Words on Water™

“Creativity is Yours”register-button
November 11-13, 2016
The Inn at Chesapeake Bay Beach Club
Stevensville, MD




Contact Gwen at mayesgwen@gmail.com or text 978-821-4662 for details and handle registration.


“Creativity is Yours” is a weekend writing retreat for for those with an interest in personal essays who wish to improve their ability to craft a story, organize material, and refine their voice.


Through inspirational and creative writing tips we’ll work together to become better at telling our stories.   You’ll find this retreat to be part relaxation, part motivation, part fun and just the thing you need to keep writing.  Purposefully scheduled during the height of the Fall season, the retreat includes fireside chats, small group discussions over wine, and lots of time to let your thoughts and words sink in.


Writers of all experience levels will be around the table.  Have you been thinking about writing a book?  Maybe a memoir or collection of essays . . .

  • for your children
  • to recover from an illness
  • to work through a major life change
  • to better understand a turning point in your life
  • to mend a broken heart
  • to prepare for a new child or grandchild
  • to archive the family’s history

The retreat is ideal for any writing project that requires pulling together bits and pieces of your life into an engaging, truth-based story even if it’s only for your eyes. Everyone has a story; let’s make yours memorable.


The retreat will be held at the Inn at the Chesapeake Bay Beach Club, a full service luxury boutique hotel, farm-and-bay-to table restaurant, gourmet market and Spa.  The 54 room, rustic, upscale nook is just a few miles  across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge in Stevensville, Maryland and a five minute walk to a waterside sunset. Open in 2015, the Inn is uniquely appointed for the writer who appreciates comfort, charm and natural settings.


The retreat begins on Friday, November 11 at 3 p.m. and ends at noon on Sunday, November 13.

wexler Laura Wexler is the author of a nonfiction book about an unsolved mass lynching, a freelance writer and editor, and the co-founder and co-producer of The Stoop Storytelling Series. She resides in Baltimore and has worked with many to learn the art of storytelling.  She will teach a 2-hour session, Not Just Pretty Words” discussing basic principles and philosophy of true, personal storytelling, with a special focus on how oral personal storytelling is similar to/different than personal writing.
cbsr8 Gwen Mayes, JD, MMSc, founder of Words on Water writing group, is an Annapolis-based sailor, lawyer, nationally-recognized women’s health advocate, and writer.  She is a former columnist and feature writer for Today Woman’s magazine; her publications range from medical-legal policy papers to lifestyle humor and inspirational essays.  She is currently working on a memoir, Not Another Wasted Moment, and preparing for a winter 2017 sailing cruise in the BVIs.
kathryntemple Kathryn Temple, JD, PhD is an Associate Professor of English at Georgetown University and a whiz at teaching how to organize material, do the right research, and pull it all together for the right flow to your piece.  She will teach a 2-hour segment, You Put the Right Foot In, You Put the Left Foot In . . . and Then Start Writing, with tried-and-true tips for tackling the writing process well beyond notes on 3 X 5 index cards.  She’ll make it easier to stay the course from fledgling idea to polished piece.
molly2016 Molly Winans, managing editor of SpinSheet (the Bay’s free publication for sailors and all things waterside) is joining us to talk about getting published locally.  She’s engaging, funny, and a fellow Bay lover.  Molly is interested in how we might blend some voices so that your writing has a wider audience. Molly Winans has been a poet, writer, and painter since childhood.


Pricing and Accommodations  PRICING IS HALF OFFCONTACT GWEN at mayesgwen@gmail.com

  • Retreat Package includes:
    • 12 hours of guided group instruction by Gwen Mayes, Laura Wexler, Molly Winans, and Kathryn Temple — creative exercises, 1:1 discussions, prompts, take home tips
    • Instructional materials and workbook
    • King or Double Queen room for 2 nights, including tax (upgrades available)
    • A Friday evening wine reception in the Spa Courtyard
    • 15% discount on all Spa treatments
    • Evening “open mic” readings at the fire pit and lounge
    • Snacks and bottle water during group instruction
    • Complimentary wifi, parking, morning paper, access to fitness room
    • Signature WOW journal
  • One Writer/ One Room – Cost $275 (orginally $599) (adult companions welcomed at no additional room charge; companions joining in “open mic” and reception $40)
  • Two Writers/Shared Room — Cost $175 (originally $375) [Double Queen]
  • Garden SUITE upgrades available to first two persons who register for a “ONE WRITER/ONE ROOM”
  • Meals are on your own
    • The Market offers counter-top high-quality sandwiches, cheeses, yogurt, wine, soups and gourmet coffee.  Open for breakfast and lunch serving an array of healthy fresh market items including granola, pastries, and salads.  Grab and go.
    • Knoxie’s Table brings an innovative dining concept to Kent Island. The menu draws inspiration from the Chef’s Garden and utilizes local farmers and watermen to create seasonal dishes featuring the area’s finest ingredients.  Rustic seating, indoor and out.


Cancellations will be handled on a case-by-case basis.  In general, cancellations 30 days or more in advance will allow for a 100% refund.  Those cancelling within 2 weeks of the start of the retreat will receive 50% of their payment and those cancelling within 2 days of the start of the event with receive 20% of their payment.


Words on Water™ Writing Retreats are hosted by Gwen Mayes in partnership with accomplished authors and writing instructors at cozy inns and waterside resorts along the Chesapeake Bay and Mid-Atlantic. For more information, contact Gwen at mayesgwen@gmail.com or text/call 978-821-4662.

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