Joan Pardes | Confessions of a Writing Retreat Enthusiast

I love talking about writing. Poetry. Essays. Fiction. If
there’s a discussion about stringing words together, I’m in! Over the years,
I’ve attended all types of literary events – workshops, craft talks, university
classes, institutes, reading circles. But for this Alaskan, the nirvana of all
writing events is the Tutka Bay Writers Retreat.

Debra Magpie Earling, author of Perma Red
Hosted by 49 Writers Board Member Kirsten Dixon (co-owner of
Within the Wild Lodges), this year’s retreat takes place September 9-11, 2016 in
Kachemak Bay, a short boat ride from Homer. Limited to 16 participants, the
vibe is totally Alaskan – laid back and fun. This year’s workshop leader, Debra
Magpie Earling, is a Guggenheim Fellow, a recipient of the American Book Award
(Perma Red), and chair of the MFA program at the University of Montana.
As we all know, not all writers can teach and not all teachers can write, but
Ms. Earling can do both!

For me, a retreat puts my life “on hold,” shushing the chatter in
my head. It’s as if I’m transported to another version of myself – focused
solely on my craft. Tutka Bay is the perfect place to do that. The lodge is
deliciously luxurious and the surroundings are Alaska at its best – forest and
sea. And if that’s not enough, there’s the food. Kirsten and her daughter Mandy
(the Executive Chef) are both Cordon-Bleu alumni and award-
winning culinary
artists. Even the food looks like art!

When I wrote this post, there were about three spots left in
this year’s retreat ($600 for members). If you can, treat yourself to a weekend
of writing and camaraderie at 49 Writers only residential program at Tutka Bay.
Now that’s a weekend well spent!

Happy Writing,

Joan Pardes

A 49 Writers Board Member, Joan Pardes is the owner of Pardes
Public Relations. Along with attending writing workshops, she actually writes.
Her non-fiction work has appeared in several magazines including
ALASKA and its
The Last Frontier: Incredible Tales of Survival,
Exploration, and Adventure. Joan is currently working on a novel. This
summer, she was a State of Alaska Artist in Residence at the Ernest Gruening
Historical State Park.

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