Monday, January 30, 2012

The Writing Staycation: Participant Perspectives

The Writing Staycation: Participant Perspectives

For me, one of the highlights of facilitating the Writing Staycation is getting to know a community of writers -- a young mom creating time to start a novel, a retired government worker writing a memoir, a lawyer taking a week’s vacation to focus on poetry, and an MFA short story writer polishing her submissions.

In preparation for the Fourth Writing Staycation, March 5-9, 2012, I asked some past participants to share their thoughts. Here’s what I heard back:

“The Writing Staycation at the Writer's Center in Bethesda was just what my writing partner and I needed to finish our novel, after almost six years of on-and-off work on it. Having the space, and a concentrated period of time to focus, was invaluable in terms of enabling us to work on our book, while the daily warm-up exercises and optional group discussions provided just the right amount of creative brainstorming and helpful advice we needed to keep us motivated.”
--Penelope B.

“The Staycation gave me the impetus to focus and write in a disciplined fashion. I was able to write the first two chapters of my novel, as well as benefit and learn from Zahara's knowledge, tips and exercises - the guest speakers (and snacks!) were also great!”
--Laura E.

“The Writing Staycation provided me with the time and space to focus entirely upon finishing a novel with my writing partner. It is worth investing in the time spent with other writers as the feeling of community and support is not easily captured elsewhere. Take the leap and you will be happy you did it!”
--Cherie S.

“The Staycation met my expectations for uninterrupted time to write in the company of other writers. I also met my goal to have my novelette ready for submission. I now have a clearer idea of the path ahead for this work. The supportive environment you provided at the Writer's Center was key.”
--Frank R.

Please consider joining us for the next Writing Staycation, and joining this rich community of writers.


Zahara Heckscher, M.A., is the co-author of the book How to Live Your Dream of Volunteering Overseas. She has also written numerous articles that have appeared in books and the online travel magazine, where she serves as contributing editor. Heckscher teaches professional writing at University of Maryland at College Park. She is a breast cancer survivor who prefers to be known as a "cancer thriver." She blogs at

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