A Writing Retreat:
In The Company of Women
Founded 2001, by Author, Doris Larson


The Retreat for 2011 is CANCELED.

Please check back at the end of the year for 2012 information. 

The number of attendees is LIMITED to 26

Registration is not yet available.


The only requirement to attend is to be a woman with the desire to write.  
There are no portfolio or publishing credits required.

Consists of :  5 - two hour workshops

And includes: Friday evening Welcome & Saturday evening Open Readings;
Friday and Saturday nights and * 5 Meals*
(Friday Dinner - Saturday Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner - Sunday Breakfast)

* Sunday Lunch is NOT included*


Saturday ONLY is available - see: Lodging Options

     Photos & Comments from past Attendees:
* * *
editing.jpg (68747 bytes)  open reading.jpg (43090 bytes)  glasses.jpg (34878 bytes)  open reading 2.jpg (57704 bytes)  table for 3.jpg (63557 bytes)

"Open the door and walk in...you'll be greeted and embraced by women who understand your heart and passion to write.  They'll affirm you and encourage you on your journey, sharing their knowledge along the way.  You are welcome into a sisterhood of women who write and enjoy life and good food, long talks, long walks and just relaxing in a beautiful natural environment." 
       * * *
"This is my first retreat and I was leery of being "new" and having no shared history.  I found it to be the safe haven I needed to open myself up to my writing without fear.  I didn't just make new friends, I found a group of sisters!"  S.D.
        * * *
"I came with a friend who had attended in the past, and didn't expect to enjoy myself nearly as much as I did!  What a fabulous experience - I will be a "regular"
from now on!" S.C.
         * * *
"This weekend gave me more than I could ever imagined.  the location, the size, the workshops, the food, the WOMEN and the FANTASTIC writing.  My well is filled to overflowing..."  H.S.


Take your time and read through or Skip ahead to:





Maumee Bay Resort
1750 Park Rd # 2
Oregon, OH 43618
(419) 836-9009


Developed hiking trails include the Mouse Trail, a 3-mile trail that winds through meadows and woods, and several miles of trails for hiking, bicycling and cross-country skiing. A 2-mile boardwalk, adjacent to the resort, winding through swamp and marsh wetlands, has interpretive signs, an observation blind and tower and wheelchair accessible loop.

Maumee Bay features the links-style golf course found near the water. Designed by Arthur Hills, the course measures 6,136 yards from the white tees with a slope of 122 and U.S.G.A. rating of 69.6 all the way to 6,941 yards from the championship gold tees with a slope of 129 and U.S.G.A. rating of 73.3. The course is the site of regional qualifying for the U.S. Open. For tee times, call the pro shop at 419.836.9009.

The Resort features an indoor/outdoor pool, whirlpools and sauna. Lake swimming is easily accessible at the inland lake with 1500 feet of beach as well as on the shore of Lake Erie.

Massage Therapist
Cost is $35 for 1/2 hour and $70 for 1 hour. Service is available year-round. 
Please call the property directly to set up appointments prior to your arrival at 419-836-1466.

View Wildlife
In the spring and fall, visitors to Maumee Bay State Park can view warblers, flycatchers, vireos, tanagers and orioles from the boardwalk adjacent to the resort. From November through April, visitors will find plentiful waterfowl as well as occasional tundra swans. This wetland habitat is also where monarch butterflies are raised, tagged and released each year. The Trautman Nature Center at Maumee Bay State Park offers state-of-the-art interpretive exhibits, interactive computer displays, an auditorium and wildlife feeding stations visible from viewing windows.


From 2010...

A Writing Retreat:
In The Company of Women
Founded 2001, by Author, Doris Larson


Friday Evening:
Keynote Speaker

Author, Erin O'Brien
The Woman Writer : Power and Beauty

From elfin pixies to statuesque beauties, the world labels a woman as a member of the "weaker" sex. Although she may not pump iron like her more angular counterpart, when her slender fingers are curled around a pen, the writing woman possesses the power of an Amazonian warrior - and then some. Her strength is not measured by the steeliness of her gams; nor does her beauty unfurl from a lipstick tube. Her potent gifts hail from the quiet softness in her heart. Her gentle voice begets the most profound messages. Her maternal instinct bears the keenest insight.

