To expand its mission of “Cultivating Creativity, Curiosity, and Community,” the Merry Barn Writers’ Retreat is offering four new programs this summer for teenage and adult writers of all abilities.
The first two programs target tweens and teens who may be looking for something a bit different from the barn’s Summer Writing Adventures. Dungeons and Dragons is a unique role playing game where a group of heroes comes together to create fantasy characters, encounter monsters, and solve a core mystery — all while developing their backstory and forming connections both to the fictional characters around them and their real-life party members.
Heroes, ages 11-14, are invited to join Hope McSherry on a mystical journey into the Feywild, home of the fairies, and experience the mystically acclaimed Witchlight Carnival in a campaign called The Wild Beyond the Witchlight. The tone of this adventure is set by the players, inviting all shades of silliness, drama, and intrigue. Craft stories, play games, hunt for treasure, and much more! Players will gather at the Merry Barn five Sunday afternoons from 3-5 p.m. (June 19 and 26; July 3, 10 and 17).
In Fantasy and Fiction: A Creative Writing Series for Teens, writers ages 14-18 will explore their own storytelling projects. Referencing beloved mentor texts and beautifully crafted writing, participants will explore place making, character development, and the hero’s journey. Physical movement will wake up our bodies; and art making will expand our creativity. There will be time for independent writing and sharing in a supportive community. This workshop meets Thursday afternoons from 4-6:30 p.m. at the Merry Barn (June 30; July 7 and 14; July 28; August 4 and 11).
Soul Notes and Summertime Snapshots are workshops intended for writers 18 years and older. Published poet and creative writing teacher Elizabeth Potter will facilitate Soul Notes: Writing as Meditation. This workshop will include nurturing, meditative practices intended to open our hearts, enliven the senses, and free what waits to be expressed on the page. Soul-stirring readings, chosen to coax our essential truths and first thoughts, will help free our voices and cast off our inner critics. There will be ample time to write, share, and receive feedback in a supportive, safe community of fellow writers. A Writers’ Tea and Reading will be held at the completion of the workshop to share our writings with family, friends, and the community. Soul Notes meets Monday evenings from 5-8 p.m. at the Merry Barn (June 20 and 27; July 11 and 18).
Writer, artist, and healer Kelsy Hartley will offer Summertime Snapshots, a bi-monthly community writing series. Using creative memoir prompts, participants will explore new ways of telling their unique tales. By first sketching albums of “summer memory snapshots,” and then through exaggeration, mixing of characters, and getting to the “heat” of the story, writers will excavate and cultivate their stories. Each session will follow a format of reading, writing, and sharing to cultivate momentum. (First and third Wednesdays in June, July, and August, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.).