In 2018, I am very excited to offer 
at the beautiful Oregon Coast. 

JANUARY 25-28, 2018*

Brand new for 2018, a special retreat for the bibliophiles among us! If you adore reading and discussing books, this is the retreat for you. We will release a list of three book titles to retreat participants to read before attending: one memoir, one fiction novel, and one modern fantasy novel. We’ll spend the weekend playing, relaxing, eating, and discussing the 3 books led by Assistant Professor of English, Polly Peterson (see bio below). Polly is, bar none, the best small group discussion leader I’ve ever met. So very excited to have her leading these (in addition to leading our group discussions at the writing retreats). At least one of our books has also been made into a film, which we’ll watch together in the theatre room at the house.

MARCH 8-11, 2018*

Also new in 2018, the Food and Wine Retreat focuses on local, Pacific Northwest food and wines. The amazing brunches, beautifully curated fruit and cheese pairing, and sumptuous dinners at our retreats are always an enormous highlight; now, after several years catering for our retreats, Maggie Peterson (see bio below), a food and wine buff who’s lived and studied in France, agreed to lead a retreat of her own. HOORAY! In addition to offering incredible food, Maggie will be serving up her techniques and recipes in the retreat house state of the art kitchen. Participatory, educational, AND an excuse to dine all weekend! 

MAY 3-6, 2018*

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, or overwhelmed, this is not that conference. HOORAY! At the Magic in the Mess Writing Retreat, we offer incredible instruction from published author and Professor of Writing, Melanie Springer Mock (see bio below), and an encouraging community of writers exploring the messy craft of writing together.

NOVEMBER 1-5, 2018*

Unplug and reset as you spend a weekend learning simple, secular mindfulness practices in a supportive community, led by mindfulness educator, Heidi Hopkins (see bio below). Mindfulness is noticing what’s happening right now with curiosity and kindness instead of judgment. This simple way of using our attention helps us be more present, navigate difficult thoughts and emotions more skillfully, and choose our response to this moment instead of reacting. Come and learn the neuroscience behind mindfulness, experiment with a variety of mindfulness practices, and develop a plan for beginning or strengthening your own daily practice. 

*All retreats are 3 nights. A 4th night is optional for an additional fee. See below for details.

At every retreat, we offer: 

  • A relaxing environment, where skilled cooks prepare your meals and pour your wine.
  • An encouraging, kind, welcoming community of people eager to make new friends
  • Quality group sessions led by experts in their fields
  • Plenty of down time
  • Ample opportunities for discussion and laughter, naps and yoga, movies and hikes, opportunities for introverts and extroverts alike
  • Quite possibly naked hot tubbing, questionable language, and stories with way, WAY too much personal information, because Beth Woolsey will be there and she’s not very socially appropriate

Here’s what previous participants had to say:

Truly everything about the retreat was shocking in how incredible it was. Location, people, food, teaching, the balance of teaching and free time, the love and sincerity of everyone there. I would go again in a second and recommend it to anyone.”



Osealrock2UR LOCATION: Seal Rock, Oregon Coast

GROUP SIZE: 15 participants maximum + 5 staff

INCLUDED: Your retreat includes all group sessionslodging, meals, beverages, wine, WiFi, linens, activities, and more.

ACCOMMODATIONS: We will be staying on the Oregon Coast at a gorgeous 7-bedroom, 6-bath house with panoramic views. With stunning ocean vistas, comfortable meeting spaces, a media room, expansive patio, library, living space, a hot tub looking at the Pacific Ocean, and meals prepared for us on-site, paired with wine, there are retreats to remember.

ROOMS and RATES: Your retreat includes everything listed in “included” above. You may choose from the room and bed types below when selecting your rate, OR you may select a “Put Me Anywhere” rate at $475/person, the lowest rate available with the possibility you’ll be upgraded to a higher bed type/room for no additional fee.

