Writer’s Retreat with Helen Whybrow

 Sept 25-27, 2020

4:00 PM Friday – 2:00 PM Sunday


This is an intensive retreat for writers to carve out time to dive deeply into their writing and to have coaching with a seasoned editor.

This full weekend will offer a combination of guided prompts and solo writing time, story sessions, and meeting one-on-one with the instructor. This is not a workshop where we will critique one another’s work, though there will opportunities to share and to listen. Your writing will advance by being held in a creative, nurturing space, and by getting the chance to work with an experienced editor on the places you feel stuck or want new perspective.

Knoll Farm has both indoor and outdoor spaces that offer inspiration, solitude, peace and also connection to oneself and the deeper voices that can arise when we are able to clear away the static and busy-ness of life. Writers who come with a project can expect to make significant progress in just one short weekend. Others may find the focus and time to map out something new that has been beating its wings just out of sight.

Together we will create a focused, serious writing retreat that is also deeply supportive, non-competitive and allows space for all voices, abilities and perspectives to thrive. We welcome all abilities, from published writers to students.

We will be adhering to special safety protocol for your visit to the farm that respects and follows the best medical advice for how to be in community at that time.  We expect this protocol to evolve with changing information, and we will adjust our practices as needed to assure everyone’s safety and wellbeing.  We take seriously your health, our health, and the health of this land.

Helen Whybrow is Editor at Large for Orion Magazine. She has been a book and magazine editor for 25 years, at Chelsea Green and W. W. Norton, as well as a freelancer. She has worked with countless well known writers including Barry Lopez, Tom Wessels, Pico Iyer, William Kittredge, Robin Kimmerer, Sherri Mitchell and many others.

“I’ve benefitted multiple times from Helen’s editorial acumen. I’ve worked with many editors over the years, and I can say that Helen is a cut above. She possesses not only the hard skills, but she has something harder to find, a generosity of spirit that’s both rare and infectious. The end result is that she brings out the best in me as a writer.” Fred Bahnson, author of Soil and Sacrament

“Helen is a creative, incisive editor with a unique combination of skills. I so appreciated her expertise and insights on my work, and the time she took to honor the voice and tone I’d established. We really had a creative partnership that supported me to experiment with new ideas. And on top of all that — it was fun working with her!” Samantha Harvey

This workshop will be limited to twelve participants so that each participant will receive focused attention and feedback. All participants are given the option to meet individually with Helen to discuss their manuscripts, or get advice on book publishing, placing articles or stories, or other aspects of the writing life.


This workshop is offered to those writing poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. To apply, please fill in the questions below and upload a sample (one poem, or the first 3 pages of an essay or short story). Acceptance will be made on a rolling basis and applicants will be notified whether they have been admitted within 3 weeks of applying, and invited to register and pay. Once we receive your payment you will be guaranteed a place in the workshop. The tuition of $450 includes all lodging and meals. We’ll be in touch about housing and meal preferences, as well as transportation options to the farm, after your registration is complete.

Please describe your goals and hopes for this writing retreat:

Please upload a writing sample here (one poem or the first three pages of an essay or short story):

If you have trouble with this form, please contact us at info@knollfarm.org.

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