Here's your deal. You've got a million ideas, but you can't commit to a single one of them.
Or you've got a complete draft in your hands, but you're drowning in the revision process.
Or you're desperate for some momentum, because once you get that wheel spinning, it's easy to keep it going.
Or you're not sure if what you've got is any good, or if it's complete and utter ca-ca.
Or you could structure your book any number of ways, and you're not sure which works best for the material.
Or you're way too busy in your business to devote the necessary time to finishing your project.
Or you have no clue what the next step is, so it's just easier to do nothing.
If you’re serious about becoming an author, spend a week with us. Give the best gift you could ever give to yourself—deep focus, friendship, and support.
Why step out of your life for a whole week to join us?
Because you’ve been going it alone way too long already. Isolation can be such a drag.
Your writing pals, the ones you make here, will champion your dreams far beyond the retreat.
When you know you’re reading aloud at 7 pm, you get downright BUSY! Prepare to amaze yourself.
While hearing feedback for others, you gain radical insights into your own work.
Oh, and because it’s ridiculously FUN!
And an opportunity to be pampered, and eat great food, and focus most on what you desperately want to focus on—your writing. Not the laundry, not the kids, not the minutiae.
Anam Cara. A 5,600-square-foot log cabin right along the Maine coastline. Magic happens here. It’s hard to describe what occurs when writers from around the world get together, open themselves up, and share their creative projects. If you’ve never had the privilege of sitting at a workshop table, giving and receiving feedback on your piece, you’ve never lived. Writers go out of their way to recreate this dynamic, and believe me, outside of grad school, it isn’t easy to find.
What do we work on? In Anam Cara you'll kick life into your parable, memoir, non-fiction business, self-help book, cookbook-- WHATEVER is nagging for your attention--or finish it once and for all.
Come with a single burning idea or a bucket full of them, the final draft you can't seem to finish, or two full manuscripts. It all works. I adore helping people at the BEGINNING of their creative process (to shortcut their path from IDEA to DONE), and battle-weary pros in need of a creative kick in the backside. If you’re a green newbie, we’ve got you. You won’t feel that way past day #1 (and, it’s likely we’ll save you years of doing it the hard way). Conversely, if you’ve been at this for FOREVER and yearn for an infusion of fresh perspectives and insights so you can complete your project, you’re so coming to the right place.
Regardless, you’ll be served world-class meals (and snacks) in this “think tank”–where you can stay in your grubby sweats all day if you so choose. This brain-trust-in-the-woods is about being renewed, with nothing but writing, brainstorming, pampering, camaraderie, and laughs to help get your book up, out, and onto bookshelves around the world. FINALLY.
Never felt supported in your writing before? Those days are about to be so OVER…
Take a dramatic leap into a much more personal voice with clarity, depth, and a good business sense of what will sell and inspire. Write more efficiently and effectively in one day than you have in several years. There is a light at the end of the path, let's place you there.
It’s in this creative soup that new books emerge, old books are put right, and everyone has revelations for everyone else. Oh, and this is how lifelong friendships and collaborations are born. When you have writing friends, you have editors for life, people who will tell you when you’re missing the mark, and when you’ve nailed the target. Invaluable!
I’m capping retreat size to 5-6 participants so that I have time to focus on you and your book(s), to deep dive into your projects. Let's get them done.
In these competitive times, a book with your name on it increases your market value, your credibility, your opportunities, and your professional profile in every way. Not to mention, it’s a BLAST. Your world will never be the same. But you know that already, or you wouldn’t be here right now.
And nothing would make me happier than hooking you up with some of the experts in my Rolodex—cover designers, interior formatters, partnership presses, copy editors, printing houses, book promoters, and so on. My connections are yours.
No matter what you’re working on, you’ll tap into your illusive inner muse during this retreat, not that I give much credence to that whimsical chick, and get this book to the next (final) step once and for all!
Retreat size = intimate, so everyone gets maximum value.
Spots will fill fast! If something is telling you it’s time, and you’re jonesing to join us, sign up here (no commitment necessary) so we can schedule a phone/Skype chat soon to discuss your project.
What’s our daily schedule exactly?
Let’s break it down so you know precisely what to expect.
Following dinner on Monday night (where we fess up to who we are, why we’re here, what we’re working on, and what kind of support we want), you get several things EACH day:
A private 45-minute session with me. I work fast and we cut to the heart of what you need. Outline the book you can’t seem to get nailed down because you’re too close? Love it. Finish your final draft, run through the list of revisions? Done. Talk, cry, delve into your fears so that you can believe in yourself already? No problemo. Can’t wait. Or, we can do all of the above on consecutive days. (We don’t have individual sessions on Friday, but do have a beautiful group brunch session.)
