Broadkill Resort - Write at the Beach

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T-Minus Seven Days

ticketOur biggest event of the year is coming up in one week!

Every year our publishing company hosts an event called DogCon. It moves from city to city, and features events for both readers and publishing professionals.

This year we are hosting DogCon at our Broadkill Writers’ Resort. Unlike previous years, which have been free to attend, we are charging various levels of membership fees. In addition to the items that come with the different ticket upgrades all memberships include snacks, beverages, one meal per day, and access to all event programming.

You can read about the festivity schedule and purchase tickets at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/dogcon5-tickets-26847672110.

If you’re unable to attend DogCon in person you can view select event programming through our live video streaming system. Register for free at https://app.webinarjam.net/register/30519/b021d4b54c where you will also find the full online schedule. Online attendees will receive free downloads!

We hope to see you there!

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Beach House Improvements

Beach House Improvements

We were lucky to get the Broadkill Resort already fully furnished and ready to go which means that we can now focus on the details. It’s fun to add bookish items and improve the comfort level. We’ve been adding a lot of special touches lately so I thought I’d post a few beach house improvements and some photos to go along with that. My favorite addition is the pipe shelving, complete with cool steampunkish gauge. If you’d like to rent the place yourself you can see dates and rates at www.vrbo.com/863669.

Recent Beach House Improvements Include:

  • Installed steampunk-inspired pipe shelves in the submarine-themed guest room
  • Created storage for chairs and toys in the outside shower so any guest can use them
  • Added new summer-weight quilts and memory foam toppers for some beds
  • Replaced bath mats in both bathrooms
  • Hung beachy shell decor and added seagull to the porch
  • Added bookish dresser-top arrangement and Romeo & Julienne Cutting Board
  • Brought a new outdoor gas grill for grilling on the deck
  • Acquired some deck furniture (more to come)
  • Put a tentacularly cool soap dispenser in the upstairs bath
  • Hung a whimsical jellyfish shower curtain in the first floor bath

We love sharing the Broadkill area with others and making beach house improvements. We’re aiming for a cozy and unique setting that will inspire and these new additions definitely fit the bill. We’re looking forward to working on more additions soon including hoisting a custom Broadkill Writers Resort flag, adding more writing areas and outdoor furniture. We’re hoping to get the yard completely fenced and add more parking spots as well as work on themes for each of the guest rooms. In the meantime the house is completely ready for rent and is also pet friendly so check out the calendar and rates at www.vrbo.com/863669.

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The Benefits of Attending a Writing Retreat

The Benefits of Attending a Writing Retreat
Wetlands

A huge segment of my friends and acquaintances are writers. Many are published. Many teach writing. Many wish they could write more and have more time for their craft. Many miss the forced deadlines of writing programs or National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) or have fallen out of the habit of writing every day. I hear a lot of sorrow in the voices of people talking about lack of uninterrupted stretches of several hours, voicing the reality that some folks’ concentration styles requires a great burst of word volume to start a project. One friend and former classmate reported she occasionally checks herself into a hotel for the weekend just to get writing done, away from the distractions of her regular life. Still others participate in bootcamps—writers tapping away in a room together for hours at a time. I’ve done a few of those over the course of a day, weekend, and some as long as a week. These are all great and have their unique benefits. But of all these special approaches to writing, what I’ve come to see as a truly viable option that affords the time, space, and novelty of sensory input needed for productivity as well as the chance to network and commune collegially with other writers is a retreat weekend.

There’s something inherently different about a retreat weekend that can’t be replicated by other means.

A solitary hotel stay is great for focus, but it lacks the novelty of sensory stimulation and it certainly lacks community and networking. The bootcamps I’ve done with colleagues are also great, but often we’re just holed up in an empty classroom during the 9-to-5 for a week. This model is great for focus and certainly doesn’t lack for community and networking, but it has even less novelty of sensory stimulation than a well-appointed hotel or bed and breakfast—you are literally in the most familiar of environments and go back home to your normal routine in the evenings. In some cases, the door of a windowless room is routinely locked during writing sprints, giving you literally nothing but your laptop and bare walls to inspire you. A retreat weekend is something very different, something that aligns the sensory, community, and focus, and allows for a great deal of flexibility and freedom of process.

