Writing is one of the most challenging things we’ll ever do; it’s also one of the most supreme pleasures in our life. This is one of the many paradoxes of being a writer. While this may never be resolved, one of the best things we can do to support our writing is to nourish ourselves, and give ourselves permission to enjoy the pleasure of it.
That’s why writing on retreat is so special. It initiates the altered state of mind that you’re in when you’re writing, and protects it for a prolonged period of time. We can go deep in our writing, and feel deeply connected to who we truly are. That’s why, after we’ve been on a writing retreat, we feel so transformed.
In the morning, you step out of your own private room with a view of the hills, and walk the path up to the yoga studio to invigorate your body in a morning movement class. After breakfast, you join your fellow writers in a late morning workshop session with me.
The afternoon is free for you to write, go for a long walk, enjoy a massage, or read and research before we gather for dinner. You and your fellow writers celebrate another deep, fruitful writing day, and then settle into the lounge for our evening salon, where you share some of your work and discuss the insights of the day.
You bring whatever you are working on to this retreat. If you’re circling around writing something new, this is the perfect time and place to start it. If you are working on a messy middle draft, this is an excellent way to energize it with a new perspective. You can also bring a craft question or a writing problem that feels unsolvable, and we will look at it together. You can also simply arrive with a blank journal, a pen, and beginner’s mind.
On retreat, you write what you wish you could read, even if you've never seen it written before. As you listen to it, your writing brings you closer to your true nature.
My retreats include guided nature hikes, because connecting to nature brings insight to our work in surprising ways.
You feel calm and full of wonder, effortlessly fascinated by your project as you slip into the flow state every day.
“Sarah’s writing classes helped make writing one of my closest friends. Her
expansive spirit leaves room for all styles and personalities. She’s a truly talented teacher, helping guide even the most timid.”
“Thank you for all of the support, advice and guidance. The retreat was incredible! I will keep at it.”
California Writing Retreat 2019
“I arrived at the workshop quite unsure about the level of my writing and what would be expected, but found Sarah’s guidance for the critiques led to super-clear and very helpful discussions about the pieces. I learned from the critiques about other’s writing as well as from the critique about my piece. I left feeling much clearer about how to continue and finish my piece.”
UK Writing Retreat
“Your writing and your teaching has literally changed my writing life.”
“Everything that Sarah Selecky puts together is the result of much considered thought.”
“The weekend with Sarah was without exaggeration, a life-saving experience for me ... My writing is stronger, deeper and truer.”
Jo Anne Wilson
Writing with Horses Retreat
Here’s what a day on retreat might look like:
6:00–11:00am: Personal writing time/free time
9:00–10:00am: Movement or yoga in the studio
11:00am–12:30pm: Writing craft sessions with Sarah
2:00–6:00pm: Personal writing time/free time/optional massages
7:00–8:00pm: Salon and togetherness
Want to book me to teach at your retreat, have me on your show, visit your class, or speak at your event? Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with “Appearance Request” in the subject line. Or click on the question mark icon at the bottom right of the screen.
“Sarah is an expert who creates a calm, intentional, and powerful space for writers to drop deeply into their practice in a way that’s expansive and eye-opening. She even manages to make it feel like soul work, while giving writers real and practical tools.”
This is Good and the Victoria Festival of Authors
“Writing and sharing a short story made me more nervous then I care to admit. Sarah does an excellent job of creating a safe space in her classes, offering constructive tips and tricks to start (and finish) stories in an environment that is never intimidating or critical. It is her warmth and the collegial atmosphere she creates that makes her workshops so enjoyable, giving me confidence to go places with my writing that I wouldn't have reached on my own.”
“I've taken a lot of courses, in all sorts of areas, including several other creative writing courses. Some of those courses have made me a more self-conscious writer. Sarah's course is different. It encourages you to pay close attention to what delights and inspires and intrigues you, in your own writing, and in the writing of others. It encourages you to write what you like, how you like. I loved getting feedback on my writing from so many lovely people who were determined to show me my strengths. I loved going in to the online classroom every week.”
“Ask me about a perfect writing coach and I'll tell you about Sarah. A wonderfully insightful and warmhearted mentor, she's coached me towards a healthy, loving relationship with my writing. She's offered invaluable advice on any imaginable writing topic: how to access my creative reservoir, questions on technique, style and aesthetics, how to work around writer's block. She's a revision wizard who provides gentle, yet highly potent editorial feedback.”
“Sarah's writing workshops are the anchor that ensures writing practice in my week. Her classes and exercises provide a rich soil from which to generate material and keep going to the first draft and beyond. The classes are consistently supportive and the people I have met through Sarah's workshops have helped create a necessary writing community.”
“Sarah’s critique and coaching sessions for my short story helped me create new and exciting characters – significantly develop the narrative background – and enrich the plot and themes. The number one lesson I learned from her critique method is to expect and rejoice in the process of revision.”
“It was wonderful working with such a warm, generous and supportive writer. I would recommend Sarah's course to other writer friends without hesitation ... I loved the writing exercises: they really helped focus me, and the writing I produced was much more vivid and interesting. ”