A Room of Our Making: Women Teachers Writing
February 18th-21st, 2011
Pendle Hill Conference Center
"Women Teachers Writing" logo by Tiffany Nova
"For most of history, Anonymous was a woman." -- Virginia Woolf
"We tell ourselves stories in order to live." -- Joan Didion
Are you trying to balance the twin pulls of writing and teaching? Do you wind up fostering your students' words, helping them to discern and tell their own stories, but giving your own short shrift? Do you long for a dedicated space in which to write, among others who know that dilemma only too well? This retreat is designed for women writers who teach. Our intent is to create the space, amid a nurturing and likeminded community, for you to privilege your own writing for a few days.
Over eighty years ago, Virginia Woolf insisted a woman needs a room of her own in order to write. This is even more difficult for women who teach, for we spend so much of our time nurturing the spirits of others, serving as inspiration and support systems, and offering them the structure to do their best work. Too often, we forget to do the same for ourselves.
Come to beautiful Pendle Hill, a Quaker retreat center near Philadelphia, for a one of a kind three-day retreat designed specifically for women teachers who want to immerse themselves in their writing life. Enjoy quiet space and time away from classrooms, family and the general chaos of daily life. Join a community of thoughtful and generous-spirited women who, like you, are striving to balance the deep rewards of writing and teaching.
Leave your lesson plans and grade books behind. Bring your journals, your laptops, your works in progress, your ideas and your hopes. In the spirit of AROHO, we invite you to see what emerges in the contemplative setting of Pendle Hill, amid the nooks and crannies where a writer can hole up for an afternoon. Relish the delicious, locally-grown organic meals, the constant supply of coffee and herbal teas, the sun-filled art studio and the 23-acre beautifully-wooded campus. Stay in a private or double room, as you choose. We suggest you explore the Pendle Hill website (pendlehill.org) to familiarize yourself with Brinton House, the site of the retreat.
During the retreat, mornings will be dedicated to solitary writing time, while the afternoons will offer an array of optional workshops and discussions about craft and the writing life. We will gather each evening as a community, for programs that range from participant readings to a showing of Who Does She Think She Is?, the thought-provoking documentary about the challenges women artists face. One evening, Meredith Hall, our writer-in-residence, will read from her award-winning Without A Map, and discuss her own journey as a teacher and writer. Mary Johnson, Creative Director of AROHO's Retreats and author of the forthcoming An Unquenchable Thirst, will be on hand all weekend and will also read from her work.
We invite you to join us for three days of creating, thinking, laughing, discussing, and connecting, as we together make this ROOM our own.
Cost & Transportation
Application Fee: $20
Early Bird Tuition: Apply before November 1, 2010 and complete payment by December 15, 2010 and receive discounted tuition: $450 for a single room; $395 for a double/shared room.
Regular Tuition: Retreatants who apply after Nov 1st pay $500 for a single room, $425 for a double/shared room.
Cost includes program, all meals, and non-smoking housing in lovely, quiet Brinton House or Waysmeet at Pendle Hill. Fellowship recipients should expect a roommate.
Transportation: Pendle Hill is readily accessible by train and car, and close to the Philadelphia International Airport. Need specifics? Visit http://pendlehill.org/travel-directions.
Questions? Email us at .
Friday Night: Drinks and dinner precede our first evening program complete with a viewing of Who Does She Think She Is. Conversation to follow…
Wake up to a delicious breakfast and immerse yourself in your individual writing. After lunch resume writing or attend optional workshops:
- Who do we think we are? Discussion about the things that inhibit teachers from claiming time for writing.
- Creative Nonfiction: From Memory to Story: Our memories are carried as obsessive images, snapshots of “moments” we store and then circle and mine for meaning. In Meredith Hall's workshop, discover and practice the tools memoirists use to draw from memory the stories that are waiting. We will use freewrites to trigger memory images, and the tools of the fiction writer—creative nonfiction—to forge focused, convincing scenes. You will leave the workshop with prompts that will serve as seeds for future writing.
Evening program centers on readings and conversation with writers in residence.
Sunday: Morning for individual writing. After lunch resume writing or attend optional workshops:
- Writing About Teaching from the Heart and Mind: Marsha Pincus leads this interactive workshop in which teachers can uncover the questions that are at the center of our practice. In this supportive community, we will explore the ways memoir, personal narrative and poetry can help us tell the stories that we carry in our hearts and discuss how teachers’ experiences can be shared and valued as important knowledge in the field.
- Freedom to Write: Mary Johnson offers practical tips on gifting yourself with the freedom to write, and buttressing that freedom with the financial, moral, and structural support to carry your project through to completion. Freedom without Structure is Anarchy.
Evening will feature participant readings, wine, and conversation.
Monday: Our final morning we will meet for an emboldening panel discussion: Where do we go from here? Go Forth and Write.