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2023 Finding Your Voice

Mackinac Island

Writing Retreat

One of our most popular writing retreats is back for 2023!

Our Finding Your Voice Retreat brings together poetry, fiction and nonfiction writers for an intensive week of workshops, craft seminars, one-on-one conferences, and in-depth discussions on the craft and business of writing. Our program is inclusive, intentionally small, and will take place on the shores of Lake Huron on an island set between Michigan’s Lower and Upper Peninsulas with breathtaking views and the peace of a locale free of motor traffic and metropolitan noise.

This intimate writing retreat is open to all writers who want to strengthen their voice, develop a greater understanding of craft, and forge a path to publication along the way. We take your writing seriously and place the highest importance on teaching the craft of writing so that students can produce meaningful and memorable work that has the opportunity to find a readership beyond the workshop. Our mission is to bring your writing out of the wilderness and into community, and for a week this fall, we think there is no better place to do this than on the sunrise side of a peaceful Midwest island that has been an historic landmark since the 19th century, at our writers retreat.

Applications for our September 2023 Mackinac Island Writing Retreat are open!


Retreat Dates:


September 11 - 15, 2023

Though our admissions process is competitive and the quality of writing high, all interested writers are encouraged to apply by February 15th, 2023.


Workshop Faculty:

Instructor Lynne Golodner is the creator of our popular Finding Your Voice writers workshop. Lynne is the author of 8 books, a long-time writing coach and college writing instructor, and a former journalist and an award-winning marketing entrepreneur whose writing has been published in magazines and literary publications around the world. Lynne’s essays have recently appeared in Porridge Magazine, the Jewish Literary Journal, The Good Life Review, The Forward, Hadassah Magazine, Story Unlikely, Valiant Scribe, YourTango, Great Lakes Review and more. Her articles have appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Seventeen, Forbes, Parents Magazine, Midwest Living, Saveur, the Detroit News, the Detroit Free Press, Better Homes and Gardens and many more.


A Welcome From Lynne Golodner:




Lodging at Mission Point Resort

The retreat takes place at Mission Point Resort, and we have a block of rooms reserved for our participants to book discounted accommodations by April 10th, 2023 should you decide to stay there. Mackinac Island is home to many bed-and-breakfasts, inns and the famed Grand Hotel, so where you stay is up to you! However, we can guarantee a special discounted rate at Mission Point Resort through April 10th, 2023.


Please note: there is no motor vehicle transportation on the island; people get around via horse-and-buggy, bicycle and on foot. Most places are no more than a 20-minute walk from Mission Point Resort.


Class Size

This retreat is limited to 15 writers; fiction, nonfiction and poetry writers are welcome to apply. Each writer will submit one piece for feedback from Lynne and peers of up to 3K words and a second piece of up to 3K words for a one on one meeting with Lynne. Daily craft talks are open to all participants and led by program faculty. Early applications are encouraged.

2023 Workshop Schedule

Monday, September 11, 2023
Welcome reception 7-8:30 p.m.

Tuesday, September 12 - Friday, September 15, 2023
Mornings: Writing instruction and workshopping in the morning, 9AM - 12PM. Breakfast is included Tuesday through Friday at 8AM. Lunch is also included Tuesday through Friday at 12PM. Instructor one-on-ones are included throughout the week.

Tuesday, September 12, 2023, Afternoon: Guided 8-mile bike ride around the island from 1:30PM - 3:30PM., led by Lynne Golodner. Bicycle rental is included.

Wednesday, September 13, 2023, Afternoon: Guided hike into the center of the island from 1:30PM - 3:30PM, led by Lynne Golodner. The hike finishes at the library, where everyone is invited to gather for a reading.

Thursday, September 14, 2023, Afternoon & Evening: Optional private kayaking excursion in the afternoon from 2PM - 4PM; dessert reception and reading, 7:00PM - 8:30PM.

Friday, September 15, 2023
8AM: Co-writing
9AM - 12PM: Workshopping and instructor meetings
1PM: Retreat concludes.

Mackinac Island Testimonials


"Lynne is one of my favorite people in the world. She is a patient, intuitive, knowledgable and talented teacher. We don't just learn craft from an expert, we learn everything else about what makes the person wonderful. Lynne is my writing coach, friend and role model. I am grateful to have her in my life." -Liwen L.

"This was an outstanding retreat. Lynne is a masterful teacher. She is prepared, yet flexible enough to pivot with class as needed. Furthermore, she has a depth of knowledge that allows for free discussions that were of high value. She also has excellent moderation skills which allow for all voices to be heard and a balanced discussion." -Kate M.

"Lynne is a very committed creator and provides incredible inspiration for those in her classes and retreats.  Lynne provides an example of how to create the life you want and covers all aspects of a creative life in her teaching.  From the creation of the art to the business side of being a creator." -Stephanie R.

"Lynne Golodner is brilliant. I have taken several classes from her and each time I am so appreciative of her straightforward feedback. She provides value by being encouraging yet honest and that has made me a better writer. She challenges writers and does not hesitate to share her ideas for improvement as pointing out our strengths." -Laura J.

