Spend six glorious days writing in beautiful rural Mendocino County. “Andy’s inventiveness, everyone’s playfulness, the beauty of the place, and the chance to approach our creativity from wild vantage points: all wonderful!” Jody Savage
Spend six nourishing days writing in beautiful rural Mendocino County.
Summer Writing Retreat
August 4- 9, Thursday – Tuesday
At Willow Run Ranch Retreat
(About 2.5 hours drive north of Berkeley)
Hours of writing time in the beautiful California countryside
Individual and group coaching from a professional writing teacher
A community of like-minded writers to share your work with and receive valuable feedback from
Learning innovative techniques to help you love the writing process again by accessing the subconscious mind
Support and guidance to make the most of your time
A gorgeous location with refreshing ocean breezes, wild open meadow, starry nights, and adjacent redwood forest
Daily tastings of premium organic teas by our host Ali Roth of Blue Willow Teaspot
Dear Friends, I am so glad to announce that I will be offering an in-person writing experience again after almost two years.
I’ve secured an amazing retreat space, Willow Run Ranch located on beautiful land in Mendocino County with an amazing tea purveyor and chef as our hosts.
Get help with opening up, with starting a project, with bypassing your inner critic, organizing your book, or especially how to have a lot more fun when writing.
CREATE A “RISK-POSITIVE” ENVIRONMENT: Flat writing is the result of fear. Until you identify, then let go of, the internal forces that make you hesitant, worried and risk-averse, you won’t take chances. And the writing won’t come alive.
LET GO OF CONTROL: It’s counter-intuitive: the more you try to guide & steer your words toward “good writing,” the more you rely on the evaluating, judging, self-limiting part of your brain. Let go of the need to be “good,” and, the magic will happen. Then you will experience, “Where did that come from??!” Again and again.
TRUST THE SUBCONSCIOUS: Maybe you won’t believe me. But I’ve seen it happen hundreds of times: totally unanticipated word choices, ideas and and voices of writing come out of nowhere when you just let the pen dream.
OKAY, BUT HOW? In Writing from the Subconscious we use techniques from surrealism, or improv theater, or Buddhist meditation, or the Tarot to access subliminal parts of your own mind. On this retreat, we will be letting the intelligence of nature to help us tap into the “Subconscious of the World” by using our innate mammalian sensitivities to connect to birdsong, trees, rocks and the very land itself. Then I will show you how to translate that wisdom into words.
Curious about this method? Read more in this article with 3 free writing exercises, or my book, Writing Open the Mind. I can tell you it’s a ton of fun, and it works. Ask any of the hundreds of people who’ve studied with me over the years.
Also, if you want to skip some or all of the exercises and devote yourself to self-directed writing, that’s great too. We’ll have a number of devoted quiet writing spaces available.
“There is an intimate connection that is achieved when sharing tea; just as the leaves open and reveal their inner truths, so do we.” —Ali Roth, Owner, Blue Willow Tea Ali and her partner Jameson (our chef) have just purchased Willow Run Ranch and are excited to share its beauty and magic with you.
Andy Couturier, MA An independent writing instructor of more than 20 years, Andy is the winner of the 2017 Nautilus award for Sustainability and Green Living (Gold) for his book The Abundance of Less. In addition to teaching, he has finished 4 full-length manuscripts, published 3 books, and has over 50 publication credits including MIT Press, The Oakland Tribune, and The Japan Times, and many others.
Food and Lodging
The retreat will take place at the Willow Run Ranch Retreat in the beautiful Sherwood Valley in Mendocino County. (The nearest town is Willits.)
Camping underneath the stars, or bring your own tent or camper (Don’t have a camper? You can rent a camper through different services like Outdoorsy.)
Sumptuous breakfast and dinner from award-winning chef, Jameson (who loves to cook meat, but is now vegan). All the food will be seasonal and all dietary restrictions can be easily accommodated. A lighter mid-day meal of delicious snacks and treats will round out our meal plan.
Wide open spaces and tons of writing nooks all over this 20 acre property.
Copious organic snacks and two exquisite tea tastings every day from our host, Ali Roth
Not interested in camping? We welcome you to find other lodging options, such as a motel or airbnb in the nearby town of Willits.
Total Retreat Price: $1,075 including wild open space for camping and ALL meals $150 off if you find other lodging and bring your own food
Total cost $1,075 before June 28 (or $925 without food or lodging)
The remaining balance of $400 will be due 2 weeks in advance of the retreat
“Andy’s inventiveness, everyone’s playfulness, the beauty of the place, and the chance to approach the worlds of our creation from wild vantage points: all wonderful. Plus great conversations, deep sleep, and the magic of collaborative writing. It leaves me determined to have all that in my life.”
— Jody Savage
Expect to go home with dozens of new pages of writing, and a concrete plan on how to take the next steps.
DATES for the Retreat
Arrive by 3 PM Thursday August 4.
Depart 5 PM Tuesday, August 9, or earlier if you wish.
(Sorry, we cannot prorate the course fee if you do not attend the full period.)
In the case of smoke: With the retreat being in early August, usually before fire season, and a lot of late spring rains, we are hoping that we will have no issues with smoke. Also, the property gets a great deal of ocean breezes. If there is heavy smoke in the air, as determined by the event organizer, the retreat will be rescheduled. If you can’t make the rescheduled date, your course fee will be refunded or you could use it as credit for another class from The Opening. (In all other cases, as per the usual policy of The Opening, deposits are non refundable.)
Ready to Write?
Writing Retreat in Mendocino August 4-9
Early Bird Registration Deposit of $675 —before June 28.
Total for 6 full days, including meals is $1,075.
Payment Plan Registration of $265 a month over 4 months —before June 28.
(This will take care of your full payment of $1,075)
Regular Registration deposit of $775 after June 28.
Full cost will be $1,175 after June 28
Only 5 Spaces Left
When you register for this retreat you also get:
– A copy of Andy’s book, Writing Open The Mind, with more than 40 writing exercises.
– Free access to a 2-week self-paced introductory online course to start you out
Pre-registration is required. We cannot hold your space until your full registration is received.
When your registration fee is received your place will be held and you will get a confirmation by email within 48 hrs.