Daniel Blue, Musician/Artist, Seattle
Teaching at Write: Doe Bay last year was a seminal experience for me as a creative being.   I'm not a teacher by trade, so organizing my thoughts about creativity into a communicable format was a challenge and a blessing.   I find myself forced to "take my own pill" when I'm slumping, but I also have a sort of accountability to the relationships I formed with the authors who took the course.  They are out there in the world reminding me of what they learned and championing me as a fellow creative.   I didn't expect to come away so enriched in my own work, but the setting and the people involved made the weekend something that I will keep with me for years of creativity to come.   If you haven't done anything like this before, I can tell you that sharing your process is extremely humbling and unconditionally rewarding.  If you have, I can tell you that Doe Bay is the most magical context any author/creator could ask for to extoll their own journey, pitfalls and successes.

Claire Bidwell Smith, Author, Los Angeles
Write: Doe Bay is one of the most intimate creative experiences I've ever had. The magical setting combined with the emotional and intellectual generosity of the presenters lends itself to an atmosphere of intense vulnerability. Attendees can expect to open themselves up, break themselves down, and bask in the glory of what it means to be a creative individual.

Erin Austin, Musician, Seattle

Write Doe Bay is not anything you’d expect in a writer’s retreat and what you walk away with is something unique that will influence your direction once you’ve experience it.

Matt Logelin, Author, Los Angeles
I didn’t know what to expect when I arrived at Write: Doe Bay. I have written, and I continue to write, but I don’t like to think of myself as a writer.

I’d never before attended any sort of writer’s retreat/workshop, and I’d long ago decided they weren’t for me because I assumed they’d be filled with pretentious assholes who felt their words should be privileged over all others. The prospect of attending and presenting at a workshop geared toward writers was something that sounded as appealing to me as soaking in rubbing alcohol after having been administered thousands of paper cuts.

I’ve never been so wrong about something in all of my life.

What I found at Write: Doe Bay was a bunch of storytellers, all of them as genuinely humble and wonderful as anyone I’ve ever come across. Few of us had anything other than our storytelling in common, but that weekend created a bond for many of us that will last forever.

And you know what?

I saw lives changed that weekend.

And at least one life saved.

(Maybe more.)

I know I’m forever changed by that weekend.

And thanks to the people I met at Doe Bay, I’m actually okay with being considered a writer.

Ashley English, Author, North Carolina The experience of everyone gathered on the floor, or on comfy couches, in socks, without shoes, really epitomized the ease and comfort of the workshop for me. It also leveled the playing field. We all were vulnerable, in our relaxed positions and garments. That kind of environment invites honesty and sincerity and a willingness to be forthcoming, and that's exactly what happened at Write. I felt a bit exposed, and that made me feel like I could really be candid, and take risks with my writing and my teaching. 

Christie Martin Zuverink, Writer, California I will be forever grateful for the new friendships I have made.  One of the many things I came away with from my time on the island was that we all have our stories, we all have our tragedies, no one is exempt and if they tell you any different, they are not being truthful. It is in our brokenness that we come together, that we can form a bond in which the breaks are actually strengthened by our connectedness. I truly believe this. As I look around at the world swirling around me, as I look into the faces of people I know and those I don't, I try to remember our connection, our humanness. There is no judgement, only love.

Emily Parker, Songwriter/Melody Maker, Ohio
I've moved forward.  Write: Doe Bay unlocked me.  Through the weekend's creative process of introspection, I not only found a willing audience but the powerful realization that I have the possibility to move forward.  Although my creative steps are slow, they are powerful, and having a diverse community of writers behind me is comforting.  Opening myself and letting others peek in is terrifying and necessary.

Janya Veranth, Writer, Oregon
What I feared? It saved me.

Alicia Lawver, Writer, Washington
Sometimes the best destinations are the ones we never intended to find.  We set life plans and goals, try to plot out story lines and characters, and desperately schedule creatively.  But, magic cannot be dictated.

Write: Doe Bay empowered me to question my storytelling status quo, gave me a space for taking creative risks, and defied all my good intentions.

Planning to try Write: Doe Bay? Leave your expectations behind. Be. Go.

Joy A Sters, Writer, California
Being a part of Write: Doe Bay was the beginning of stepping out of my comfort zone.  Things were said and shared that had normally been kept to myself, yet there was a willingness to allow the space to reveal things that are not always readily accepted in the world.  I came with something to share and went away with more than I could have ever imagined.

Doe Bay is a magical place that allows mysteries to remain mysteries and stories to be told.  Great care was made by those that put the workshop together to make sure that everyone was taken care of, fed, nurtured and even, at times, held.  This trickled down to the smallest details like handmade gifts for the closing ritual.

There was music and dance, writing and reading, poetry and art.  There were visits to the hot tub/spa, jumps into the bay, walks in the woods and bonds that surpass understanding.  I left connected by a key to release my story and time will reveal what this key holds.  Moments like these are once in a lifetime and there is deep gratitude here in being a part of it.  Deepest thanks to all involved.

Dan DeShon, Writer, Washington
Write: Doe Bay is an inspiring retreat; it is amazing people and a dynamic experience.

The weekend was full of so many powerful experiences: new ways to look at art, writing, music, photography and more.  What an amazing group of talented people! The setting is otherworldly, as if I was removed from society entirely.  The retreat was an awakening to the idea that I have a story to tell and it needs to be told.  I am rejuvenated and excited about creating some new things of my own.

 

in their own words

Writers and artists from all around the country spent time and space with us in 2014. All of us agree: we are changed; our hearts have swelled. We are better people for having listened, having shared. We are home, unpacking stories and bags and settling back into what we left before we uprooted all the stories waiting to be told. We are better people for having listened.

It’s really some kind of magic to read the narratives of our newest friends.  There’s such power in ingesting the words about an experience crafted and spread out entirely for the journey of an artist.

Here is an evolving list of beautiful posts from participants who came to Write Spring, April 10-13, 2014:

WRITE: DOE BAY by Casey Sjogren

DANIEL BLUE by Kelle Hampton

CALLED OUT UPON THE WATERS by Sarah Anderson

SONOMA COAST WEEKLY “FULL CIRCLE :: WRITE DOE BAY” by Tammi Salas

MOMMY’S MISSING PIECES “NO MAN IS AN ISLAND” by Tricia Kushan Anderson

ANNE REBER WRITES “WRITE: DOE BAY” by Anne Reber

BIRDIE BELLE “THE SECOND GRADUATING CLASS OF WRITE DOE BAY” by Angela Nock Miller

LIFE WITH GREYSON “THE PAIN OF BEING BORN” by Chrissy Pratt Kelly

ENJOYING THE SMALL THINGS “FINDING YOUR VOICE: WRITE DOE BAY” by Kelle Hampton

DIG THIS CHICK “ON AN ISLAND” by Nici Holt Cline

 

Here is an evolving list of beautiful posts from participants who came to Write Fall, October 09-12, 2014:

SHE WROTE: DOE BAY by Jessa Fowler

A LITTLE GIFT OF DOE BAY RAMBLE by Clementine Ford

WRITE DOE BAY 1 and WRITE DOE BAY 2 by Corinne Shark

REBIRTH and I MADE DINNER and TO READ OR TO WRITE by Jen Waldref

WRITE by Jen Hodder

10 SECRETS ABOUT FRIENDSHIP and QUIET CAN BE GOOD by Aidan Donnelley Rowley