Maine Coast Writers Retreats
...cultivating the heart of expression
Maine Coast Writers Retreats offer experiences in inspiration, creativity, and craft set against the backdrop of spruce wood magic and the spaciousness of sky, lake, and sea. We gather during the quieter seasons to generate new writing and share our work fresh from the page. Combining the Gateless Writing Method, the Gestalt Cycle of Experience, and Adventures in Word and Image, we hold our process in the appreciative stance, honoring the genius and courage in us all. Craft is taught through the process of naming what shines. We relish in the spontaneity of our time together and offer support in the next phase of our writing practices back home.
Our schedule is structured with ample time for “writing without the brakes” generative prompts and includes strategies for practicing self-care for creatives, such as, guided and walking meditations, tactile/visual art activities, acclimatization to the natural world, guided solos, Tai Chi/Qigong, and/or, community engagement. Time is built into the workshop for personal writing and/or for availing yourself of our many local treasures alone or with others, but we recommend that participants who come from afar tack on a day or two for extra time spent in further exploration of our treasured landscape.
If you already love Maine to pieces, or you've been curious to see the green woods and glistening waters, grab your spot soon. There's no better place to drum up the muses than in the magical state of Maine.
Introducing our 2020 Retreats!!!
Woo Your Pages, Valentine's Weekend February 14-16, 2020
Cozy up by the woodstove at Bird and Tree Studios in Pemaquid, Maine for a special weekend that focuses on generative writing "coupled" with the pleasing practice of revision. We'll experience a warm-hearted approach to illuminating the power in your work, practice the slow dance of grounding your reader, and do the tango of rhythm and pace. We'll immerse in the sensuous work of detail. You'll submit 750-1,500 words ahead of time. Excerpts from your work will be used in class to illuminate useful craft tools. This workshop will include the theory and practice of the Gateless Writing Method, an appreciative approach to creating and editing and to life, and an evening reading of some polished work. Participants will create an artful assemblage that represents the power of self-compassion, your best friend, that will help hold space for you back home.
Price of $285 includes three delicious meals, five writing workshops in the Gateless Writing Method, art-making, and plenty of flowers and chocolate! We can help travelers locate nearby accommodations. The retreat begins (after dinner) at 7:00-9:30 pm, Friday evening, with introductions and our first Gateless Writing Salon. We'll meet from 10:00 am - 9:00 pm on Saturday. Saturday includes two generative salons, lunch, an afternoon of art-making, and a true "romantics" dinner. On Sunday, we'll meet from 10:00 am- 4:00 pm and talk tools for the practice revision. One final generative salon will close our weekend in the spirit of radical nurturing.
Note about sleeping spaces: Woo Your Pages takes place at Bird and Tree Studios. If you're coming from farther away, make your reservation soon at The Chamberlain House, or let us make some other suggestions for local accommodation. At Bird and Tree, we have two guest suites (queen bed, private bath) available for $50/night (includes a light, self-serve breakfast).
Salty Girls! Women Writers 2020 June 11-14, 2020
We'll be back in the spring of 2020 with new prompts for the popular Salty Girls! Women Writers retreat. In the day-in-and-day-out task of living our lives, years pass, decades, and we sometimes forget the strength and courage of our youth, stories from the past, tender and sometimes harsh, wanting to be brought forth in our stories and poems. Salty Girls will explore the interplay between the voice of innocence and the voice of experience, tuning into memory, and writing reminiscences and reflections of our lives and the lives of our fictional characters and our poetic personas. Making spirit dolls is a highlight of this very special retreat, as well as, relishing gifts from the sea and local farms on our plates.
If you've come before, come again! All prompts and activities are new.
Price includes accommodations for three nights and three days ($795 for private room/bath, $650 for private room/shared bath), all meals locally sourced whenever possible, seven salons, and materials. A reading and pop-up shop is held Saturday night for a chance to share work that you bring. We reserve four spots for commuters at $450. Commuter spots are great for local writers and for travelers who wish to secure lodgings on their own.
Looking ahead to next fall...
Rolling Acres Farm, Nature Writing and Word and Image Retreat, October 10-13, 2020
Three days and three nights of Gateless Writing and Art-Making in response to Moments of Nature in the fields and trees at water's edge at The Fiore Art Center on Lake Damariscotta in Jefferson, Maine! We're thrilled to offer this very special experience.
More information coming soon...
Jodi Paloni brings passion, unrelenting curiosity, and a variety of interests to the facilitation of her retreats that include writing, great food, art-making, and connection to the natural world. A career educator for over thirty-years, Jodi is also a certified ICF and Gestalt Coach specializing in creativity and life transitions, and a trained instructor in both the Gateless Writing Method and Sequencing: Making is Knowing. She holds an MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts and an MS in Environmental Studies from Antioch New England Graduate School.
They Could Live With Themselves is Jodi's collection of linked stories set in the fictional New England town of Stark Run. She's an IPPY Silver Medalist and a three-time finalist for the Maine Literary Awards. She has been a Kenyon Review Summer Writers' Workshop Peter Taylor Fellow and an AWP Writer to Writer Mentor. Jodi has received support from the 2019 Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance fellowship at Monson Arts and the 2018 literary arts residency at the Joseph A. Fiore Art Center based on the submission excerpted from her current work, a novel-in-stories set in mid-coast Maine where she lives and works as a freelance writer, editor, and teacher of writing workshops and retreats. She teaches state-wide for Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance. Manuscript services in project development and editorials and private writing support are available upon request.
Photos by Kristin Dillon at Blue Horse Photography
and Jodi Paloni