Writer’s Retreat

Learn how to write more engagingly, how to make your work stand out, and how to get published. Editors of Down East, Brian Kevin and Ginny Wright, with a guest Maine author, will lead this workshop on Gay Island. Between sessions, partake in kayaking, short hikes, and reading. Enjoy delicious meals prepared daily, including a special lobster bake on the beach. Stay in the newly updated and cozy lodge.

Dates:  September 13-17

Price: $3,000 (single writer)

Call 207-594-9544 ext. 448 or email [email protected] with questions or to start planning this adventure.

Have questions about this trip? Send us a message.

Sample Itinerary*

Day 1

Over dinner and drinks in Camden, we’ll get acquainted and talk about your writing goals for the coming days on Gay Island, then adjourn to the beautiful 16 Bayview hotel.

Day 2

Morning Session – Writing Others: In both fiction and nonfiction, one of the hallmark of great writing is its ability to transport writer and reader into another person’s head. After a tour of the Down East offices, we will travel by kayak (or motorized boat, if you prefer) to our lodge on Gay Island, where we’ll spend the morning talking about character building and the art of the profile. We’ll practice interview techniques (a great icebreaker for our first day on the island!) and share a few favorite stories that employ different techniques to make their subjects and characters live and breathe.

Afternoon Workshop — In a relaxed and supportive roundtable discussion, we’ll take time to discuss one another’s writing, submitted to the facilitators before the retreat. We’ll discuss each participant’s writing process, analyze the techniques behind passages and aspects of stories that we find the most affecting, and work together to explore solutions to tricky problems and roadblocks. The evening brings oysters, an Allagash beer tasting, and lobster bake on the beach.

Day 3

Morning Session – Moving Forward: The author John McPhee once said, “A piece of writing needs to start somewhere, go somewhere, and sit down when it gets there.” After breakfast and coffee, we’ll discuss propulsion and pacing in your writing — how to establish tension and release and structure a story to keep a reader turning pages. From McPhee to Jo Ann Beard to Sarah Orne Jewett, we’ll explore a few pieces of writing in which the narrative flow seems (but isn’t) effortless.

Afternoon Workshop — After lunch on the porch and an island stroll, we’ll reconvene to discuss the work of those attendees who sat out Day 2’s workshop. In the evening, we’ll be treated to a delicious dinner catered by a midcoast restaurant.

Day 4

Morning Session – How to Publish Your Work: From the art of the concise magazine pitch to the esoteric world of submissions and rejections to the merits and flaws of self-publishing, we’ll spend the morning discussing how to get your work in front of an audience (the right audience), taking time to examine some successful real-life pitches and proposals.

We’ll keep the afternoon open to explore the island, kayak, or simply catch up on a good read.

Day 5

Morning Wrap-Up: Before we depart for the mainland, we’ll have a chance to take stock and revisit topics from the previous days, share some work or bits of insight, and reflect on our writing plans going forward. Then we’ll load up our gear and head back to Maine Sport in Rockport, say our goodbyes, and start making plans for next year!

*Itinerary subject to change.

Down East Adventures Cancellation Policy

Payment: An initial 50% deposit is required to hold your space on the trip. Reservations cannot be made until we have received the deposit. Deposit due June 15, 2018.

Cancellations: The deposit is non-refundable. Trip insurance is suggested. Alternately, 90% of your deposit will be refunded if a replacement can be found prior to the balance due date above.

Have questions about this trip? Send us a message.