Writing for Self-Discovery: Creative Tools and Transformation
August 11 - 18, 2019
Writing for Self-Discovery: Creative Tools and Transformation
August 11 - 18, 2019
Come to a safe space to find your most authentic voice and your truest words through writing. Join in this retreat where we’ll use generative writing exercises, guided journaling, yoga, contemplative practice, and art to coax your awareness, self-compassion, and creativity, all while experiencing the beauty and culture of Bulgaria. Emerge refreshed from the week with a renewed sense of yourself and artifacts from your journey.
For more information and/or questions email Kelsea Habecker at email@example.com or https://kelseahabecker.com.
You may email firstname.lastname@example.org for questions as well.
* PLEASE NOTE - AIRFARE NOT INCLUDED IN PRICES. Recommended arrival time on August 11, 2019 to Sofia International Airport is before 7:00 PM. Recommended departure from Sofia International Airport is on August 18, 2019 is after noon. Additional nights at an airport hotel can be added to accomodate other arrival and departure dates.
In this retreat, we will focus on writing as a practice of self-discovery. As such, our emphasis will be more on process rather than product, meaning I’ll be using techniques to stimulate a rewarding and insightful process for you rather than being fixated on perfecting pieces of writing you produce. You won’t be forced to share anything you produce with the group, but there will be chances to discuss writing that does occur for you during the weekend, if you wish.
The retreat will include generative writing exercises, group discussions, personal writing time, and some chats about craft aspects of writing that pertain to the particular prompts we’ll use. I’ll lead generative exercises throughout each day to help your words flow freely and challenge you to try different modes of writing.
You will leave having produced a lot of new ideas and writing starts for a personal writing practice at home, and with new ideas about yourself.
This retreat is flexible enough for writers of any level, so don’t worry if you’re new to writing. If you’re more advanced in your writing practice, you’ll still find stimulation and challenge, too, so don’t worry if you’re in that camp, either!
Each day we will use a variety of activities in addition to writing to foster awareness, presence, and compassion, all aimed at creating a safe space that will help you to connect deeply with yourself and with others, to discover more of your own inner voice, and to allow your own words to flow freely. Practices may include intuitive art making, yoga, brief meditation, guided journaling, or silent hiking. Cultivating silence and space for reflection, contemplation, and awareness is a vital part of any self-discovery and creative process.
We will also be taking time during the retreat to explore cultural and historical sites in Bulgaria, using these excursions to prompt and inspire our own creativity and personal expression.
All inclusive includes:
7 nights accommodation in a traditional, restored Balkan farmhouse, writing workshops, restaurant meals, cultural tours, guided walks, airport transfers in Bulgaria, all activity transfers, fully catered including vegetarian and vegan food and alcoholic/non-alcoholic drinks, and full time assistance from local guides/translators.
NOTE: Travel to Sofia is NOT included.
Partner Run Tour
This tour is run by Kelsea Habecker. You can book and pay online through Stone & Compass. The tour is held at Stone & Compass Center in Stolat, Bulgaria and Stone & compass provides the logistical support including ground transportation, transfers, accommodations, food, translators, and guided tours of Bulgarian cultural excursions.
Kelsea Habecker is a poet, writer, teacher, and retreat leader. She has led retreats at Ghost Ranch Education and Retreat Center in New Mexico, the Joy Center in Michigan, and the Center for Action and Contemplation. Her first book of poetry, Hollow Out, was selected by US Poet Laureate Charles Simic as winner of the Many Voices Award and published through New Rivers Press. Kelsea earned her Masters of Fine Arts in Writing and Literature from Bennington Writing Seminars. She was a finalist for the Ruth Lilly Fellowship in poetry, and received the John Haines award. She was a semi-finalist in the Bakeless Poetry Prize through Breadloaf Writer’s Conference, and Hollow Out was nominated for a Griffin Trust Award for Excellence in Poetry and for a PEN Literary Award. She has received grants and fellowships from the Virginia Center for Creative Arts, the Constance Saltonstall Foundation in New York, and the Santa Fe Art Institute. Kelsea teaches university courses in creative writing. Her poetry and essays have appeared in journals online and in print. Her second manuscript of poetry, North Wife, is under consideration with several publishers, and a new book of nonfiction is in progress. Learn more about Kelsea at https://kelseahabecker.com.
Each day includes writing sessions. Throughout the week there will be a variety of workshops and activities in addition to the following excursions.
Day 1 - Sunday, August 11: Arrive in Sofia, Bulgaria and travel to the S&C Center
Day 2 - Monday, August 12: Relaxing day at the Center with excursion to village & local farmers market
Day 3 - Tuesday, August 13: Relaxing day at the Center + dinner with Traditional Dancers
Day 4 - Wednesday, August 14: Day excursion to Veliko Tarnovo & Tsaravets Fortress
Day 5 - Thursday, August 15: Relaxing day at center
Day 6 - Friday, August 16: Arbanasi & Istrum
Day 7 - Saturday, August 17: Relaxing day at center
Day 8 - Sunday, August 18: Travel to Sofia for departure
Sunday, August 11: Welcome!
Arrive in Sofia, Bulgaria and travel to the S&C Center
We’ll have our first group gathering in the evening, spend some time getting to know one another and building connection as a group, and we’ll begin that first evening with some warm-up writing and self-discovery exercises.
Monday, August 12: Diving In
We’ll begin with a morning session together, filled with generative writing prompts and self-discovery exercises. After lunch, you’ll have free time on your own, to use the pool and facilities at the Center, and to have an excursion to village & local farmers market. We will gather again after dinner, for a bit more writing and an art activity.
Tuesday, August 13: Going Deeper
We’ll begin again with a morning session together, filled with generative writing prompts and self-discovery exercises. We’ll be going deeper into the process on this day, doing powerful and cathartic writing. After lunch, you’ll have free time on your own, to use the pool and facilities at the Center, go for hikes, take a nap, or continue private work on your own writing. We will gather again after dinner, for a performance from traditional dancers.
Wednesday, August 14: Exploration
Writing is an exploration of the self and of the world, and we’ll embody this idea of exploration intentionally today, by going on an excursion to Veliko Tarnovo and Tsaravets Fortress. In the midst of the excursion, we will pause to do short writing reflections, using prompts inspired by the excursion sights and experiences. We’ll gather again in the evening for more writing or art time together.
Thursday, August 15: Deep Dive
This will be our biggest day of writing yet, where we move into the deepest work of self-expression. We’ll spend our morning doing an invigorating and multi-dimensional writing exercise. You’ll have your afternoon free once again, to hike or rest or continue work on your own writing. We’ll gather again in the evening for an art activity.
Friday, August 16: Exploration
Today, we’ll become literal explorers again (as well as explorers of the self and the written word) by taking an excursion to Arbanasi & Istrum. Once again, we will take brief pauses in the midst of our touring to reflect, using writing prompts and guided journaling. We’ll gather again in the evening for more writing or art time together.
Saturday, August 17: Bringing It All Together/Wrap Up
This is our final day together. We’ll do some wrap-up writing exercises to bring our work together to a close. Depending on the mood and energy level of the group, we’ll have a possible morning excursion to Etara and Bacho Kiro Cave. The rest of the afternoon will include packing time. We’ll gather in the evening for a final group session, where you’ll be invited (but not required) to share some of the writing you’ve created during our week together.
Sunday, August 18: Goodbye!
Travel to Sofia for departure.