WE ARE SORRY but the 2013 Writer’s Retreat is now FULL.
Please click here if you would like to be placed on the waitlist in case of openings.
You love to write. You like to write. You think you’d like to write. You used to love to write before you got too bound up.
You know that if you had time free of distractions and loving support, you would write that thing burning in you, spill it onto the page – or finish that project that needs your full attention.
Oh, and it would be pretty dog gone lovely if someone was serving you delicious soul-food, and there was a cracker-jack writing coach on hand to hold yours if you get stuck.
You know what would be extra de-light-ful? A supportive circle of women to cackle with. (Yep, this is a women-only retreat.) (Yes, cackling is optional but highly recommended.)
How about heart-fueling, creativity-expanding mini-writing seminars to melt away your fears and charge you up with sparkly, crackling inspiration and take-home tools?
And while you’re dreaming, why not add yoga with a world famous yogi, wild morning dance, strolls through arty Taos, a labyrinth to walk, daily writing circles and fresh baked goods (aha, the cream puffs!) plus healthy snacks and and and…
Sounds kinda perfect?
Hot diggity damn because I’ve got that and more cooked up and I would love, love, love to share it with you.
Jennifer Louden (that’s me)
invites you (yes, you) to
a truly life-changingly fabulous writing retreat
Saturday, July 27 – Friday, August 2, 2013
The Mabel Dodge Luhan House
Taos, New Mexico
“Jen masterfully creates a gentle and caring container where I found the freedom and environment to revel in the creative flow. The week could not have been more perfect. The chemistry between Jen and Marianne is synergistic and electric. It sparked true revelation and joy as I uncovered the expression of my creative gifts. There is magic in the light and air of New Mexico that, for me, was only amplified by surrendering to being present at the retreat. I laughed, danced, practiced yoga, explored, created art, and yes, I wrote, because I can now say loudly and for all the world to hear: I AM A WRITER.”
The week could not have been richer or more perfect. Thank you, Jen and Marianne. You are superb at what you give to the world.” — Ruth McCully, 2009, 2010, 2011, & 2012
Who this retreat is for:
This week-long play and write and laugh and learn and write some more and dance fest is made for you if you’ve just got to get some writing done and you need a mighty mainline dose of self-nurturing and mojo reclamation.
Could be you’ve never written much or you’ve been putting it off for years or maybe you journal all the time or maybe you’re writing your fiftieth book. This is a “fits-all-writers” retreat!
If you want and need to write, this is the retreat that was created with you in mind.
This isn’t like any other writer’s retreat or workshop out there.
Here’s what we aren’t going to do:
- We aren’t going to critique our work. (We do have reading circles but no commenting – only witnessing.)
- We aren’t going to diagram sentences (But we will talk structure!)
- We aren’t going to network to get published.
- Actually, we aren’t even going to talk much about publishing (although I will answer any questions I can and provide going home resources).
This is about you and what you truly need.
“I came bursting with an urge to write. I felt adrift in a sea of words and ideas. Was I writing enough? Was I forcing too many words too soon onto the page? Did I need to focus more or be more free spirited? Jen’s retreat helped me to anchor my writing life. Now my critic no longer wields as much power over me. I’ve take a few (hundred) writing classes in my time and yet learned lots of news-I-could-use. I started or finished several new short stories and I’ve embarked on an unexpected, exciting new project. This is one of those experiences that will stay with you and keep giving onto you for a lifetime.” –Sonja Haller, 2012
This is a place to unwind, slow down, lower your shoulders and get reacquainted with your creative juice, your truth, your voice and your vision.
It’s a cozy refuge where you renew and nurture your connection to why you must create and how it fits with your reason for being. It’s about creating–and living–with tender gentle kindness, so you can plug in to LOVE whenever you need it.
The only difference between people who create and people who don’t is the people who do don’t believe the mean voices in their heads.
“The retreat was exactly the kind of soul-nourishing experience I’ve been wanting to give myself. It was the perfect blend of guidance and open space. I loved the free dance in the morning, the writing prompts, and the small group was perfect! Being in Taos was transformational. It brought me back to myself in a new way and reminded me why I am here. It was beautiful!” — Isabel Partlett, soundbiteshaman.com, 2011, 2012
What will you actually get out of this week?
- You’ll get writing done. A bunch of writing, if you wish.
- You’ll write with more ease and more juice and more truth.
- You’ll get to feel joy and life and fun again. Really and truly.
- You’ll feel less alone. Ever feel like a round peg in a square hole? Not at this retreat! These are your people.
- You’ll get to rest. I mean, really, really rest. To recharge and gather strength.
- You’ll get perspective on your projects and your life, and a clearer picture of where you want to go next.
- You’ll get a rush of creative energy and inspiration.
- You’ll get a serious dose of bracing courage.
- Oh, and you’ll get the pleasure of knowing that you won’t have to cook, clean, or take care of anybody else for one whole week!
If you are afraid…
I understand. I can get pretty uneasy whenever I sign up for one of these creative fuzzy-wuzzy kind of spiritual retreat things.
