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The 2017 Writers in the Round Retreat on Star Island (Thursday-Sunday, September 7-10) 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 2017 Retreat

Hello All!
We are happy to announce that Writers in the Round Creative Retreat On Star Island is now in its thirteenth 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 is 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 7 to Sunday, September 10, 2017.

About the Instructors

Poetry – Jeffrey Harrison

Jeffrey Harrison is the author of five full-length books of poetry—The Singing Underneath (1988), selected by James Merrill for the National Poetry Series, Signs of Arrival (1996), Feeding the Fire (2001), Incomplete Knowledge (2006), which was runner-up for the Poets’ Prize, and Into Daylight, published in 2014 by Tupelo Press as the winner of the Dorset Prize-- as well as of The Names of Things: New and Selected Poems, published in 2006 by Waywiser Press in the U.K. A recipient of Guggenheim and NEA Fellowships, as well as other honors, he has published poems in The New Republic, The New Yorker, The Nation, Poetry, The Yale Review, The Hudson Review, American Poetry Review, The Paris Review, Poets of the New Century, The Twentieth Century in Poetry, and in many other magazines and anthologies. He has taught at George Washington University, Phillips Academy, where he was Writer-in-Residence, College of the Holy Cross, Framingham State University, the Stonecoast MFA Program, and the Solstice MFA Program, and he has visited many schools to read from his work and discuss poetry with students. He lives in Massachusetts.

Songwriting – Tom Pirozzoli

tompTom is a well known, much respected musician throughout New Eng-land as well as on the national music scene. "Travels"- his fifth record-ing- spent 13 weeks on the top forty AAA charts and was the featured release at Tower Records in LA and Nashville.
Tom has written songs that have been recorded by artists as varied as Tonto’s Big Idea, Willy Porter, Pam Prior, Rex Fowler of Aztec Two Step, Joyce Andersen and others. His co- writes with Willy Porter have been performed in Carnegie Hall, at Madison Square Garden and The Royal Albert Hall. Original songs recorded by Tom in the 1980’s with the Fast Folk Music Magazine (New York) are in the Smithsonian collection.
Tom's skills as a performer and singer-songwriter were honored by Musician Magazine as a winner in their "Best Unsigned Band" contest resulting in a national release on Warner Brothers Records.
His current focus is co- writing with Willy Porter, and recently David Wilcox. Tom writes music for the Putnam Pirozzoli instrumental guitar duo which is rooted in a broad tradition that uniquely combines jazz, classical and pop for a truly original sound.

Star Island Retreat

September 7 to 10, 2017

Registration Information

Registration for this conference is now FULLTo have your name added to a waiting list, send an email message to both Ellen and Craig at the following addresses: Ellen Taylor:  Craig Werth:

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 within a few weeks of the start of registration. If you are interested in other potential opportunities contact us.  We recommend that interested folks register for this conference in the early days of registration which now starts in April of each year.


WITR Conference Registration 

Star Island Information

Financial Aid