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The 2018 Writers in the Round Retreat on Star Island (Thursday-Sunday, September 6-9) is a multi-day creative retreat for songwriters and poets in a beautiful natural setting. The retreat is a time for artisitic growth in a safe environment, fostered by instructors who are experts in their art, be it songwriting, poetry, or spoken word, and who are whole-souled in their approach to life.

Star IslandA Supportive Approach

The small group experience consists of classes for instruction, workshops for creative expression, and evening programs, which support a healthy group dynamic.

Participants are encouraged to take risks and push themselves to explore new aspects to the process of writing. Honesty, compassion, and humor are qualities valued by retreat organizers and participants.

Activities: New Beginnings and New Horizons

The development of a nurturing, yet challenging creative environment is a central goal. Formal activities are focused exclusively on this goal. There are also opportunities for informal networking, which are supported as a part of retreat activities. Through immersion in the formal and informal activities, participants often embark upon new creative directions never before touched upon, and form new creative associations with others outside of their daily walk in life. As such the retreat fosters diversity, and celebrates new beginnings and new horizons.

StarStar Island 2018 Retreat

Hello All!
We are happy to announce that Writers in the Round Creative Retreat On Star Island is now in its fourteenth year!   We hope you will share with others and if possible let us know of your plans to attend this year's retreat. Registration is open now. You may contact the Conference Registrar/Co-Chair at , or contact Co-Chair Craig Werth at

Financial aid may be available again with Star Island. Many WITR attendees have made good use of financial aid in previous years. Full details are listed on the Star website:

This year's Writers in the Round (WITR) Retreat on Star, hosted by Ellen Taylor and Craig Werth, will take place from Thursday, September 6 to Sunday, September 9, 2018.

About the Instructors


Sonja Johanson

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Sonja Johanson is a New England poet whose work focuses on ecology and feminism. She has work appearing many journals and anthologies, including BOAAT, Mid-American Review, Ninth Letter, Poet Lore, THRUSH, The Writer’s Almanac, and the Best American Poetry blog, and has served as a contributing editor at the Found Poetry Review, the Eastern Iowa Review. Sonja has been nominated for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prizes, and is the author of three chapbooks: Impossible Dovetail (IDES, Silver Birch Press), all those ragged scars (Choose the Sword Press), and Trees in Our Dooryards (Redbird Chapbooks). Sonja divides her time between work in Massachusetts and her home in the mountains of western Maine. Follow her at


Guy Capecelatro III and Craig Werth


Guy Capecelatro III and Craig Werth met at the WITR retreat in 2005. This will be Guy’s 14th retreat and Craig’s 13th. They quickly became dear friends and collaborators and return for a second run as tag-team facilitators for the songwriting component this year. Both are seasoned guides who emphasize the use of exercises and prompts to generate new writing. Each has received multiple honors for their work and performed in various parts of the world. Their shared philosophy and different styles of writing make for a rich experience.

Maine Poet, Ellen Taylor, and NH Songwriter, Craig Werth, coordinate this conference. To register, visit:  

For more information, contact Ellen at:
or Craig at:

Note: “Writers in the Round” was created by our friend, singer-songwiter/publicist, Deidre Randall, in 2005. She led the retreat for many years until she passed it on to Ellen and Craig.

Star Island Retreat

September 6 to 9, 2018

Registration Information

We enroll on a first-come-first-served basis. We also limit enrollment and seek a balance between songwriters and poets to preserve the quality of the experience for participants. Our conference tends to fill up well before the conference start date. We recommend that interested folks attempt to register for this conference early. Registration began on May 1, 2018 and it will remain open until our maximum enrollment is reached. After that, we will start a waiting list, so be sure to contact Ellen Taylor at: if enrollment fills and you wish to be on the list should a space open up.



WITR Conference Registration 

Star Island Information

Financial Aid