retreat. write. energize.
with Natalie Serber
Six intentional days on the stunning Oregon Coast
OCTOBER 9-15, 2022
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to:
- reinvigorate your creative spirit
- engage with a motivated community of writers
- soak in the natural beauty of the Oregon Coast
- give yourself the freedom and pleasure to deeply connect with your writing
Let’s be real. It’s been a rough couple of years. Yes, writing is a solitary pursuit, but we’ve languished in isolation for too long. It’s time to come back together. Writers blossom in community. Come join me for this energizing retreat in the perfect location on the Oregon coast– the cozy Sylvia Beach Hotel, a literary-themed bed and breakfast with homey and eclectic charm.
I am asking you to give your writing the gift of time and attention.
My agent once told me a hard truth, “No one is asking you to write.” Ouch. Her statement sent me into a crisis of confidence. If no one is asking me to write, and yet writing is something I am compelled to do, how do I reconcile myself with spending my time doing something so hard? Something that takes time away from other, more ‘productive’ things I could be doing?
The answer I came up with? There isn’t much that’s more productive or more worthwhile than being creative. I believe in the power of writing. I believe in the power of stories to transform writers and readers. This is what I want you to believe as well.
I am asking you to write.
- Make a commitment
- Show up
- Take yourself seriously
- Don’t flinch
Mornings will be spent in workshop where we will take a rigorous and compassionate dive into your work and the work of your peers, discussing the writers’ tools of setting, scene, characterization, dialog, voice and intention.
Afternoons will be free to deeply engage with your project. That may look like writing in your quiet room back at the hotel, walking on the beach and gaining inspiration from nature, or taking a nap!
This retreat is a time for you to refill your creative tank in a nurturing, inspired, and growth-focused environment.
As a writing coach, Natalie is a joy to work with. She reads your pieces with precision and perception, always challenging you to dig deeper. She has a solid knowledge of literature, and gives useful suggestions for readings that will enlarge your thinking. I’ve been working with her for about a year and a half, writing fiction, personal essays, and memoir, and highly recommend any of her classes or retreats. Plus, she’s an amazing cook and a darn nice person.
I was connected to Natalie through a mutual writing connection and she became my lifeline to creativity through the pandemic. Natalie is sharp, detailed, and professional as a teacher and editor, and at the same time, generous, open-minded, warm and thoughtful as a fellow creative. I am blessed to call her a mentor and friend. Every week when I’m doubting my ability, or even my purpose as a writer, I leave her class feeling renewed, knowing I can do it, after all.
I would not be where I am today without Natalie’s classes, writing groups, and mentorship. Not only has she consistently provided useful feedback and asked thoughtful questions, she’s helped me to believe in my own work, something that is notoriously difficult to do in a creative pursuit. I could not recommend Natalie as an editor, teacher or human more.
I took a workshop with Natalie Serber five years ago at Literary Arts in Portland and have never left her classroom. Natalie has been instrumental to my career as a writer and has provided me with phenomenal feedback for my manuscript which I am now sending out for representation. Even after my MFA program, I find myself going back to Natalie’s workshops for her candor, attention to detail, creative insight, and unyielding support. She is by far the best writing teacher I have had and I look forward to continuing to participate in her workshops and future writing retreats for many, many years.
What you’ll get:
- 3 hours per day of workshop time
- Daily writing prompts
- Time to write
- Craft Talk
- Fun visual art activity to shake up your process
- One-on-one consultation with me
- Evening community events
Our all-inclusive, intimate retreat.write.energize includes:
- 6 nights lodging at the writer-inspired Sylvia Beach Hotel
- Breakfast each morning
- 5 Seasonal full-course dinners featuring locally sourced ingredients
- Our very own clubhouse a few blocks from the hotel where we will host:
- Morning writer’s yoga for neck and shoulder tension
- An art exercise to find new pathways into your writing
- Cocktail hours
- Tarot readings for your characters
- A “Big Chill” cooking night
- A schwag bag! (contents a surprise)
Who am I?
As a teacher I believe my role is to nurture, challenge, invigorate, and inject some joy into your practice. I am an astute and dedicated reader of your work. In my critiques I am caring, thorough, and generous. I keep your vision for your work in view at all times and do my best to help you close the gap between what is in your head and what lands on your page.
