Writing Workshop Overview


Spring & Fall

Writing Retreats.

I am inviting GROUPS of 3-6 friends , writing groups, classes to organize themselves and reserve a week suitable for their needs during the spring and fall each year.


Winter Week on a Cold,

WINDY, Deserted Beach

Aside from cold and windy walks on the beach and some of those late afternoon "field trips" to local spots of interest, we're mostly cottage bound--heating up the place with all the furious writing getting done.



Cool off in the ocean breezes from the comfortable decks at Duckdog. Ocean view from the living area and both decks, picturesque sunsets from the upper deck. Cozy one story cottage that welcomes dogs--and writers. 


Hatteras Workshop Descriptions


Memoir Writing Workshops:

In these traditional "directed" workshops the typical day goes something like this: after coffee/breakfast, everyone gets together in the living room for the morning workshop, which consists of several short writing exercises and a lot of talking about the elements of powerful prose. After lunch (together or alone) and some writing walk and talk and swim, everyone seeks out their writing nests--deck/beach/room--and proceeds to write for several hours on a topic that has emerged from the morning meeting. In the later afternoon we reconvene to share wine, cheese and thoughts of the writing day. Later we eat dinner (grill in or go out) and move into the recitation/workshop phase of the day where everyone reads a selection from that day's output. It is always fun, always heartening.

Writing Marathons

3000 Words a Day or Bust!

Marathons are less guided and more "pure writing" than the other workshops I have offered over the years. The intention is to gather people who want to work on specific projects of their own choosing and give them the space/time/encouragement/community to write 3000 words a day. The work day will be a little different than the memoir workshops as well. After coffee/breakfast and a brief early morning meeting, everyone finds their own creative spaces and proceeds to do as much unedited writing as possible. Everyone writes straight through until mid afternoon (eating lunch whenever hunger strikes) and then stops for R&R ... a swim, a walk on the beach, a chance to lie in the hammock or take a "field trip" to the Lighthouse or the Wright Museum or the Pea Island bird sanctuary. Around 6 PM we reconvene to eat dinner (cook in/go out) and then move into the recitation/wine/workshop phase of the evening where everyone reads a selection from that day's output. At the end of the retreat everyone should have at least 10,000 good words on paper--and be tired and inspired.

Winter Week on a Cold Deserted Beach

Several years ago I was down on the island for a week in January desperately trying to meet my deadline on the Anxious Groom book. I found the light on the beach as transformative as it was inspiring---and my days down there turned out to be as productive a creative period as I've ever experienced. Then this year I brought a group of hearty X-writers down there to share the desolation-and it was great success. That said, you should know that aside from cold and windy walks on the beach and some of those late afternoon "field trips" to local spots of interest, we'll be mostly cottage bound--and trying to heat up the place with all the furious writing getting done. The schedule will be pretty much the same as the Fall Marathon, but keep in mind that this one is longer than the others--Sunday evening to Saturday morning. Please know, too, that most restaurants on the island will be closed in January, so most nights we'll take turns cooking for each other, a wonderful part of the group experience in January. 

TYPICAL Workshop Schedule


Day 1

Arrive 6 PM
Preliminary Meeting  7:30-9:30

Day 2-6

Breakfast 8-9 AM
AM Workshop 9:30-11:30
Lunch 12-1
Writing Time 1-4 PM
Wine/Cheese 4-5 PM
Dinner 6-7 PM
Evening Meeting/Reading  7:30-9:30

Day 7

Breakfast -6-8 AM