Who generally attends the retreat?
The retreat is open to writers at all levels and in any genre. That said, most of the writers who come are either writing professionally, or are hoping to. We strive for a mix of island folks and mainland folks, with the idea that the retreat offers a special exchange of resources and feeling. We try to be low-key in the vibe, but high-level in the work.
Where can I learn more about the experience?
What? We haven’t provided everything you wanted to know on this Web site? (LOL.) Various items and articles have covered past retreats:
- An article in the San Francisco Chronicle (2013)
- A post on Hawaii Book Blog (2014)
- A segment on “The Conversation,” Hawaii Public Radio 2 (2014)
(Scroll to the bottom — Connie Hale was the last guest)
- An article in Honolulu Magazine (2015)
Can you say more about the location?
In the Hawaiian language, mokulē‘ia means “a place of abundance,” but it is also the name of a pristine beach that stretches along the far northwest tip of the island of O‘ahu. Established by The Episcopal Church of Hawaii in 1947, Camp Mokulē‘ia’s mission states that it shall be a sacred place (wahi pana) for reflection, gathering, and play that will inspire the mind, body, and spirit.
Guidebooks can give you an overview of the islands, but here are some articles for a more personal take on the North Shore and Camp Mokulē‘ia:
- San Francisco Chronicle on Hale‘iwa
- San Francisco Chronicle on Camp Mokulē‘ia
- The New York Times on the North Shore
How, exactly, do I get there?
Mokulē‘ia is about one hour from Honolulu and 45 minutes from the airport. You’ll find a map and our address in the upper right-hand corner of this page, as well as more details on the “Travel Planning” page. You can rent a car at the airport, line up a shuttle from Honolulu or the airport, or take a cab, which can be expensive. You won’t need a car during the week, so we encourage you to carpool or join a shuttle with other participants (which we’ll help line up) to save on costs getting to and from the airport.
Can I come early or stay late?
Of course! You may or may not be able to book a room or cabin at the camp. (You would do that separately through the Camp Mokulē‘ia Web site.) But there are rooms at all price levels in Honolulu. There are also some good reasons to come early and stay late. The first good reason is to get over jet lag at the beginning and explore more of the island at the end. The second is the opportunity to attend one of several fantastic events on the island:
- May 1 is a big deal in Hawai‘i—”May Day is lei day,” we are fond of saying. Look for free May Day celebrations at Kapi‘olani Park as well as other locations. Hula, music, steel guitar, and vendors selling flower garlands, among other things, will be on tap. .
- The Hawai‘i Book & Music Festival brings authors, musicians, and culture mavens to the downtown area May 5 and May 6. It’s a great warm up for the retreat.
Can you advise on airfares or other accommodations in Hawai‘i?
Sorry, we can’t even pretend to be travel agents. But check our “Travel Planning” page for some general suggestions.
What is required to register… and what happens if I have to cancel?
You will receive a registration form when you email us (see Contact). Full payment in advance is necessary to reserve space. There are only 15 rooms available and we expect to sell out. (The first people to register have priority in their choice of rooms and workshops.) Because of camp policies, we cannot refund payments after March 15. If you cancel before then, we will refund all but $100.
I noted the cost for a single for the retreat is $1,300 and a companion is $700. If joined by a companion is the writer’s cost still $1,300?
No, it drops to $1,100, with the total for two being $1,800. If the second person is a writer taking the workshops, too, the total cost of the room is $2,200.
What are the cabins like?
The cabins are great! They are right by the beach, with three bedrooms, a large bathroom with two multiple showers and sinks, and a living room with a fridge and a way to make tea and keep snacks. The rooms each have four bunks and are no frills, but the cabins are a great way to go.
Will you help me find a roommate?
This is above our pay grade, and we can’t guarantee a roommate. But we will certainly put potential roommates in touch with each other.
How does a typical day run?
Basically, yoga or a beachwalk or a swim in the early morning, breakfast, workshops (9:00 to 11:30), lunch, some optional workshops/panels/outings in the afternoon. Two or three evening programs after dinner. Early to bed.
How do one-on-one sessions work? Do you review a current project?
Workshops are GENERATIVE. Teachers urge you to explore new things, give you prompts and exercises, and lead critique sessions for some of what you write. You can also use the prompts and exercises to work on a project you’ve already started. The instructors try to make themselves available for one-on-one coaching so that you can ask specific questions or receive directed feedback on your work or your career.
What time do things wrap up on Friday?
We will check out of rooms before the workshops and end after lunch, at 1pm.