Colton House Writers’ Retreat and Workshop: October, 2022 Itinerary.
Here is what you can expect during the Colton House Writers’ Retreat and Workshop. Please keep in mind that we always meet writers where they are, and that demands flexibility. So while we do our best to stick to this schedule, we’ll be following our collective muse as well.
Arrival and Welcome Reception. This is the day we settle into our accommodations, and slow down to the speed of life. Jacki and Eric welcome the writers at an evening wine-and-cheese reception overlooking the foothills of the San Francisco Mountains.
Morning: Workshop overview and basics. We sit down for our first full day of instruction. We begin this day, as we do all days, with a brief poem and an inspirational quote. In the morning, Jacki and Eric lay out the arc of the workshop and fellow writers get to know one another. We sample some of our favorite passages of prose and poetry, and then limber up with a free writing exercise. We break for lunch, which is enjoyed al fresco, weather permitting. In the afternoon, we get down to the nuts-and-bolts of good writing, such as scene, characters and narrative arc. We provide writing prompts for those who would like them. Time is set aside to work on your own project, meet one-on-one with Eric or Jacki, or go for a walk in the nearby woods. Dinner is a group affair, with everyone helping out in the kitchen.
Morning: Jacki and Eric discuss more advanced writing techniques, such as the use of dialogue and humor.We also dive into workshopping our pages. Afternoon: We head to the nearby Kachina Trail and, amidst the Ponderosa Pines, engage in a full-sensory observation exercise, led by Eric. Evening: We drive into Flagstaff for dinner and then to catch a stargazing show at the terrific Lowell Observatory. (Admission price not included.)
Morning: We discuss the keys to good revising, as well as the art of the interview. Jacki leads a “writing to an object” exercise Afternoon: We workshop more pages and field craft questions. Free time for individual writing or meeting one-one-one with the instructors. For those who are interested, we visit the nearby Museum of Northern Arizona. Evening: group dinner
Morning: We fine-tune and workshop our final pieces. Afternoons: One-one one sessions with Eric and Jacki. Evening: We gather around the fire for a group reading. Writers share a piece of work they either wrote or revised during the workshop, followed by raised glasses and an enthusiastic “Colton Clap.”
Morning: Consolidating our gains, and final thoughts. We review the ground we’ve covered, and discuss good writing hygiene: the importance of claiming time and space for your craft, and other aspects of the writing life. We, sadly, say goodbye and make our way home.