Re-emerging: Pen in Hand

Re-emerging: Pen in Hand

Ruth E. Walker

I don’t know about you, but I suspect most people want to see the back end of COVID as desperately as I do.

My writing has suffered these past few months and I’ve been grateful to this blog for forcing me to engage BIC (bum in chair) and regularly pen some creative words.

But now it seems there is light on the horizon. Cases are way down. Second vaccinations are happening with greater frequency. Restaurants, retail and rec centres are easing back to life. And yeah, the warmth of early summer and longer spans of daylight are tickling our imaginations. My creative self is getting excited – and not just about COVID taking a walk into the sunset.

Just the other day Gwynn and I confirmed that Writescape’s long-delayed 2020 spring retreat was going ahead. Of course, we can’t keep calling our annual retreat Spring Thaw because it’s happening in October. So, we’ve just stuck with Writescape’s Fall Retreat: Re-emerging.

We’re thrilled that almost all the retreat participants who signed up as far back as December 2019 are able to join us this fall.

Reasons to get excited

Fully equipped cottage kitchen at Elmhirts’s Resort

Elmhirst’s Resort confirmed our cottages will be ready, and that all cleaning and safety protocols are constantly updated to meet the local health unit standards and provincial regulations. Elmhirst’s has always gone above and beyond to make our retreats an amazing experience and we’re confident that tradition will continue. Frankly, we expect that by October 15, our annual retreat won’t look too different than our retreats have for more than 10 years previous.

Writing on the deck

We will both still read and review 10 ms pages submitted to us in advance. And we’ll sit down for a one-on-one feedback session with those writers. And we’ll be available for individual consults that can be deep discussions or just bouncing ideas around. We’ll ensure each cottage is stocked with breakfast items so writing in pajamas remains an option. Gwynn and I will deliver group creativity sessions and there’ll be plenty of time for private writing. And lunch and dinner are always prepared so no need to stop to cook when you’re on a roll.

Of course, how some of this happens may be a bit different to ensure a safe space but the vibe we create: escape to focus on your own writing – that won’t change.

Heather M. O’Connor with Betting Game through Orca Books

Our philosophy has always been to curate a space in which writers can escape daily life and immerse in their projects. Over the years, we’ve watched stories, novels, memoirs and non-fiction books take shape and several secured a publishing home.

Writers on retreat find space in which to imagine, start, revise and/or finish their stories. Connections with other writers are made. Characters and plots discovered. Ideas for marketing and publishing tips are shared.

Maighread MacKay’s mystery series

All of that is what excites Gwynn and me. To see it unfold and know that we’ve had an important part in a writer’s journey.

Are you ready to retreat?

We still have room for a few more writers to join us. A $250 deposit guarantees your space. Our brochure outlines our agenda and registration details are on our website.

Aerial view of Elmhirst’s Resort on Rice Lake

Nestled on the shores of Rice Lake, Elmhirst’s Resort’s amenities offer guests many ways to reflect and rejuvenate. Given the past year, I can’t think of a better way to recharge my writing.

We’ve blogged in the past about the joys of writing retreats. One way or another, find a way to treat yourself and escape to write.

10 Signs You Need a Writing Retreat in case you didn’t know you actually needed a retreat. 😊

How to Pack for a Writing Retreat covers some of the things you might not think about bringing along. It’s more than stuff in your suitcase.

10 Peeks into a Writing Retreat shares prompts and tips gleaned from our decade-plus of companion workbooks provided at our retreats.

Of course, once you have gone on retreat Coming Home from Retreat: Reality offers practical and self-care tips when the heady joys of writing on retreat land back to face the daily grind of life.

And finally, Your Anytime Writing Retreat offers ideas and solutions for writers who can’t join us this fall for our Re-emerging retreat. There are ways to curate your own escape.

Last Word

Just a quick reminder that our Summer 21 Poetry Contest deadline draws nigh. Enter your 21-line poem — any form or style — for a chance to win full bragging rights and honours, publication on our blog and a copy of Gwynn’s newest chapbook, Ten of Diamonds.

Rules, regulations and details on our website.

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