Did you know that William Styron put the finishing touches on Sophie’s Choice while vacationing on Salt Cay in the Bahamas? Or that Anne Morrow Lindbergh worked on Gift from the Sea during a visit to Salt Cay?
I wish we all could practice our craft on this beautiful private Bahamian island. Maybe you can! The Salt Cay Writers Retreat invites literary and commercial fiction writers, memoirists, and narrative nonfiction writers (published and unpublished) to join them for a memorable week of writing and instruction on Salt Cay, October 20th-26th, 2013.
To go with this promotion, we asked Red Roomers to blog about their own private island. Styron and Morrow Lindbergh had Salt Cay. Robert Louis Stevenson had Samoa. The need to get away—whether to a real island, a secluded mountaintop, or just, as Virginia Woolf famously put it, “a room of one’s own”—is universal among writers. We wanted to hear about getaways to write, to create, or simply to recharge.
But first, more about the retreat: The Salt Cay Writers Retreat has a faculty of bestselling authors, top editors, and prominent literary agents. There will be plenty of time to write in a relaxing and inspiring setting with a maximum of 64 other writers—add a sunset dinner cruise and swimming with dolphins (very literary dolphins). Learn more and apply here.
A few posts stood out:
- Author D.K. Christi is no stranger to a retreat in the Bahamas. We want to join her on the small cruise she takes at least once a year to write. You will, too, when you read "My writing retreat in the Caribbean rocks and rolls."
- For author Madeline Sharples, one of the stages of coping her with her young son's tragic death was telling his story in the room where he grew up. She shares the moving experience in "My Private Island—A Room of My Own."
- Member Anne Born actually gets more work done on a city bus or the subway—anywhere there is noise and distraction. This may sound strange, but she makes complete sense in "Writing in Plain Sight."
- On the other side of the world, member Zeny May Recidoro takes us to a tropical paradise as magical as the Bahamas. Go with her to the Philippine island of Palawan in "An Island of One's Own."
These bloggers will receive books by authors who are either faculty at the retreat or who are associated with Salt Cay:
A groundbreaking, best-selling work when it was originally published in 1955, Gift from the Sea continues to be discovered by new generations of readers. With great wisdom and insight, Anne Morrow Lindbergh describes the shifting shapes of relationships and marriage, presenting a vision of life as it is lived in an enduring and evolving partnership.With a new introduction by Lindbergh’s daughter Reeve, this fiftieth-anniversary edition will give those who are revisiting the book and those who are coming upon it for the first time fresh insight into the life of this remarkable woman.
The winner of the 1980 National Book Award for fiction, William Styron's Sophie's Choice concerns a young American Southerner, an aspiring writer, who befriends the Jewish Nathan Landau and his beautiful lover Sophie, a Polish survivor of the German Nazi concentration camps. The plot ultimately centers around a tragic decision which Sophie was forced to make upon entering the concentration camp.
Salt Cay Writers Retreat faculty member Jacquelyn Mitchard writes that "The Deep End of the Ocean was my first novel, The Deep End of the Ocean was also the first pick for the Oprah Winfrey Book Club, and so catapulted me into a spotlight as a writer." When Beth Cappadora, a suburban mother and photographer, loses sight of her three-year-old son, Ben, at her fifteenth high-school reunion, not only does her life implode, her family's does as well. That story, as well as what happens when Ben is found, after he's grown up and has no memory of his family, leads the reader to ask, "Are we who we are because of our genetics or because of what we remember?"
"Told through the eyes of an old man looking back on the events that changed his world forever," Retreat faculty member Robert Goolrick's new novel Heading Out to Wonderful "is a suspenseful masterpiece, a haunting, heart-stopping novel of obsession and love gone terribly wrong in a place and time—a sleepy Virginia village after World War II—where once upon a time such things could happen."
Don't forget to check out all the entries from this blog topic. I hope you'll comment on your favorites while contemplating your own "private island." Thanks as always for blogging!
–Huntington W. Sharp, Senior Editor, Red Room