In this year's keynote address "The Woman Writer: Power and Beauty," Erin O'Brien will stoke the flames of love, life and creativity that burn within every writing woman. Friday night will celebrate the writing woman and ignite the fire of inspiration that will burn for the entire weekend and throughout the fertile days that follow.  

*Erin will also be presenting a workshop*

Erin's eclectic features and essays have appeared in the Cleveland Scenethe Plain Dealeand the Los Angeles TimesHer writing explores everything from vampires to politics to human sexuality.  O'Brien has also contributed to Muse, Angle and Northern Ohio Live. Her novel, Harvey & Eck, was published by Zumaya in 2005. She's also published three short stories and maintains a rollicking blog, "The Erin O'Brien Owner's Manual for Human Beings."

Although O'Brien earned a bachelor of science in electrical engineering from Ohio University in 1987, she left the resulting lucrative career to write full time in 1995, one year after her brother, novelist John O'Brien, took his own life. John's most famous work was Leaving Las Vegas, upon which the award-winning film was based. The novel was rereleased in 2008 by the Italian publisher Minimum Fax with a new epilog by Erin.

Erin O'Brien, a lifelong Clevelander, grew up in Lakewood and now lives in Broadview Heights with husband Eric of 17 years and their 13-year-old daughter Jessica.

For more information, including a complete writing biography and links to O'Brien's work, visit www.erinobrien.us

* * *

From 2010:



Not sure you can be funny?  There are rules about that.  Women create humor naturally in community by telling stories. We’ll use comic premise and other foolproof techniques to ratchet up the humor in your material. Together we’ll twist the language into laughter.  
*Anne Frazier Walradt* is a freelance teacher, writer, and editor.  Her articles and essays have appeared in such diverse publications as Maine in Print and Romance Forever.  She taught literature and power writing at the secondary and college levels.  Prospective authors take her nationally known “Show, Don’t Tell” course, which often leads to publication. She edited Romance Recipes for the Soul, which includes one of her short stories. Anne was one of six IWWG writers who finished the book 101 Ways You Can Help by Liz Aleshire, when Liz became too ill to complete it.

 BLOGGING 101 *Dominique King*

You’ve got a new book out and your publisher wants you to start blogging about it—pronto? Readers of your regular newspaper column keep telling you that they read your work in the online version of the publication, and your editor is urging you to start blogging at the paper’s Web site? You’re curious about blogging, and other “social media” tools like Twitter and Facebook, and wonder how it all can really help you achieve your writing goals or advance your writing career? Then this class is for you!
We’ll talk about reasons for starting a blog, take a look at the blogs of other successful writers, and learn how to take those first few steps towards starting your blog and using social media to find your audience.
Already blogging? Come share your success stories and tips so we can all learn how to be better bloggers and best use new media to showcase our writing.
Blogging and social media helped revitalize my writing career and took it in directions I couldn’t envision when I worked for local newspapers and magazines. Let’s explore how these new online tools can do the same thing for you.
* Dominique King's * fascination with new media and social media kicked into high gear when she started Midwest Guest, a regional travel blog, in August 2008. Midwest Guest allowed her to write about travel, develop new skills and friendships, and opened new writing opportunities for her even as opportunities in print media dwindled. She began her writing career spending nine years covering the southeast Oakland County (Michigan) business community as a freelance reporter for the Mirror Newspapers, as well as writing and editing stories for local Chamber of Commerce publications. Her stories about regional travel topics, art and business also appeared in Hour Detroit Magazine, Entrepreneur's Start Ups and The (Royal Oak) Daily Tribune.
Currently, Dominique publishes three times each week at Midwest Guest, is a staff blogger at The Urbane Life (a community blog for a group of apartment buildings, luxury lofts and condos in metropolitan Detroit), and recently completed work on a group of entries for a reference book about Michigan.
She is a graduate of Wayne State University in Detroit with degrees in Political Science (BA) and Communications (MA).
Visit Dominique at Midwest Guest http://www.midwestguest.com as she explores Michigan, Ohio, and the rest of the best of the Midwest.