Whenever I think about plunking my money and precious time down, I’m sure I’ll be the only one attending with a) no talent, b) a loud obnoxious laugh, c) shyness issues, d) weird food allergies and e) did I mention no talent?
But you know what happens when I decide to go anyway–in spite of my fears?
I find stuff to eat without gluten (and Mabel Dodge does a good job of feeding us weird food people), I find people like me to talk to. Nobody minds my laugh as much as my daughter. Sometimes I make a real lasting friend (or two). And most of all, my level of talent doesn’t matter because I tap into that sweet deep experience of being in the flow. (Maybe some of what I create does sucks but what happens afterwards is always wonderful as in new ideas, new flow, renewed commitment and energy.)
If you are ready to rekindle your creative love spark and experience creative breakthroughs, and give up some of the struggle and dryness and push-the-river quality that creeps into all our lives, join me and 25 like-minded women in Taos.
Some of the stuff we’ll cover in our luscious, nurturing writer’s shangrila:
Carefully designed blocks of time where your writing can flow; it’s about giving you a container that will let you access and pour out your creative juice.
Helpful, funny, chock-full-of-help petite-seminars like:
- How to write naked (with your clothes on) or: how to get to that real honest place in your writing
- Create a writing collage like no other writing collage you can imagine
- How to turn the various critical voices from hurting hecklers to helpmates
- How to take a rough draft or journal entry and mold into a deeper richer piece of writing
- How to start (hint: it’s not at the beginning)
- How to leave behind time monsters and shadow comforts that may block your creative work (yes, including email)
“It was an amazing, wonderful, perfect, lovely, relaxing, informative, delicious week for me! Jen will help show you how to nourish the writer within you no matter what stage or shape your inner writer is in. You will leave KNOWING you are a writer! I can’t wait till next year!” — Holly R. Bullard, Ed.D., 2011, 2012
- Daily council to offer support and a place to be heard (many women’s favorite part)
- An on-call writing coach–me–available for brief coaching if your writing hits a rough spot or your mind starts babbling that “who do you think you are” bullshit
- A band of allies in the women who, like you, are willing to take a risk and make time and devote resources to their writing dreams–you’re going to make some dear new friends, and yes, we love the shy introverts and the outrageous extroverts: you are embraced!
- A follow up resource handout to support what you’ve learned
- All level super inspiring yoga with Marianne Elliott every afternoon that will help you melt away so much stuck and self-ick
- A Facebook page to get to know each other beforehand (share rides! save money!) and stay in touch afterward
Click here to see tentative schedule.
Please note arrival and departure times!!!
“I had a lot of anxiety before I came, around feeling like a fraud as a writer and what if after spending this money and time I come away without having made any changes in my writing and creative practice? Those fears evaporated by the second day.
I came hoping for an ‘assignment’ from the universe for my next project, and I received it while brushing my teeth on the morning of the third day! I was thrilled beyond belief. I worked on my new idea the rest of the week and received crackerjack coaching from Jen. I also received gracious, positive feedback from other women, which made me think that there’s a market for this book. I’m no longer floundering, but have a clear direction for my next creative project.
Benefits of attending? The place. The conscious, creative women. The luscious food. The teaching. The times of solitude and socializing. The structure created by Jen that allowed so much to come forth. Being stirred in the cauldron of creativity where magic and transformation happen.
If you are serious about wanting time to yourself, do whatever you have to do to come to the Writers’ Retreat.” –Joanna Powell Colbert, gaiansoul.com, 2011
This retreat is NOT for you if:
- You want to learn about getting published — you can ask me all the questions you want and I will point you toward good resources but this is not a writer’s conference
- If you want a super serious event with no laughter — women work but we laugh, too.
- You want to be only around fiction writers or poets or published authors – the Writer’s Retreat draws all kinds of writers so you must like diversity
- If you want to only relax — I ask you to create during creating time not go shopping and hiking.
- If you don’t know my work at all — go read my blog or one of my books and see if we are match. Please do not come without knowing me!
“Jennifer has a magical way of creating a container for anyone to find their inner writer. If you’re ready to step deeply into your writerly self, do yourself a favor and sign up.” — Christine Frei, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012
Your fee includes everything! All lodging and all meals (no dinner in town this time alum) daily writing seminars, daily yoga classes, on-the-spot writing coaching, plentiful snacks, and love love love.
As this is a historic building, you will encounter a good degree of “funkiness” you wouldn’t find at the Ritz but if you love stepping back in history and feeling like you are walking in Mabel’s shoes (or Georgia O’Keeffe, Ansel Adams, or even Dennis Hopper who once owned the place), you’ll love it. Rooms will be assigned in order of registration and alums register before general registration.
Smoking only in designated areas outdoors. Also, keep in mind that Taos is a high-elevation destination. It can take a little time to adjust, so you may wish to come to the area a day or two early if you know you are affected by altitude. (If you do come early, you must book directly with Mable Dodge and while we will do our best to keep you in your room, we cannot promise.)