Last spring, I attended the Bourbon Ridge Writing Retreat hosted by Raw Dog Screaming Press (also the owners of the Broadkill Writing Resort) in the Hocking Hills region of southeastern Ohio. I got to see old friends, made new friends, and managed in the course of just a few days to not only make great progress on a novella but got much-needed editing work done on several projects, outlined a new YA series that had been up to that point just a flicker of an idea, and taught myself to use Scrivener—a beast of a tutorial that otherwise would eat up several evenings for over a week if done piecemeal. I read bits of other writers’ work, got to observe some of their creative processes, participated in a group reading, went hiking under crystal blue skies in the crisp, early spring air, and joined in the formation of so many ridiculous inside jokes about the limited fire starting skills of the group and a still-lingering debate about bad (or very good) supermarket beer. I’ve since read some of these fellow writers’ work and found a new community I know I could still turn to for discussion, idea inspiration, and professional contacts. From that weekend alone, I learned a new poetic form, I talked other writers out of plot knots in their own work, and the sensory experience provided setting inspiration that I’ll always be able to draw on for future projects.

It may be cliché to need a cabin in the woods to set one’s head to creative thinking, but nature, exercise, and travel can indeed shake perspective just enough to get the juices flowing. I’ve written before about the benefits of endorphins and creativity and how yoga and meditation are integral to my writing process. Hiking is seen by many as a form of walking meditation, and walking itself has enough cardiovascular benefit to encourage endorphin production. In fact, a new study recently discussed how leptin—not just endorphins—can also contribute to the sensation known as a “runner’s high”. Whatever the chemical mechanism in the body, exercise produces great results for the creative person: greater focus, a feeling of euphoria and well-being that may energize and inspire, and the benefit of sensory input during an outdoor walk, run, or hike. Observing nature (or any new setting, really) with all five senses is key to drawing on that material later—every smell of a flower, ever flick of a squirrel’s tail, every cool breeze across your cheek can be mined for the same moment in a story, book, or poem.

Look, smell, listen, and then write and remember.

Travel itself is research. Even mundane moments of travel, like the Samuel Beckett-esque wait I endured picking up a rental car after a bumpy flight. As I stood in a winding, too-long line full of other weary travelers, I noticed the streaky fingerprints on the half-empty vending machine, the snatches of overheard cell phone conversations, and the grim conditions of the rental car office’s walls. The faces of the employees were haggard, unsmiling, and spoke of long hours and likely a stream of less patient customers than I. All of that input is now fair use in my writing. During the same trip, I made a simple observation of the jauntily-painted door of a brownstone I drove past. I snapped a cell phone photo of it and wrote an entire horror story about what might dwell behind that flashy rectangle of wood and brass. Travel expressly to somewhere beautiful is even more a wellspring of writing research. In high school, I spent a week at a beach house in Oak Island, North Carolina, and now over twenty years later I still write about that house, that stretch of sand, the play of the full moon on the ocean and the strange effects of seaside humidity that melted lipstick in the tube and frizzed my hair into a coppery cotton ball. If called upon to write a scene of someone lying in a hammock regarding the ocean, it would be that hammock and that ocean.

At the Bourbon Ridge retreat, I filed away moments on my drive from my urban Dayton neighborhood to the retreat site, off gravel-lined roads that wound and dove around much hillier terrain than exists in the western half of the state. I blasted Taylor Swift and gloried in sunshine and freedom. I filed away into that sensory research place the cabin’s leather couches (perfect for napping or long conversations), the feel of smooth-polished wood floors (slippery under our socked feet), the play of firelight across laughing faces, the slip of muddy terrain, sun through leaves, and the call of birds in the trees. I filed away coffee sipped on the front porch on chilly mornings and sunshine on bare shoulders in late afternoon. And I filed away the heady rush of returning safely home to a comforting and unhealthy dinner of cheeseburgers and the good night’s sleep of the exhausted. So in addition to all the friends, laughter, and intensely focused productivity, there are wellsprings of travel material I can call upon when I need it.

