McGee Island, a private island off the mid-coast of Maine, will be home to the seventh 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 2022, we are offering a weeklong sessions in the spring and the fall. We welcome applications from practicing writers of fiction, non-fiction, playwrighting, screen plays, or poetry. The Salty Quill is the perfect place for women writers who struggle to find time to write. We often have a variety of skill levels, but this is not a retreat with craft sessions or any education. Its purpose is to allow time to write (i.e., this is not a friends or family getaway. Other than during meals, salons or self-guided outings on the island, we are quietly writing). In 2022, we are once again offering two full-week scholarships to women writers. For more information, visit our Scholarships page.
*Please note: As as the coronavirus grows and changes, so will our plans and protocol: Of course, finding oneself on an island away from crowds and with endless fresh air is a rare gift, but should a new variant pose any kind of a threat, we will postpone and/or cancel this retreat. Ultimately, the health and well-being of every attendee will guide our decision. Testing and up-to-date vaccination are required to attend. For the safety of all, anyone become ill with any kind of contagious illness during the retreat will be asked to leave.
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.
Our extraordinary chef, Erin Anderson, prepares three meals a day at 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, artisanal cheeses, local seafood, and creative, inspired healthful dinner courses. 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, 2018, 2017, 2016, and 2015 retreats.
Spring session: May 28-June 4 and Fall session: September 24-October 1, 2022
writing retreat for women