throughout as well worked brilliantly.’ Amy
At heart, write always for yourself, not for family and friends, for admired teachers, for reviewers or publishers; but make sure you write from your real self, not that one besotted by vainglorious dreams of a future self. One day you will realise that the true rewards of writing lie inalienably in the writing self. John Fowles
Write Every Day
Daily practice to kickstart your creative writing.
And what is this writing, anyway, as a human activity or as a vocation, or as a profession, or as a hack job, or perhaps even as an art, and why do so many people feel compelled to do it? Margaret Atwood.
We tell ourselves stories in order to live. Joan Didion
- ♦ Back to Top
- ♦ Writers’ retreats 2024, June 15th – 22nd & September 22nd – 29th
- ♦ About Harriet Griffey
- ♦ About Writers’ Retreats
- ♦ Write Every Day
- ♦ Contact
- Already have a WordPress.com account? Log in now.
- Subscribe Subscribed
- Copy shortlink
- Report this content
- View post in Reader
- Manage subscriptions
- Collapse this bar
No products in the cart.
Anne lamott, julia cameron, sark and other teachers, october 29-30, college of marin & live broadcast, calling all writers, (and those who want to be), shop the retreat virtual bookstore.
Are you called to write but ...
find yourself stuck , ashamed of your lack of progress – and confused by why all of those other people seem to write and share themselves with the world – but it remains so difficult for you?
Join us in beautiful Marin, California – or from anywhere via live broadcast – for an immersive experience designed to spark your creative nature, dissolve your writing blocks + equip you with the tools and practices you need for a lifetime of writing.
Meet the Teachers
(Click on the teacher’s image for more information)
The beloved author of ten New York Times bestselling books, Anne Lamott brings her passion, humor, and skill as a writer and human to this retreat. Allow this creative activist to reignite your spark for writing – and life.
Hailed by the New York Times as “The Queen of Change,” Julia Cameron is credited with starting a movement in 1992 that has brought creativity into the mainstream conversation— in the arts, in business, and in everyday life. She will share lessons from her brand new forthcoming book on writing during this retreat!
*Julia will join us for a special live session via Zoom from her home in Santa Fe.
SARK (Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy) is the bestselling author and artist of eighteen books, including national bestsellers Succulent Wild Woman , Eat Mangoes Naked , and Make Your Creative Dreams Real . Her art, programs, products, and services have been treasured by millions of people around the world. SARK will inspire you to heal and create like never before.
Eric Maisel, Ph.D., is the author of 50+ books and known as America’s foremost Creativity Coach. A retired family therapist, and worldwide workshop leader and teacher, his recent books include The Power of Daily Practice , Lighting the Way , and Redesign Your Mind . His books for creatives include Fearless Creating , The Van Gogh Blues , Coaching the Artist Within , and Mastering Creative Anxiety .
Known as "The Writing Doula," Linda's work is informed by her experience as a veteran news journalist, certified grief recovery practitioner, and 'spoken notes' artist who appreciates writing in its most expressive and therapeutic forms. She is the author of "Family Scribes: Writing Memories for your Family Tree" and the Afrobituary Legacy Writing Course producer.
Author of Blessed are the Weird, The Creative Cure , and other books, Jacob teaches from his personal experiences of healing, transformation, and creative recovery. He is the founder of the Institute for Creative Living and Heal + Create community programs.
Known for her work with highly-sensitive, intuitive, and empathic creatives, Lauren is the author of five books, including The INFJ Writer, & Firefly Magic. She founded popular "Silent Writing" group programs and keeps a full teaching and coaching schedule.
Millions have met Sam as a child through his mother's books, and now he has emerged as a creative leader through his work as founder & host of the popular Hello Humans podcast, vocal advocate of recovery and mental health, and creator of the Square 1 Studio.
These teachers bring years of experience to invite you into healing and creative expression
See below for full schedule
October 29-30, 2022
The retreat starts on Saturday morning with a general gathering and keynote – and runs through Sunday afternoon.
See below for the full schedule and session descriptions .
Marin County, California
Held at the beautiful College of Marin, you can also enjoy nearby wine country, San Francisco, and the autumn vibes of Marin, California. Notable alumni of this college include the artist Prince and Robin Williams.
Can’t travel? No problem ! You can join us via live broadcast from wherever you are.
Writers – and those who want to be
This special experience with leading creative teachers is designed for writers of all levels.
If you know that you want to grow (or start) your writing life and career, join with people from around the world for a deeply inspiring retreat.
