A year ago, I had the opportunity to attend the Laity Lodge Writer’s Retreat, located at the lodge’s property some two hours west of San Antonio in the Texas hill country. I had four workshops from which to choose, and I opted for the poetry workshop taught by poet (and professor at the University of Missouri) Scott Cairns.
It was an extraordinary experience for me. I wrote a total of three blog posts, one about the first day, one about the overnight assignment and one that was a summary and thank you to my fellow workshop participants.
In addition to the workshops, there are general worship, meeting and live entertainment sessions for all retreat participants, and plenty of time for swimming and hiking, which I took full advantage of. The photo above was taken at the summit of the Overlook Trail, about a 40-minute hike from the lodge compound.
And then there was the food. Oh, my goodness, there was the food. The food was the reason why I did as much hiking as I did. I had to.
This year, the writer’s retreat is being held Sept. 29 to Oct. 2 (Thursday through Sunday). Five workshops are scheduled: Me, Myself and God: Spiritual Writing and Memoir in the Light of Faith, taught by Gregory Wolfe, writer-in-residence at Seattle Pacific University; Parable and Play: How to Write Stories Worth Reading More than Once, led by Jeffrey Overstreet, author and film critic; Gold from Straw: Poetry, taught by Julia Kasdorf, English professor and director of the Masters of Fine Arts program at Penn State University; Take and Think: Consuming Art in Order to Make Our Own, led by David Dark, author of Everyday Apocalypse: The Sacred Revealed in Radiohead, The Simpsons and Other Pop Culture Icons; and Songwriting, led by professional songwriters Jill Phillips and Andy Gullahorn.
If you’re looking for a writers’ retreat that will stimulate, encourage and inspire, this is it. More information on fees, location and retreat and workshop specifics can be found at the Laity Lodge web site.
All I can say for myself is, it changed both my writing and my life.