Friday, November 6, 2009

St. George Island Writers' Retreat ~ Full House

I'm overwhelmed, and happily so. The four-day St. George Island Writers' Retreat, for the first time in its history, is filled to capacity. Ten writers will drop their everyday lives, put other cares and concerns on hold and spend four full days honing writing skills, exploring ways of putting stories on pages, asking questions and offering support.

Of varying ages and locations, these writers have traveled many different paths to this retreat--news writing, music ministry, teaching, nursing, to name a few. Their writing backgrounds differ. Some will carry published books under their arms and others will tote manuscripts nearly ready to query. Still others will offer up their first tentative pages. No matter; the retreat is a great leveler. Each has a need to be there--for the training, for the time, for the emotional support, the camaraderie--for all the essentials of transforming words into art. Every participant comes with goals, striving to improve. Every writer wants time to run material past our mentor, Adrian Fogelin, for constructive feedback.

November 12th is fast approaching, and I feel like a kid waiting for the first day of school. First comes the Apalachicola Writers' Workshop Day and Authors' Night, a chance to dust off our skills and become energized. There is still room for a few more participants in this off-site workshop day. Then we'll settle into our routine of morning workshops, feedback sessions and blocks of writing time--occasionally broken up by a brisk walk on the beach.

I just can't wait.