Writing Retreat “Risk More, Write Better”

Risk More, Write Better: Overcoming fear (of everything) on and off the page


In this empowering 3-day writing retreat, celebrated cookbook author Alana Chernila (THE HOMEMADE PANTRY, EATING FROM THE GROUND UP) and novelist Courtney Maum (I AM HAVING SO MUCH FUN HERE WITHOUT YOU, COSTALEGRE) will lead participants through a series of workshops, master classes and sharing sessions to help writers identify the emotional blocks that are keeping them from accessing their best (and bravest!) work. This intimate, supportive conference is open to writers from all disciplines, at any stage of their careers. Come ready to learn, play, and take creative risks!

Each day will bring attendees a mixture of guided creative workshops, solo writing time and one-on-one consultations with Alana and Courtney, with plenty of free time for exploring the natural wonders of Norfolk’s Great Mountain Forest and its charming town.

From Write like nobody’s reading: Why perfectionism isn’t creativity’s friend, to Risking it & Whisking it: Conquering fear in the kitchen, you’ll feel ready (and excited) to take your writing to the next level at the retreat’s end, with a host of new writing friends and colleagues at your side. A sample retreat calendar is provided below.

How to apply:

Please send a short statement of intent (up to 250 words) to writingretreats@manorhouse-norfolk.com. Let us know what you hope to gain from the retreat. Is there a specific project you’ll be working on, or a fear you’d like to overcome? Have you participated in any group writing retreats before? Include a short bio if you have one, and/or a link to your website. Also, please share your preferred pronouns and let us know if you have any food restrictions.


King Suite                $1,295 per person (single occupancy)
Queen Suite             $1,225 per person (single occupancy)
Deluxe Rm               $1,150 per person (single occupancy)
2 Bedroom Suite      $995 per person (double occupancy)
Above prices includes 3 nights accommodations at the Manor House Inn, 3 delicious, full breakfasts, Friday night welcome cocktail reception and dinner and two lunches (including one lunchtime cooking session with Alana).

Alana Chernila- Bio

Alana Chernila writes, cooks, teaches cooking and cheesemaking, and blogs at EatingFromTheGroundUp.com. She’s been a featured contributor for numerous publications and websites, including Yankee Magazine, Martha Stewart Living,
Parents, Culture, Taproot, Fine Cooking, and Food52.com. She is the author of three books: The Homemade Pantry: 101 Foods You Can Stop Buying and Start Making, The Homemade Kitchen: Recipes for Cooking with Pleasure, which was nominated for an IACP award, and Eating From the Ground Up: Recipes for Simple, Perfect Vegetables. She lives with her husband and daughters in western Massachusetts. Learn more about Alana on her website eatingfromthegroundup.com.



Courtney Maum- bio

Courtney Maum is the author of the acclaimed novels Costalegre (Tin House Books, 2019), Touch (Putnam, 2017), and I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You (Touchstone, 2014), and the handbook Before and After the Book Deal: A writer’s guide to finishing, publishing, promoting, and surviving your first book, forthcoming from Catapult in 2020. Her writing has been widely published in such outlets as BuzzFeed; the New York Times; O, the Oprah Magazine; and Modern Loss. She is the founder of the learning collaborative, The Cabins, and also works as a product and cosmetic shade namer from her home in Connecticut. Learn more about Courtney on her website courtneymaum.com.


Sample schedule:

Friday Nov. 8: Arrivals, one-on-one consultations (Block 1), Welcome cocktail party and dinner, “Tears for Fears” sharing session in which we discuss our personal writing fears
Saturday Nov. 9: Breakfast at the inn, “Write Like Nobody’s Reading” with Courtney Maum, “Risking it and Whisking It” lunch-time cooking session with Alana Chernila, one-one-one consultations (Block 2 and 3), “When You’re Stuck in Your Medium,
Borrow Someone Else’s” with Courtney Maum, Group evening activity.
Sunday Nov. 10: Breakfast at the inn, “Movement and Meditation” with Alana, lunch, one-on-one consultations (Block 4 and 5), “Intention setting: How can we hold ourselves more accountable to take more creative risks in the months ahead?”
Monday Nov. 11: Breakfast at the inn, departures


Questions?  Contact us at writingretreats@manorhouse-norfolk.com or (860) 542-5690.