Every day in the life of a woman is a creation. We fumble with the coffee first thing and conjure the miracle of dinner each night. We manage everything from skinned knees to entire corporations. So much swirls around our daily drill that we don't even realize our lives are a canvas. This workshop is for those who see a sorrowful story intertwined in an old strand of Christmas lights, or who want to unleash that bevy of laughs hiding in the Tupperware drawer. In this session, we will highlight familiar details such as these and show how to sculpt them into charming essay and prose. 
Attendees will see their day-to-day routines anew through engaging in-class exercises and lively discussion. The focus will be on writing, interaction, top-notch instruction, along with a heaping helping of fun. Come prepared to share and participate!


Retreat attendees who would like respectful but productive critique on a work-in-progress are welcome to bring a manuscript sample of no more than three double-spaced pages for this workshop. Seven manuscripts will be chosen from a random drawing. Both fiction and non-fiction are welcome. Each selected manuscript will be given a total of fifteen minutes, with up to seven minutes allotted for the writer to read her work aloud, and the balance of the time given to feedback from the circle. All attendees are encouraged to attend, even if they are not reading, as participation in an effective critique circle is an excellent tool for strengthening our own writing and self-editing skills.

Marsha McGregor's essays and features have appeared in a variety of national and regional venues, including The Philadelphia Inquirer, Boston Herald, Cleveland Plain Dealer, National Public Radio, SOHO Cleveland, Cleveland Magazine, Akron Life & Leisure, and the popular anthology A Cup of Comfort for Women, with an essay on life with adolescents slated to run in the April 2010 issue of Literary Mama. She teaches personal essay workshops at the summer conference of The International Women's Writing Guild (IWWG), held annually at Skidmore College. A member of the Society of Children's Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), her middle grade novel manuscript was a finalist in the 2009 Katherine Paterson Prize for Children's Writing. She is a member of two monthly critique groups.

 writing for children (editor added)
"As a student at Vermont College (now Vermont College of Fine Arts), I had the privilege of working with some pretty amazing (and award winning) children's book authors including Chris Lynch, Bruce Brooks, Brock Cole, Jack Gantos, Jackie Woodson, Katherine Paterson, Lois Lowry, Jane Yolen and Chris Raschka, just to name a few.  With the help of Snoopy and the Peanuts gang, I will share with you some of my most treasured souvenirs from that trip.  I will then send you off on your own merry (or not) writing journey with a pat on the head and some tried and true writing exercises for the road." *Judy Irvin Kuns* is a graduate of the inaugural class of Writing for Children and Young Adults at Vermont College.  She has had stories published in Jack and Jill, Children's Digest, Humpty Dumpty and Once Upon a Time magazines.  Her first middle grade novel, WHILE YOU WERE OUT, was published by Dutton Children's Books, was a Junior Library Guild selection and winner of the 2005 Paterson Prize for Books for Young Readers. Judy is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators and enjoys visiting schools to share her process for writing and her passion for books.


The following is a guide for the weekend.    
All included meals are at Maumee Bay Resort. 
  While the workshops and presenters listed are confirmed, the fact is... "Life Happens."  
In The Company of Women reserves the right to make changes/substitutions 
without notice, if necessary. 


Friday, April 16, 2010

3:00 - 5:45 p.m.  Retreat Sign-in (Main Lobby)

                             Room Check-in (Front Desk)

             6:00 p.m.  DINNER - Location to be announced

7:30 - 9:30 p.m.  Starboard/Navigator - Welcome, Introduction to workshop presenters.

