Presented by the Connecticut Writing Project
"We do not write because we want to; we write because we have to."
—W. Somerset Maugham
As teachers, who are also writers, finding the quiet and time to write is often a major obstacle. And although we excel at praising our students’ works and encouraging them to plunge onward, to keep writing and not get discouraged, we often allow ourselves to put our own writing aside and consider it a “hobby.” For these reasons, the CWP has been successfully providing Writers’ Retreats for CWP members since 1990.
Each Writing Retreat has provided the quiet, the time, and the luxury of sharing writing and companionship with other writers. Participants leave energized and recommitted to their work, looking forward to the next retreat.
The following is a sample of what a normal retreat agenda looks like. You are free to follow it, or work around it as it suits you.
Opening night: Check-in anytime after 4 p.m. Dinner will be at Wisdom House. After dinner you are free to write, socialize, whatever you wish.
Saturday: Breakfast at 8 a.m. Independent writing until lunch at noon. Traditionally, after lunch, a group heads for town to scour the shelves in the wonderful “used” bookshop. Others have used the afternoon to continue writing. Dinner at 5:30p.m.
Saturday evening: Celebratory Read Around at 8 p.m.; wine and cheese reception. Bring your favorite bottle of wine. We provide the goodies. This is always a highlight of the weekend—listening to pieces “in progress”—but no one is obligated to read.
Sunday: Breakfast at 8 a.m. Return to room for independent writing until 11 a.m. At eleven there is another Read Around for those who want to share. Lunch is at noon, and after that everyone heads home.
We have an obligation to ourselves as artists to provide ourselves with an atmosphere that will encourage us to be serious about our work.
- All writers are invited to join us. The past Writers’ Retreats have produced every type of writing, from personal narrative to fiction and poetry. The main goal of the retreat is to provide overworked teachers the much needed time and space to pursue their art. The agenda, therefore, is open. The Writing Retreat weekends have all been very special. We look forward to seeing old friends and new.
- Please note: Participants in the Writing Retreat are encouraged to submit writing to the Teacher-Consultant writing contest in the fall and are also eligible to have a piece of writing published in the Teacher-Writer magazine in the Teacher-as-Writer & Writers Retreat Contributions. Link this to Teacher-Writer.
To register or for more information contact Danielle Pieratti, CWP Writing Programs Leader.
About the Retreat Leader:
Danielle Pieratti teaches English at South Windsor High School. Her first book, Fugitives, was selected by Kim Addonizio for the Idaho Prize in poetry, and will be published by Lost Horse Press in 2016.