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Summer Camp

A 10-week practice-based container to vibe with the season and invite creative vitality into our (hot) days

$525

Need a payment plan? Email me at hello@sarahmccoll.com

Gather

6 90-minute meetings of writing magic - a mix of discussion, prompted writing, sharing, and solo writing practice

Read / Write / Experiment

10 weekly newsletters full of rituals, creative experiments, writing prompts, and writerly inspiration to keep your brain from going limp in the humidity

Connect

a shared group diary to deepen connections and continue the thread between meetings &

the option to be paired with a buddy for encouragement and accountability

Part of summer’s beauty is its undoneness. Our schedules fall apart (ideally replaced by shady hammocks and sandy sandwiches). In this lovely looseness, our artistic practice can suffer.

 

Don’t lose your art this summer! Go to LOST ART SUMMER CAMP!

 

SUMMER CAMP is a creative seasonal bridge and a flexible artistic container.

 

A magical, shared space to hold your sunscreen-smeared creative work sacred. 

 

An intention spoken into the campfire and held for 10-weeks by an intimate cohort with a shared desire to attend their creative spirits this summer.

 

Some scene-setting: for three summers, I taught creative writing at an arts summer camp. Each teenager was used to being the writer weirdo at their school. Now here they were, all together: making in-jokes, swimming in the lake, ravaging the salad bar, plotting revolutions, swooning over language, splitting open their hearts, getting sunburned. 

 

I never went to summer camp, and I remained a solo writer weirdo until college. To me, this looked like teenage writer heaven. 

 

SUMMER CAMP is my effort to create adult writer heaven.

SUMMER CAMP is not a productivity sprint or banging out a novel draft. 

 

SUMMER CAMP is flashlight tag, splashing in the lake, walks in the woods, ghost stories by the fire, lightning storms, intense friendship. Remember fun? Less grinding it out, more delighting in the creative act. 

 

Through invitations to creative experiments, generative writing, and togetherness, we will collaboratively invent and imagine ways to nurture our creative lives that don’t require logging hours at a laptop.

 

Because the sun’s out, the mountains call, the ice cream is melting.

 

Our goals are two-fold: to bring lightness and liveliness to our creative lives during a season when they might otherwise get short shrift and to gather with a writing community who shares that desire.

 

At its root, SUMMER CAMP grows from my steadfast belief that creating the conditions for pleasure — for awe and play, connection and feeling good — positively impacts our writing life. If you feel good about your writing life, you will want to return there. We do this work in an effort to recondition our feelings about writing, from something difficult that we want to avoid because it makes us feel bad about ourselves, into a rich, welcoming relationship that feels nourishing and sustaining. 

"I can't tell you how much fun I'm having with writing this week. Not to be dramatic but my life has been completely transformed?! The knock-on effect on my mood and my motivation and even my patience in parenting is really noticeable. I'm amazed and delighted and so, so grateful to you."
I wanted a space where I could experiment without too much pressure. I liked that we didn't analyze the experience of the writing exercise too much, we just kept moving along. It made it all feel less important somehow, which made it less stressful, which made it more fun, which made for better writing. At least, for me. I also commend you, Sarah, for setting the tone of the workshop as a collaborative and supportive and curious space.

 

 

“From the readings to the generative prompts and lively discussions, I came away feeling refreshed and invigorated not only to write and read, but to make writing an important part of my daily routine. I'm grateful to you for helping me to feel alive and curious again."

Summer Camp

A 10-week practice-based container to vibe with the season and invite creative vitality into our (hot) days

$525

Need a payment plan? Email me at hello@sarahmccoll.com

Gather

6 90-minute meetings on Zoom

June 4 10-11:30a PST

June 18 10-11:30a PST

June 25 10-11:30a PST

July 16 10-11:30a PST

July 30 10-11:30a PST

Aug 6 10-11:30a PST

Read / Write / Experiment

10 weekly newsletters linked thematically to our meetings and full of ideas, inspiration, creative experiments and writing prompts arriving each Sunday

Connect

a shared group diary to deepen connections and continue the thread between meetings &

the option to be paired with a buddy for 1:1 encouragement and accountability

You're an introvert! Your boss is hovering over you! You want to do this yourself!

