Annual Writing Retreats

Annual Writing Retreats

Annual retreats are taught in the heart of some of the Guild’s strongest communities, all retreats are open to any interested writer.

IMG_2631Beach Writing Weekend Retreat in Fenwick, DEL

November 13-16, 2020

Themes: TBA

In November we offer a 4-day weekend retreat in the quiet of the small Atlantic beach town of Fenwick Island Delaware. The beach is empty in November and the Delaware coast is a beautiful quiet spot to dig down into some writing. Writers stay in rental houses or apts in the Fenwick/Rehoboth/Bethany Beach area. A number of spots for Housing will be included for the 2020 retreat, stay tuned for more info.

The daily class sessions will be hosted at a private house in the Fenwick Island area. We will, as always, check in on on-going projects and reading/writing news. But this weekend is also a chance to try some innovative, fun, low-key writing exercises designed to get each writer moving deeper into their own practice. What comes easily to you as a writer? Where do you get stuck or stopped?

Together we will discuss the life cycle of a text; from the magic of ideas to the way that memory and lived experience can inspire and inform a text, to the momentum required to edit, shape, finish and publish one, (even if publishing isn’t your goal or feels like a million miles away). What are you called to create as a writer? What are you willing to try? What are “back-burner” writing ideas or projects and how can we breathe new life into them? How can your writing life become more fun and easier to maintain? How can you build a practice that keeps your work alive and moving forward?

2019 Themes 
The theme, curriculum and writing exercises in each of these annual Beach Writing Retreats will be different and unique. In 2019 our themes were Magic, Mapping and Mythology.

Magic is everywhere. It is in the spark of inspiration that brings a new text to life and it is the art of how we create and sustain our writing lives. A belief and trust in the power of creativity is where the magical life of the working writer begins. Magic is elemental; it asks us to step into the natural world and take refuge there, it teaches us wakefulness and resilience and invites the deep work of healing, for our characters, our readers and ourselves.

Mapping is the first step in exploring the playful art of cartography for writers. It is an invitation to design and adventure. We use maps, internal and external, throughout our lives, to help us navigate every journey we take. How do you map a story or a poem or a memory? How do you map your childhood or your writing practice? How do you map your characters relationships with one another? A map tells you where you are, where you want to go and it helps you choose a path for how to get there. Together we will name worlds and territories, embark on scavenger hunts and invent the maps and GPS coordinates it takes to find your way through your writing projects and your writing life.

Classic Mythology tells the stories of god and goddesses, of mythical creatures and epic struggles. But modern mythology is all around us. It tells the stories of heroes and villains, of good and evil, of greed and power and compassion and humor and bravery. The Greek word “Mythos” was used by Aristotle to describe a recurring narrative theme or plot structure, but it can also be used to describe a set of beliefs or assumptions about our writing and even about us as writers. How do the myths or beliefs or assumptions you have about yourself as a writer shape your writing?  How do the myths or beliefs you have about novels or memoirs encourage or block your writing in those genres? And what classic Mythological plots and characters and structures might be fun to experiment with as you create poems and stories?


For writers with on-going work who would like to schedule a private meeting with Max during the weekend please just contact him directly via email at . To see how editing, coaching and fees work click here for the  Coaching and Editing page

Short Course writers will join us for class sessions Friday through Sunday morning, we will talk about all 3 themes and do a good deal of writing together. Our optional Salon reading is Saturday night. Remember, a Salon is NOT a performance of finished work, it’s just an chance for any interested writer to present 5 minutes of on-going work with your peers. Full Course writers will be with us for the whole 4-day Retreat. On Sunday afternoon there will be an optional opportunity for each writer to submit up to 2 pages of work in progress for a Lightning Round of line edits with Max and the class, as well as information on the Art of Finishing, submitting your work for publication and a collection of exercises and tools designed to keep you writing well into the new year!
Here is a DRAFT of the 2019 weekend class schedule:

Our Retreat class schedule in 2019 looked like this:


10-2pm       Private Editorial meeting times with Max available

3-6pm         Class Session 1

10am-1pm   Class Session 2
1-3pm         Lunch break
3-6pm         Class Session 3
6:30-8:30     Class Salon and Dinner
SUNDAY Nov 10:

10am-1pm     Class Session 4
1-3pm         Lunch break / short course writers depart
3-6pm         Class Session 5
MONDAY Nov 11:

10am-1pm     Class Session 6
1-3pm         Lunch / full course writers depart

2-6pm       Private Editorial meeting times with Max available

Daily schedule for 2020 is on it’s way soon!

IMG_2641Finding Housing at the Beach 
Fenwick Island, DEL is about 2.5hrs away from BWI airport and the Baltimore/ Washington area, a short drive from Rehoboth Beach, Bethany Beach and Ocean City. The Delaware shore is known for it’s wide Atlantic beach and its friendly small-town atmosphere. In November the shore is much quieter than it is in the summer. There are hotels, VRBO and airbnb apartments and many other types of accommodations available. In previous years Students arranged their own housing but for 2020 we are working on a plan to offer housing as part of tuition. Sharing housing, transportation and meals helps to keep your weekend costs as low as possible.
In 2019 there were two options:
the Short Course registration includes class sessions #1-#4 Tuition was $450
the Full Course registration includes class sessions #1-#6 Tuition was $550

the tuition and housing plan for 2020 is forthcoming.

There is a non-refundable deposit of $150 required to hold your place in the retreat. You can pay with check made out to me at Max Regan, and sent to 1006 Grandview Ave. Boulder, CO 80302 or you can pay by credit card via the Pay Pal link on the bottom of my home page at Please type into the text box “DEL Retreat Deposit” or “DEL Retreat Tuition”  Registration is limited so please let me know right away if you would like to join us for the Retreat, I’d love to see you there!  

IMG_1107January Projects Weekend Retreat in Houston, TX

January 10-13, 2020

In January we offer a 4-day weekend retreat in the vibrant city of Houston, TX, designed to get your new year started with a strong and organized leap into your writing life. As the new year begins it’s a great time to take a deep breath and pull that on-going writing project or idea back up onto your desk and dig in. Let’s make this the year you bring it to life!! This writing intensive in hosted at Spectrum Center and includes daily class sessions, one private meeting with Max and a dedicated desk space set up in the Spectrum Center office suite for each writer to work, in case they need a place outside of their home to concentrate for the weekend. Tuition is $450 and registration is limited.

This writing intensive is a chance to step out of your everyday lives, work and schedules, and dedicate some time to getting your writing project off the ground. Your project might be a novel, a story, a memoir, a how-to or children’s book. It might be a collection of poems, a fantasy novel or a family history. You might have piles of drafts and notes or just a small idea in the back of your head and heart that wont go away. Regardless of what stage of the writing process you are in, this immersive retreat will help you bring your project to life.

The goal for this Intensive is simply to focus on your writing project, without distractions or procrastination. Writers will be divided into 2 small working groups, with up to 10 writers each. We get started with an evening session on Friday night, then each small group will meet for 2.5 hrs once a day on Saturday, Sunday and Monday to talk and strategize about the work that needs to be done. Together we will discuss your project and come up with a work-plan customized for each student, outlining your goals and discussing the aspects of the writer’s craft that will help you accomplish your work.

Each writer will have a lot of solo work time during every day. Max will also schedule a 1hr one-on-one private session with each writer over the course of the Intensive to discuss your specific project, text and goals. (The exact schedule for these private session times will be sent to each writer prior to the retreat.) By the end of the Intensive each project should be more structured and well underway. For most writers it can be difficult to find a quiet, intentional space to sit down with their work each day. In order to provide writers with the most focused retreat possible, we will make some writing desks, spaces and offices available at Spectrum Center for those who need a quiet space to work. This retreat is open to any interested writer, regardless of experience, genre or stage of development. We welcome all your messy files, old journals, disorganized pages and wild ideas, no matter how tiny or gigantic!

skyline-1509136_1920 Here is a Draft of the TX January Retreat Schedule:


12-6pm  Private session times with Max

6-8:30pm  Opening class – whole group


9-12 am  Private session times with Max

12-2   Small Group A class

2:30-4:30  Small Group B class

5-7pm  Private session times with Max


9-12 am  Private session times with Max

12-2    Small Group B class

2:30-4:30  Small Group A class

5-7pm  Private session times with Max


9-12 am  Private session times with Max

12-2   Small Group A class

2:30-4:30  Small Group B class

5-6pm   Private session time with Max

6-8:30   Closing class – whole group

Please Note: For those writers who might also be planning to attend the big Annual June Writing Projects 10-Day Retreat in Boulder, Colorado (see below) this four-day TX retreat is a great way to get organized and get your text and your goals underway as you head towards June! There will, of course, be different curriculum, exercises and techniques used in each retreat.IMG_3513


To register please email Rosa Glenn Reilly, Director of Spectrum Center at Tuition for the Intensive is $450, which includes 2 large group classes, 3 small group classes and one private 1hr session with Max. There is a $150 non-refundable deposit and registration is limited. If you have any questions about the Intensive just email Max at All events, classes and private sessions with Max will be held at Spectrum Center, Suite 205, 2060 North Loop West, Houston TX 77018

Spectrum Center was founded in Houston in 1988 to serve as a community center for healing and therapeutic arts. Spectrum is dedicated to the education and well-being of individuals and families through skilled professional care, workshops and lectures. For more than 25 years, they have offered traditional as well as non-traditional approaches to health, spirituality and lifestyle to the Houston community. Spectrum currently has more than 25 practitioners who provide a wide range of services including psychotherapy for adults, families and children. Practitioners also offer executive and life coaching, career profile assessments, massage, acupuncture, Zero Balancing, naturopathy, energy medicine, as well as a variety of workshops, classes and lectures for personal and spiritual growth. Spectrum features highly skilled local teachers, along with nationally recognized leaders in innovative thought.

IMG_1103For a current list of  Spectrum Guild writing classes and workshops, please see the calendar page and check out The Writer’s Guild page on Spectrum’s website and click on the “schedule” link at the very bottom of the page. Spectrum Center is located at The Preserve, 2060 North Loop West, Suite 205, Houston, TX 77018
Exact directions to the Spectrum Center are available on their website.

To register for a writing class at Spectrum Center, to sign up for the Spectrum Newsletter, or with questions about the cancellation policy, please contact Rosa Glenn-Reilly by e‑mail:



June Boulder 10-Day Writing Projects Retreat in Boulder, CO

Session 1: June 5-15, 2020

Session 2: June 19-29, 2020

In June of each year we offer two sessions of the Annual 10-Day Writing Projects Retreat in the beautiful town of Boulder, CO at the foot of the Rocky Mountains.

images-5This annual retreat is for writers with a current writing project or idea. What if you had 10 days just to focus on your writing? We all have writing projects that end up “on the back burner” waiting for us to have a day off, a week’s vacation or an imagined “someday” during which we can pull out those files and notebooks, sit down, get organized and really get some writing done. But when those times arrive, they invariably fill up with other tasks and events, leaving us wondering if that project will ever see the light of day. This 10- day writing retreat is a chance to step out of your everyday lives, work and schedules, and dedicate some time to getting your writing project off the ground. We will meet together in small groups once a day to talk and strategize about the work that needs to be done. Together we will discuss your project and come up with a work-plan customized for each student. Every other evening we will hold a Salon to share a meal and hear some of your work-in-progress.

Tuition includes daily classes, two private sessions with Max to discuss your project in-depth, as well as 5 hosted dinners and a Writers Survival Pack gift bag. By the end of the week each project should be more structured and well underway. We welcome all your messy files, old journals, disorganized pages and wild ideas, no matter how tiny or gigantic. Two different Retreat sessions are offered in June, and each session is a separate event with its own roster and curriculum. For writers who want a whole month of writing (“marathoners”) Max builds specific month-long curriculum and community. This retreat is open to local students as well as those joining us from writing communities outside of Boulder. Tuition is $1600 and does not include airfare, housing or meals. There is a $450 non-refundable deposit and registration is limited. Two different Retreat sessions are offered in June. Each session is a separate event with its own roster and curriculum.

What is your Writing Project?

Maybe you have an unfinished novel or story. Maybe you have a stack of journals that you have always wanted to transform into a memoir. Maybe you are right in the middle of a writing project and need to get the whole thing organized. Maybe you have a series of poems you would love to edit and turn into a collection. Maybe you have a family lineage project, a book or collection of stories you would like to leave for future generations. Maybe you are on the final edit of a book before you send it out to publishers and you need to read it with new eyes. Or maybe you just have a compelling idea for a project that will simply not leave you alone. Regardless of what stage of the writing process you are in, this immersive 10 days of working every day will help you bring your project to life.

images-3Daily Retreat Schedule

The goal is simply to focus on your writing project, without distractions or procrastination. We will begin with a hosted Welcome Dinner on the first evening of the Retreat. Then the group will be divided into two small working groups, with 5 to 8 writers each. Each small group will meet once a day for a 2hour class, either in the morning or in the evening. If your group met in the morning yesterday then you will meet in the evening today. During our daily classes we will sit and outline your goals and discuss the aspects of the writer’s craft that will help you accomplish your work. What do you want to get done? Where are you stuck? What comes easily? Where will you do your work today? Do you prefer to write in your house, hotel room or cottage? Maybe you will choose to work in a quiet library cubicle or in a local coffee shop. Maybe you need to sit by the creek and read for a few hours. Each writer will have a lot of solo work time during every day, and every other evening we will meet for a group Salon, a chance to check in, see how the work went, share a meal and read to one another from the work in progress. Each small group will have certain mornings and evenings off to write, read, sleep in or just relax. Max will schedule two one-on-one private sessions with each writer, one at the beginning of the retreat and one at the end, to discuss your specific project, text and goals.

UnknownDowntown Boulder

Boulder is a beautiful little college town at the foot of the Rocky Mountains 30 miles northwest of Denver. (In fact National Geographic voted us the happiest town in the USA in October 2017! check out the article here:

Our June Retreat class will be centered in the downtown area of Boulder, and daily classes will be held upstairs in the Upper North Room at Boulder Bookstore located on the Pearl Street walking mall. Pearl Street has many small cafes, shops, and benches where you can sit in the sun. You might also chose to write in one of the quiet spaces at the modern and light-filled Boulder Public Library. While the focus of this week is to organize your project and to get a lot of writing done, we will also have time to play. If you need a break, you might rent a bike from University Bikes and ride down the Boulder Creek Path, hike in the foothills, wander the Farmer’s Market or catch an outdoor movie or live band playing on Pearl Street mall. There are local copy shops for those who need to copy or print and many places have free WiFi, for those who need to check email or do some research.

IMG_5787Travel and Housing

Non-stop flights from Baltimore, Houston, and many other cities go into Denver International Airport, which is about 45 minutes southeast of Boulder. When you arrive in Denver you will board the bus, uber or van service to your hotel or accommodation. Please note that the round trip cost of the shuttle is not included in the tuition. There are many different places to stay in downtown Boulder, depending on your budget, from rental houses and apartments to small hotels to B+Bs to cottages to luxury hotels. Please arrange to stay as close to downtown Boulder (Pearl Street and 11th st.) as possible so that you can walk or take public transportation to and from class everyday. Check out to see vacation rental homes downtown, renting an apartment and sharing accommodations with other retreat participants may be the least expensive option. If you are interested in attending either session of the Retreat, we suggest that you look for and secure housing AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, especially if you would like accommodations within walking distance to The Boulder Bookstore where our daily class meetings will be held.


There is a large organic grocery store within walking distance of downtown Boulder, as well as numerous restaurants and cafes catering to every taste and price range. Folks renting houses, apartments or cottages may have kitchens of their own and might choose to prepare meals together. We will have four Salon dinners which will be hosted by Max with simple, healthy food. Our Welcome Dinner will be held at The Dushanbe Teahouse, which officially opened on May 15, 1998, a gift from Boulder’s sister city, Dushanbe, Tajikistan. Handcrafted by more than 40 Tajik artisans, it is the only one of its kind in the Western Hemisphere.

The Option of “Marathoning”

For some writers a 10 day residential retreat simply isn’t long enough. Each year there is a small group of folks who choose to be “Marathoners” and take the whole month of June to be in Boulder, signing up for both sessions of the Retreat. Writers who choose this option will be placed in their own daily small group, with completely new curriculum in Session 1 and Session 2, so that they can support each other throughout the month. Extra events, at no additional cost, will be added before, during and after June for these folks to create and maintain a strong core community in order to keep their work moving forward. Marathoners in previous years have been able to vision, organize, research and generate a vast amount of work on their literary project and have also had time to tackle more than one project while they are in Boulder, setting themselves up to complete major goals as they move into the rest of the year.


The Retreat will start with a group dinner on Friday evening and students generally depart 10 days later on Monday.

We would love to have you join us, but please make sure the class dates and deadlines work for you before you register:

Registration opens on July 1st each year. Tuition is $1600 and a $450 non-refundable deposit is required upon Registration, which holds your place in the class. Tuition  includes daily class sessions, 2 private sessions with Max and 5 dinners. If you require a Payment Plan please contact Max as soon as possible. For cancellations after March 1st students are responsible for the full tuition.

Students are responsible for their own airfare, housing, meals and ground transportation once they arrive in Boulder. Registration for the retreat is limited. We do suggest that students book their Boulder summer housing as soon as possible after registration in order to get the best price and selection. This retreat fills to capacity almost every year but there is a waiting list, so if you don’t get a seat place let us know. To register or if you have any questions about the Retreat, payment plans, logistics or anything else, just email Max at