Thursday 27 September 2012

How to Run a Writer's Retreat: Part Three

This is the last of the posts about the Homeric Writers' Retreat & Workshop. If you missed them, here are Part One and Part Two.

Shauna Kelley asked: If you could distill it down to the one most important outcome of the retreat, what would it be?

Hmm ... there were lots of important outcomes, but I guess I would have to say that it was the fact that we were able to educate the attendees in a lot more than just writing. The island is an amazing place, with lots of history and culture, and I think experiencing a Greek island, along with learning about the ins and outs of publishing, was something I would never want to sacrifice. It's ITHACA that made the retreat what it was. Otherwise, why would you come all the way across the other side of the world for writing workshops if there was no opportunity to explore a new place?

Ella asked: How long before everyone was at ease? What was your favorite part?

It didn't take long at all I think. By the time the attendees were in their hotel rooms, settled in, and out to the welcome dinner in Frikes, got a bit of local wine into their bellies, it was smooth sailing from there. My favourite part? Gosh, I was constantly working and running around, I'm not sure I even had time to comprehend what I had organised. Can I say simply the fact that it was successful? I think the favourite part of the attendees, though, was the Stavros Dance Festival. You can read a few testimonials HERE.

Glynis Smy: What would you do differently the next time?

Ah yes, there is always something I would do differently. I'd set the Homer's School Walk for the late afternoon, rather than early in the morning. It got too hot too quickly!

Talli Roland: Did everyone get along? Any salacious gossip?

Ha! Yes, by the looks of it everyone got along really well, so no problems there at all. I was so so pleased with the outcome. People made new friends. Even I made new friends.

Alex J Cavanaugh: What moment was the highlight? At what point did everything just click for all involved?

I think I answered this pretty much for Ella. Definitley the Stavros dance festival. And the welcome dinner was definitely a good idea. Great way to get people talking and become familiar with who they're going to spend their time with. All in all, it was just fabulous.

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  1. Hopefully you're not running around like a madwoman next year and can enjoy more of the retreat! Or rather, take in more of it.

  2. Not sure I'd be able to take the heat, but would love to see Ithaca. And, like Alex said, maybe next year you can get a helper for all that admin detail.

    Sounds like you and Chuck S. did a great job. Thanks for sharing your summary of the retreat.

  3. Man, this just sounds like it was so much fun


“I'm using my art to comment on what I see. You don't have to agree with it.” ~John Mellencamp

“Allowing an unimportant mistake to pass without comment is a wonderful social grace” ~Judith S. Marin

“I don't ever try to make a serious social comment.” ~Paul McCartney

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“We're not going to pay attention to the silliness and the petty comments. And quite frankly, women have joined me in this effort, and so it's not about appearances. It's about effectiveness.” ~Katherine Harris