"I treasured the hike and the kayaking we did on the island. I will always remember the scenery I captured. The designated group learning in the Friendship Altar was rich with information. Lynne’s expertise and perspective on the literary world and literature in itself was enticing. I overwhelmingly enjoyed learning about my work from Lynne’s critique. Maybe one of the best thought out critiques I have ever received in my writing journey." -Enrique E.


Tuition

Tuition is $1,995 and includes the following:
  • Round-trip ferry transportation to Mackinac Island from Mackinaw City, Michigan
  • Breakfast and lunch are included Tuesday - Friday.
  • 4-day writing workshop, led by Lynne Golodner
  • Critical feedback on two writing submissions of up to 3K words each (for a total of 6K words).
  • Craft of writing and/or business of writing talks
  • One-on-one conference with faculty
  • Optional afternoon activities including bicycle tour, island hike, and private kayaking excursion.
  • Opening night reception
  • Final night reception and reading
  • The time of your life
  • Expanded FAQ at the bottom of this page.

Application & General FAQ

What is the application deadline?

Applications for our September 2023 Mackinac Island Writers Retreat are now open and will close on February 15th, 2023. Early applications are encouraged.

What is your COVID policy?

It is the responsibility of attendees of Writing Workshops to make sure they are vaccinated and boostend in accordance with federal and state guidelines.

If the state of Michigan or the United States government forbids entry to the state of Michigan, or if Mission Point Resort closes, for the dates of September 11 - 15, 2023, Writing Workshops will offer a full refund for program fees. Writing Workshops will not reimburse for any airline tickets or additional trip-related expenses incurred. If the Mackinac Island writing workshop takes place on the dates planned, no program fees will be reimbursed, regardless of attendance.

What will my application include? 

  • Brief bio  informing us of your involvement in the writing and literary community,  as well as any prior or forthcoming publications. (250 words max)
  • Purpose statement  explaining why you would like to participate in Writing Workshops Mackinac Island. You can also discuss current manuscripts or writing projects that  you might choose to workshop. (500 words max.)
  • Writing sample excerpt in poetry, fiction or nonfiction. This does not have to be  published work, though that is acceptable, nor does it have to be a piece you plan to workshop at the retreat. Complete works under the word count are not required;  excerpts are acceptable. (Fiction/nonfiction: 2500 words max, poetry: up to 3 poems).

When will I know if I've been accepted to the workshop?

We  cap our workshop participation at 15 writers for the week. Our goal is to provide  an intimate, rigorous workshop environment so that participants can  find meaningful connections and excellent feedback on  their work. We will accept applicants on a rolling basis until the retreat is full and then begin waitlists. Due to the volume of  applications and competitive acceptance, writers are encouraged to apply early. We employ a reading committee of professional writers and editors, and applicants will be notified after the application window closes.

How much does it cost?

Tuition is $1,995. If your application is accepted, full tuition is due within ten days. Upon acceptance, you will have the option to pay your tuition in full or opt for a payment plan by selecting Affirm or Shop Pay at checkout.

Are Payment Plans Available?

Yes. Accepted writers will have the option to pay their tuition in full or  opt for a payment plan divided into equal monthly payments by selecting Shop Pay or Affirm (for U.S. & Canadian residents) at checkout.

What does tuition include? 


Round-trip ferry transportation to Mackinac Island from Mackinaw City, Michigan
Breakfast and lunch are included Tuesday - Friday.
4-day writing workshop, led by Lynne Golodner
Critical feedback on two writing submissions of up to 3K words each (for a total of 6K words)
Craft of writing and/or business of writing talks
One-on-one conference with faculty
Optional afternoon activities including bicycle tour, private guided kayaking excursion, and island hike.
Opening night reception
Final night reception and reading
The time of your life
  • Note: accepted writers will have the option to pay their tuition in full or  opt for a payment plan divided into equal monthly payments by selecting  Shop Pay or Affirm (for U.S. & Canadian residents) at checkout.

What is tuition payment schedule? 

If your application is accepted, full tuition is due within 10 days of acceptance confirmation. You can pay your tuition in full or opt for a payment plan by selecting Affirm or Shop Pay at checkout. Note that tuition is nonrefundable and cannot be transferred to a different destination retreat or used in another year.

Where is the hotel and workshop venue?

Immerse yourself in both comfort and inspiration for 5 days, 4 nights on Mackinac Island. The retreat takes place at Mission Point Resort, where accommodations are available at special rates through April 10th, 2023 although participants are invited to stay anywhere on the island that they choose.

Can I share a room with another writer? 

If you and another writer are interested in sharing a room, please let Mission Point Resort know and they will be able to accommodate your request.

How late can I apply? 

We will accept applications through February 15th, 2023.

What will you do with my email?

We respect your privacy. We will only use your email to send you  information about Writing Workshops. We won't sell or rent your  email to other organizations.

I have a question not answered here.

Please contact us and we’ll reply promptly. You can also Chat with us (lower left of your screen).


The Beauty of Mackinac Island