Story Circle Network
A Story Circle LifeWriting Retreat

March 16-18*, 2007
Festival Hill, Round Top TX

"A Created Version of the Past":
A Weekend Memoir Workshop


Susan Wittig Albert
Susan Wittig Albert

(photo courtesy of Tim Newman)

author of
Writing from Life
Writing from Life:
Telling Your Soul's Story
    Work of Her Own
Work of Her Own
and three mystery series:
The China Bayles Herbal Mysteries
The Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter
The Robin Paige Victorian/Edwardian Mysteries


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 Susan Wittig Albert, 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 $375 for SCN members, $395 for non-members. The fee includes two nights in a double-occupancy room and five meals. For a single-occupancy room, the rate is $25/night higher ($425 for members; $445 for non-members). To register, please use our online form.

* Participants have the option of an on-your-own Sunday night stayover. Double-occupancy rate for this extra night is $55; single-occupancy rate is $80.

  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 a limited number of participants. We expect these places to fill very quickly, so please register as soon as you can.

"A Created Version of the Past":
A Weekend Memoir Workshop

"Memoir must be written because each of us must possess a created version of the past...If we learn not only to tell our stories but to listen to what our stories tell us—to write the first draft and then return for the second draft—we are doing the work of memory."
—Patricia Hampl, I Could Tell You Stories: Sojourns in the Land of Memory

This weekend writing workshop is designed for women who want to make stories out of the remembered lives they've lived—that is, to make a "created version of the past." You are asked to read Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place by Terry Tempest Williams and to bring a brief written narrative of an event from your own life which you will expand and rework during our sessions, using the fictional techniques that bring story to life. We will practice developing characters, creating a scene and constructing a plot, using point of view, crafting dialogue, managing time (flash-backs, flash-forwards), and creating settings. Our time together will be organized around group discussion, individual writings, and small-group sharing. You will take home several pieces of writing, as well as handouts and exercises that will allow you to continue your work.

Program (tentative):

  • Friday:
    • 1pm: Check-in begins
    • 6pm: Dinner
    • 7:30-9pm: Evening session

  • Saturday:
    • 8am: Breakfast
    • 9-11:45am: Morning session (coffee/tea break @ 10:30)
    • 11:45-1pm: Lunch (lunch @ noon)
    • 1-5pm: Afternoon session (coffee/tea/cookie break @ 3:30)
    • 5-7pm: Dinner & free time (dinner @ 6)
    • 7-8pm: Evening session: An hour in the herb garden (optional): Susan will talk about the way herbs can lift our spirits and teach us about our place in the world.

  • Sunday:
    • 8am: Breakfast
    • 9-11:30am: Morning session (coffee/tea break @ 10:30)
    • 11:30am: Check-out
      (coming soon: suggestions of places to eat in the area)

Last updated: 02/28/07