Focus on your writing in the remote beauty of Iceland
There are no available registration dates at this time.
The geological forces that formed Iceland created a sculptural landscape that has inspired writers and artists from the days of the Vikings and their poetic Edda to the current day. It is the perfect environment to concentrate on your writing.
We will spend each morning with carefully selected writing prompts, designed to generate fresh work. During the afternoons, you’ll be free to concentrate on your writing or explore the area. In the evenings, those who wish to, can share more about a project in progress with the group and get feedback.
Poet, creative nonfiction writer, and photographer with a lifelong passion for volcanic landscapes, Meg Weston will provide the morning writing prompts, facilitate group sessions in the morning and evening, and provide one-on-one writing consultation for those who want it. And, if interested, you might join Meg for sunrise or sunset photo shoots.
Meg is a certified AWA (Amherst Writers & Artists) facilitator of writing groups. The AWA method helps get past your internal critic and connect with the flow of putting words on the page. It’s non-critical and supports the writer in finding the gems and material that resonate from the flow of their thoughts. In the words of one participant:
“Using the Amherst method, Meg facilitates a perfect creative environment for incubating new ideas and developing them in a deeply reflective process. The value of the week-long retreat was a treasure for me!”
– Jane Pirone,Dean, Parsons School of Design Strategies. ‘Jane has attended the Iceland Writing Retreat with Meg Weston twice – 2015 and 2018.
We will stay together in a cottage in the southeast region of Iceland, cook your own meals, and feel nourished in the community of a small group of writers. Limited to no more than 6 participants.
Lodging is included –single rooms and shared baths.
Air travel from Boston or your home city to Reykjavik, Iceland.
Food –you’ll cook your own. We’ll visit the grocery store at least twice during the week, and have an opportunity to select whatever appeals to you. A Welcome dinner on Sunday evening is included in the workshop fee.
Transportation provided –included. Please arrange your flights to arrive on April 26th, 2020 by noon.
Meg will provide van transportation from the airport on Sunday at midday, and back to the airport on the following Saturday by midday. Plan your flights to and from Iceland to coordinate with this schedule if you want to take advantage of this transportation option. Otherwise, you’ll need to rent your own vehicle.
Terms and Conditions for Travel Workshops
1. Reservations & Payments
A deposit as indicated on the registration page is required to confirm your reservation for the workshop. Final payment in full is due 45 days prior to the start date of your workshop unless stated differently in the course description.. Maine Media Workshops + College (“Maine Media”) reserves the right to cancel a reservation if full payment has not been received by the due date.
All prices are quoted in U.S. dollars; all payments must be made in U.S. dollars.
It is strongly advised that you purchase Trip Cancellation, Baggage, Emergency Medical Evacuation, and/or Accident and Sickness Insurance Protection. Camera equipment, computers, and baggage are carried entirely at the owner’s risk. Maine Media shall have no responsibility for any lost, damaged, or delayed property, or for an individual student’s medical needs, accidents, injuries or illnesses. See our travel insurance recommendations here.
5. Itinerary Changes
The itinerary for your workshop is subject to change without prior notification.
6. Passports and Visas
A valid passport is required for all international travel. You are required to notify Maine Media as to the nationality under which your passport is registered. Participants are responsible for obtaining their passports and visas. To participate in the workshop, you must have a passport that is valid until at least six months after the date on which your trip is scheduled to be completed.
7. Medical Issues
All participants must be in good health. You must advise Maine Media of any health condition, physical condition, or emotional or mental condition that may require special attention or that may adversely impact the other participants in your workshop. All students are required to complete a “Waiver of Liability” form and submit it at the time of registration. This document may be found on the course description page.
8. Liability Waiver
Every participant is required to sign Maine Media’s Waiver of Liability before departure for their workshop. Click here to download.
9. Responsibility & Photography
To ensure a safe experience, you are required to obey local customs and be considerate when photographing people or sensitive locations. The faculty member for your workshop has the right to expel any person from the workshop for behavior that is in violation of the law; that is disruptive; or that compromises the group’s safety or enjoyment. No refunds will be made to any person expelled from a workshop. Maine Media shall have no obligation to pay any costs incurred by a person as a result of that person being expelled from a workshop.
Header Image: Meg Weston
Instructor: Meg Weston
Meg Weston earned her MFA degree in Creative Writing at Lesley University in 2008. Her memoir, The Volcano Tourist, follows her geologic journey as she pursues a passion that’s been with her since childhood. As President and core faculty of MMW+C, she mentors students in their creative writing projects, and is trained in the Amherst Writers and Artists method for facilitating writing groups.
This course is sophisticated enough to appeal to experienced writers, including those who have published books, and writers who are starting out. The emphasis is to treat each and every person as a storyteller in pursuit of the deeper truths within them. Quick writing exercises will inevitably be the seeds of more sustained long projects. The idea is to map out what you feel called to write.
How do poets gather from the lived world? How do we tell our stories of place? In the stunning Maine landscape, we will examine and excavate our own poetry of place. Combining writing on field trips, writing alone, and writing in class, we’ll experiment with a variety of approaches to writing ourselves into the world, and celebrating the places we are. We’ll look at art, study our soil, and unearth hidden histories. We’ll study the way poems can gain richness in engaging biology, geology, history, and art. Each day will be part writing, part field trip. We’ll read poems and also hear a lecture on ecology at a local pond. We’ll look at poems that copy from works of art and then write our own art poems at the Farnsworth Museum. We’ll look for unexpected artifacts at the town archive. We will also hear some tremendous new work of visiting writers, and we’ll generate our own poems. Come prepared to take risks, generate new poems, and explore the beauty of Midcoast Maine.
Popularized by such luminaries as Montaigne and William Hazlitt and James Baldwin, and given contemporary shape by writers such as Annie Dillard and Barry Lopez, the personal essay is an eclectic literary form that can include elements of memoir, philosophical contemplation, and psychological rumination. It is, above all, a meditative narrative of your personal involvements, of your engagement with your surroundings, of what matters most to you in the world: those objects, events, hobbies, and persons who define you or give your life its shape and meaning. During this discussion-based and generative workshop we will aim to compose a 12-20 page personal essay while studying examples of important essays by masters of the form.