THE MAGIC IN THE MESS
WRITING RETREAT 101

AT THE
OREGON COAST

MAY 4-7, 2017

sealrock1OUR MISSION: The Magic in the Mess Writing Retreat makes space for writers to explore their creative voices, discover a supportive writing community, and give shape to the messy but beautiful stories we each carry with us.

In this retreat, we’ve put together the writing experience and instruction we, as writers like you, have always craved. (In other words, if you’ve ever been to a writing conference and felt small, excluded, overwhelmed or, *ahem* generally put off by inauthentic bullshit, this is not that conference. HOORAY!)

At the Magic in the Mess Writing Retreat, we offer: 

  • A relaxing environment, where skilled cooks prepare your meals and pour your wine.
  • An encouraging community of writers exploring the messy craft of writing together.
  • Quality instruction by women who are accomplished teachers and professional writers, yet who are oh so human and sometimes insecure and always eager to muck about in the mess with new friends who love the writing craft, as well. 
  • Ample opportunities for discussion and laughter, naps and Zumba, movies and hikes, activities for introverts and extroverts alike.

sealrock3You will leave the retreat with: 

  • Practical strategies to help focus and shape your writing endeavors.
  • An extensive, constructive, personalized critique of work you’ve already done.
  • A new community of writer friends invested in your efforts.
  • The confidence to continue writing, whether your work takes you to publication or not. 
  • A hangover. (No. Not really. But we do hope you leave with that exhausted-yet-exhilarated feeling that often accompanies really good vacations. Or church camp. Or a night of binge-watching television. Also, maybe an actual hangover.) 

Here’s what previous retreat participants have to say:

“I came to the Magic in the Mess writing retreat with many reservations, fears, and insecurities about my own writing, and how it would be received among the group. Instead, I found a group of women who listened, supported, and wrote alongside me in ways I haven’t experienced as an amateur writer. It was comforting to acknowledge that writing is a messy craft, and that the process can be enjoyed, and wrestled with together.” 

“This was, to borrow Beth’s words, a game changer for me. I came home so inspired and I feel as though I truly have a direction to take my writing. I just have so much respect and admiration for everyone that helped put this together. Melanie was AMAZING! I really enjoyed my one on one with her and I felt that even that would have been worth the trip. It was truly one of the best things I’ve done.” 

This retreat was was amazing….beautiful location and accommodations, and superbly organized. I would already be signed up for the next one if it was possible!” 

The Magic in the Mess writing retreat felt like home from the minute I got there. Within 24 hours, I forgot how recently we had been strangers. Beth and the amazing instructors created a safe place for vulnerability in our lives as well as our writing, bringing us all closer to honesty in our interactions and the stories we chose to share. Sometimes the honesty was hilarious; other times heartbreaking. We were challenged to push our writing to a deeper level, try new things in our work, and learn craft in a hands-on, interesting manner. Also I have never read a schedule for a retreat that was more entertaining. I would come back next year just to read the laugh-out-loud (yet still informative) schedule.” 

“The Magic in the Mess Retreat was so amazing. The community building, the writing help, and the people were all more than I ever could have hoped for. This experience was pivotal in laying my foundation as a writer and I am beyond grateful for every part of it.” 

WE’D LOVE TO HAVE YOU JOIN US!

HERE ARE ALL THE DETAILS AND INFORMATION FOR REGISTRATION
(INCLUDING PHOTOS OF WHERE WE’LL STAY)

Osealrock2UR LOCATION: Seal Rock, Oregon Coast

GROUP SIZE: 15 participants maximum + 5 staff

INCLUDED: Your retreat includes all writing sessions and materials, an optional individual 30-minute coaching session with Melanie Springer Mock, lodging, meals, wine, WiFi, linens, and more.

GROUP SESSIONS: Group writing sessions will focus on improving writing craft. No gimmicks. No hype. Just solid writing tips, fun writing prompts, and excellent instruction from university writing professors and authors, Melanie Springer Mock and Polly Peterson. Group session portions led by Beth Woolsey will be weirder and less, um, expert. BUT FUN. Fun. Weird and fun.

sealrock9INDIVIDUAL COACHING: If you choose, you may submit a manuscript or writing sample prior to the retreat and sign up for a 30-minute individual coaching session with Professor Melanie Springer Mock. One coaching session per person is included in the retreat cost.

