About our Retreats
At the heart of this retreat is the joining of Creative Writing, Yoga and Meditation. Patricia Lee Lewis has combined these practices for over 20 years to offer a powerful path to the creative self.
The meditation and exercise creates in you a sense of physical well-being, while bringing you back to your body and your senses. The meditation is a deep, guided relaxation which calms your mind and helps it to relax into a creative brainwave pattern.
Patricia leads the writing circles in a way designed to help you bypass your inner critic and go directly to images, feelings or memories–to the places steeped in story and natural language. Because this is the time to generate new writing, rather than to critique what you have already prepared, you will be encouraged to invite your inner critic to take a hike.
Gathering in small, intimate groups, you will be invited to read what you have written. Group members respond only with what is strong in the piece, what they remember, what is vivid. The process is highly encouraging and supportive to the natural voice and to you as a writer, whether you are beginning again after years away; an experienced writer in need of a jump-start; or you are in the middle of a project and are looking for new ideas and time dedicated to writing.
Patricia Lee Lewis will lead the retreat and facilitate generative writing sessions. Our writing retreats are designed after the process developed by Patricia’s mentor, Pat Schneider, founder of Amherst Writers & Artists, to help us find our truest voice; to write from the images, memories and feelings we all carry inside ourselves; and to write with greater confidence and skill. The retreats are a wonderful way to take time out and allow the deeper levels of your own creative self to emerge onto the page. Besides all of this, they are fun.
We will write several times each day in response to exercises Patricia suggests (which you are completely free to ignore!). We are invited to read aloud what we have just written and to respond to each other’s work with what is working (what we like, what we remember, what moves us) and not, at this stage of vulnerability, with what will make it stronger. We will work together to create and maintain a safe, confidential space in which to write whatever comes by following certain practices in responding to new writing:
- We honor the writer by listening carefully;
- We treat everything as fiction;
- We refer to the narrator/speaker, not to the author, as the voice of the piece;
- We remember that while healing often occurs through our writing, this is not a therapy group, and we maintain our focus on the writing;
- We concentrate on the writing at hand, not on anecdotes of our similar experiences;
- We are free to write what we want; exercises are offered;
- We are invited to read;
- We respond only with what we like, what stays with us, what moves us-and not, at this stage of vulnerability, with what will make it stronger.
Writers of all levels of experience and of all genres are invited. There are no criteria for acceptance other than a sincere desire and willingness to write. You need bring no manuscripts with you; all writing is done during the retreat.
About the Staff
Patricia Lee Lewis, a native Texan, lives and works at Patchwork Farm Retreat in Western Massachusetts, where she shares the world with trees and stones, chickadees, writers and bears. A prize-winning poet, she is currently writing a novel set in West Texas in the 1930’s. For over 20 years, she has led weekend writing retreats and weekly workshops at Patchwork Farm and throughout the United States, and yoga and writing retreats at sacred sites around the world – in Guatemala, Mexico, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Spain, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Zimbabwe and New Zealand.
About Stump Sprouts
We will have exclusive use of Stump Sprouts, a rustic, multi-season resort and retreat center situated in rural northwest Massachusetts. The center of the resort is a hand-crafted guest lodge, converted dairy barn, and 200 year old farmhouse. Stump Sprouts offers many spring, summer, and fall activities on 450 acres of meadows and woods, including hiking and biking. There are also whitewater rafting, country villages, golf courses, and many other recreational facilities within a few minutes of driving.
The Stump Sprouts Chef prepares sumptuous mostly vegetarian cuisine using fresh, local produce whenever possible. Hearty soups, crisp green salads, home-made breads and fresh-baked deserts often compliment meals. Wheat- and dairy-free diets are accommodated.
Single rooms are available.
What Our Writers Say …
Thank you for an absolutely incredible retreat. I hope I’m not overstating the case, but somehow it made me re-think my writing activities and gave me a giant push to expand them in new directions. The entire weekend was a wonderful re-set. Ellice G., Westhampton, MA
This was my first writing retreat and it was very challenging and scary for me. I can’t imagine having done this with anyone but Patricia, et al., nor can I imagine a more talented, fun, supportive and interesting group of people to do it with. Lisa F., Salem, MA
Find your writing soul in a group of accepting, caring people. JoAnn C., Springfield, MA
When I leave I leave wanting more – more voices, writing, sharing, teaching, and inspiring me to write with the depth and to find my own truth whatever color, shade or tone. Patricia, you are extraordinary in so many ways. Jane K., Wayland, MA
The openness, friendliness and encouragement have been an inspiration to me. The absence of ego added to a wonderful weekend experience. Felicity C., Austin, TX
Stump Sprouts was a coming-out event for me. I stopped writing for years, and I really thought it was gone. The safety of the retreat, and Patricia’s inspired coaching enabled me to find the courage to put pen to paper. Judith H., Hainesport, NJ
I felt renewed and invigorated. So many wonderful, very real people. Valerie F., Wellesley, MA
This retreat was for me a perfect combination of healthy living and community. I learned so much about writing just by listening to the work and the wise, inspiring teaching and leadership. I love the method and the results. Meg H., Andover, MA