National Writing Project

Teachers Find Direction in Writing: Reflections on the NWP Writing Retreat in Santa Fe

By: NWP Staff
Publication: The Voice, Vol. 6, No. 4
Date: September-October 2001

Summary: NWP's Writing Retreat offers participants time to write, share their writing, and respond to the writing of others. Writings from Rochelle Ramay, Gayle Morgan, and Peter Shaheen are included.


No matter where writing project people gather, ideas abound, and this year's National Writing Project Writing Retreat was no exception. Held at Sunrise Springs Inn and Retreat Center just outside Santa Fe, New Mexico, from June 21-24, the retreat hosted 21 writing project colleagues from around the country. The event is tailored toward NWP colleagues who wish to pursue writing about practice and to move forward in their own professional writing and publishing. Special sessions centered on writing for publication, publishing with the NWP, how to organize a writing retreat at a local writing project site, and the role of professional writing in local site work.

Above all, attendees spent their days writing, sharing, and responding to each others' work. Four coaches and editors--Joe Check, director, Boston Writing Project; Kathleen O'Shaughnessy, director, National Writing Project of Acadiana (Louisiana); Art Peterson, senior editor, National Writing Project; and Carol Tateishi, director, Bay Area Writing Project (California)--were on hand to help, each with an attentive eye and a gentle response for the word-weary writer. The beauty of the meeting site, Sunrise Springs' exceptional hospitality, and the camaraderie found in this desert oasis allowed for hours and hours of writing--wonderful, brow-furrowing writing. Such is the life of a writer . . . and that of those who were able to take part in the annual NWP Writing Retreat.

Linked are reflections on the experience from several attending writers: 

"Reflection. . ." by Rochelle Ramay,

"Writers Retreat," by John Dorroh

"Reflection on the Sunrise Springs Writing Retreat," by Gayle Morgan

"Slinger of Mortar," by Peter Shaheen.


Next year's NWP Writing Retreat will take place June 27-30th, at the Sunrise Springs Conference Center, Santa Fe, New Mexico. Applications are due during March 2002. Check the NWP Web site this winter for an application and more details.

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