Cape Cod Augus 4-10, 2018

The optional summer retreat offers students a chance to focus intensively on the development of their writing in a one-week writing workshop. The group meets in the mornings in plenary sessions with a focus on craft and technique, followed by small discussion groups where each participant is able to work intensively on her/his writing projects. Individual consultations with faculty members can also be arranged. Afternoons «and evenings are free for recreation, independent work, and collaboration with colleagues. Students have found that they have been able to accomplish substantial work in this relatively brief (six day) time frame. Participation in the retreat is open to incoming students. Please let us know if you are interested.

This year our writing instructors are Deirdre Callanan and Sara Taber. 

Deirdre Callanan joined the New Directions’ faculty in 2006. Her roles have included co-leading writing groups, as well as working with writers at both the summer and winter retreats. Deirdre wrote her first poem at age six and has been writing ever since. She has published poems, fiction, essays, and journalism articles. Her manuscript and photos about a Tampa streetcar which since 1947 has been a Fish Camp on Casey Key was serialized in the Venice, Florida paper. While she relishes harvesting beach plums, she’s most content when helping other writers hone their pieces.

Sara Mansfield Taber is a writer of essays, memoirs, commentary, and literary journalism. Raised in Asia and Europe as the daughter of a C.I. A. covert operative, she recently spent ten years sorting out her exotic, itinerant childhood. Born Under an Assumed Name: The Memoir of a Cold War Spy’s Daughter, was published in 2012. She has also published two books of people and place, Dusk on the Campo: A journey in Patagonia and Bread of Three Rivers: The Story of a French Loaf. A past William Sloane Fellow in Nonfiction for the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, she has received fellowships at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. She has taught creative nonfiction writing at Johns Hopkins University and the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She has been part of New Directions for nine years.

As we did at last summer’s Retreat on Cape Cod, we will start with a welcome dinner the evening of Saturday, August 5 before the actual working Retreat begins on Sunday, and we’ll end on Friday evening the 11th with a final dinner and group reading.  To get a sense of what it feels like to go to the Retreat, you can read about prior retreats here: Summer Retreat 2013 and Summer Retreat 2014.

The cost of the Retreat will be $975  We will have morning craft and technique seminars led by our writing instructors, followed by small discussion groups where each participant is able to work intensively on her/his writing projects. We strongly encourage participants to send samplings of their projects ahead of time so that everyone has time to read them before our first meetings.  Sara and Deirdre will also be available – schedules and time permitting – for individual consultation and editing sessions at a rate of $100 an hour.

Afternoons are free to do as you please – write, go to the beach, bicycle, or eat lobster.  In addition, there will a full day off mid-week to spend as you wish.  Further details will follow as they become finalized, but in the meantime we wanted everyone to get a head start on housing.

July and August are high-season on the Cape and accommodations get booked up early, so if you are considering attending you’ll want to make reservations for your housing now.  (If you change your mind about the Retreat and/or if your plans for the summer change, you can always cancel your reservation – and be sure to read the fine print regarding deposits and cancellation fees – but at least you will have had one to cancel!)

The Retreat will be held at Deirdre and Jack Harrison’s home: 65 North Road, West Harwich, MA 02671.  Googling their address will give you an idea of location with regard to how close or far away the different towns, lodgings, and house rentals are.  For starters here are some inns nearby within walking distance: The Beach Breeze InnThe Commodore Inn, and The Tern Inn.

You can also look on Tripadvisor and search on West Harwich, or Harwich to see more options – especially if you will have a car.

Another option is to form groups and share a house; houses typically rent from Saturday to Saturday.  Also searchable on Tripadvisor as well as other websites, e.g., Vacation Cape Cod and Cape Cod Ocean View Realty   For those of you interested in finding others to share a house with, you can let us know and we will make a list of everyone’s contact information to circulate.

The closest airport to West Harwich is Hyannis, though Boston would obviously offer more flights/options.  Generally speaking, flights in/out of Boston are cheaper than Hyannis, and car rentals are cheaper in Hyannis than they are in Boston.

If you have any questions, and/or are interested in attending this year’s Summer Retreat, please contact Gail Boldt.