ACCOMMODATIONS: We will be staying on the Oregon Coast at a gorgeous 7-bedroom, 6-bath house with panoramic views, stunning ocean vistas and comfortable meeting spaces. Boasting a media room for late-night movies, a hot tub with a view of the Pacific Ocean, and meals prepared for us on-site, this will be a retreat to remember.

ROOMS and RATES: Your retreat includes everything listed in “included” aboveYou may choose from the room and bed types below when selecting your rate. (Those items crossed out like this are already sold.)

…..

BEDROOM #1: Single or Double Occupancy
King Bed
Private Bath
Ocean Front
Cost: $525/person to share with another retreat participant
or $850 to reserve the room as a single occupant

…..
BEDROOM #1B: Single Occupancy
Bottom Bunk
(Note: No one will be assigned to the top bunk.
This bunk is located in a teeny, tiny, but private space.)
Shared Bath
No Ocean View
Cost: $475

…..
BEDROOM #2: Double or Triple Occupancy
King Bed + Full Futon
Private Bath
Ocean Front
Cost: $525/person to share the King Bed
(or $850 for single occupancy of the King Bed);
$575/person for the Full Futon

…..
BEDROOM #3: Double or Triple Occupancy
King Bed + Full Futon
Private Bath
Ocean View
Cost: $525/person to share the King Bed
(or $850 for single occupancy of the King Bed);
$575/person for the Full Futon

…..
BEDROOM #4: Single or Double Occupancy
Queen Bed
Shared Bath with Bedroom #5
Ocean View
Cost: $450/person to share with another retreat participant
or $800 to reserve the room as a single occupant

…..
BEDROOM #5: Double or Triple Occupancy
King Bed + Single Bed
Shared Bath with Bedroom #4
Partial Ocean View
Cost: $500/person to share the King Bed
(or $825 for single occupancy of the King Bed);
$550/person for the Single Bed

…..
BEDROOM #6: Single or Double Occupancy
Queen Bed
Shared Bath with the Bunkroom
No Ocean View
Cost: $425/person to share with another retreat participant
or $750 to reserve the room as a single occupant

…..
BUNKROOM: Quadruple Occupancy
Shared Bath with Bedroom #6
No Ocean View
Cost: $450/person

sealrock10

FOOD: All meals from dinner the evening you arrive through breakfast the morning you depart will be provided onsite, including full breakfasts, light lunches and delicious dinners. If you have food allergies or sensitivities, please let us know when you register.

TRANSPORTATION: Rates do not include transportation to/from the retreat. If you need ground transportation, we can provide information or make arrangements for you. 

SAMPLE SCHEDULE:

Day 1
4-5:00pm     Check In
5:00pm     Wine and Cheese Welcome Reception
6:00pm     Opening Session
7:30pm     Dinner

Days 2 and 3
8:00am     Early Riser Coffee and Muffins Available
9:00am     Group Session
10:30am     Brunch
11:30am     Group Session
1:00pm     Choose Your Own Adventure (one-on-one coaching appointments, free time, writing time or group activities like hiking, antiquing, beach walking, and hot tubbing)
4:30pm     Group Session
6:00pm     Dinner
8:00pm     Games, Movies, Hot Tubbing (Friday), Open Mic (Saturday)

Day 4
8:00am     Early Riser Coffee and Muffins Available
11:30am     Depart

sealrock5HOW TO REGISTER:

  1. Email Beth Woolsey at FiveKidsIsALotOfKids@gmail.com
  2. Use “Retreat Registration” in your subject line.
  3. Include the following information:
    • Your first and last name.
    • Your bed/rate preferences, listed in priority order (i.e. 1. king bed, 2. futon, 3. bottom bunk.) 
    • Roommate requests, if any.
    • Food allergies or sensitivities, if any.
    • Your questions or other requests. For example, this is a great place to let us know you’re flying into Portland and will need ground transportation information!

Within 24 hours of receiving your email, we will send you additional information, including how to make your payment. PLEASE NOTE: Your registration is not complete until you have paid in full. 

