A friend of mine asked some questions about the retreat we did at Sylvia Beach Hotel, so I thought I'd answer them here.
So, does the hotel give a group rate for groups of writers who come to the hotel to work this way?
***You know, we didn't get a discount (except for the weeknights), but I didn't ask about that (I should have!) We went during Wine & Seafood Weekend, which happens on the Oregon coast that time of year, so our timing was way off for a discount as that's one of their big weekends (of course, for one of the "busiest" times for them, you'd never know it as in February, it's such a sleepy town).
Do you each give a "workshop" or exercise idea during the trip, or does each person work completely on their own?
***We had it so people worked on their own and met for writing exercises/free writes one night. This is something though we'd do differently. For example, I thought I'd want a LOT more solitary time than I did. So, I think next retreat, we're going to make optional times/events like "Meet in the library at 2 p.m. if you want to do some writing exercises" and whoever feels like meeting can. Lots of non-required stuff.
We each came from such different places. I have lots of alone time to write in my life, but others are working full-time. I found that I could have used more group writing time, but before I left, I thought it would be like the time I went to Soapstone where I just wanted to be alone. However, when I got to Sylvia Beach, I realized I would actually like to interact more with others as their writing energy was so good. So, I'd be much more open to group writing time than I was when I first left.
Some poets/writers exchanged manuscripts before the trip as well and handed them back on the trip, which I thought was a good idea. I would have done that, but I was crazybusy before we left so it didn't work out.
One poet typed out some great writing prompts and writing exercises that she left in the library for us if we weren't inspired. Lots of these little things were helpful to me as I wandered (or paced!) through my day.