Midwifing a Small-Scale Memoir Long Weekend Intensive

Sept. 19-22, 2019

Savor the Catskill Mountains’ seasonal glories as you encounter your lived experiences in a safe and inspired atmosphere, embarking on a journey of deep remembering and artful transcription of your personal history in this immersive long weekend intensive.

Using guided memory exercises, your retreat leader, prolific and passionate teacher Helena Clare Pittman, will facilitate the identification of themes in your memory narratives that will help you structure both brief and longer written narratives.

With Q&A discussions, feedback on your work, and an optional private consultation with Helena, you’ll learn to build on your natural strengths, returning home with a sound understanding of how to optimize your talent and develop your skills.  All levels welcome, including beginners.

The concentrated focus of this learning experience is offset by the lush and rustic setting of the Lazy Pond Bed & Breakfast. Located on 12 acres in Sullivan County, New York, the Lazy Pond boasts personally groomed  gardens, a pond, and a gazebo. You will luxuriate in a fresh, complimentary breakfast each morning, as well as a queen bed and private bath, all while receiving expert instruction and the solitude necessary to think and write. Workshops are held in the peaceful, woodsy setting of Helena’s cabin and painting studio, which is crammed with artwork and surrounded by the thick hemlock and beech woods so characteristic of Sullivan County. In such a creative, artistic space, you can’t help but be inspired.

Registration for this long weekend includes:

  • Rigorous instructional workshops;
  • Ample private time to complete writing assignments;
  • Q&A discussions plus feedback on your writing;
  • A personal consultation with your instructor (optional);
  • Transportation to and from the B & B if you don’t have a car;
  • A deluxe bedroom with queen bed, private bath, and country views
  • Breakfasts and lunches; enjoy breakfast at the B & B on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and Helena will provide lunch Friday and Saturday (dinners are on your own, with several great dining options within walking distance)

If you have any questions about the content of this long weekend intensive, please contact Stacia Fleegal. You can learn more about Helena Clare Pittman by reading her beautiful reflection, “On Teaching Writing.”


To ensure personal attention tailored to your needs, as well as a private room for all attendees, enrollment is limited to 5 participants. Registration deadline is June 1. This retreat sold out in fall 2018, so register early!

Register Now

Price:  $1,275
(includes four days and three nights of pampered private lodging, all meals except dinners, and three days of instruction)

Begins 6:00 PM Thursday
Ends 12:30 PM Sunday

Directions & Lodging

For more info, email Stacia Fleegal.

Your Instructor

helena clare pittmanHelena Clare Pittman is the bestselling author of A Grain of Rice, and the author/illustrator of 17 other books. Her work has appeared on the Smithsonian List and The New York Times Best Paperbacks List. Helena has taught writing for children in the Graduate School of Education at  City University of New York, Queens College, and Children’s Book Illustration at The Parsons School of Design. Her young adult novel, Ruthie Pincus of Brooklyn, has just been published by Maple Hill Press.

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