Tuesday, May 16, 2017

WriteAway Spring Writer’s Retreat: Events Schedule

Friday, May 19

Afternoon (3:00 and on...): Arrival and check-in


5:30     Welcome (wombat not included)

            Participant Introductions

            Faculty Introductions


6:30     The Art of Story Structure (Hands-on “art” projects) – Ami (30 min)

7:00     One Page “Attunement”: Goal setting and self-definition (we are writers!) through epistolary practice.– Shawna (30 min)

7:30     Tripping the Light Ekphrastic: Welcome to the weird, wonderful world of ekphrastic writing. – Yi Shun (30 min)
There will be s'mores... Oh yes. There will be s'mores...

8:00     Open Mic / Wine and Snacks / Mingling (Campfire, weather permitting)

9:30     Night Writer: Step into the dark recesses of your mind for this dream-narrative night-writing mini session with guided body meditation. -- Shawna (30 min)

Saturday, May 20

8:30     Breakfast

9:00     Private Consults

9:15     Private Consults

9:30     Session I: Mining Life and Other Taboo Practices / Shawna (1.5 hours) “You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better,” says Anne Lamott. Life informs art, but where do we take inspiration, and where do we draw the line? Practice diving deeper into true narratives whether for use in fiction or nonfiction. (1.5 hours)

11:00   Session II: “Help! I’m in a Fug!” What to Do When You Get Stuck (Characters, plot, and everything else) / Yi Shun (1.5 hours)  From characters to plot lines, sometimes writers get stuck. It's not a writer's block, it's a temporary waystation. Learn ways to get out of the fug, and how to quickly move on from your hiccup.

12:30   Lunch

1:00     Private Consults

1:15     Private Consults

1:30     Session III: Finding Your Voice / Shawna (1.5 hours) Whether writing to a genre or from a character’s perspective, finding the right voice can make or break your piece. Experiment with different points of view and narrative techniques using expressive writing practices in order to find the “just right” voice for any writing project.

3:00     Session IV: Revision from the Editor's Desk / Yi Shun (1.5 hours)  Ever wonder what happens over there in Mordor--I mean, editor-land? In this session, you'll learn what editors look for: What makes our ears go up; what makes our ears lie flat in apprehension; what makes us salivate and what makes us pant in anticipation. (Maybe it's not Mordor, but it can be a zoo.)

4:30     Session V: Five Easy Filters / Ami (1.5 hours) A layered approach to building multi-faceted, memorable characters with distinctive voices. Bring a scene from your work in progress and engage in a variety of exercises to help you lose your voice... so your characters can find theirs.

6:00     Dinner

7:00     Open Mic / Snacks / Mingling

9:30     Pajama Party / Movie Night Featuring one of Ami’s favorite writing-related movies; a little-known comedy that tackles such things as an artist’s responsibility, writer-as-provocateur, and what constitutes taking things too far. Hopefully, useful discussion will ensue. If not, at least there will be popcorn...

Sunday, May 21

10:00   Brunch

            Wrap-up / Final remarks

Checkout by Noon

Note from Ami and Kim: (Events and topics are subject to change. Just sayin'...)

Monday, May 15, 2017

The Retreat Starts... NOW!

It’s hard to believe that the WriteAway Spring Writing Retreat at Camp Cedar Lodge is less than two weeks away!

Kim and Ami are looking forward to reconnecting with old friends and to meeting new ones. We can't wait to welcome you to the Retreat and pledge to do everything in our power to help you climb whatever writing mountains loom before you.

The Retreat Starts Now

We are blessed to have such wonderful faculty join us on this adventure and we want to make sure you make the most of your time with them.

In signing up for the Retreat, you have taken a bold step toward making your writing a priority. (Haven't signed up yet? There are still a few spots open. Just click the Buy Now button and join us!) But there is no need to wait to get started. Here are two ways you can start your Retreat today:

1.) Get to Know the Facilitators

We’ve got some amazing writers and editors coming to work with you. In addition to scheduled workshops**, we’ve set aside time for each participant to have one-on-one sessions with both Yi Shun and Shawna. These women have vast, varied writing and publishing experience which they are happy to put at your disposal.

Don’t be like me, who once famously went to a retreat and then spent most of the first day holed up in my room, reading up on the facilitators. ::doh!::

Familiarize yourself with some of Yi Shun’s and Shawna’s published works. Browse the magazines they edit. Look for strengths they have that can help improve some of your weaknesses. Then, over the next few days, make a list of questions you have for each of the facilitators. [It should go without saying that if you have any questions for me or for Kim, write those puppies down as well. We’re all here for you!]

This way, you’ll be better prepared to ask questions that can help you. However, feel free to ask Yi Shun if she brought her wombat costume...

2.) What’s Your Line?

Choose one paragraph from your project -- the opening is a good choice; so is the last paragraph, right before the muse abandoned work for the day and flew off to play. Send it to Ami at the Write2TheEnd email address she used when she sent your Welcome under the Subject: "What’s My Line." We’ll use it as a Retreat ice-breaker.

You’ll see...

What to Pack / What to Wear

At this moment, the extended forecast for May 19 – 21 shows a high possibility of scattered thunderstorms, with temps around 70 during the day & mid 50’s at night. But it’s Michigan. So that could might will probably change.

Michigan’s capricious weather notwithstanding, here’s a short list of suggested items to pack:
  • Bedding (See the previous blog post for sleeping-specific packing considerations.)
  • Towel & washcloth
  • Toiletries (shampoo, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, floss,  etc.)
  • Flip-flops or shower shoes
  • Clothes for 2 nights & 3 days (The Michigan mantra: hope for warm weather; plan for cold)
  • Pajamas (There will be a Pajama Party / Movie night on Saturday. Plus, you know, PJs for sleeping)
  • Sense of adventure
  • Sunscreen (we hope & pray you’ll need it)
  • Umbrella (we hope & pray you won’t need it)
  • Flashlight
  • Favorite writing utensils (pens or pencils & paper / computer / notepad / tablet...)
Looking forward to seeing you all!

**  Workshops are optional. Always optional – if all you want to do is be left alone to write, with occasional breaks to eat, we’re cool with that. S’Ok.