Writing retreat: Write, read and have fun

I just returned from leading a writer’s retreat at Menucha Retreat and Conference Center east of Portland, Oregon. Seven writers and I spent three days writing, reading and having fun. We spent our mornings writing and our afternoons sharing our work and receiving feedback. In addition, we took walks in the countryside and enjoyed the delicious home-style cooking provided by the friendly Menucha staff. In the evenings, we played card and board games.

Here’s what the participants liked about the retreat:

  • The blocks of time to write. — Janine Robben
  • There’s something about being with other writers that’s inspirational. We got much more done because we don’t have to make the food. — Jamie Caulley
  • A block of time out of my own house where I always get distracted or make an excuse. — Mark Robben
  • I like the social part of it, being with other writers. The structure works — writing in the morning and reading in the afternoon. — Catherine Magdalena
  • Getting out of town. — Ann Sihler
  • I feel like this jumpstarted me and got me back on track. I’d lost steam and momentum. I think I got a new direction. — Dave King
  • Having a deadline. The group of people is so good. Such a great match. — Kerry McPherson

Dave King 4x Mark Robben 4x Playing games 4xAnn Sihler and Kerry McPherson write in the Greenhouse photo by Dave KingNancy Woods and Mark Robben in GreenhouseJanine Robben and Jamie Caulley in Greenhouse

Writing retreat

The weather and muses cooperated at this year’s June at June’s Writing Retreat near Prineville, Oregon.

This afternoon feedback session was held outdoors so we could enjoy the view of Ochoco Reservoir.

Writing classes start October 5, 6

Writing classes:

Kick Your Writing Out of the Nest: Thursdays, Oct. 6-Dec. 15, 2011 (No class Nov. 24.) 6:30-9 p.m. Northeast Portland, OR. $200/10 weeks. You’ve spent hours honing your writing. Don’t let it languish in your computer or drawer. Do something with it. Kick it out of the nest. Whether you want to send your funny essays to magazines, submit your short stories to literary journals, or post your writing on a blog, now is the time to get started.

Kickstart Your Writing: Wednesdays, Oct. 5-Dec. 14, 2011 (No class Nov. 23.) 6:30-9 p.m. Northeast Portland, OR. $200/10 weeks. Whether you’re working on a novel or interested in short stories, memoir, essays, articles or other forms of fiction or nonfiction, Kickstart Your Writing offers a supportive environment in which you can work on specific writing projects. Students set weekly goals; read their work aloud; and receive positive, helpful feedback from the instructor and other students.

 To register for either class: Mail payment to Nancy Woods, P.O. Box 18032, Portland, OR 97218. To pay by credit card call (503) 288-2469. For more information: (503) 288-2469, wordpics@aracnet.com, www.nancy-woods.com.

Writing classes start July 6, 7

Two Kickstart Your Writing classes start next week:

Wednesdays, July 6-September 14, 2011  (No class August 17)

or

Thursdays, July 7-September 29, 2011 (No class July 28, Aug. 18, Sept. 15)

Time: 6:30-9 p.m.

Location: Hollywood district ofPortland,OR

Cost: $200/10 weeks

Whether you’re working on a novel or interested in short stories, memoir, essays, articles or other forms of fiction or nonfiction, Kickstart Your Writing offers a supportive environment in which you can work on specific writing projects.

Students set weekly goals; read their work aloud; and receive positive, helpful feedback from the instructor and other students. The exact location is provided upon registration. The class can be repeated.

For more information or to receive Kickstart, a free, monthly e-newsletter for writers: (503) 288-2469 or wordpics@aracnet.com.

To register: Mail payment to Nancy Woods, P.O. Box 18032, Portland, OR 97218. To pay by credit card call (503) 288-2469.

Oregon writing retreat

A memoir, a novel, poems and short stories where just some of the projects students worked on during the Kickstart Your Writing Retreat that took place June 24-27,  2011.

“I still consider myself a fledgling writer,” said Dave King, one of the participants. What did he appreciate about the retreat, which took place near Prineville, Oregon? “The positive feedback I’ve gotten,” King said. “That empowers me to continue, and when you continue to write you get better and better.”

For Sarah Retzer, another retreat participant, one of the benefits of the retreat was “having a place to go. I could never write for two or three hours for two days at home.” She also appreciated the constructive criticism she received during the retreat as well as the guidance and the “variety of people to give me feedback. “It’s the perfect little setting,” she said, referring to the private home on Ochoco Lake where the event was held. “Being in the presence of other writers is also helpful,” Retzer said. “I don’t feel so isolated.”

Howard Dyer also attended the event. “It’s helpful to have something structured like this, he said. “I like reading other people’s writing and learning they have a lot of the same feelings I have about the process. That is very helpful, and you couldn’t ask for a more helpful setting. It’s beautiful.”

The retreat was held at the home of June Selis, who also took part in the retreat. Plans are in the works for another, similar event.