Join us from anywhere!
Want to join us from the comfort of your home?
Each session will be broadcast live AND recorded. After the retreat has concluded, we will make the full video replays available to every ticketholder in a dedicated portal so you can enjoy these recorded workshops for up to 12 months – as often as you like!
Choose your adventure.
Secure your in-person spot ASAP if you can travel to this event. Otherwise, claim your pass to stream it live from anywhere in the world!
✅ All ticketholders will have full access to the video replays for up to 12 months after the event has concluded.
- ✅ Limited spots available
- ✅ Includes all replays
- ✅ Interact with your favorite authors
Unfortunately, the In-Person tickets are no longer available. Add your name to the form below to be notified of the next Heal + Create Writers’ Retreat coming soon.
• Early Bird pricing good through September 15
• Regular Pricing September 16–October 12*
• Late Pricing $799 October 13–Retreat Start*
* IF tickets still available!
- ✅ Join from anywhere via Zoom
- ✅ Includes all replays!
• Early Bird pricing good through September 15
• Regular Pricing September 16–October 12
• Late Pricing $279 October 13–Retreat Start
- ✅ Register with 1st payment now, auto-pay last 2 payments in 30 day installments
Upon successful registration, we will send you an email confirmation. Please check your spam folder if you haven’t received that and add us to your “safe senders” list. Use your best email as we will send you important updates and instructions – including Zoom links or driving maps and other details as applicable – via email .
Held at the beautiful college of marin's bill and adele jonas center, you can also enjoy nearby wine country, san francisco, and the autumn vibes of marin, california. notable alumni of this college include the artist prince and robin williams., remote live broadcast option, join from anywhere.
No travel required! Join us from wherever you are in the world. Delivered via Zoom technology, your smartphone, tablet, or computer will get you there.
Easy on your budget – and with payment options available – it makes attending this transformative retreat accessible.
All Live sessions
Because all of our sessions are general gatherings, you don't have to choose between attending one live workshop and another.
Full video replays
Whether your schedule allows you to attend all of the live sessions, or you need to come back and experience some later, you'll have full access to the video replays for up to 12 months after the retreat has ended.
See below for full schedule!
Plan on two days full of learning, sharing, connection – and fun – with spacious breaks that will allow you to absorb the full value of this remarkable experience.
The retreat program includes:
Live General Sessions
Each workshop is designed to invite you deeper into your creativity, dissolve the blocks that have stymied your progress in the past, and gain new courage and skills to create like never before
Silent Writing & Journaling
We don't just talk about writing, we get right into it. Experience the power of dedicated group writing time to help you internalize the truth – you are a writer. These sessions will lead you into the act of writing in real time
Poetry Share Gathering
Come experience being heard and seen – or participate as an observer. This experience is powerful as it invites all who share to share from their hearts and be celebrated as the creatives they are
Yoga, Meditation, Walking
Enjoy the quiet spaces of this retreat with optional yoga, meditation times, and walking trails to help you release anxiety and tune into your inner creative self
Register now to secure your spot and we will send detailed email updates with all of the information you need to plan ahead!
All times listed in Pacific Time (US)
CLICK HERE to use the World Clock Converter and find the time in your location
* Schedule subject to minor adjustments – you will receive all of your needed information via email
Show up a little early and get your badge, then head into the retreat hall to get started with Silent Writing or Morning Pages.
After check-in, find your spot and use the time for journaling while quiet music plays. If you’re a practitioner of Morning Pages from The Artist’s Way, you’ll be familiar with this experience – but if you’re learning of this for the first time, we’ll provide simple instructions that will make this time valuable. Think of it as a time to settle in, wake up your writer’s mind, and relax as the day begins.
If you are joining us from a remote location, you will be provided with instructions so that you can set this time aside and get into the experience of writing … as the writer you are.
During this opening workshop, your retreat host and teacher, Jacob Nordby will invite you into a frame of mind and heart that is meant to open you to the experience and lessons of this extraordinary weekend. You will learn to use the classic storytelling device of the Hero's Journey to understand your calling as a writer and creative – and to more easily work with your inner Victim, Villain, Hero, and Guide.
Come prepared to reflect, revise your sense of purpose and possibility, and see yourself through new eyes.
Bring your favorite notebook and writing instruments.