I graduated with my MFA from Warren Wilson College in 2005. I am the author of the NYTs notable book, SHOUT HER LOVELY NAME, and a memoir, COMMUNITY CHEST. My work has appeared in O, the Oprah Magazine, The New York Times, Zyzzyva Magazine, One Story Magazine, and others. Since 2007 I have been a teacher of creative writing at Portland State University, Marylhurst University, Grub Street, Literary Arts, and I run private workshops and classes. I also am an independent editor working with clients since 2017. I started the One Page Wednesday reading series in Portland in 2017, and I publish a bi-weekly newsletter read.write.eat. to inspire and connect with writers and readers. Currently I’m at work on a story collection, MUST BE NICE, and a memoir, GO BACK TO SLEEP.
Natalie can find the heart of my stories when I can’t. Her feedback is thorough, always delivered with kindness and when needed, a heaping dose of humor. With Natalie’s honesty and encouragement my writing and my confidence bloomed.
In the years that Natalie has been my teacher, both my skillset and my appreciation for writing (and other writers in her classes) has grown. Natalie creates a safe space for you to explore the hidden corners of your work, making it an illuminating and thrilling adventure. She not only brings the flashlight, she brings extra batteries. I’m grateful for her knowledge, patience, and laughter.
Natalie is one of the most astute readers I’ve ever encountered — she knows how to dig into a narrative and find its beating heart, even if the writer can’t quite hear it yet. Her workshops and line edits changed the shape of my in-progress manuscript in so many ways, and always for the better.
Natalie is such a bright light and I feel incredibly fortunate to be part of her weekly writing class. She is smart, thoughtful, funny and a complete joy to learn from. Natalie also has a knack for bringing together writers that inspire. It’s a community that I cherish for the support, encouragement and growth I gain from each class. With her guidance, I have much more confidence in my work.
Where are we going?
The Sylvia Beach Hotel
Named in honor of Sylvia Beach, the expatriate American bookseller and publisher who opened Shakespeare and Company bookstore in Paris in 1919. Located on the central Oregon coast, Sylvia Beach Hotel sits on a bluff above Nye Beach and the Pacific Ocean.
Originally built in 1912 as the New Cliff House hotel, the structure was renovated in the 1980s to become a 21-room literary-themed bed and breakfast with a homey and eclectic charm that attracts readers and writers. Each room includes details and books to reflect the life and writings of 21 different authors. Guests can enjoy a book with a view in the quiet and cozy haven of the third-floor oceanfront library. Family-style dining for breakfast and dinner brings guests and locals together to share conversation in our Tables of Content Restaurant.**Please note the hotel requires proof of vaccination and booster.
Newport, Oregon and Nye Beach
Newport is self-described as a funky town. It has unique character, a small wharf, and a collision of odd attractions including “creepy” museums and interesting shops.
Nye Beach has plenty of lunch spots offering pub food, burritos and clam chowder. Gift shops, a wine cellar, art galleries, and the Nye Beach Book House are all within walking distance. The beach is long and wide, with wonderful tide pools and gorgeous sunsets.
How do we get there?
- For locals, Newport, Oregon is about a three hour drive from Portland
- For out-of-towners, Newport is accessible via the Portland International Airport or Eugene Airport.
- Transport to Newport from the airport is via rental car, train or bus. For your best option, go to Rome2Rio.com for information
- We will do our best to connect guests who want to ride share from the airport. Let me know if you are interested.
Who are You?
If you have a burning need to tell your story, whether memoir or fiction, if writing is where you make discoveries, if you want to claim your creative time, to give your work the primacy in your life that it deserves, this is the retreat for you. A combination of renewal and rigor, bring your pages, bring your ambitious spirit, bring your curiosity. Give yourself 100% of your attention. You deserve it! This is your call to action. This is your moment. I can’t wait to be in touch with you!
ASK YOURSELF TO WRITE.
Please note that we will be an intimate group of just ten writers. Enrollment is first come, first served.
Our Basic Payment Structure
- $500.oo non-refundable deposit upon registration
- First payment of $1225.00 due by June 10
- Final payment of $1225.00 due on August 1
- Pay via check, Venmo or PayPal
- Cancellation policy: If you cannot join us, let us know by August 25 to receive a 50% refund.
- If you must cancel after August 25, let us know and we will do our best to fill your spot and provide up to a 50% refund, depending on timing and circumstances.
I’m excited to meet you, to write with you, to laugh with you, to nurture and inspire you as a writer.If you have questions, I am here.