Writing Retreats

Here are some images and activities from our periodic writing retreats for Choice Literacy contributors to build our community and writing skills. If you are leading a retreat, we hope it gives you some ideas. We'll keep adding to the board as we host more retreats throughout the year.
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Deb Gaby's affirmation from the 2013 Indiana Writing Retreat.

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Franki Sibberson's affirmation from the 2013 Indiana Writing Retreat.

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Katherine Sokolowski's affirmation from the 2013 Indiana Writing Retreat.

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Katie DiCesare's writing affirmation from the 2013 Indiana Writing Retreat.

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Julie Johnson's affirmation from the Ohio 2013 writing retreat.

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Jennifer Schwanke's affirmation from the Ohio 2013 writing retreat.

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Karen Szymusiak's affirmation from the Ohio 2013 writing retreat.

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Karen Terlecky's affirmation from the Ohio 2013 writing retreat.

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Mandy Robek's affirmation from the Ohio 2013 writing retreat.

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Gretchen Taylor's affirmation from the Ohio Summer 2013 writing retreat.

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This summer the theme for our writing retreats is building habits. Here at our Pacific Northwest retreat this week, participants selected two affirmations they wanted to try to create new, positive mental energy around writing.

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A wonderful writing retreat closer is reading some selected thank you notes from Jimmy Fallon's hilarious book.

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For the morning writing retreat activity, Choice Literacy contributors chorally read a never-before-heard poem mash-up. The two poems "Things to Do in the Belly of the Whale" by Dan Albergotti and "The Real Work" by Wendell Berry can be found at these links: http://writersalmanac.publicradio.org/index.php?date=2008/06/05 http://writersalmanac.publicradio.org/index.php?date=2012/08/04 Special thanks to poet Mary Lee Hahn for the inspiration.

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Cedar Falls Inn was the location for our Choice Literacy Midwest Writing Retreat. A rooftop herb garden with a swing was just one of the many great places to write.

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Stones were selected by participants (seeing the size and color) and then turned over to reveal a word to use as a talisman for throughout the retreat. Amazingly, everyone thought the stone they picked randomly had the right word for them!

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Retreat location was Skamania Lodge in Washington on the Columbia Gorge - beautiful setting and off-season so fairly quiet.

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These magnets included post-its with questions on the back, so participants in groups could talk about when they were proud of their writing, a time when writing was easy, possibilities for writing. . .and then each person left the group with their fridge magnet for inspiration.

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Writing and responding around the fire pit - what a view! We almost always do triads or groups of three - small enough so everyone gets response in 45 minutes, large enough so that everyone gets multiple responses.

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Gift bags of reading and writing materials. Books we included are Writing Alone and with Others, The Art of Slow Reading, and Write Like This. Everyone had a collection of books individualized to their tastes, needs, and writing style by the retreat coordinators.

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