Fire and Ice: Flash Fiction in Iceland’s Magical Winter Jan 2-6, 2021

Iceland has long been known as the land of extremes, of fire and ice, darkness and light, a geothermally heated anomaly of the extreme north. And the winter darkness and lack of light pollution make Iceland one of the world’s best locations to see the Aurora Borealis, the elusive phenomenon known as the Northern Lights.



But the magic of Iceland isn’t limited to the sky. For the flash fiction writer, Iceland also has a rich and thriving tradition of fairy tales and folklore, from modern elves, trolls and gnomes to Nordic myths, Celtic tales and beloved Viking legends.

(Did you know? According to a study, up to 72 percent of people in Iceland believe in elves, trolls, and the huldufolk, or “hidden people”?)

Join Kathy Fish and Nancy Stohlman January 2-6, 2021 for an unforgettable start to the new year. Embracing the darkest days of the season, this retreat will delve deeply into the imagination and dreams, exploring Iceland’s mysterious “blue time” and discovering the pinpricks of creative light bubbling to the surface of our stories. We will borrow from Icelandic fables and fairy tales, consider the absurd and the fantastical, and generate original work as well as revisit works in progress as we create magical flash fiction.

We will experience Icelandic winter traditions and cozy hospitality. We will stay at Héradsskólinn Historic Guesthouse, a historic schoolhouse-turned-guesthouse in the remote town of Laugarvatn in the Golden Circle, just 1 hour from the capital city of Reykjavik and just a 5-minute walk from the Fontana Hot Springs natural steam baths. Imagine watching the afternoon sun set from the hot springs after a day of satisfying writing, or watching it slowly rise with coffee after a productive morning.

Travel with us into the beautiful winter darkness and discover the deep magic in your own writing.


Give yourself the gift of:

  • 10 hours of facilitated instruction / generative sessions
  • Daily optional free-write sessions
  • Daily optional workshops
  • 50 minutes of one-on-one consultations (25 min. each) with Nancy & Kathy (also optional)
  • Three locally sourced meals each day
  • Plenty of down time for writing, restoration, naps, hot springs soaking, hot cocoa drinking, stargazing and northern lights (hopefully!) watching
  • A Salon Night reading & celebration on our final night together
  • Plus a 10% discount to the Fontana Hot Springs (5 minutes walk from the Guesthouse)

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Your ALL-INCLUSIVE fee covers:

  • Accommodation for 5 days/4 nights
  • Three delicious, locally sourced meals per day (beginning with dinner on Jan 2 and ending with breakfast on Jan 6, including one group meal at the Fontana Hot Springs Restaurant)
  • Shuttle transportation to and from the retreat location from either Reykjavik or Keflavik Airport (some coordination required)
  • ALL writing sessions and workshops
  • Personally tailored one-on-one sessions with both Nancy and Kathy

It DOESN’T include:

  • Travel to/from Iceland
  • Additional excursions
  • Entrance fee to soak in Fontana Hot Springs (though you will receive a 10% discount as a guest of the retreat)
  • Special dietary needs (most can be accommodated for a fee)
  • Heath/travel insurance
  • A guarantee to see the Northern Lights

$500 Deposit to reserve your spot!

Accommodations and Fees

Frequently Asked Questions


iceland map

Did you know? The vast majority of Icelandic homes are heated using geo-thermal hot water, one of the most environmentally friendly forms of heat-generation in the world?

Did you know? Iceland is one of the most literate countries in the world, with a 99% literacy rate in adults over 15?