-Is this retreat for advanced writers?
The tools and techniques we offer are useful for writers at any level. Beginners through published.
-What makes this retreat unique?
You mean aside from sessions with published authors, an acting coach, one-on-one critiques, chef-prepared farm-to-table meals, and a massage in a beautiful setting? This retreat will approach characterization in a whole new way. You won’t find these kinds of workshops at writing conferences. As authors, teachers and actors, we are combining our experiences from years of building and shaping characters for page and stage. Katherine, Janet and Andrew will show you how to deepen and enliven your characters through acting techniques, meditation, movement, accessing dramatic character memories, and more.
-Do I have to be writing a novel?
No. The character exercises can be used for novels, short stories, non-fiction biographies. Memoir writers can also use them to better understand the people they are depicting and to create a more dramatic telling of past events.
-What if I don’t have a WIP?
You don’t have to have a work in progress, but you will need to come with an idea and one or more drafted scenes. We will be using our scenes in some of the sessions.
-Can I use what I learn at the retreat to create or deepen other characters?
You can use these techniques on any character at any time. Use them early as you pre-write, later in your first, second, third draft. Use them when you revise and polish for publication. Use them to deepen your hero, your villain, or your walk on characters.
-Will there be time to write?
We will offer hours of free time during the retreat for writing or other activities.
-Will I be getting any feedback?
We’ll offer group share times as well as the one-on-one critique with Katherine or Janet
-Do I have to share my work?
While many writers find it useful to share their work, we don’t ever do “forced sharing.” If you don’t feel emotionally ready to share, or the piece is at a place where sharing would be counterproductive for you, feel free to pass. We’ll do some sharing with feedback and some that is open mic. You may also find it helpful to have someone else read your work, so you can hear it in another voice.
-What if I have special diet restrictions?
Our chef at Saint Andrew’s House is happy to accommodate! We just need to know by July 12. There is a place to list this in your registration.
-When are the first 10 pages for one-on-one critique sessions due?
Please send your 10 pages by June 1. Instructions for how to send will be sent after you register. Pages received after June 1 may receive a reading, but priority will be given for those received by the deadline.
-What are the retreat room accommodations?
Saint Andrew’s House has two floors, and sleeps 30 in three sleeping wings. It’s a mix of shared and single-occupancy rooms. While room assignments are first-come/first served, those with accessibility issues have priority for first floor rooms. Please note in your registration if you have a roommate preference, or must have a single-occupancy room. Single-occupancy bathrooms with showers are located near each room. More information on accommodations can be found on the Saint Andrew’s House website. Click “lodging.”
—What about snacks?
Feel free to bring snacks, and we will bring some as well. Saint Andrew’s House’s tea room has a wide variety of teas, coffee, syrups, sweeteners, and milk alternatives, and includes a microwave, refrigerator, freezer and toaster, all available for your use.
-What should I bring?
- Paper and pens
- Laptop, if desired
- A journal
- Clothing for outdoors and in
- Snacks to share
- Art supplies if you’d like to do art
- Musical instrument, if you’d like to make music