Join us for an extraordinary weekend salon led by renowned women writers.
Connect in diverse and powerful small-group workshops. Enjoy dynamic keynotes and discussions about opportunities and challenges for women who write. Share meals, open mics, conversation and community in a stunningly beautiful setting.
Announcing new teachers for 2015!
Ruth Ozeki and Carole DeSanti will be joined by Rahna Reiko Rizzuto, Dani Shapiro, Victoria Redel, and Hannah Tinti.
Pre-register now with a $500 deposit to reserve your spot and receive priority class selection and lodging.
Learn more and register here.
Each workshop will be offered Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. During registration, choose three workshops from these selections, one workshop for each day. In addition, each instructor will present a Keynote during the course of the weekend. Keynotes and all other activities are open to all participants.
Trust the Process
This session will explore the often-fraught relationship between creative process and bringing our work out to the public sphere. How do we bring our energy and attention to the process itself, letting go of expectations about end results? What is the relationship between control on the page, and over what happens in the world? How to weather rejection and criticism, to untangle our own judgements about our writing from that which comes from others, and turn the many challenges to creative work in a direction that serves us? Learning to trust the process unearths the buried treasure of creative work and one essential tool to understanding is the “process journal.” This session will focus on techniques of our own very particular issues as writers–and also help us make the transition from “writer” to “author” in this public realm.
The Writer’s Mind: Meditation & Writing
A writer’s mind is her most important tool. We rely on our minds to be quick and associative, dogged and diligent, and above all to maintain a quiet, steady focus. The mind’s enemy is skittery distraction in all its myriad forms, and in these days of email, internet, and information overload, as writers, we have to fight for our attention and focus, and our sanity. This workshop will approach writing from a contemplative perspective, offering practical tools for re-focusing the mind through meditation. We’ll use contemplative exercises designed to deepen expression and to access untapped areas of imagination and sensory experience. You’ll leave with daily writing and meditation practices to help keep your most precious tool well-honed, focused and responsive.
Mystery and Necessity
In Diving Into the Wreck Adrienne Rich writes: “I came to explore the wreck./The words are purposes./The words are maps./I came to see the damage that was done/and the treasures that prevail.” In this poetry workshop we will look at how the language of everyday and experience of our everyday can help us map poetry of depth and surprise. What language and voice is uniquely ours, what is the syntax each heard in our homes, on the streets, woods and books of our childhood? How can we say what at once most surprises yet feels inevitable? With a series of in-class experiments we will generate drafts of poems that open us to the joyous bewilderment rather than quick answers.
RAHNA REIKO RIZZUTO
Postcards to Self: A New Way into Memoir
We have all lived a life, but do we all have a story? How do you sift through the daily drudge of what happened to you and make it into a compelling read? In this workshop, we will be doing exercises to find the shape of our stories, and to decide what must be included and what needs to be set aside. We will also be experimenting with alternative ways into the heart and meaning of your story, and maybe even find an important memory or two. Come prepared to write….and yes, for the first exercise you will get to choose your own postcard, so even if you usually write on a computer, bring a pen! This workshop is primarily for memoirists, but if you are writing fiction and you have a story or a first person narrator that you can’t quite get a handle on, you are welcome to join us.
Permission to Write
Isabelle Allende wrote multiple novels before she felt she could list “writer” as her occupation on her tax returns. Sylvia Plath once described herself to a publisher as “a wife and mother of two small children. It should come as no surprise that women find it difficult to give themselves permission to find a voice, and to sing it. What’s more, this feeling never entirely goes away. It’s only in gathering together that we remember that we are not alone in this strange, out-of-step literary journey. In this session, we will investigate ways of finding and maintaining courage, tenacity, and endurance. We will generate new work, on the spot, in response to prompts and exercises. We will explore the ability to silence the inner censor, withstand rejection, and overcome resistance. You’ll leave feeling inspired and with a renewed trust in the right to write.
Inspired by Nature
This innovative, generative class will use our beautiful setting on Whidbey Island to help you find the words you’ve been looking for. Listen to babbling brooks, write with bird feathers, and literally stop to smell the flowers. We’ll use writing exercises to stimulate your imagination, spark new ideas, and explore the natural world. Whether you’re a first time writer or a pro looking to reinvigorate your work, you’ll leave this course with a notebook full of new pages, ideas for new stories or ones you’re already working on, and valuable tools to bring into your daily practice.