Do you suffer from procrastination that feels insurmountable? Perfectionism that feels utterly crippling? Most writers struggle with these two demons periodically, but for some writers it’s more than just a temporary problem. For writers who have suffered from procrastination and perfectionism for years, even decades, these two obstacles are more than just an ordinary bump in the road on the creative journey—they are deeply-rooted coping mechanisms that the writer adopted in childhood and adolescence to protect themselves from a dysfunctional home environment and/or toxic relationship with their primary caregiver.
In Healing from Procrastination and Perfectionism Lauren Sapala will share strategies she’s discovered that actually work for these kinds of writers. With over ten years of experience coaching writers who thought they could never move forward with writing, Lauren has developed techniques that not only conquer what she calls “toxic procrastination and severe perfectionism” but can also help any writer find their writing voice, rediscover the joy in writing, and finish their creative projects.
This 90-minute workshop requires only you and your favorite writing tools.
With two hours to relax, you can choose from the meal options onsite or take the short drive into the nearby town to enjoy local restaurants.
This retreat is held on the edge of walking trails, so you can go outside, move your body, and allow what you’re learning to settle in. Or you can use any extra time for writing, journaling, and private reflection.
Poetry is one of the oldest forms of writing and many of us have forgotten the healing nature of expressing ourselves in this way. Join the Writing Doula and tap into the power of your creativity to give birth to poetry.
Watch what unfolds when you learn how to seamlessly transform your thoughts and reflections into poetic expressions – and create rhythms with your words. Don’t be surprised if what you write evokes laughter or rocks your emotions. The goal of this gathering of creative kindred spirits is to let it go and let it flow.
Come ready to:
- Create spirit-lifting poetry
- Reactivate your muse
- Engage in self-reflection
- Express in a safe space
No advanced writing skills are necessary to participate in this spirit-lifting experience. All you need to bring is your favorite writing tools and a mind that is open to trust your magic.
* You will have a chance to share your words in the evening Poetry Share Gathering (no one is required to share, and you can simply attend to celebrate the sharing of others).
Julia Cameron has been teaching the world about creativity since her seminal book, The Artist’s Way, first broke open the conversation around art. With the learned experience of a lifetime of writing, Cameron gives you practical tools to start, pursue, and finish your writing projects.
During a lively session, Julia will teach from her forthcoming book Write for Life, coming January 2023.
You will be the first to experience a sneak peek at her latest book before it hits the shelves!
Write for Life
· Introduces a new tool and expands on powerful tried and true methods.
· Gently guides readers through many common creative issues
· Will help you reach your goals, whether your project is a novel, poetry, screenplay, standup, or songwriting.
Please bring a notebook and pen.
This is your time to be seen and heard.
Step up to the microphone and read a short, original piece of your own! We’ll moderate this with timed sharing so that everyone who wants to speak will get a chance.
In our experience, the live poetry sharing is one of the most powerful, exhilarating sessions as we all celebrate those who overcome fears and anxiety, release perfectionism, and allow themselves to exchange with a loving, supportive audience.
Since this is in the weekend before Hallowe’en, we encourage you to show up wearing something fanciful, festive, or outrageous! A colorful scarf or hat, some meaningful piece of family heirloom jewelry, a masquerade mask … let your imagination run and this gathering will be alive with playfulness, love, and celebration of our creative selves.
* To be sure that those joining us via live broadcast can participate, we will host a special online-only session with everyone around the world via Zoom. Just because you can’t make the trip to California doesn’t mean that you will miss this extraordinary portion of the retreat experience!
Start the day by moving into your mind and body with gentle, reflective practice. Weather permitting, a local yoga instructor will lead an outdoor session. Bring your yoga mat and wear comfortable clothing.
Or go inside and join the guided meditation and journaling experience that is dedicated to helping you listen to your inner creative self, relax, and integrate what you’re experiencing during this retreat.
If you are joining us from a remote location, we will host a special Zoom session that will include a guided meditation and journaling.
You’ve heard it all before: you incubate an idea, the idea percolates up, you start writing, you complete a draft, you revise the draft, and, voila, a book!
But how does this process really work? Why does it take so many writers years and years to get their book written? How can the process of bringing a book into existence be handled much better than it usually is?
Learn how from America’s foremost creativity coach and the author of more than fifty books, among them Fearless Creating , Coaching the Artist Within , A Writer’s Paris , and A Writer’s San Francisco . Come experience this one-of-a-kind, information-packed ninety-minute workshop.
You’re invited to get your lunch onsite and join us back in the main hall for a special presentation with Sam Lamott.