Because, too, cementing a place into your writing allows the memory to linger longer. I used an old apartment of mine as the basis for Sam Brody’s pad in The Red Eye, and I know doing so caused me to remember that apartment more vividly than other places I lived but didn’t similarly immortalize. Since getting serious about my fiction writing, I’ve tended to observe places with a keener eye, to listen to conversations with a more attentive ear, and to always keep one part of my brain in a sort of continuously-recording mode for this Method approach to writing. Look, smell, listen, and then write and remember.

OpenHouse


K.W. Taylor is the author of the urban fantasy Sam Brody series, about a dragonslaying disc jockey (The Red Eye and The House on Concordia Drive, both 2014 from Alliteration Ink). She has an MFA from Seton Hill University. Taylor lives in a restored Victorian home in Ohio with her tech writer husband and—unlike every other novelist in the world—an insanely photogenic kitten. She teaches college English and Women’s Studies and blogs at kwtaylorwriter.com. The Curiosity Killers, her first science fiction novel, will be released by Dog Star Books in 2016.

Read her previous post Boost Your Writing Output in 2016


retreat2Write at the Beach: the Broadkill Writers’ Resort is dedicated to inspiring writers. Find out more about our workshops.

You can support us and the arts at the same time by donating to our scholarship fund.

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Free Writers Residencies

Free Writers Residencies
Wildlife Preserve

Andrews Forest Writers’ Residencey • Deadline May 15

The H. J. Andrews Experimental Forest offers one- to two-week residencies to poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers in October, November, and December in the Oregon Cascades, 40 miles east of Eugene. The residency is open to writers whose work “reflects a keen awareness of the natural world and an appreciation for both scientific and literary ways of knowing.” Residents are provided with a private apartment that includes kitchen facilities, access to the forest research site, and a $250 stipend. Using the online submission system, submit up to 10 pages of poetry or 15 pages of prose, a one-page project description, and a curriculum vitae by May 15. There is no application fee. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

Collaborative Retreat at The Cabin at Shotpouch Creek • Deadline May 15

The Cabin at Shotpouch Creek offers two-week residencies to pairs of poets, fiction writers, or creative nonfiction writers from August 13 to August 26 and from August 28 to September 10 in the Oregon Coast Range. The residency is open to writers who wish to pursue a collaborative project, and whose work takes inspiration from the natural world. Each resident is provided with lodging in a two-bedroom cabin and a $250 stipend. Using the online submission system, submit 8 to 10 pages of poetry or 10 to 15 pages of prose and a one-page project description by May 15. There is no application fee. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

Caldera Residency • Deadline June 17

Caldera offers monthlong residencies from January to March to poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers at the Caldera Arts Center, located on 120 acres in the Central Cascades, 17 miles west of Sisters, Oregon. Caldera provides writers with a private cottage with a sleeping loft and kitchenette, and one community meal per week. There is no residency fee, but writers are responsible for their own transportation and most meals. Participation in a public outreach activity, such as giving a reading or facilitating a workshop, is encouraged of each resident. Using the online submission system, submit 10 poems or a novel chapter, a short story, or an essay of up to 20 pages, a project description, a résumé, and two letters of recommendation with a $35 application fee by June 17. Call, e-mail, or visit the website for an application and complete guidelines.

OpenHouse

 


retreat2Write at the Beach: the Broadkill Writers’ Resort is dedicated to inspiring writers. Find out more about our workshops.

You can support us and the arts at the same time by donating to our scholarship fund.

