We are pleased to inform you that the next Brock Faculty of Education Writing Retreat (Poster attached!) will be held December 8-12, 2019 at Crieff Hills < www.crieffhills.com>.
We will begin at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, December 8, and depart at 4 pm on Thursday, December 12. As with our previous retreats, the program for the week will combine extensive quiet writing time, with collegial discussion through works-in-progress groups and informal workshops. The goal of the retreat is for each participant to produce a scholarly paper (e.g., an article ready for publication, a chapter towards a book, or a conference paper).
This year we will welcome Melinda Burns, a writer and psychotherapist in Guelph, Ontario; and Pinar Sen, a Ph.D. student in the Joint Ph.D. Program in Educational Studies, Faculty of Education, Brock University.
Melinda Burns, M.A.
Melinda is a writer and psychotherapist in Guelph, Ontario who incorporates mindfulness into her writing and her therapy. She has been leading groups in writing and creative process for over 30 years. Her stories have won first prize in the Toronto Star Short Story contest in 2001 and the Elora Writers’ Festival writing competition in 2008. Her poems, fiction and essays have appeared widely in print. She is a teacher of creative writing and a mentor to writers in fiction, poetry, and memoir. She has offered Writing & Mindfulness workshops through Continuing Education in Guelph, University of Guelph Writers’ Workshops, and privately for a number of years.
Workshop Title: Writing, Mindfulness, and Memoirs
Workshop Description: Writing and mindfulness are both contemplative practices, ways of meeting ourselves just where we are. Mindfulness, moment-to-moment, non-judgmental awareness, is of particular value in memoir writing which involves simultaneously stepping into and back from our lives in order to reflect on our experience. Awareness of the moment is something we can come back to over and over as we write, a noticing of experience, inner and outer, without judgment or ill-will. This workshop will discuss the connection between mindfulness and writing in general, and memoir writing in particular. There will be guided meditations and writing exercises to experience mindfulness and its benefits to creativity and the writing life. (Monday, December 9 from 1:15 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. with the possibility to book one-on-one consultations with Melinda between 2:45 p.m. and 5:15 p.m.
Pinar Sen, Ph.D. Student
Introspection has always been an interesting practice for Pinar Sen in understanding what she is in the context of her environment. As Pinar constantly creates a “self” by observation, she acknowledges the importance of awareness. Osho’s perspective and practice in meditation initiated her to take an awareness course from Upen Chokshi for three years. Since then, Pinar has appreciated this harmonious mixture of the cognitive and spiritual experience of “being in the present moment.” Throughout her Ph.D. journey, Pinar has used meditation as a writing practice, and she is looking forward to sharing this experience.
Activity One Title: Negotiating with the Perfectionist
Activity Description: This session aims to increase participants’ self-awareness by uncovering self-critics that emerge during their writing process. In the beginning, participants will individually reflect on their self-critics as writers. After a relaxation session of painting, dancing, or eye-gazing, the participants will pair up with a partner and provide written feedback on each other’s writing. After this process, they will compare their partner’s feedback with their personal self-critics to identify commonalities and differences. The session will conclude with a discussion about meditation’s effect on the nature of self-critics and “Writer’s Block.” The purpose of this activity is to observe the change in our self-criticism and how this change reflects on the writing process. (Tuesday, December 10 from 1:15 p.m. to 2:15 p.m.)
Activity Two Title: A Guided Mindfulness Meditation for Creative Writing
Activity Description: In this activity, participants will follow a guided meditation session for 30 minutes. This mediation session aims to guide participants in finding themselves in the present moment and experiencing their awareness. When writers are in the present moment, they observe with a fresh consciousness, they drop worries, judgments, competitions, and ambitions, therefore they enter a state of creative flow. The session is designed to invoke creativity in the participants’ thought process and transfer this state of mind in their writings. (Wednesday, December 11, 2019 from 1:15 p.m. to 2:15 p.m.).
Once you have made a commitment to attend, you will be responsible for the full fees ($650), unless you can find a replacement participant.
Please, share this invitation with your colleagues.
To register, email Snežana Ratković at firstname.lastname@example.org by Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019.
We hope that you will be able to join us and look forward to a productive, engaging, and mindful time together.
Michelle, Dragana, and Snežana