Writer Island, April 5-7

Sold Out! Thanks for your interest in Writer Island writing retreat on Orcas Island. The retreat is sold out, but we are planning a second retreat next year. Stay tuned for more information, or be the first to know by following the Artsmith Blog here.

Rejuvenate yourself and your writing with a weekend immersed in nature on beautiful Orcas Island in the San Juan Islands. Explore the seaside and mountain trails with poets Martha Silano and Jill McCabe Johnson while you write like pleine-aire artists under a canopy of trees or along the shore. The weekend retreat is designed to give you and your writing a fresh perspective in stimulating surroundings but without the distractions of home. Exercises will focus on the generation of new work inspired by nature and drawn from your deeper psyche as you relax into the rhythms of nature.

Registration includes:

Retreat and Lodging
Your weekend stay, including retreat, can be designed with a number of options listed below.
Please note:     Prices include tax, so there will be no surprises. Only five rooms available--three king and two queen; Rooms are reserved on a first come, first served basis.

Price per person:

1 Attendee

2 Attendees sharing room

3 Attendees sharing room

4 Attendees sharing room

Steller’s Jay Suite
1 King bed
1 Full bed





Northern Flicker Suite
1 King bed
1 Full bed





Goldfinch Room
1 King bed





Nuthatch Room
1 Queen bed
1 Twin bed





Chickadee Room
1 Queen bed





Optional Poetry Consultation
1/2 hour (up to 5 poems): $60.00
1 hour (up to 10 poems): $100.00

Prior to your scheduled meeting time, Martha will carefully read and assess your poems, providing written comments and line-edits, along with suggestions for journal publication. During your time together, Martha will pinpoint your writing strengths and provide guidance for expanding and/or shaping your work. 

10% discount for registrations paid in full by March 10, 2013

To register, call 360-376-2175

Please note: If you wish to share a room, please register with your friends. Participants will not be matched with other participants.

Martha SilanoJill McCabe Johnson

Martha Silano is the author of three poetry collections: Blue Positive, What the Truth Tastes Like, and most recently The Little Office of the Immaculate Conception, an Academy of American Poets Noted Book of 2011, ForeWord Book of the Year Bronze Metal Winner, and a Washington State Book Award finalist. She curates the Beacon Bards poetry reading series at The Station in Seattle's Beacon Hill neighborhood.

Jill McCabe Johnson is the author of the poetry collection Diary of the One Swelling Sea (MoonPath Press, 2013), and editor of the anthologies Becoming: What Makes a Woman (University of  Nebraska Gender Programs, 2012) and Being: What Makes a Man (forthcoming 2013). Jill is the founder and executive director of Artsmith, providing artist residencies, a reading series, and Artist of the Year Award.

Kangaroo House Bed & Breakfast is the longest running B&B in the San Juan Islands. The historic Arts & Crafts home has won national and local acclaim for its scrumptious breakfasts featuring local, organic ingredients, and its friendly, casual style.

Kangaroo House Bed and Breakfast

Retreat Schedule

7:00 pm
Fireside writing exercise and dessert

8:00 am
Sunrise coffee and yogurt
8:30 am
Drive to Moran State Park
9:00 am – Noon
Fireside breakfast in the Mountain Lake shelter
Walking-in-nature craft talk and writing exercises
Mid-morning pastries
Optional: Hike & write on Mountain Lake trail
Or write in the Mountain Lake shelter
Noon-7:00 PM
Afternoon free for writing and island explorations
Dinner on your own (optional dinner at Sauzio)
7:00-9:00 pm
Fireside reading to share new work; dessert

8:00-9:00 am
Sunrise at the Seashore morning walk and free write at North Beach
9:00-10:00 am
10:00- 11:00 am
Check-out and fond farewells

Sunday Morning Writing Exercise on North Beach


PO Box 334 Eastsound, WA 98245