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Fiction with Limits Workshop

Fiction with Limits Workshop

April 15-18 • Fiction with Limits Workshop

Flash fiction, prose poetry forms, and rigidly limited word count fiction writing is a challenge that can lead to jumping off points for longer pieces or just makes for a unique challenge. If you’re feeling blocked or just want to learn to harness the power of economy of words, learn how drabbles, tweet-length fiction, and even story sonnets can help reboot your creativity. Hosted by K.W. Taylor.

The  cost is $300 and includes 3 nights’ stay, continental breakfast, free wi-fi and all workshop programming.

Book Here by choosing April 15-18 on our calendar.

 


About the Host

K.W. Taylor is the author of the urban fantasy Sam Brody series, about a dragonslaying disc jockey (The Red Eye and The House on Concordia Drive, both 2014 from Alliteration Ink). She has an MFA from Seton Hill University. Taylor lives in a restored Victorian home in Ohio with her tech writer husband and—unlike every other novelist in the world—an insanely photogenic kitten. She teaches college English and Women’s Studies and blogs at kwtaylorwriter.com. The Curiosity Killers, her first science fiction novel, will be released by Dog Star Books in 2016.

Blog Post: “Boost Your Writing Output in 2016” by K.W. Taylor

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Writers’ Residencies

Writers’ Residencies
Wildlife Preserve

Voices of the Wilderness Residency • Deadline March 1

The U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service offer residencies of seven to nine days from June through August to poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers to take part in stewardship projects in the wilderness of Alaska. Residents are paired with a wilderness ranger, with whom they explore the national forests, parks, or refuges, while assisting with research, fieldwork, and other light ranger duties. Residents are provided with camping equipment, food, and travel to and from the field, but are responsible for their own transportation to and from Alaska. Residents are expected to donate one piece of creative work to the hosting federal agency, and to give one public presentation,  within six months of the residency that in some way connects a community to its public lands. Submit six pages of poetry or prose, a statement of purpose, a project description, and a résumé by March 1. There is no application fee. E-mail or visit the website for an application and complete guidelines.

Art Farm • Deadline March 1

Art Farm offers residencies of two weeks to five months from June 1 to November 1 to poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers on a working farm in Marquette, Nebraska, approximately 80 miles west of Lincoln. Residents are provided with a private room and work space. Families are also welcome. Each resident is asked to contribute 12 hours of work on the farm per week. Submit up to 10 poems, a short story, a novel chapter, or up to three essays; a curriculum vitae; and three references with a $20 application fee by March 1. E-mail or visit the website for complete guidelines.

The New York Mills Arts Retreat • Deadline April 1

The New York Mills Arts Retreat offers residencies of two to six weeks to poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers in New York Mills, Minnesota. Residents are provided with private lodging and studio space. For residencies from July through December 2016, using the online submission system submit up to 10 pages of poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction, a brief work sample description, a résumé or curriculum vitae, a project description, an artists statement, and two letters of recommendation by April 1. There is no application fee. E-mail or visit the website for an application and complete guidelines.


retreat2Write at the Beach: the Broadkill Writers’ Resort is dedicated to inspiring writers. Find out more about our workshops.

You can support us and the arts at the same time by donating to our scholarship fund.

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Amazing Author Residency Opportunities

Amazing Author Residency Opportunities
Winter Wetlands

Tower View Retreat in Red Wing, MN • Deadline February 1 & March 1

The Anderson Center at Tower View offers two- to four-week residencies from May through October to poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers on a 330-acre estate in Red Wing, Minnesota. Residents are provided with lodging, meals, and studio space. Submit five copies of 10 pages of poetry or prose, a résumé, and a project proposal by February 1 for residencies during May, June, and July or by March 1 for residencies during August, September, and October. There is no application fee. Call, e-mail, or visit the website for an application and complete guidelines.

