Words In The Sand 2019


Sometimes writing feels like tracing words in the sand. As quickly as we form the words, winds propelled by distraction and self-doubt erase them. Treat yourself to a weekend at the shore designed to focus, inspire and encourage your writing. Join Dawn Leas and Vicki Mayk for Words In The Sand from Sept. 13-15, 2019. Our retreat returns for the second year with new experiences and exercises for writers of every level of experience. The weekend will focus on a fusion of creative practices and cross-genre writing. Writing exercises will lead you to develop a piece that includes both creative nonfiction and poetry, to use art and play (think colored pencils and markers, Play-Doh, and Lincoln Logs) as inspiration for getting words on the page, and to explore the natural world of the shore (think time spent walking and writing on the beach).

What is included in retreat fee?

  • Workshops with Vicki and Dawn
  • Lodging accommodations that include a continental breakfast on Saturday and Sunday
  • Lunch on Saturday and Sunday

Friday and Saturday evenings – dinner is on your own or with other workshop participants. Explore Ocean Grove or nearby Asbury Park.  A list of restaurants will be provided.

Where will we be staying?

Words in the Sand will be held at the Ocean Park Inn, a cozy bed and breakfast in beautiful Ocean Grove, New Jersey. It is just two blocks from the beach and four blocks from the main shopping area in Ocean Grove. It’s is also a short walk to Asbury Park. The Inn will be closed to the general public during the weekend to allow our group to have full access to the common areas and guest rooms.
Please note that the Inn is a lovely, old Victorian home, which means it has no elevator and steep staircases.

Private rooms are available or you may choose to share a room. Please be aware there are a limited number of shared rooms available. There also is a limited number of rooms with private baths that are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Other rooms share bathrooms located on each floor.


Private Room:             $525

$465    Early-Bird Rate (through July 15, 2019)

Shared Room:             $475

$425   Early-Bird Rate (through July 15, 2019)

Payment can be made through PayPal (vicki.mayk@gmail.com) or by snail mail. Email me for address.

Before you register, please see the cancellation policy below the schedule.

Words in the Sand Schedule (Subject to change)

Friday, September 13, 2019

4:00 p.m.                     Check-in

Dinner on your own.

7:00 p.m.                     Opening reception

8:30 p.m.                     Optional group walk on the boardwalk

Saturday, September 14, 2019

8:00 a.m.                     Breakfast

9:00 a.m.                     One Piece, Two Genres

Explore creating a work that combines two genres. Vicki will lead the group in a prose writing prompt and Dawn will lead the group in writing poetry to create a mixed genre or hybrid piece of writing.

12:00 p.m.                   Lunch

1:00 – 3:00 p.m.          Free time for individual writing or heading to the beach

3:00  – 5:30 p.m.         Spark your writing through art and play

Participants will be given time to draw, sketch or create with Play-Doh and toys    provided by Dawn and Vicki. The participants will then choose either prose (Vicki) or poetry (Dawn) to be led through a writing exercise.

Dinner on your own.

8:30 p.m.    Free time: Group members can spend the evening writing on their own, socializing on the inn’s front porch or third-floor lounge or taking part in a group walk on the boardwalk.

Sunday, September 15, 2019*

8:00 a.m.                     Breakfast

9:00 a.m.                     Exploring the Natural World

Participants will choose either prose (Vicki) or poetry (Dawn). Each group will walk the beach and then regroup to spend time writing.

12:00 p.m.                   Lunch

1:30 p.m.                     Retreat Closing

2:00 p.m.                     Free time and departure whenever you are ready.

*Room check-out is promptly at 12:00 p.m.

Our group has access to B&B through 3 p.m.

Cancellation Policy

If you are not able to attend Words In The Sand after you have registered, we offer the following options:
1) Find someone to take your place. We can transfer your retreat registration to another individual you designate with no penalty until September 1, 2018.
2) If you cannot find a replacement, you may request a refund.
Refunds are offered on a sliding scale based on date of request and how close we are to the retreat.

We will issue your refund, if applicable (based on dates below), using the same mechanism that you used to pay: either through PayPal or by check. Please allow up to a week for us to process your request.
Within seven days of date of payment, until Aug. 15, 2019: Full refund
Between June 15, 2019 and July 23, 2019: 75% refund
Between July 23 and Aug. 22, 2019: 60% refund
After Aug. 22, 2019 (including no-shows): No refund

A note about why retreats and conferences have refund policies: 
Throughout the planning process, organizers make important decisions based on current registration numbers, but at the 30-day mark, and especially the week-of mark, funds are released (or have already been released) to vendors, such as the hotel/bed and breakfast, caterers, supplies, etc., and are no longer available to issue refunds. This is why you’ll see that most retreats and conferences have a tiered schedule on their policies, and why, at some point (usually 30 days), refunds are no longer given. This is an industry standard; we add this explanation to give an understanding behind this best practice. Please contact us if you have any questions about this policy.