All the coursework, creative experiments, ideas, and ritualistic magic delivered via weekly newsletter that you can honor and explore on your own time — minus the meetings, group vibes, and accountability buddy. Because logistics, you're traveling too much, or whatever! You'll have the option to meet with me 1:1 for a 20-minute check-in, during which I can review a brief piece of writing, offer a pep talk, or answer questions.

$325

I felt like I was in really compassionate orchestrating hands. The experience, wisdom and energy provided at such a high level makes it really easy to just let go and go for the ride and see what you can mine from yourself. Okay....I don't want to get weird and whip out a pan flute but it's a really special blend of pragmatism, craft, inspiration, and magic. There's a feeling of it being spiritual if you want it to be without it having to be group therapy. I felt lucky to be there and definitely don't really know how to explain it's more than a writing workshop to people.
I am grateful for the way Sarah holds safe space for sharing and inspires everyone to have fun with writing.
My expectations were far exceeded. Not only did I get to read a lot of great writing and try out different forms, but the whole group exposed me to different styles of writing and I loved reading other people's work. I've also never been in a workshop before where the goal was to give positive feedback rather than jump in being critical. It was a real balm after having several experiences of being torn apart. Sarah was an incredible instructor who led with curiosity and kindness. It was one of the best workshop experiences I've had.

FAQs

Will meetings be recorded?

Meetings will be recorded so that if you have to miss a meeting for a trip to Disney (or whatever), you can still honor our creative container at another time. That said, the efficacy of Summer Camp is highly participatory. (If you don’t go to archery, you won’t learn archery.) The beauty of building community relies on giving and receiving time and attention. I hope each participant will make it a priority to attend our meetings. 

 

What do you mean by “sharing”?

I mean reading aloud from fresh, just-written work (always voluntary, of course). I mean bringing in creatively empowering quotes and sharing helpful ideas from the lives of artists that have gone before. I mean talking about process, creative hurdles, creative desires. I mean speaking honestly from your artistic identity to a group of folks who are nurturing their own. 

 

Like group therapy?

Nope! Like talking around the campfire with people you like and trust. 

 

Is this a workshop where we read and critique each other’s work?

This is a workshop in the sense that we’re all hammering away at the same problems together: keeping our creative eyes open and continuing to write and think artistically through the summer months. But we will not distribute pages and respond to each other’s work as a group. In our group meetings we will, in general, write together and talk.

 

What’s a creative experiment?

Glad you asked! A creative experiment is an invitation to try something new on the page or in your daily life that will, ideally, call in looseness, playfulness, mindfulness, and/or some measure of delight. Each of us will experiment with these weekly creative assignments, many of which will not require putting pen to paper or typing on a keyboard. These could include suggested readings, guided meditations, places to go, activities to try, something to see or listen to, and so forth. 

 

What does that have to do with writing though?

Everything! Being a writer is a way of moving through the world. It's a way of seeing, experiencing, and understanding the human condition.We are writing when we’re watching meteors or waiting in line at the state fair — We are in the process of transforming life’s formlessness into an aesthetic order. SUMMER CAMP acknowledges and amplifies all the creative acts of lived experience that go into a piece of writing. SUMMER CAMP brings conscious awareness to the art of our daily lives. SUMMER CAMP connects us to our practice as it exists on and off the page. It is about taking the summer to thoughtfully devise and enhance our creative inputs.

 

“Write as if you were dying. At the same time, assume you write for an audience consisting solely of terminal patients. That is, after all, the case. What would you begin writing if you knew you would die soon? What could you say to a dying person that would not enrage by its triviality?” —Annie Dillard

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