Story Circle Network
A Story Circle LifeWriting Retreat

April 8-10, 2005
Festival Hill, Round Top TX

Maureen Murdock
Maureen Murdock

author of
The Heroine's Journey
The Heroine's Journey
    Unreliable Truth
Unreliable Truth


What if we really talked with each other, & listened to each other,
& held each others' stories as sacred information that could
transform our lives?

What if we learned to shape the stories of our lives
as containers for our experience & an expression
of our heart's greatest desires?

What if we wrote what we had learned & took it home with us
as a guide to realizing our dreams & hopes?

Writing our past in the present can be a life line to a future
filled with hope.


Festival Hill Join us for a women-only weekend lifewriting retreat, led by Maureen Murdock, at the beautiful Festival Hill.

Located in historic Round Top, Texas, 75 miles east of Austin, The International Festival-Institute was founded in 1972 by world-renowned concert pianist James Dick and has developed superb year round education and performance programs. It has also created a unique 200-acre campus - Festival Hill - containing major performance facilities, historic houses, extensive gardens, parks and nature preserves. Through its singular collection of rare books, manuscripts, archival material, music and historic recordings, photographs and objects, the Festival-Institute is also known as an important center for research and scholarly study. Planted with thousands of trees and bushes of various species, Festival Hill offers visitors lakes, picnic areas, jogging trails, and wonderful herb gardens.

Click for maps and directions to Festival Hill.


We'll have double-occupancy accommodations (two twin beds in each room). Dinner on Friday evening, 3 meals on Saturday (including continental breakfast), continental breakfast on Sunday, and drinks/snacks during breaks are included. A map of the Festival Hill campus is here: FestivalMap.pdf (PDF format). Festival Hill


Registration fees for this weekend retreat are $325 for SCN members, $350 for non-members. The fee includes a double-occupancy room and five meals. To register, please use our online form.   For those flying to the conference: we will not provide transportation to/from the airport; however, we will serve as a go-between among those needing transportation.


Because we wanted an intimate retreat, where we can really talk & listen & hold each other's stories as sacred, we are able to accept only 50 participants. We expect these 50 places to fill very quickly, so please register as soon as you can.

Agenda (tentative):

  • Friday:
    • 1pm: Check-in
    • 6pm: Dinner
    • 7:30-9pm: Evening session: Opening Ritual:
      Talk and discussion about memory and memoir writing
      • How does your memory inform your identity; how does your identity inform your memory?
      • What is the truth of your memories?
      • What is the difference between autobiography and memoir?
      • Brief reading from Unreliable Truth
      • Writing exercise

  • Saturday:
    • 8am: Breakfast
    • 9-11:30am: Morning session (coffee/tea break @ 10:30)
      • Discussion of the elements of memoir writing: remembered event; universal theme; emotional truth; relational style; intimacy; humor; self-reflection and insight
      • Memory exercise
      • Writing exercise
      • Reading in small groups
    • 11:30-2pm: Lunch & free time (lunch @ noon)
    • 12:45-1:45pm: tour of Festival Hill (optional)
    • 2-4:30pm: Afternoon session (coffee/tea/cookie break @ 3:30)
      • Scene development
      • Writing exercise
      • Reading in small groups
    • 4:30-7:30pm: Dinner & free time (dinner @ 6)
    • 7:30-10:30pm: Evening session
      • video/discussion ("Strangers in Good Company"), led by SCN President, Judith Helburn

  • Sunday:
    • 8am: Breakfast
    • 9-11:30am: Morning session (coffee/tea break @ 10:30)
      • What happens to us when we write our memories: recap from yesterday
      • How writing memoir is healing
      • Looking at the Mythic themes in our memoirs
      • Writing exercise
      • Closing
    • 11:30am: Check-out
      (coming soon: suggestions of places to eat in the area)

Last updated: 04/05/05