Nov 11, 2007

Northwest ANWA Writer's Retreat

By Liz Adair

Well, we did it! With Terry Deighton shoring up my short-term memory lapses at every turn, we brought off our very first annual retreat sponsored by Round Tuit Writers. It was held at the overnight lodge at Silver Lake, a Whatcom County Park that sits on the instep of the Mount Baker foothills.

Lodge is a bit of a misnomer, if that word conjures up a rustic log structure with huge beams, bear rugs and antlered walls. The overnight lodge at Silver Lake is a three bedroom, daylight basement apartment. It does have a nice gas fireplace, but it has only one bathroom and limited seating apparati. The six kitchen chairs are some of the hardest that have ever held my posterior, though a couch and easy chair offered more comfort to four lucky people.

The scenery is spectacular, though, and the lodge sits right by the lake. Forecasters had predicted horizontal rain, but they were wrong again. We had lots of sun and blue sky, and though the weather was brisk, it was a joy to walk along the lakeside and watch the little black ducks.

Sherry Ann Miller spoke to us Friday night and urged us not to give up, but to hone our craft and keep submitting. Saturday morning, Cecily Markland taught us how to put some life into our family history writing. Shauna Humphreys, former managing editor for Covenant Communications came and spoke to us about what an editor does and described the ideal author/editor relationship. I wound up the presentations with a retooled rendition of Using Family History in Fiction, the presentation I gave at the ANWA retreat last July. I used suggestions given me by several ANWA sisters as I tried to improve it. (Thank you ladies!)

Terry and I asked, should we do this again, and got a resounding yea vote. Where? Here? Another place? Everyone thought that Silver Lake was great because it was near, it was so beautiful, and there was no cellphone service. But, they asked for maybe one more day and fewer presenters so there could be larger blocks of time to just write or edit. And, maybe we could bring some canvas foldup chairs to use instead of the bum-numbing kitchen chairs?

I think we can do that.


  1. Now that is a delightful report. Almost as good as being present. (I keep telling myself this to keep the envy at bay, especially when I realize Cecily was there.) That's what ANWA is all about, isn't it Marsha? Spread out, find ways to expedite, and keep growing--in numbers, quality and output. Having walked a bit with youm, Liz, I can feel your enjoyment along the lake, and almost hear the ducks.

  2. I wanna come!!!

    thanks for the report Liz. It sounds like you had a great time, despite the bum numbing chairs!

  3. It was a wonderful experience to be in the northeast and to see what Liz and troupe have done with ANWA there! As beautiful and perfect as the setting was, it was upstaged by the sweet spirit that was there and by the amazing women who brought with them their eagerness to learn and a great deal of writing talent as well! Thanks, Liz, Terri and put on a fantastic event in true ANWA style.


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