The second annual Write: A Doe Bay Workshop, April 10-13, will bring together 25 participants at the lovely Doe Bay Resort and Retreat on Orcas Island, Washington. Through shared meals and shared housing, a new vision for a writer’s retreat takes place. Community flourishes, walls break down and love flows.
Tickets are on sale HERE.
The weekend’s schedule flows seamlessly from collective meals to bottomless coffee and/or tea. It is a return to the sedentary circle of writing where pen and paper and voice fill the room as notebooks flow full.
Under a midnight apple tree at Doe Bay Fest two Augusts ago, I became completely enchanted with a song and its singer. I tapped my boot on the root of the tree and thought about a return in a different season. I wanted to teach with the a capella songwriter before me; I wanted to enroll in his lecture on narrative. Daniel Blue reflects the current musical era of Seattle’s soulful folk scene with a collection of songs sprung not just from pure heart, but another place in time, versed in fantasy, addiction, faith, and of course love. Listeners bear witness and enter his kingdom of sound, where dreams, both breathtakingly humble and heart fulfilling, root in honesty. Blue has spent the last four years as Motopony’s frontman, a Seattle-based hard-soul/glitch-folk band. It was Daniel Blue’s lyrical storytelling that sparked my initial idea for Write. From that moment forward, I desired a workshop that bridged musicians and poets and fiction writers and nonfiction artists. Daniel’s presence is magical and inspiring. At last year’s Write: Doe Bay I witnessed the ease in which he assisted writers in the pure release of their craft. His lessons were both honest and profound. The extent to which he opened up about process and both the struggle and honor of being a creative soul, became the very heart of our workshop. He’s uninhibited and playful, all the while profound and kind. We’ve shared many laughs, meals and memories. I’m honored to call him a friend.
The first time I talked to Claire I hadn’t read her book The Rules of Inheritance. And when I initially turned its cover, I didn’t expect for everything around me to halt after only finishing the very first page. Three hours later, I was done. I was supposed to call her back, but I was afraid I’d sound like a super-fan. You see, Claire Bidwell Smith can write a whole year in a single paragraph with each word unlike any other. Her memoir, albeit tragically sad and heartbreakingly beautiful, is art delivered as prose. With a solid poetic background, she has the high gift of craft. Last year at Write: Doe Bay we learned so much about her dynamic writer’s process, ripe with a journey of trial and edit and rewrite before final publication. With her diverse professional writing background, she’s an expert on the ins and outs of business and representation. In the last eight months, we’ve only spent a total of ten days together, yet I’m sure we’ll be friends forever. In our regular talks, I listen to so many stories of her two daughters, her travels and her dreams. I’m always impressed with the sense of place her words paint. Claire is profound and amazing; she’s smart and hilarious. Her unwavering dedication to a goal is inspiring, while her narrative history shows us all how resilience and beauty prevail.
Years ago now, I was up in the early morning light with my second-born baby girl. I read a piece about love and honesty and, above all, bravery in the face of the unknown, the unexpected. Kelle solidified my belief that we all have a story to tell, however unsure of the ending we may be once we begin. I’ve always understood that wounds bleed and how the very process, the act of outpouring, the fine performance of pen on paper, is beautiful in its teachable moments. I’ve read so much of Kelle’s work over the years and her words have taught me that we are the story along the way. Her narratives consistently show me how to dive into a moment and find the beauty; her writing so beautifully leads the audience on a path to enjoying the small things in the everyday. After April’s Write: A Doe Bay Workshop, I flew to Florida to visit family and the bright sunshine forever lacking in our pacific northwest. Through mutual friends, Kelle and I began texting. I first heard from her while inside a Target, ironically walking past her new paperback bestseller Bloom: Finding Beauty in the Unexpected; I took it as a sign. Days after, Kelle and I sat on the sand amidst our six children and immediately jumped into the status of good friends. We shared secrets and laughs through connections with a love of water, of babies, of words, and of the sunset before us. Kelle is genuine and honest. Her bravery and drive are infectious; she’s hilarious and witty. Kelle Hampton writes Enjoying the Small Things.
I first met Nici in a narrow bar in Missoula sixteen years ago. She was all smiles and curls, bright red lipstick with sincere, full-body laughter. We shared quarters for the jukebox, love for each other’s vintage cowgirl boots and for the two guys we’d each fallen in love with: childhood pals from a small Montana town. Since those late 1990s twirls on the bar stool to Kenny Rogers, I’ve witnessed Nici marry the man of her dreams and birth two beautiful daughters. She’s gone from successful gallery artist to small business owner, writing her way along the way. Nici is a staple of web and print words on food and mama-ing and making all things phenomenal. I believe she’s the current voice of the crafty and the hip. She’s sincere in her delivery, honest in her trials and profound in her prose. She has a magnetic and loving personality, one that’s easy to feel like you’ve known a lifetime after ten minutes of meeting. Nici Holt Cline writes and owns Dig This Chick.
What is Write?
Write is a belief in a weekend workshop, a return to pen and paper, an entrance into a family of writers, and an invitation to unlock words within us, words waiting to be told.
Write is amazing. See? This is me last year:
We all hope to see you here: