Private Writing Retreats

Private Writing Retreats

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Ever wished that you (or you and your writing friends) could just step away from your regular lives and have a private class retreat, one totally customized to meet your specific needs and projects as writers? Private Writing Retreats are held anywhere in the world you choose, for any length of time from a long weekend to 2 whole weeks. While Solo Writing Retreats are built for individual writers who want to travel and work alone, Private Writing Retreats can be set for small groups of up to five writers. Curriculum is built based on your individual needs and Max attends the retreat with you (either virtually or in person) to teach daily sessions, edit your work and move your individual writing craft forward. Do you have a writing project that needs your undivided attention? What would you like to build, develop or study? Retreat lengths and tuition varies, depending on the scope of each retreat.

What is a Private Writing Retreat?IMG_0038_2

A lot of writers love the idea of a Writing Retreat but they don’t have the energy or interest in working within a group or with folks they don’t already know. They would prefer to work with a teacher/ editor one-on-one or with a small group of friends or writing peers who they choose. Private customized writing retreats let YOU choose when, where and how you want to work on your writing. These retreats can be especially useful to writers immersed in a specific project, idea or manuscript underway, or folks who are working on a deadline. Private retreats include the option to meet with Max every day reading/evaluating/editing your work including doing a full Read/Eval of manuscripts in progress. These daily coaching sessions give you the chance to discuss the work in detail and get specific, customized support in moving your work forward.

As we all manage this global health crisis please note that Max may not be traveling as much as he normally would, so please email him to discuss how he might support you and your group to design and implement a private Retreat that would work for you. When it is possible to travel again safely, in a relaxed way Max will again be available for a wider array of in-person work with writer’s planning a Private Retreat.

Choosing Your Curriculum

The most fun part of planning any private retreat is customizing the material that most interests you as a writer. This means we usually start with a phone call to each writer (or a group call, if you would like to work with writing peers or partners) where we can discuss some detailed information about what you want to work on in your retreat.  It helps to know what your history has been with writing, what your practice is like now, and what your curiosities, questions, goals and challenges are. Every writer has things that come easily to them and other things they struggle with, so it helps to get as much information as each writer wants to share. Getting to know each writer a bit helps Max design the content that might meet your needs most effectively, this includes reading any ongoing work, project descriptions, etc. that you might have. Sometimes Private Retreats are focused on your on-going project but sometimes that are focused on what new field of writing you would most like to study or learn. What do you want to learn how to make? Mystery novels? Memoir? Poetry? Literary fiction? Short stories? Organizing a non-fiction book? Lets make a plan together so this Retreat can be as productive and fun for you as possible.

Choosing Your Schedule
Private Writing retreats run anywhere from 2 to 15 days and can be scheduled at various times throughout the year. What times of the year are best for you? Do you want to work for a weekend? A week? Two weeks? Private Retreats often require setting up some logistics, so the more lead time we have in setting up your retreat, the better.

honfleur-1308020_1920Choosing Your Destination

Where have you always wanted to work as a writer? Is there some place that you have always wanted to visit? Private Retreats can be held in any location that works for you, in your own hometown or in a place you have always dreamed of seeing. Max has set up Private Retreats for individuals and groups in; Europe, Australia, the Caribbean, Mexico, the island of Hydra in Greece, Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic and in lots of different places in the USA, including; Boulder, CO, Aspen, CO, Houston, TX, Wilmington, DEL, Traverse City, MI, Santa Fe, NM, Salt Lake City, UT, etc.

Choosing Your Housing

On Private Writing Retreats students choose the housing that best supports them and their writing work. This might be a hotels, a B+Bs, a rental apartment, a house or a cottage. There are many important factors in choosing a destination; it can be useful for writers to choose somewhere that is far enough away that they can truly step aside from work, family and other commitments, but not so far away that trying to stay connected to home is difficult or brings any sense of anxiety. And going somewhere on your bucket list really helps, some writers want 5-star luxury and some are happy with a small cottage by the sea, but being in place of beauty and/or calm can open more space for inspiration. The biggest focal point in Writing Retreats is the idea of Presence before Productivity, so its vital to choose a place where you can truly be present and relaxed, sleep deeply, eat well and take great care of yourself. Those are the conditions under which writers often do their best work.

Setting Up Your Budget

The budget for Private Retreats is customized to meet each writer’s needs. Your costs for a Private Retreat include: Your travel, your housing, your ground ground transportation and your food/ daily expenses. If Max is able to travel with you then costs will include his travel and housing as well as the daily class fee but he is always happy paying his own food costs and any other daily expenses. Between customized daily instruction, lectures, private sessions and reading/evaluating of your ongoing work, Max spends at least 4 hrs a day working for/ with you or your group on a private retreat. At the 90$/hr fee that comes to $360 class fee per day. This includes being available for private one on one session each day if that would be valuable.

Max never charges for planning time or initial phone calls, and is glad to research and find travel and housing options for students if that would be useful. Often the planning is half the fun!

IMG_1680Private Writing Retreats in Boulder, Colorado

For writers who would like to visit Boulder, CO for a Private Writing Retreat, you might be able to work with Max in person, using the best current practices for safe distancing. Boulder is a beautiful college town at the foot of the Rocky Mountains and is a great place to visit at any time of year. If you are a skier, hiker, bookstore wanderer, foodie or even if you just need a quiet place to get away from home, relax and work intensively on your project Boulder is the perfect destination. If you work best in small, charming, walkable towns at the foot of the mountains then this is the place for you. Denver International Airport is 25 miles away and easily accessible door to door via the Green Ride Van service. Boulder is a walking town, so if you choose to stay in or around the downtown Boulder area close to the stores and shop of the famous Pearl Street Walking Mall then you will not need a rental car.

UnknownPrivate Writing Retreats on the island of St.John, in the US Virgin Islands

For writers who love the beach and clear, calm, warm blue water, the quiet laid back lifestyle on the little island of St. John in the Caribbean might be a great fit for you. The smallest of the three US Virgin Islands, two thirds of St.John is a National Park, full of white sand beaches and walking trails. Writers who choose to create a Private Retreat on St. John stay in small private rental houses. St. John is a US territory just a few flight hours from Miami, so no travel visa, passport or inoculations are required for entry. Private Retreat Writers might choose to schedule their retreat for a time when Max is already working in the area, therefore removing any of his overhead costs. If you are most relaxed and productive when living by the sea, then St. John might be just the place for you. To get a look at housing options on the island check out  (

To see more information about the island of St. John click here

To inquire about setting up a Private Retreat please contact Max, anytime.