Many people struggle for years with the traditional approaches to giving birth to the book that lives inside them. They start and find themselves stymied over and over again.
In the true spirit of creativity, Sam Lamott has developed a different approach. During this interactive workshop, he will draw on his years as a top podcaster and storyteller to show you how a process of recorded interviews could be the way to help you unearth those stories, characters, and lessons that you long to bring into life on the page.
Rather than staring at the blank page and wondering why the words won’t come out, learn how to use techniques that professional interviewers and ghostwriters employ to produce captivating works of fiction and nonfiction.
During this session, you will be invited into curiosity, humor, and imagination that can become the keys to unlock your best work.
In this session, you will learn to Revitalize and Re-Energize Your Dreams and Life in every way!
What’s a story you’re telling about yourself that you would like to shift? Bring it to this magical conversation and learn how to move from the stories you typically tell about yourself and your life, to stories that empower you and ignite your creative spark!
It’s time to make magical shifts in your life so that you can Begin, Continue and Expand upon Your Unique Gifts in this world.
Do you desire to embrace your healing journey so that you can:
- CREATE something NEW
- Get more MOVEment on something you've already started
- Spring your creative DREAMS into ACTION
Bring your favorite writing things – and you’re encouraged to add some colored pens or pencils to your bag for this one.
SARK has agreed to sign books during this afternoon interlude. We know that you’ll enjoy connecting with her and then take time for yourself!
Guided Forest Bathing
Everyone knows that being in nature is good for our wellbeing, but often we don't know how to slow down and just BE to receive all the healing, restorative gifts that nature has to offer our inner creative selves.
During this gentle, immersive experience, you will be guided through a series of relaxing activities designed to help you slow down, and mindfully engage with and explore the natural world through your senses while you discover new ways of being in and with nature.
People usually come to writing conferences because they love to write, or want to write, or used to write, and want to again. There is something inside some of us, a select few, that longs to create written stories about life and humanity and our deepest truths. And when we do not honor that longing, something inside us begins to atrophy. When we let that desire slide by the wayside of busy lives, we do not feel fully alive.
So how do we awaken and commit to the pursuit of a writing life? How do we reinvigorate this commitment when it has been too long since we last wrote with any sustained pleasure and conviction?
This is what Anne Lamott will discuss in her keynote address, the whys and hows of writing, as a debt of honor.
For those traveling to the in-person location, we have arranged for special courtesy pricing at several nearby hotels in a range of pricing. Upon registration, we will provide instructions for you to reserve your hotel room at attractive rates.
+ DIGITAL SIGNUP BONUSES +
All registrants will receive these special digital bonus items to enjoy immediately!
This digital bonus package has full-price value of $324 – yours free when you register for your in-person or live-broadcast ticket
Immediate Bonus Items!
As soon as you register, you’ll be directed to a Thank You page, where you can access all of these resources immediately.
Writer Audio Resources
Write for Life Excerpt
Ebook & Audio Program
Creative Exploration Game
When and where does this retreat take place.
The in-person retreat takes place at the Bill and Adele Jonas Center on the Indian Valley campus of the College of Marin in California. Full instructions for finding this location will be emailed after registration.
The live broadcast of all general sessions can be accessed from wherever you are via Zoom technology.
What happens after I register
You’ll immediately receive a payment confirmation email and a separate email with instructions, depending upon whether you registered for the in-person or live broadcast pass.
Please be sure that you have used your best email AND check your spam or Promotions folder if you don’t immediately receive your confirmation and instructions.
If you don’t find your confirmation, don’t panic! We’ll help you get it resolved and make sure that you can attend. You can send a message through this page or use the Support feature and we’ll respond as quickly as possible.
It’s very important that you use your best correct email address as this is how we will communicate before, during, and after the retreat with your instructions, links, and the follow-up to provide your access to the video replays.
What kind of writer do I need to be to attend and get value
Any kind! Writers of all stripes and all skill levels (even total beginners) are welcome. If you feel that you would be helped in fulfilling your writing dreams and goals, this is for you.
I live in a weird time zone for US-based programs, will I still get benefit and how can I participate from where I am?
Each live session will be recorded and all registered guests will be given full access to the video replays within 5 days after the event has ended.
We welcome our friends from all time zones and regions of the world and will seek to offer ways for you to connect as often as possible!
You will have access to these video replays for up to 12 months at no extra charge.
What computer requirements do I need to participate?