Cutyhunk Island Writers Residency • Deadline February 1

The Cuttyhunk Island Writers’ Residency for fiction and nonfiction writers will be held from June 7 to June 15 at the Avalon Inn on Cuttyhunk Island, seven nautical miles off the coast of southeastern Massachusetts. The residency offers workshops, readings, nightly salons, and time to write. The faculty includes Pulitzer Prize–winning fiction writer Paul Harding. E-mail a completed application form, a brief writers statement, and a sample of up to 20 pages of prose by February 1. One scholarship, which covers the entire cost of tuition, is available.

Trolls Wanted: Seattle Bridge Residency • Deadline February 16

The Seattle Office of Arts & Culture (ARTS), in partnership with Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) seeks a practicing, published poet, fiction, or creative non-fiction writer for a unique project-based artist residency in the northwest tower of the Fremont Bridge. The selected writer will undertake an in-depth exploration of the bridge and write a piece in response to the experience. Must live within 100 miles of Seattle. $10,000 budget. Details here.


retreat2

Write at the Beach – the Broadkill Writers’ Resort is dedicated to inspiring writers. Find out more about our workshops.

You can support us and the arts at the same time by donating to our scholarship fund.

 

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First Retreat Wrap Up

First Retreat Wrap Up

Our first retreat was a cozy and collaborative affair. Hosts Rachell Nichole and Chris Stout did a great job of making everyone comfortable and leading the writing discussions. I’m always amazed at the energy produced, and the breakthroughs that can be made, when you get a few authors physically in a room together. No amount of social media scrolling can match that kind of spark.

“I liked the small group setting, the fireplace, and getting time to write.”

Everyone seemed to have a great time. There were lots of laughs, lots of fun and many connections were made working on various writing projects, planning/plotting, and character building. There was some bonding over meals and we learned an important lesson—whenever you can invite a baker to your retreat, do it!

Here is some of the feedback we received about the house:

“It was productive, the setting was relaxing.”
“I love the hot showers.”
“I liked the small group setting, the fireplace, and getting time to write.”
“We loved having the whiteboard and also the separate rooms on the main floor as well as the bedrooms to be social when we wanted, but alone and working when we didn’t.”

J.L. Gribble has written an excellent first hand account as one of the attendees which captures the experience well. For info about other upcoming events and workshops click here.

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Writing Workshop Schedule

Writing Workshop Schedule

We’re looking forward to our first Writing Workshop Weekend. Below you’ll find a tentative schedule of events from our hosts Jo Crossier and Chris Stout.

Friday • January 15th

Arrive any time after 1:00 pm, owner/author John Lawson will greet you and show you around the place

Saturday • January 16th

8:00 AM breakfast, intros

10:00 AM 1st module: Silencing Your Inner Critic

11:00 AM – 2:00PM lunch, writing, exploring time

2:00 PM 2nd Module: Plot Your Pants Off

3:00 PM – 6:00 PM writing time

6:00 PM – Prepared dinner

7:00 PM – whenever Writing/general carousing

 

Sunday • January 17th

8:00ish AM continental breakfast

10:00 AM – 11:00 AM 3rd Module: Hey Baby, What’s Your Sign?

11:00 AM – 2:00 PM lunch/writing/exploring

2:00 PM 4th module: Writing with Tarot

3:00 PM – 6:00 PM writing / exploring

6:00 PM – group outing for dinner

 

Monday • January 18th

Writing • Closing, check out by 2:00 PM

 

*** All times are estimated ***

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Boost Your Writing Output in 2016

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Boost Your Writing Output in 2016
Almost-Private Beach

Guest Post by K.W. Taylor

If there were a certain place and group of people and the time needed to dive deep into a piece of your writing, if it would also provide novelty for the senses, and if it allowed you a break from your regular routine, wouldn’t you take it?

Broadkill Writers’ Resort fits all of the above but I’m also excited about it as something different for two reasons. First, it’s a fixed location, not just a one-and-done event, so being able to hold retreat weekends and have rentals of the property at different times of the year that might work better for some people’s schedules is key to accessibility. Secondly, they’re organizing a scholarship fund to make it possible for writers to attend for free. As their fundraising mission statement says, “a place free of distractions, designed for thought and inspiration, is the perfect thing to jumpstart a creative project,” and Broadkill’s scholarship “is a conscious investment in dreams and people.” That’s beautiful—that’s saying to the world that making art matters, that writing is indeed vital, and that its unfettered production should be available to anyone who wants to try.

