Narrative Medicine Writer’s Retreat

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With busy Portland behind them, nine writers gathered in Mt. Hood-Parkdale, Oregon on Sunday, December 10th for a writer’s retreat.

With Narrative Medicine as the focus, participants spent the day writing, sharing, and discussing. The day began with a rich discussion after reading a short story and a pair of poems. Participants commented that it was nice to go back and forth between reading/discussing and writing independently. They found value in keeping the theme of narrative medicine in their consciousness, yet enjoyed the freedom to write spontaneously or work on longer projects.

Everyone enjoyed a delicious catered lunch by a local Mexican restaurant, then they soaked up some unstructured time in the afternoon. Participants could choose from a tool box of various writing activities. Some writers rambled up and down forest trails, some sat at the kitchen table working on longer pieces, and some chose to write with the provided prompts, or even nap on the couch. A couple of writers asked for a longer unstructured time next time, so that they could engage in more of the activity offerings.

Old acquaintances were strengthened, and new friendships were built around narrative medicine. The day ended with a formal activity of writing a French Pantoum. Finally everyone bundled up, departed with well wishes and hopes of getting together again.

Elizabeth and April look forward to providing future offerings of writing together with Narrative Medicine at its heart.


Comments by participants

“Really, really appreciate the work that Elizabeth & April are doing. I love that you are working on events both large and intimate. In this case, I love that you are directly providing a space, an opportunity and encouragement to create!“

“The NW Narrative Medicine writing retreat was worth every penny! Set in a beautiful location a short drive from Portland, it was an excellent balance of structured and unstructured time. The retreat offered an excellent range of formal and informal writing opportunities. I left the retreat with two new pieces almost complete, a couple of new tools, and a love for the landscape around Parkdale. In addition, Elizabeth and April made everything seem easy. They are welcoming, encouraging and supportive. Meeting the other attendees was a pleasure — it’s a rarity to meet other good-hearted and talented people writing about the same things I like to write about. Looking forward to the next retreat!”

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