retreat gif

The 2014 Writers in the Round Retreat on Star Island 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.

              Island writers in the round retreat 2013A 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.

Star Island writers in the round retreat 2006Star Island 2014 Retreat

Hello All!
We are happy to announce that Writers in the Round Creative Retreat On Star Island is now entering our tenth year!   We hope you will share with others and if possible let us know of your plans to attend this year's retreat. Registration opens on April 1. 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 4 to Sunday, September 7, 2014.

About the Instructors

Poetry Faculty: Dawn Potter

Dawn Potter directs the Frost Place Conference on Poetry and Teaching, held each summer at Robert Frost's home in Franconia, New Hampshire. She works extensively as a visiting writer in the schools and as a freelance editor for literary and academic presses.

Dawn is the author or editor of seven books of prose and poetry, most recently a poetry collection, Same Old Story (CavanKerry Press, 2013). Her memoir, Tracing Paradise: Two Years in Harmony with John Milton (University of Massachusetts Press, 2009), won the 2010 Maine Literary Award in Nonfiction, and she has also received grants and fellowships from the Elizabeth George Foundation, the Writer's Center, and the Maine Arts Commission. New poems and essays appear in the Beloit Poetry Journal, the Sewanee Review, the Threepenny Review, and many other journals in the United States and abroad.

In addition to writing, editing, and teaching, Dawn sings and plays fiddle with the band String Field Theory. She lives in Harmony, Maine, with photographer Thomas Birtwistle and their two sons.

Songwriting Faculty: Jason Anderson

From 2007-2011, Jason Anderson served as the award-winning music director for The Children's Aid Society's Rhinelander Center in New York City, teaching guitar, piano, and songwriting, in addition to directing the glee club and co-directing the Center's youth theatre productions. Over the same four year period Jason was the lead music teacher at Bean Sprouts Preschool in Park Slope, Brooklyn. In 2012 Anderson earned his Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) from Smith College in Northampton, MA. In addition to teaching, Jason is very much a working musician, having released several albums and toured the US, Canada, and Europe extensively, including concerts in such far flung locales as Iceland and Serbia. He has also written and co-produced three musicals in Newburyport, MA, one of which enjoyed a short northeastern tour. While Jason has performed three times on Star Island, this is his first time teaching, and he couldn't be more excited.

Registration Information

Registration for the WITR Conference begins in April 2014.  See top right section of this web page for more information and relevant links.

Star Island Retreat

September 4 to 7, 2014

Registration Information

Registration for this conference will be handled "on-line" for the first time this year and it is open now and will close when spaces fill.  (See links below).  If you have questions in advance, feel free to write to our registrar/co-chair, Ellen Taylor at:  For non-registration questions, you are also welcome to contact co-chair Craig Werth at:

SPACE is LIMITED to preserve the quality of the experience for participants.  We expect the retreat to fully fill with a balanced mix of poets and songwriters no later than mid-summer.


WITR Conference Registration

Star Island Information

Financial Aid