Almost any smartphone, PC, or tablet will work. The membership workshops and online sessions are delivered via Zoom. Video replays will be provided via our membership portal and can be viewed on any computer or mobile device.
What if I can’t make it to a live workshop session?
All workshops will be recorded and made available for streaming replay within 5 days after the event has ended.
You will have access to the video replay library for this event for up to 12 months, so you won’t miss a thing.
What about refunds
Can i give tickets as a gift.
Yes! When you go through the registration process, please use your gift recipient’s email address so that they will receive instructions.
If you have any questions, please contact Support and we will assist you!
I'll be traveling to the retreat, where should I stay?
We have arranged reservation blocks (limited) with several nearby hotels. Upon registration, we will email you with links and information. You are also free to arrange your own lodging with AirBnB or local hotels that best suit your needs and budget.
4 Points by Sheraton: Booking Link ( Reserve before September 15 th )
Best Western Plus Novato Oaks Inn: Booking Link ( Reserve before October 7 th )
Embassy Suites by Hilton: Booking Link ( Reserve before October 7 th )
Transportation options to and from either the SF or Oakland airport:
I have more questions, can you help me?
Please use the Contact form on this page and send us any questions you have! We will respond ASAP.
We're here to help
Thanks to our affiliate sponsors for helping us produce this retreat.
There was a problem reporting this post.
Please confirm you want to block this member.
You will no longer be able to:
- See blocked member's posts
- Mention this member in posts
- Invite this member to groups
- Message this member
- Add this member as a connection
Please note: This action will also remove this member from your connections and send a report to the site admin. Please allow a few minutes for this process to complete.
Writing as a Debt of Honor – with Ann Lamott
Write for life : creative tools for every writer – with julia cameron.
Julia Cameron has been teaching the world about creativity since her seminal book, The Artist’s Way, first broke open the conversation around art. With the learned experience of a lifetime of writing, Cameron gives you practical tools to start, pursue, and finish your writing projects.
During a lively session, Julia will teach from her new book by the same name as this workshop.
You will be invited into a greater understanding of:
Be sure to bring your notebook and writing instruments and be prepared to write your way through exercises with Julia’s guidance.
Inspiration Ignited: How to Embrace Healing and Spark your Creativity – with SARK
- Get more MOVEment on something you’ve already started
Writing Your Book from Beginning to End – with Eric Maisel
Linda jones, poetic rhythms: creating verses that hit your high notes.
Poetry is one of the oldest forms of writing and many of us have forgotten the healing nature of expressing ourselves in this way. Join the Writing Doula and tap into the power of your creativity to give birth to poetry.
• Create spirit-lifting poetry • Reactivate your muse • Engage in self-reflection • Express in a safe space • Have fun!
Mapping your writer hero’s journey.
This session invites you to go deeper into who you are, why you are called to write, and how to tune into the cycle of the “hero’s journey” as it applies to this transformational experience.
During this session, Jacob will lead you through practices designed to bring your true writing desires into greater clarity.
You will learn to understand the Four Characters that play a role in every one of us:
Your creative inner soul self wants to communicate – giving you clues, fuel, courage, and surprising direction for the path ahead.
Bring your notebook and writing tools.
Healing from procrastination and perfectionism: how trauma blocks writers.
This 90-minute workshop requires only you and your favorite writing tools.
Don’t Write Your Book – with Sam Lamott
Get a free excerpt of Julia Cameron's new book!
Enter your information below and we’ll send you this authorized preview of Write for Life by Julia Cameron
You will be subscribed to our email updates. You are free to unsubscribe at any time. We never share, rent, mangle, or surrender your information to off-planet entities for any purpose – benevolent or otherwise.
Want to become a Member?
Writing away refuge.
Join Us in Gulf Shores, Alabama
for our Live Retreat
October 11-15th, 2024
Check out our
EDITING SERVICES &
QUERY / PITCH PACKAGES
2024 Writing Away Refuge First Chapter Consult & Contest
Our writing away refuge virtual pitch retreats over zoom focus on giving you the best opportunity to sign with a literary agent. it has be en proven time and again that live pitching an agent is more effective than cold querying through email. registration is open for our march 2-3 virtual pitch retreat , & discounted early bird registration for april 13-14 virtual pitch retreat is now open.
How to Write a GOOD Book
12-Week Virtual Book-Writing Course over Zoom
with USA TODAY Bestselling author & the Founder of Writing Away Refuge, Lee Ann Ward
- Oct 25, 2021
Writing Away & Cicily Janus
The art of writing.