Perhaps part of the allure of the Salty Quill Writers Retreat is that we have room for only 12 writers to attend each year. With room to nestle into nooks in the living room, parlor, sun room, and the library, on the expansive decks or hidden in the sauna, writers are always eager to spend time writing in the sanctuary of their rooms. Each of nine bedrooms is unique, but all share gorgeous views and understated charm, sprinkled throughout with artwork and antiques. Every bed features fine linens, fresh plump pillows, and a heated mattress pad.

​​writing retreat ​for women

​​​​​​​​​​The Salty Quill

McGee Island, Maine

Spring: May 25-June 1, 2024
Fall: September 7-14 and September 14-21, 2024

With three separate sessions, McGee Island, a private island off the mid-coast of Maine, will be home to the ninth annual Salty Quill Writers’ Retreat for Women, where 12 women writers will enjoy days of uninterrupted writing time, three chef-prepared meals a day, and after-dinner readings and critiques. Freely wander two private islands with miles of trails, kayaks, rowboats, a sauna, and even an outdoor shower, or curl up in a soft easy chair or your antique-filled room and write, nap, read—whatever you do, the time is yours.


Each year, writers who come find themselves immersed in a luxury they often don't afford themselves—quiet time dedicated to their craft, something so often relegated to the backburner in busy lives. Salty Quill writers often gain a sense of commitment to their writing a worthy enterprise. The remote old-world and quiet atmosphere fosters a sense of community that is supportive, not competitive. And, although writers often leave reluctantly, they go with the comfort of newfound friends, colleagues, and community, and a renewed sense of purpose and value in their work.


In 2024, we are offering three weeklong sessions. We welcome applications from practicing writers of fiction, non-fiction, screen plays, and poetry, as well as translators and playwrights. The Salty Quill is the perfect place for writers who identify as women, who often struggle to find time to write. The retreat's purpose is to allow time to write. This is not a retreat with craft sessions or workshops. Other than during meals, reading salons or self-guided outings on the island, we basically spend time doing what we came to do—quietly write, rest, restore, repeat. In 2024, we are once again offering three full-week scholarships  to women writers. For more information, visit our Scholarships page. For more information, email 

*Please note: Covid-19 precautions remain in place. Testing pre- and post-arrival and up-to-date vaccinations and boosters are required to attend. Ultimately, the health and well-being of every attendee will guide our decision. For the safety of all, anyone become ill with any kind of contagious illness during the retreat will be asked to leave to safeguard the health of the remaining writers.

Three meals a day are prepared by our personal chef in the Cook House, where writers will find morning breakfast and mid-day lunch set out buffet style. Each evening, writers follow the call of the dinner bell when dinner is served. Menus include fresh fruits, garden-fresh vegetables, soups, salads, and creative, inspired healthful dinners. For more, visit On The  Table.

For many who've attended the Salty Quill in past years, McGee Island is a magical place. A private 110-acre island about 3 miles off mid-coast Maine, McGee is home to 12 women writers who attend the Salty Quill Writers' Retreat for Women to immerse themselves in their writing, make lifelong friendships, and relish the comfort of solitude and shared endeavor. To get a sense of the retreat, visit our look back at 2019, 201820172016, and 2015 retreats.

Salty Quill Writers' Retreat