That's how I feel about my big birthday month of April, and its many new experiences, including three weeks abroad in China and New Zealand with my daughter, Lillie, plus her girlfriend and my husband. The four of us made memories of a lifetime. That's Lillie and me above, crossing a bridge in Hangzhou.
It broke me open is also what one writer said just yesterday about last year's Summer Solstice Retreat. She described the week as a sublime experience and wonderful investment in yourself on a deep emotional and spiritual level. Another writer simply said, Magic. A third said, Yes, that's it, exactly. If magic and breaking open are your thing, on the page and in life, consider joining us? It's the best way I know of for firing up your writing life in a profound and lasting way. Since last summer, our Solstice writers have gone on to publish essays, poems, and stories in literary journals (some for the very first time!), win writing contests, attend writing conferences, and participate in more writing workshops and classes. They've carried the burning fire of the retreat straight through the year, and you can too. We have two spots left and we want you to join us!
As for other news, our Mystery of Yin retreat coincided with an historic Minnesota blizzard which really added to the beauty and drama of the North Shore. What could have been incredibly stressful was instead an unforgettable adventure thanks to the amazing group of women who attended. We'll be announcing the date for the November Yin retreat soon.
Meanwhile, our latest remote class, Reimagining the Personal Essay, got off to a fantastic start this week, and we're excited to announce a full roster of classes for the next academic year, so stay tuned! And if you are seeking more intensive mentorship, I have openings for two private students and would love to hear from you.
Finally, some really great writing news for me. I had an excerpt of my novel selected as a finalist by Narrative Magazine in their Winter Story Contest, and it will appear in a forthcoming issue.
I AM SO EXCITED! Narrative is the big time for this little writer.
Meanwhile, another piece was just selected as a finalist in The Iowa Review Awards, with contest results to be announced later this month. If Narrative is the big time, Iowa is the cream of the crop. I'm feeling very grateful for the way my work is being recognized. Also very honored to announce that I will be teaching a creative nonfiction class at Moose Lake Correctional Facility this fall through the Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop, my first in-the-prison class after two years of prison mentoring. I'm so grateful for this opportunity to serve. Other things too tenuous to announce, but lots of reasons to be hopeful for the summer ahead! Inch by inch it's a cinch, and it all starts with waking up, really waking up, and then showing up over and over and over again.
If you're ready to do the same, we'd love to see you on the island this June for our Sixth Annual Summer Solstice Retreat or one of our other retreats or classes. Watch for a full schedule soon or just get in touch, and let's write!