Writing as Refuge

A retreat for writers interested in social and ecological change

With Zoe FitzGerald Carter & Constance Hale

March 7-8, 2015 ~  The Mesa Refuge, Point Reyes Station, California ~ $425

[caption id="attachment_3026" align="alignright" width="300"]The Mesa Refuge, Point Reyes Station, California The Mesa Refuge[/caption] Are you writing about social justice? Racial inequality? Environmental change? Or, do you want to deepen a personal story by tying it to a larger societal issue? In a setting of unparalleled beauty and calm, this unusual writers workshop offers a small group of writers a literal and psychic “refuge” where you can pause, consider your work from a new perspective, and enjoy the fellowship of other committed writers. Authors Zoe FitzGerald Carter and Constance Hale will coach you on how to approach difficult topics with verve and humanity. Readings from a variety of genres will inspire you to explore a more intentional literary style. Guided writing exercises will spark fresh ideas. You will have the opportunity to share your writing and be critiqued by the group in a supportive, thoughtful manner. 2 hadley_lg-2092This special gathering is limited to 12 writers and will be offered in the same spirit as the Mesa’s two-week writing residencies. Writing As Refuge is an opportunity for writers to refine the hard work of advocacy writing, from the personal to the political. In keeping with the Refuge’s tradition, meals will be drawn from the abundance of local, organically grown and sustainably harvested food, prepared by a guest chef. (Breakfast and lunch will be provided Saturday and Sunday, as well as dinner on Saturday.) The retreat will close on Sunday evening at the Stationhouse Café, in Point Reyes Station, for a pay-as-you-go final meal open to family and friends. [caption id="attachment_3028" align="alignright" width="200"]Writing cabin Writing cabin[/caption] Workshop leaders A graduate of Columbia Journalism School and an alum of the Mesa Refuge residency, Zoe FitzGerald Carter has written for The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, Salon, and Vogue. Her memoir, Imperfect Endings (Simon &Schuster) chronicled her mother’s decision to end her life after living with Parkinson’s disease for many years. She teaches writing at The San Francisco Writers Grotto and is currently at work on a book about race. More information can be found on her website www.zoefitzgeraldcarter.com Constance Hale, who has a master’s from UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism, is best known for her three books on the craft of writing: Wired Style, Sin and Syntax, and Vex, Hex, Smash, Smooch. She has also covered politics in California, the struggles of Native Hawaiians, and the tragic story of a line of military men in her family. Her articles and essays have been published in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Atlantic, Smithsonian, and many other publications. A founder of the Prose Doctors, she has edited more than two dozen books and coached many nonfiction writers on a range of subjects. She curates www.sinandsyntax.com. Registration and Fees: The retreat is limited to 12 writers. The fee for both days, including meals, is $425. For questions and general information, email connie@sinandsyntax.com. To register, email zoecarter@mac.com. [caption id="attachment_3029" align="alignleft" width="300"]View of Tomales Bay View of Tomales Bay[/caption] The setting: The Mesa Refuge, set on the banks of Tomales Bay, was founded by author Peter Barnes. The Refuge has a long history of providing writing space for journalists covering environmental and social-justice issues. Bonus: We will host a reading, discussion, and reception at the Refuge from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday evening. Come have a glass of wine, meet Zoe and Connie, and enjoy the sunset over Tomales Bay. Feel free to come with a companion to this reception.

Logistics: The Refuge is driving distance from San Francisco, the East Bay, and most of Marin County. For those who wish to stay in the area Friday and Saturday nights, local options include bed and breakfasts, inns, and vacation rentals in the Point Reyes area. Google Point Reyes Station, California, 94956.

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