The Mabel Dodge Luhan House is a famous gathering spot for writers, painters, and geniuses. The house and Mabel’s hospitality inspired everyone from Georgia O’Keeffe to Carl Jung to Martha Graham to D.H. Lawrence. The food is sublime and plentiful with veggie and gluten free options when requested (via a handy form Deb sends you), with tea and cookies, fruit and nuts, always available. There are numerous nooks and crannies to write in including a magical garden across the street. The village of Taos is a 15-minute flat walk away.
Thinking about coming to one of Jen’s retreats, but not sure how to get there? Check out Jen’s info on making it a reality here!
This writer’s retreat is open to women writers of all levels, from beginner to professional. How do you know if you’re “a writer”? Because you write. You do not need to be published to join us! You do not need to be working on a particular project or want to “do” anything with your writing or you might be getting away to finish something big–there is room for it all.
However, I only want you to come if you really want to write–if you’re ready to make a loving creative commitment to yourself. Therefore, please send me 3-5 pages of any kind of writing (fiction, non-fiction, journal, poetry, journalism, essay, links to blog posts, etc.) that demonstrates you are willing to put pen to paper. Trust me, I’ll love it and I’ll love you! This is not about being accepted but about making a commitment.
Note: If this seems impossible, just think of it as the workshop beginning now! Allow yourself to sit with pen and paper and begin to write. If you’re not sure what to write, write about why you’d want to come to The Luscious, Nurturing Get Your Writing Done while Laughing Your Butt Off and Maybe Crying a little Too Writer’s Retreat.
Write down what comes to mind, despite what your inner critic may be screaming! Consider this a fun chance to fool around with your writing–it does not have to be award winning, deathless prose! There will be a place to submit your writing at the time you pay your deposit.
“I was a bit surprised by the depth of spirituality. My expectation had been that I would be doing my own thing, with some contact with fellow women writers, a few yoga classes, etc. But I came away with much, much more! I came away knowing what I had to do in my writing and feeling the courage to do it. Mil gracias, querida amiga.” –Patricia Santana, 2010
WE ARE SORRY
but the 2013 Writer’s Retreat is now FULL.
Please click here if you would like to be placed on the waitlist in case of openings.
More on the Money Stuff
Double rooms with shared bath: $2030
Single room with private bath: $2330
*EARLY BIRD ENTICEMENT (Mmm, yummy!)
Register and pay in full by February 14, 2013 and save $100 — as my thank you for planning ahead!
Register and pay your deposit by February 14, 2013, you save $50.
IF YOU HAVE TO CANCEL (please don’t, you don’t want to miss this!)
If you cancel before May 15, 2013, I will refund all but $150 of your deposit or balance paid in full.
If you cancel after May 15, 2013 AND after paying the balance in full, and we can fill your place, we will refund everything minus $150. If we cannot fill your spot, we cannot refund any monies due to our contract with the Mable Dodge Luhan house.
All monies are due May 15, 2013. If you need a payment plan, we can do that.
Please note: all registrations three weeks prior to start date of the retreat must pay in full at time of registration.
“I chose to give myself the gift of Jen’s writing retreat because I thought I would be nurtured by southwest skies, the loving community of other remarkable women, and Jen’s wise guidance and facilitation. I was right. Jen’s deep experience facilitating retreats is evident in every graceful, moving moment of the experience. When I met a friend for dinner the day I got back she said, “Oh my God, I have never seen you look like this. You are GLOWING.” I got great writing done, learned a lot, but most of all, fed my soul.” –Tara Sophia Mohr, taramohr.com, 2011
Jen Louden is a personal growth pioneer who help launch the self-care movement with her first book The Woman’s Comfort Book, . She’s the author of five more books on well-being and personal wisdom that have inspired more than a million women in 9 languages. Jen has been a regular columnist for Whole Living magazine, a radio show host on Martha Stewart’s network, and a spokeswoman for companies like Real Networks and SC Johnson. She even sat on Orpah’s couch. She’s a trained ontological coach, a mess-making artist, a mother of a wonderful college student, and deeply in love with her Bob. Her newest mission is writing a fantasy novel.
Marianne Elliot is a best-selling author, human rights advocate, former UN Peacekeeper, and yoga teacher. She believes kindness, joy, and an openness of body, mind, and spirit are essential to our creativity. So that’s what she teaches yoga that is kind and joyful, designed to help open your creative flow and to support you in writing and every area of your life. She attended the retreat as a participant and then taught our yoga last year to great acclaim (like “The Best Yoga ever. I call her yoga, ‘compassionate yoga’ and I wish I could bottle her up and take her home with me.” Ruth McCully)
More information about her teaching style at www.marianne-elliott.com.
More questions? Please email jenATjenniferlouden.com. I’m happy to talk about whatever you need to be sure this is the right retreat for you. Really, no question is too weird or personal.
I know you will cherish your week with us–it truly is magical.
P.S. The retreat is full every year. Just saying so you won’t be disappointed.