Same Time Every Year: Reading/Writing Retreat in McCall

Retreat: to find refuge, rest, seclusion, privacy, solitude, quiet, introspection, space, withdrawal, connection, relaxation, contemplation... a safe, nurturing place... from Judy Reeves, The Writer's Retreat KitThis will be the third year my friend Bev and I have organized a Reading/Writing Retreat for the Northwest Inland Writing Project through the University of Idaho. It is held the same week each year at the field campus at McCall, Idaho on the beautiful shores of Payette Lake. It starts tomorrow and runs through Friday. It is an incredible opportunity for teachers and writers to gather for four days of unscheduled reading and writing time. Many choose to work on academic writing. Some take the opportunity to read and discuss books on writing. Others work on personal writing. Writing workshops are conducted each day. Our visiting author is Lori Wallin, an author and instructor at North Idaho College in Coeur d' Alene, Idaho. Each day ends with a reading by one of the writers.

This gives you an idea of the rustic setting. Our writing room is to the left. The campus creates an atmosphere reminiscent of summer camp. The cooks ring a bell for meals and everyone eats in the dining room together ( other adult groups are also here at the same time). There is campfire every night where our group has the opportunity to talk, share writing, and enjoy each others' company.
This will be my home away from home this week. Last year I spent lots of time sitting with my laptop writing memoir pieces and gazing out the window at the lake. It was a very productive time. I am off to Pullman today and then the road trip to McCall begins tomorrow. I will be posting from the retreat all week.


  1. Laurie R.18.6.07

    Your retreat sounds wonderful! Is this retreat open to people who haven't taken the NIWP?

  2. What a great sounding retreat! Just the kind of thing I am looking for out here this summer... Maybe I'll just have to start my own...

  3. Oh, my gosh, you get to go to camp! What fun! And it is so beautiful there. I envy you. Have a safe trip - and enjoy!

  4. I should have come. The scenery is perfect for writing. (I would probably brought along some watercolors, too).

    Can't wait to read your posts from this beautiful place.

  5. Laurie- we first open it up each year to NIWP people, and invite the Boise State project and others around. Then we open it to the public. It has never filled up just with NIWP people. That is what makes it so exceptional- we have teachers, retired teachers, writers,grad students- quite a mix and it adds to the flavor of the retreat. We do it the same time each year so people can remember. Let me know if you would ever be interested.
    Rondi: You should start a retreat. It started with a group of us wanting a community of writers to support each other.
    Jackie: thanks for the kind words... safe trip so far... I made it to Pullman today.
    Pinehurst: You would love it. Yes, people bring art stuff. I actually went and bought a new box of crayons and a sketch book to inspire some creativity!


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