                                        Keynote Speaker- Author, Erin O'Brien 

                        The Woman Wrtier: Power and Beauty 


Saturday, April 17, 2010

7:15 a.m.             Saturday attendees Sign-In (Main Lobby)

              8:00 - 9:15 a.m.   BREAKFAST  - Location to be announced

9:30  - 11:30 a.m. Starboard/Navigator - SECRETS OF THE HA-HA SISTERHOOD:
                                                                             THE COMMUNITY OF WOMEN'S HUMOR

                                                                              *Anne Frazier Walradt*  

          12:00 noon - 1:15 p.m.  LUNCH - Location to be announced

1:30 - 3:30 p.m.     Starboard/Navigator - OPEN CRITIQUE CIRCLE * Marsha McGregor*  

4:00 - 6:00 p.m.     Starboard/Navigator - FROM EYELINER TO EGGBEATERS:

                                                                               EVERYDAY MEMOIR
*Erin O'Brien*  

           6:30 p.m. - 7:45 DINNER - Location to be announced

8:00 - 10:30 p.m.   Starboard/Navigator: Open Readings. 

3 minute timed reading; must sign up in advance.  

                                   See Carole Calladine for details

Sunday, April 18, 2010

            8:00 - 9:15 a.m.  BREAKFAST - Location to be announced

 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.  Starboard/Navigator - BLOGGING 101 *Dominique King*  

                12:00 noon - 1:15 p.m.  LUNCH (On your own - This is not included !)

1:30  - 3:30 p.m.    Starboard/Navigator - writing for children

                                                                  SOMETHING HAPPENED ON MY 

                                                                               WAY TO AN MFA
*Judy Irvin Kuns*  

3:45 - 4:00 p.m.     Starboard/Navigator - Closing Ceremony & Safe Home to all!  



  Books or items to sell...what did you think it was?

Any attendee/presenter with books or *items to sell, 

may display them and leave them out for the weekend. 

The room will be locked at 11:00 p.m. each night and opened at 7:00 a.m. each morning.

You will be responsible for implementing your own purchasing system -

 NO "clerk" will be provided.

*Please, items must be personally made.  This is an opportunity to share the fruit of your talents.

This is not a flea market or "home party" for commercial products.

   NO food products. 


A Writing Retreat: In The Company of Women

Preferred Payment is online, through PayPal

No PayPal Account is required

Major Credit Cards accepted

All prices are PER PERSON

At the option of your choice,  click the "pay now" button (only click once, and allow a few seconds

to be taken to a PayPal secure form, where you can log-in to your PayPal account.


If do not have a PayPal account, or do not wish to use it, click

 "continue" to go to secure Credit Card payment option.  At either of 

these payment forms, the information you fill in 

IS your registration.  

There is no separate registration required.     


All Refund requests must be sent by email to: ITCOW@BigWits.com 

and received by .
Refunds for amounts paid by PayPal, will be amount paid, 

minus any fee(s) that may have been incurred.  


Consists of :  5 - two hour workshops

And includes
: Friday evening Welcome  and Saturday evening Open Readings;
Friday and Saturday nights and * 5 Meals*
(Friday Dinner - Saturday Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner - Sunday Breakfast)

* Sunday Lunch is NOT included*



Guest Room in Lodge:



Pay Full Amount:

You may share my email address with other attendees


                                                                                            Pay 1/2 now:
                                                                      with remaining 1/2 due on or before February 14, 2010 


When you return to pay balance,
use this  "PAY NOW" 


$379 per person

Each attendee must register and pay separately.

Listing of "roomie" at this site is for room assignment only. 

You may share my email address with attendees
I will be rooming with:
$379.00 per person



Consists of: 3 - two hour workshops
 and includes: Saturday Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner


You may share my email address with attendees

If you have any questions - email : ITCOW@BigWits.com 

Click HERE to return to BigWits

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