If it hasn’t worked in the past to write in short chunks of time, consider a retreat. If you stare with pressure and terror at a blank page when you know you have hours to spend on a piece, start off small and build up.

Chris Baty, the creator of National Novel Writing Month, stated in his 2004 bookNo Plot? No Problem! that a 50,000 word novel can be written (at the draft stage, not the polished-and-edited stage) in about 40 hours. A three-day weekend spent with limited distractions, beautiful scenery, and nurturing, creative people might garner about 20 hours of active work time—or half a novel. Thus, what Broadkill is basically doing is not just a scholarship for a communal vacation; it’s patronage. It’s giving a writer the funds to sit down and get the words out—and getting the words out amongst beaches, wildlife refuges, historic villages, boardwalks, and all the scenic amenities of an eastern seaside town.

If diving in and attending an event at Broadkill seems like too much in your hectic life but you still want to start to carve out time and space for writing, I do think removing a few simple roadblocks can help:

– A few years ago, I wrote a blog post about how a $40 piece of hardware increased my writing productivity, and this idea holds true. Figure out what technological issues you’re experiencing and brainstorm ways around them. If you need a computer, look into second-hand machines or tablets. With Google docs and access to free wifi at a library or café, your investment here could be very minimal—far less than you assume. And if learning new technology is daunting, libraries can again be a good resource for free training.

– You’d be surprised what you can get done in just five to thirty minutes a day. I wrote my short story “The Storytellers” on my phone’s notepad in five-minute increments when walking to meetings. As a flash piece, it’s short, and those five-minute increments built up over a few weeks; the final version was eventually published in the October 2013 edition of Flash Fiction World (since republished in my collection Grinning Cracks). If you’re in your car a lot, you could consider dictating story ideas with either your phone or a voice recorder. If you commute via public transportation, this is a perfect time to get some writing in, even if it’s longhand. A lot of The Curiosity Killers was written in twenty minute bursts at the end of my lunch hour, and I used to scribble ideas for the first early drafts ofThe Red Eye on scrap paper next to my cash register when I worked a retail job. If you have enough down time to play Candy Crush while waiting in line at the grocery store, you have enough down time to get a few lines of a story written. I’ve been working on the outline for The Girl with Mechanical Wings almost exclusively longhand at a coffeehouse down the street from my house for a max of about a half an hour each time.

– Let go of your internal editor during the first draft. Don’t even call it a first draft—call it Draft Zero. Let the words flow and worry about editing them later.

– I’m a big believer in the Pomodoro Technique if you have a longer stretch of time to spend but need frequent breaks. Do your work in spurts of twenty-five minutes with five minute breaks, and you’ll be surprised at your productivity.

The luxury of the uninterrupted stretches of time is obvious and compelling, and I’m excited to support Broadkill Resort and see what’s in store there for 2016. We’re only a week into this new year, too, so consider adding a greater dedication to your writing to your list of resolutions. If it hasn’t worked in the past to write in short chunks of time, consider a retreat. If you stare with pressure and terror at a blank page when you know you have hours to spend on a piece, start off small and build up. Whatever your process has been, try something new. Who knows? You just might have a book by the end of the year—or even sooner.

 


K.W. Taylor is the author of the urban fantasy Sam Brody series, about a dragonslaying disc jockey (The Red Eye and The House on Concordia Drive, both 2014 from Alliteration Ink). She has an MFA from Seton Hill University. Taylor lives in a restored Victorian home in Ohio with her tech writer husband and—unlike every other novelist in the world—an insanely photogenic kitten. She teaches college English and Women’s Studies and blogs at kwtaylorwriter.com. The Curiosity Killers, her first science fiction novel, will be released by Dog Star Books in 2016.

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