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Writing Refuge VT

The ultimate nature writing experience for the whole writer.

July 12-15 (Session 1) • July 17-20 (Session 2)

“I love to escape to wild places – forests, mountains rivers or the sea. If that’s not possible, I flee into books; vicarious travel is rejuvenating” ~ Jane Wilson-Howarth

Anyone can write anything, any time. But what do you want to write? More importantly, what do you want to do with your writing? Carrot Ranch offers a unique retreat experience for writers set in the heart of Vermont on the edge of the Northeast Kingdom.

Three writers will share a summer cabin, meals, and writing guidance. The Writing Refuge is an escape to wild places and an entry point to imagination.

Terry Tempest Williams wrote, “I believe that when we are fully present, we not only live well, we live well for others.”

The same could be said for our writing. The Writing Refuge is where we learn to engage and write with a strong sense of place for others – our readers.


Throughout the days, mini-workshops will address the needs of a well-rounded modern writer, including craft, author platform building, and marketing. You’ll get to explore what makes a writer whole – the inspiration to create and the knowledge to craft and plan. Each writer will receive a Toolkit, an Author Action Plan, and materials to construct a versatile storyboard.


Activities include nature walks (including a poetry trail where D. Avery is featured and a cemetery where Charli hunts stories), time on the dock (or swimming in the lake), kayaking, and campfire camaraderie. Lessons include the works of nature writer greats, including Craig Childs, Annie Dillard, Aldo Leopold, Terry Tempest Williams, and Edward Abbey. We will use nature to improve our ability to write “with a sense of place.”


We’ll be staying in a vacation rental owned by D. Avery. Private rooms are in an A-frame cabin overlooking a lake. Indoor plumbing included. Meals and snacks provided except for one outing in town. The focus is on you as a whole writer.

MENU (food preferences and restrictions accommodated)

Day 2: Buckaroo linguica and scrambled eggs with spinach
Day 3: Rancher Parfait (Brown Cow Maple Yogurt, granola and berries with candied bacon)
Day 4: Rancher Rainbow Eggs (potatoes, yams, purple cabbage, mushrooms, garlic, onion, carrots, bacon, eggs, cream cheese, optional)

Snacks (always available)
Days 1-4: apples, bananas, grapes, whole almonds, carrot sticks, crackers, cheese, Kind Bars, dark chocolate, pickles, olives, gummy bears, San Pellegrino water with optional limes, tea and coffee.

Lunch (make your own sandwich bar)
Days 2-4: local craft bread, salami, turkey, ham, variety of sliced cheeses, sliced red onions, baby spinach, variety of pickles, sliced black olives, condiments, fresh fruit and chips, and salsa.

Dinner (included first two days)
Day 1: Campfire fajitas, watercress, and strawberry salad
Day 2: Enchiladas, Ranch Beans and green salad
Day 3: out on the town (each person pays for own)

Evening libation and s’mores provided.

Join Charli Mills, lead buckaroo at Carrot Ranch and host D. Avery for four days immersed in nature to write, grow and discover. Lodging, meals, and consultation are all included. Come for the inspiration and leave with a personalized plan.


Session 1 is SOLD OUT.

Session 2:

$750 ($650 early-bird discount if registered by June 30, 2019).

  • Includes three nights lodging, most meals, one-on-one consultation with Charli Mills, and materials.
  • Space is limited to three writers per session.
  • A down payment of $200 reserves a spot. Pay in full by start of session.


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