Several hours of group, where you read what you’re working on (or we talk about what you’re thinking about). Then, sit back and gasp as inspired, specific, brilliant feedback comes gushing your way. Listen, too, as others read and get reactions to their work. You’ll learn so much through their various processes and projects. And, you’ll be amazed at the value you also have to offer, as each example widens your scope/perspective, up-levels your confidence, and sharpens your skills. You could lead a workshop session by the time you’re through here.
Hours and hours of quiet writing time, inside our beautiful home or outside on the front or back stone patios. You can perch yourself overlooking the bay, sit by the fireplace, wrap yourself up in a blanket on a couch or chair, sit at one of several desks, or at the sunny dining room table. If being in town at a café inspires you, you can go on a field trip and park your beautiful bum at a quiet table for a morning or afternoon. Whatever floats your boat.
Amazing meals + snacks all day long. (Tea, coffee, and juices are always available, and wine at night if desired.) All of your shopping, cooking, and dishes are done for you! No lifting a finger! Isn’t it time to RECEIVE and be pampered?! Seriously, put that dirty plate down.
Walks or runs anytime up and down our country roads. This is the perfect time and place to clear your mind, and infuse your body with renewed energy for your writing day. Wake up, people, no better way.
Downtime, whenever you need it. This week is all about you and what you need to be your best creative self. (Interestingly, no matter how fried you are when you arrive it seems that the very act of giving yourself this gift energizes you. You just might find that you leave feeling like you’ve been at a spa instead of working, working, working on your craft.)
LET'S GET REALLY SPECIFIC:
Monday, May 8:
Tuesday, May 9:
8am-9am: do any or all of the following: eat the gourmet breakfast available (with all sorts of choices), shower, take a walk/run in our stunning neighborhood, meditate, call your kids, etc.
9am-12pm: The start of our first writing circle, where our “brain trust” officially begins.
12:00pm-1pm: Lunch is served! You’re going to FREAK for this food, I’m telling you. Wear loose-fitting pants.
1:00-6:00pm: More of the same—writing, reading brainstorming, and private sessions.
**Private sessions with me throughout the day in my loft, with the most spectacular view you’ve ever seen. Each day you’ll have one 45-minute session to go over anything you’d like (which can include editing right there on your laptop, if so desired).
6:30 pm: Dinner. More the same–insane food. You’ll be so spoiled after this retreat that you’ll feel totally inept when you get back home to the boring fridge.
This is our one free night to do whatever you want, including write!
And what about the price?
$4,997 for the week—$2,500 due upon sign-up (to hold your spot) & the rest due 10 days before arrival. This covers ALL of your expenses—lodging, food, & all instruction—except travel. Plus, you’ll receive a private two-hour editorial session with me when you’re ready, after we return.
How could I not mention who I am? I'm Ann Sheybani, author of How to Eat the Elephant: Build Your Book in Bite-Sized Steps. I received my Masters in Creative Writing from Harvard University, where I fell in love with the whole workshopping process. I co-founded East Hill Writers' Workshops, where I taught craft for years. An elite-level, certified Book Yourself Solid coach, I've got a mighty powerful sales and marketing bent. I'm best known for helping speakers and coaches create powerful, client-attracting books. You can learn more about me at annsheybani.com
Woolwich, where Anam Cara is located, is located just off of Rt. 1 in southern Maine. It's situated on a peninsula, with Merrymeeting Bay and the Kennebec River to the west, Sasanoa River to the southwest, and Back River to the southeast. Think woods and sparkling waters. Pine trees out the yin yang. Portland International Airport is the airport closest to the venue, a 38-minute drive. Boston is about 2.5 hours south. Manchester, New Hampshire is about 2 hours south as well. I'll send you driving directions well before time.
In the unlikely event that I cancel a retreat, all retreat tuition will be refunded in full.
Need to cancel? I’ll email you our full Cancellation Policy for your review (all you have to do is email me that you’re in agreement, or let me know any questions you may have).
Yes. You must wear clothing. It's only polite.
It’ll be Christmas in five minutes… you might as well just leave the tree up all year ’round. Seriously, creativity has a way of slipping through our fingers. Breathe life into yours. Schedule it. Make it real. Let me help you script your success. Your book writing paradise awaits!