Doe Bay Writers’ Retreat with Theo Nestor, October 1-4, 2015

doe bay cafeJoin us for the Doe Bay Writers’ Retreat–three days of classes, writing time, and fun in the autumnal beauty of Orcas Island at Doe Bay Resort & Retreat. During those three days, you will have the opportunity to connect with a small group of focused writers in daily writing classes, a chance to meet socially at least once a day with our group, and lots of time to write in one of Washington State’s most stunning locations. Included in the $395 doe bay morningregistration fee: Open Mic/Pizza Night dinner, a chef-created dinner Friday Night in the cafe, daily classes from retreat host Theo Nestor and guest teachers Nicole Hardy and Natalie Singer-Velush, and the opportunity to go to a yoga class in the Doe Bay Yoga Studio (if you want). See the complete retreat schedule of events here.


Getting to Your “Real Writing” with Theo Pauline Nestor

author photo 4In this class, we will dig deep with a number of very focused prompts designed to take you into “Your Real Writing,” the writing that explores the themes that haunt you, the images you can’t forget, and the material you know you must write about (even if you’ve been assiduously avoiding all of this material for a long, long time). We will also be working on scene writing and openings. Work and discussions will be relevant to both fiction and nonfiction projects. (See instructor bio bel0w).

Writing the Epiphany with Nicole Hardy

Copyright © Peter Koval

Copyright © Peter Koval

Oprah may have made the “aha” moment mainstream, but James Joyce first talked about the epiphany in literature. We’ve all had them: those “sudden spiritual manifestations,” that changed our minds (or our lives).  Joyce believed they are “the most delicate and evanescent of moments,” and that it’s a writer’s duty to record them. So if it’s in our nature to have epiphanies, and our duty to write them well and with care, we’d better figure out how and where to begin. In this workshop, we’ll study models lifted from fiction and memoir, dissect them, discuss them, and try our best to emulate them, with the goal of making our (or our characters’ ) most important moments resonate. (See instructor bio below).

How To Pitch Editors and Submit for Publication with Natalie Singer-Velush

natGetting your articles and essays published in commercial magazines, literary journals or online is a great way to build your platform and gather attention for your upcoming book. But how do you get the interest of an editor who probably receives 10 … 20 … 200 pitches a day? How do you figure out what publication or contest is the right fit for your writing? How do you craft a personalized submission schedule and stick to it?

Good pitches don’t happen automatically, and they don’t come naturally to many of us. Good pitches are learned and practiced. They should reflect the voice and energy of your writing and grab an overworked editor’s attention or a spark a contest judge’s imagination in a unique way. In this session you will hear how to create solid pitches from a real, live, beating-heart editor. You will also get access to a comprehensive list of publications and their submission guidelines plus a fall and winter writing contest calendar, and we’ll begin to craft your upcoming submission. (See instructor bio below).

Plus: Two Yoga Class with Ellie Kozlowski

Ellie will be teaching a basics yoga class Friday afternoon and Saturday morning. All levels welcome! (See instructor bio below).

Register early to hold your spot. Max enrollment: 15

open mikeRegistration fee includes the cost of all retreat classes & activities and the cost of the Thursday night dinner at Doe Bay’s Open Mic Night and Friday night group dinner in the Doe Bay Cafe (including tax and gratuity). Registration fees are refundable only until August 30, 2015; after that they are transferable but not refundable. If you prefer to pay by check, email me at

Pay the full registration fee of $395 now via Pay Pal (credit cards accepted):

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Pay $200 of the registration fee now, $195 on September 1st** via Pay Pal (credit cards accepted):

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**You will be invoiced for the second payment before Sept 1st.

Coaching Option

Add a one-hour coaching session with Theo Pauline Nestor for $99:

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Add a one-hour coaching session with Natalie Singer-Velush for $99:

(Feel free to bring Natalie your sample pitches for feedback or use your session to get general advice about submitting work to magazines, newspapers, and online sites).

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Add a one-hour coaching session with Nicole Hardy for $99:

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You have three choices for reserving accommodations at Doe Bay Resort & Retreat:

1) SORRY, THIS OPTION HAS SOLD OUT:Pay now via Pay Pal (credit cards accepted) for a bed in a two-bed room in the Retreat House for October 1st through October 4th. If you’d like share a room with a specific person, please sign up on the same day and email me your roommate request at
Please note that there are only four of these spots in shared bedrooms available. Cost for all 3 nights: $325  total (includes tax and housekeeping gratuity):

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2) Share a cabin with one participant who wants to share her cabin. Read her announcement here: “I am looking for one roomie to share the cabin called Baby Doe? This is a one bedroom with a double bed and also a fold out futon in the living room; a full kitchen, private bath and a wide front porch with a water view. there is a map on the Doe Bay site, if they are not familiar where the location can be seen relative to other lodging.  It is $200 a night, so $600 total for the three nights and I’m willing to pay a greater percentage than ½ in order to have the private room, which means the living room double futon is available for $75 a night or $225 for Oct 1-4.”  (To connect, email Theo at


