writing retreat for women
McGees Island, September 17, 2018
by Amy Aberdeen
By the time the fog clears it is late afternoon
And I have wasted the day in a blank haze.
Sunshine laughs aslant at me as if to say
My light is my light and each single ray
will fall where it will, and when, and the moon
light too before more fog falls will play
while the hoarse foghorn howls you fool,
you fool, all the way home.
McGee Island, a private island off the mid-coast of Maine, will be home to the fourth 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—the time to dedicate themselves to their craft. By dedicating time to an endeavor so often relegated to the backburner in busy lives, they often gain a sense that their writing is a worthwhile endeavor of which they are worthy. The remote old-world and easy-going 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 2018, we are offering two weeklong sessions, with a few half-week sessions also available. We are once again offering scholarships for half-week sessions, and this year, we have four full scholarships we'll award women writers. For more information, visit our Scholarships page.
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.
We are so pleased to welcome back Nancy Wood as our chef in 2018. She'll prepare 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 organic 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 2017, 2016, and 2015 retreats.