2019 RETREAT: “Memory & Imagination”

outside chairs
PHOTO by MONICA LEIGH: mmleighphotography.shutterfly.com

4th Annual “Memory & Imagination” Writing Retreat 

A weekend of memoir, fiction, and poetry  

2019  OCTOBER 11 – 13


Enter the landscapes of memory and unleash your creativity. Immerse yourself in a weekend of workshops, writing prompts, and personal discovery. Mingle with other writers. Write at leisure.  Take great walks.  Discuss favorite books. Watch the sun rise and set on the Susquehanna River. Join in for an open mic reading.

No meals to cook, no beds to make inspires great writing! 

Retreat Location:  The DONALDSON BROWN MANSION, Port Deposit, Maryland: a 40,000-square-foot, 1935 Georgian-style mansion set in a beautiful pastoral setting on a 200-foot cliff overlooking the Susquehanna River. The mansion is equipped with modern meeting rooms, sumptuous writing  and reading nooks and parlors with bountiful period libraries and scenic outdoor seating.  Private bedrooms.  Enrollment limited to 14.

This three-day writing retreat is sponsored by The Johns Hopkins Odyssey Program and is open to writers at all stages of writing experience (no JHU affiliation required)Limited enrollment (14) . Early enrollment recommended.  Full weekend schedule, including 2 NIGHTS LODGING and ALL MEALS from Friday dinner through Sunday brunch.    


2019 Saturday Workshops

Emotional Truth vs. “The Facts”:  Ways to legitimately put emotional truth to work in your writing. (Guide: Margaret Osburn)

Creating A Characters’ Motivations Table:  How to discover or deepen your stories by seeing conflict through your real-life (or fictional) characters’ passions and wounds. (Guide: Margaret Osburn)

Persona Poetry:  The benefit to writing while wearing a “mask.” (Guide: Mary Azrael)

Sunday Open Mic Readings

GROUP PHOTO below: bottom to top–wall: David McCutcheon (super hero), Liz Pepple (poem), Leigh Barnes (memoir), Sylvia Fischbach-Braden (poem), Audrey  Jacobs (inspiration), Susan Wierman (memoir), Miriam Botwinik (poem), Susan Ingram (memoir); banister–  top to bottomStewart Stack (fiction), Tracie Guy-Decker (fiction), Bob Pellaton (memoir); center, bottom/up: Cathy McCutcheon, Margaret Osburn. Mary Azrael is pictured separately (below, wearing soft green).

Friday Introductions by Way of Our Favorite Books 

THE OVERSTORY, by Richard Powers, “The Dairy Cows of Maria Christina Cortes,” by Sherod Santos (poem), THE POISONWOOD BIBLE, by Barbara Kingslover, THE BEAUTIFUL STRUGGLE, by Ta-Nehisi Coates, CHARLOTTE’S WEB, by E.B. White, LADY FROM THE BLACK LAGOON, by Mallory O’Meara, “Ethical Will,” by Margie Lipman, ONE MORE TIME:A MEMOIR, by Carol Burnett, “The News from Timbuktu,” by William Zinsser,  A SHIP MADE OF PAPER, by Scott Spencer, A RIVER RUNS THROUGH IT AND OTHER STORIES, by Norman Maclean, THE THINGS THEY CARRIED, by Tim O’Brien

Top 10 of 110 Word Prompts to Take Home












Weekend Writing Guides

MARGARET OSBURN is a full-time developmental editor/writer, the recipient of press awards for news and feature writing, and the writer/cinematographer of a documentary film that aired on PBS. Her most recent short stories have appeared in Salamander, Existere, CALYX, and Raleigh Review. She teaches regularly for the Odyssey writing program.

MARY AZRAEL, MA, is the author of three books of poems and an opera libretto, Lost Childhood. Her poems have appeared in Prairie Schooner, Harpers, Chelsea, CALYX, and elsewhere. She is publisher and co-editor of Passager Books and Passager, a national literary journal featuring the work of older writers. She teaches regularly for the Odyssey writing program.

Principal photography 2019 by Susan Wierman, David McCutcheon

To see additional photos and Participant Evaluations of past retreats, go to https://margaretosburnwebsite.com/2018/07/04/2018-oct-567-memory-imagination-writers-weekend-retreat/



OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMary Azrael photo by Monica Leigh

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