BEDROOM #1: Single or Double Occupancy
King Bed
Private Bath
Ocean Front
Cost: $575/person to share with another retreat participant
or $999 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: $530

BEDROOM #2: Double or Triple Occupancy
King Bed + Full Futon
Private Bath
Ocean Front
Cost: $575/person to share the King Bed
(or $999 for single occupancy of the King Bed);
$600/person for the Full Futon, unshared

BEDROOM #3: Double or Triple Occupancy
King Bed + Full Futon
Private Bath
Ocean View
Cost: $575/person to share the King Bed
(or $999 for single occupancy of the King Bed);
$600/person for the Full Futon, unshared

BEDROOM #4: Single or Double Occupancy
Queen Bed
Shared Bath with Bedroom #5
Ocean View
Cost: $475/person to share with another retreat participant
or $999 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: $550/person to share the King Bed
(or $999 for single occupancy of the King Bed);
$575/person for the Single Bed

BEDROOM #6: Single or Double Occupancy
Queen Bed
Shared Bath with the Bunkroom
No Ocean View
Cost: $475/person to share with another retreat participant
or $800 to reserve the room as a single occupant

BUNKROOM: Quadruple Occupancy

Shared Bath with Bedroom #6
No Ocean View
Cost: $500/person


*OPTIONAL 4th NIGHT: Extend your retreat by a day! By popular request, we are adding an additional, optional night at every 2018 retreat at $125 per person.


FOOD: All meals from dinner the evening you arrive through breakfast the morning you depart will be provided onsite, including full brunches, snacks available constantly 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, make arrangements for you, or introduce you to other attendees looking for ride-shares.


  1. Email Maggie Peterson, retreat registrar, at
  2. Indicate which retreat you’d like to attend 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) OR select the $475 “Put Me Anywhere” rate. 
    • Want an additional night? Most participants do! Just let us know, and we’ll add it at $125 per person.
    • 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 via PayPal. PLEASE NOTE: Your registration is not complete until you have paid in full. 

Cancellation Policy: Because we’re already incurring expenses related to these  events, 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, friends) and the send the rest back to you. OK? OK.


beth-equals-boss-099RETREATS FACILITATOR: 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’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.     

FOOD and WINE RETREAT LEADER, RMaggieETREAT REGISTRAR, and CATERER: Maggie Peterson is a friendly and energetic graduate of Seattle Pacific University with a Bachelor of Arts in French and Francophone Studies. In addition to her work as retreat registrar and leading the all new Food and Wine Retreat, Maggie manages high end, oceanfront, vacation rentals on the Oregon Coast, including the one we use for the retreats! She loves good food, international travel, being outside, getting rowdy, and investing in people in her community, so enjoy her youthful presence and don’t be intimidated by her friendly approach to bonding.   

petersonBOOK LOVERS’ RETREAT LEADER and WRITING RETREAT INSTRUCTOR: Polly Peterson is an Assistant Professor of English at George Fox University and a playwright. From Newberg, Oregon, Polly pursues stories because she believes every person is valuable and has something important to say. She takes a holistic approach to writing instruction, caring as much about what the writer wants to say as how she says it, and she’s an accomplished small group leader, putting people at ease and ensuring the whole group receives the benefit of each individual contribution. 

MelanieSpringerMockWRITING RETREAT 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 five books, including most recently Worthy: Finding Yourself in a World Expecting Someone Else, due out in April 2017. Her essays and reviews have appeared in The Nation, Christian Feminism Today, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and Mennonite World Review, among other places. Her primary interests include making her 15-year-old sons spend time with her, watching good (that is, awful) reality television, and drinking Diet Coke.

IMG_4730MINDFULNESS EDUCATOR, MINDFULNESS RETREAT: Heidi Hopkins has been studying, practicing, and supporting others in contemplative practice for the last 15 years. She graduated with BA in Human Biology from Stanford University and has been fascinated by the brain and body ever since. Heidi has trained in a variety of settings since college, most recently with Richard Rohr in the Living School for Action and Contemplation and with Mindful Schools in their year long certification program. She currently teaches mindfulness to public school students and works in one on one and group settings with adults and youth. You can read more about mindfulness and Heidi here. Heidi is humbled by her own ongoing need for mindfulness and heartened by the fruits of daily practice. She looks forward to learning and practicing with you! 


We are Gender and Sexual Minority friendly and an inclusive space. We’d love to have you attend!

If you identify as GSM and have any questions or concerns about the retreats, please contact Maggie Peterson, retreat registrar, at

With love,

House and beach photos courtesy of Seal Rock Oceanfront Home