Cancellation Policy: Because we’re already incurring expenses related to this event, reservations are nonrefundable. That’s the policy. However, if you find you’re not able to attend, please do let us know as soon as possible. We’re not jerks; we’ll try to work with you. For example, if we can find someone else to pay to take your place, we’ll deduct a $75 administrative fee (’cause setting this stuff up is a lot of work, man) and the send the rest back to you. OK? OK.

STAFF BIOS

MelanieSpringerMockSESSION LEADER, WRITING COACH: Melanie Springer Mock is a Professor of English at George Fox University, Newberg, Ore. In 2009, she won the GFU Undergraduate Faculty of the Year award. She is the author or co-author of four books, including most recently Meant to Be, due out in April 2015. Her essays and reviews have appeared in The Nation, Christian Feminism Today, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and Mennonite World Review, among other places. She blogs about (and deconstructs) images of women embedded in evangelical popular culture at Ain’t I a Woman? Her primary interests include making her 12-year-old sons take showers already, watching good (that is, awful) reality television, and taking long naps, on her office floor if necessary. 

petersonSESSION LEADER, WRITING COACH: Polly Peterson is a visiting Assistant Professor of English at George Fox University, Newberg, Ore. She teaches mainly composition courses, and her passion is to help students become close readers, critical thinkers, clear communicators and confident writers. Polly believes every person is valuable and has something important to say; as such, she takes a holistic approach to writing, caring as much about what the writer wants to say as how she says it. Most recently, Polly collaborated with two other playwrights to write the original play In The Family of Things that debuted on the stage in the Fall of 2013. 

beth-equals-boss-099SESSION CONTRIBUTOR, RETREAT COORDINATOR: Beth Woolsey is the writer and humorist behind the Five Kids Is A Lot of Kids blog where she writes frequently about pee and Jesus, but not usually at the same time. She’s been described by readers as “optimistic, authentic, poignant and laugh-out-loud funny, [capturing] the mom experience with all its pathos and humor,” and she was named one of Sheknows.com’s Top Five Moms Who Will Make You Laugh Out Loud. Beth’s true passion lies in creating authentic communities full of imperfect people. She loves wild truths and unreasonable grace, and she’s really far too loud for polite society.

MaggieCOOK, ACTIVITIES COORDINATOR: Maggie Rose Peterson is a friendly and energetic woman who recently graduated college with a Bachelor of Arts in French and Francophone Studies from Seattle Pacific University. She loves good food, being outside, getting rowdy and investing in people in her community. She has no idea what she wants to do in the near future job-wise, so enjoy her youthful presence and don’t be intimidated by her “nudity-builds-community” approach to bonding.

……….
Rainbow

We are LGBTQ friendly and a safe space.

If you identify as LGBTQ and have questions about attending any of the retreats we offer and/or accommodations we provide, please contact me directly at fivekidsisalotofkids@gmail.com.

With love,
Signature

……….
House and beach photos courtesy of Seal Rock Oceanfront Home

7 thoughts on “WRITING RETREAT 101

  1. Sarah K says:

    Beth, is that second set of dates correct? The schedule lists the events as being Thursday through Sunday, but June 12-15 is a Sunday through Wednesday. Just checking to make sure!

    Like: Thumb up +2

  2. Carol Kroker says:

    Hi Beth!
    Does shared mean you share the bed or you share the room? I’m afraid it means share the bed, but please let me know if I’m wrong – This is very important!
    Thanks,
    Carol

    Like: Thumb up +1

    • Profile photo of Beth Woolsey Beth Woolsey says:

      Agreed! VERY important. When it says “shared,” it means sharing the bed. “Unshared” is the price to have the bed to yourself. If you’re looking for an unshared bed for a less expensive price, the full-sized futons are very comfy (not the hard, flat ones like some places) or the bunks are good options. OR, consider bringing a friend to share a bed! Always an option.

      I hope that helps!
      Beth

      Like: Thumb up +3

  3. Autumn Jones-Oh says:

    Hi,
    I would love to be considered for the writers retreat! I think its only the wait list open?
    I am a mom of two wonderfully crazy kids. 8, (boy) Everett, and 4years old Hayley.
    Is there still room?
    Autumn

    Like: Thumb up +5

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