Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Where Do You Go for a Writers Retreat?

This year for the first time, Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers is holding a writers’ retreat (Sept. 22-26) immediately following the Colorado Gold Conference (Sept. 20-22). The retreat will be at Table Mountain Inn in Golden, Colorado. Follow the link above for more information (and a lot of information has already been posted). Then watch the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers website as well as this blog for a heads-up when registration opens.

The attendance will be capped at 30 participants, so we thought a great feature for the 2013 Chiseled in Rock would include other locations in Colorado for groups or individuals to hide out for a few days to get that manuscript finished, or polished, or even focus on the always fun synopsis and query letters.

The Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch Wagon Wheel bunkhouse next to the Big Thompson River

Today’s perfect retreat location is Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch near Loveland, Colorado (on CO 34 between Loveland and Estes Park). Owned by David M. Jessup and his sister, Susan, the 3,000 plus acre ranch features a bunkhouse with kitchen and common areas for large groups, and individual cabins for smaller groups or individuals. The ranch is the home of the Northern Colorado Writers retreat for members held each fall.

Sylvan Dale is as beautiful in winter as it is in summer

Group retreats get the advantage of breakfasts and main meals in the dining room (and I can attest to the fact that the food is excellent), while others opt for the bed and breakfast option, or simple cabin rental with a kitchen for preparing their own meals.

Some of the rooms in the bunkhouse have desks and a view of the river

And if you need a break from your writing project, try fly fishing on the river that flows past the bunkhouse, horseback riding, hiking, and more.

 The cabins are charming and quiet, perfect for two or three writers

When available, Sylvan Dale has grass-fed beef for sale. For more information, visit the Sylvan Dale website and blog, as well as the Beef, Books and Boots (ranch stories) blog.

 The main building houses meeting rooms above and the dining room below

One of the most interesting things about Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch? Co-owner David M. Jessup is a member of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers and his recently released historical novel, Mariano’s Crossing, won first place for mainstream, character-driven fiction in the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Colorado Gold Contest. It was also selected as a finalist in the Pacific Northwest Writers Contest and the Santa Fe Writers Project. I’ll be reviewing Mariano’s Crossing right here on Chiseled in Rock next Tuesday.

Where would you choose to go for a writers' retreat in your part of the state (or country if you don't live in Colorado)?


Posted by Patricia Stoltey, author of the Sylvia and Willie mysteries The Prairie Grass Murders and The Desert Hedge Murders (now available for Kindle and Nook), who gets more writing done in one weekend at Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch than she does in two weeks at home.


Margot Kinberg said...

Pat - This looks like a terrific place for a writer's retreat. One of the things that appeals most to me is that it's quiet - 'far from the maddening crowd.' It's gorgeous to look at too. What a good idea.

Cozy in Texas said...

Looks amazing.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Did I mention there's even a big tree nook with pillows (in nice weather, cf course) for reading or thinking?

And although this is not necessarily a good thing for the internet addicted on a writing retreat, there is internet access for those who need it.

Anonymous said...

This looks like such an ideal location! Lovely area. I've never been on a writer's retreat but keep kicking around the idea of creating my own, low-budget one. Really like this concept. Thanks for the inspiration.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I would love to go to a retreat. Every time someone shares pictures I want to attend one so badly.

Dean K Miller said...

Having done Sylvan Dale last year, I'm ready to go back...only with better fishing conditions.

A well stocked cabin near the Sand Dunes Monument could be a great place to test your mental abilities.

But I'm still swayed more by a small room with a stream nearby.