3) Reserve a cabin, yurt, a bed in the Doe Bay Resort hostel, or even a campsite (there is a shared kitchen available) independently through Doe Bay Resort. To secure your preferred accommodations, you should make your reservation as soon as you register for the retreat. There is no guarantee of accommodation availability without a reservation. Click here to reserve accommodations.

doe bayThe fine print: The cost of Friday lunch in the Retreat House, Friday night dinner, and Thursday dinner (including gratuity and tax) are included in your registration fees as is the cost of the drop-in yoga class if you wish to attend. Other meals are not included. The cost of alcohol is not included. Doe Bay Cafe hours here. When booking accommodations, please note availability of kitchen. Rental kayaks and massages are available at Doe Bay Resort for additional fees. If possible, book massages before arriving by calling the Doe bay front desk at 360-376-2291. Doe Bay Resort & Retreat has a beautiful outdoor hot tub and sauna that is clothing optional. You can also participate in the retreat and stay offsite if you wish. If you have any questions about the retreat, feel free to email me at

Getting Thereorcasmap

Doe Bay Resort is located on the west side of Orcas Island in Washington State’s San Juan Islands. Find complete directions here.

Link to Washington State Ferries website.

Kenmore Air is currently running a 50 dollar discount on flights from Seattle to Orcas Island for travel booked before May 12th. Doe Bay participants will want to fly into the Rosario Resort. The Doe Bay Resort and Retreat van offer a shuttle for a fee of 10 dollars/person with a two-person minimum. Call the resort to arrange shuttle ahead of time: 360-376-2291

Instructor Bios

WIMD 34Theo Pauline Nestor is the author of Writing Is My Drink: A Writer’s Story of Finding Her Voice (And a Guide to How You Can Too) (Simon & Schuster, 2013) and How to Sleep Alone in a King-Size Bed: A Memoir of Starting Over (Crown, 2008), which was selected by Kirkus Reviews as a 2008 Top Pick for Reading Groups and as a Target “Breakout Book.” An award-winning instructor, Nestor has taught the memoir certificate course for the University of Washington’s Professional & Continuing Education program since 2006. Nestor also produces events for writers such as the Wild Mountain Memoir Retreat, Bird by Bird & Beyond, and the Black Mesa Writers’ Intensive, featuring talks by literary luminaries such as Anne Lamott, Cheryl Strayed, Julia Cameron, and Natalie Goldberg.

virginNicole Hardy’s memoir, Confessions of a Latter-Day Virgin,  was a finalist for the 2014 Washington State Book Award. Her other books include the poetry collections This Blonde and Mud Flap Girl’s XX Guide to Facial Profiling–a chapbook of pop-culture inspired sonnets. Her work has appeared in many literary journals and newspapers including The New York Times, and has been adapted for radio and stage productions. Her essay “Single, Female, Mormon, Alone” was noted in 2012’s “Best American Essays.” She earned her MFA at the Bennington College Writing Seminars. Visit her at

parent mapNatalie Singer-Velush is the Managing Editor of ParentMap magazine and A longtime journalist, multi-tasker and mother of two, Natalie has been published in newspapers, magazines, blogs, literary journals and in the 2015 YA anthology Love & Profanity: A Collection of True, Tortured, Wild, Hilarious, Concise, and Intense Tales of Teenage Life. She won the 2013 Alligator Juniper and Pacific Northwest Writers Association contests in creative nonfiction. In between fielding 200 (often crappy) pitches a day, Natalie is at work on a memoir and a MFA from the University of Washington. Follow her on Twitter @Natalie_Writes.


Photo by Sparkfly Photography

Photo by Sparkfly Photography

Ellie Kozlowski has been practicing yoga for the past ten years. Whenever she is consistent in her practice, Ellie feels like a complete person, which is to say: she feels better emotionally, spiritually, and physically. She completed a 200-hour teacher certification program in Raja Yoga while living abroad in South Korea, where she taught until returning to the US. In Seattle, she completed an Advanced Teacher Training program through CorePower Yoga, where she continues to instruct. She loves having the opportunity to share yoga with others and to watch students grow in their practice. Ellie guides students of all levels with compassion, encouragement, and a wide open heart.


Theo Nestor representing Nicole Hardy at the 2014 Washington State Book Awards. Nicole couldn’t be in attendance as she was–yawn!–sailing around the world.

About Theo Pauline Nestor

Author of Writing Is My Drink (Simon & Schuster) and How to Sleep Alone in a King-Size Bed. Learn more about my courses, editing, and coaching at
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2 Responses to Doe Bay Writers’ Retreat with Theo Nestor, October 1-4, 2015

  1. says:

    Great Ad!!!!

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