Where do you want to write in 2023?

2023 Retreats NOW OPEN!

FRANCE: June 27-July 3, 2023

COLORADO: August 15-20, 2023

ICELAND: October 25-29, 2023

Nancy Stohlman, Uncategorized

Coming Home: Magic at 8,000 Feet (Reflections and Photos from the Grand Lake Retreat)

Grand Lake (photo by Kathy Fish)

From Nancy Stohlman:

Every retreat has its own magic, its own signature. Even if you go to the exact same location, no two retreats are the same. Grand Lake was our 9th retreat, and no matter where we go–from the tropics to the arctic, in a medieval castle or a Rocky Mountain log cabin–it’s always the people who animate that location. We’ve been lucky, and Grand Lake was no exception. Our high altitude group felt like coming home–metaphorically linking arms with new family and climbing the creative mountain together.

The Grand Lake crew

There is always something wonderful about coming home, and Colorado in the summer is a special sort of magic. John Denver wasn’t wrong to describe the Rocky Mountain High as, “coming home to a place he’d never been before.” Whether it’s your first or hundreth time, being in these mountains brings out something peaceful, a sort of childlike wonder at the majesty of nature at her finest, from the fairy-like hummingbirds to the sweet gurgling streams to the shooting stars in a moon-filled sky.

photo by Kathy Fish

So what happens when you put a group of talented, open-hearted artists into a setting of natural beauty and wonder? Absolute magic in more ways than one. Magic on the page. The magic of old friends who have never met. The magic of a group belly laugh until everyone is crying with joy. The magic of sneaking up early to watch the meteor showers and then the sunrise. The  magic of digging deep into the stories that must be told in a room where everyone is rooting for your success.

the moon at sun rise

Thank you my partner in retreat crime, Kathy Fish, and to all the amazing writers who gathered on the mountaintop in August. Happy happy writing until we meet again!

watching the sunrise

From Kathy Fish:

Nancy’s retreats take us to such amazing places around the world, but it was wonderful to gather in the place we both call home: stunning Colorado. This was our second retreat at Shadowcliff Lodge, a place I adore. Homey, rustic, and welcoming, nestled cliffside next to Grand Lake, it feels like summer camp for adults and is a perfect place to restore one’s creativity. We ate heartily, photographed hummingbirds, encountered a bear, (well some of us did!)  and rose before dawn to watch the Perseids.  Everyone seemed to be on the same wavelength, embracing the same warm, creative spirit. In lively and productive workshops, we encouraged and supported each other and wrote our hearts out. Beautiful, layered stories were written and lovely connections forged. I can’t wait to go back in 2023!

photo by Nancy Stohlman

From K.B. Jensen:

The Colorado writing retreat in Grand Lake with Nancy Stohlman and Kathy Fish was a magical and life-changing experience. I learned and relearned so much from them about finding joy and prioritizing my own writing. The inspiring conversations with other writers were also a major plus. Nancy and Kathy were able to foster a supportive community within hours and were our guides on an amazing, reinvigorating writing adventure. After finishing my latest book, it was just what I needed to start going on the next.

Hummingbird action shot! (photo by Kelli Short)

From Brian Dickson:

Such gratitude for meeting these people. Lots of writing, laughter, sacred space. Thanks Nancy Stohlman and Kathy Fish!

Our magical writing space

From Kristin Tenor:

My experience at the Flash Fiction Retreat in Grand Lake, Colorado was phenomenal. Nancy & Kathy are both generous and supportive facilitators with a wealth of knowledge to share in a safe, creative environment. You will walk away from this retreat transformed. I did.

Kristin Tenor reading at salon night

From Jill Royce Loomis:

I experienced High Altitude Inspiration!  Seriously, I am in a new phase of writing and I’m building a community of great writers from this retreat.  I love you, Nancy and Kathy.  You are enriching my life.

photo by Meredyth Lillejord

From Barbara Greenstein:

Nancy and Kathy have a wonderful complementary energy in bringing ideas into the room and words to the page.  They are supportive and extraordinarily kind teachers. The flash retreats whisk you away to magical places and provide a rich pot of gold to dip into once there.

photo by Meredyth Lillejord

From Barb Ristine:

I found the retreat to be both restorative and inspirational. I enjoyed my time here, and I will miss being with everyone. I wasn’t sure what to expect, so I didn’t come with any set expectations other than this would be a generative retreat. This time far exceeded any expectations I may have had. The individual conferences were a wonderful time to discuss my work and get advice. In the daily workshops, Kathy and Nancy made sure that everyone was heard when they wanted to share, but never forced participation. The environment  they created felt safe and supportive.

salon night!

From Tammy Breitweiser:

Retreats allow for total immersion in the creative process, and the Flash Fiction retreat was a tremendous gift to my writing life. It was my first destination retreat experience and it has changed my writing life forever. I was open to the experience, and everything exceeded my expectations from the scenery, the writing conversations, the people, the depth, and the instruction. This group has become my forever writing people. There was time for restoration of my spirit, which allowed me to write about topics I had been avoiding. At this time in my life, it was a transition from one phase of life to another.  All the things I learned during the retreat I will use moving forward in my writing life. I am forever grateful for this experience.

More photos:

animal visitor at dusk! (photo by Tammy Breitweiser)
photo by Meredyth Lillejord
Beautiful Grand Lake as seen from our retreat

Also read “Everything is a Story: Reflections and Photos from the Spanish Flash Fiction Retreat”

2023 Retreats will open in October—get on the waiting list for first access!


2023 Retreats Announced!

If you’re a flash fiction writer who’s longing for a new creative spark, an adventure to energize your spirit, and camaraderie with your creative community, then join us in 2023!

2023 Retreats announced!

FRANCE: June 26-July 3

COLORADO: August 15-20

ICELAND: October 25-29

Get on early access WAITING LIST for 2023 retreats here 


Do you dream of uninterrupted days to write in beautiful locations? Do you long to meet, be mentored by, and network with other writers? Are you enamored with flash fiction and want to learn more or refine your work?

We give professional and aspiring writers, struggling to create amidst the everyday demands of life, the gift of time, community, instruction, and the opportunity to reconnect with your own imagination and sense of possibility so you can confidently bring the work inside you to fruition.

From past participants:

“The retreat was life-shaking. It was a dream to learn from writers whose stories I’ve read for years. The combination of Kathy’s generative workshops with Nancy’s editing/revising workshops is a great approach.  Peace Retreat is beautiful, and the staff couldn’t have been nicer. I came away with better writing AND eating habits.” ~Bill Merklee

“Location, location, location? Not only. This experience pulled my writing in new directions and left me with a sense that a retreat can be both demanding of one’s mind and easy on one’s spirit. Kathy and Nancy were inspiring instructors who brought together a talented and generous group of flash fiction-loving writers. Together, they offered guidance that I can continue to draw on each time I take to the page.” ~Charmaine Wilkerson

“A Flash Fiction Retreat with Kathy Fish and Nancy Stohlman is the perfect way to refresh one’s writing practice. Inspiring locations, like-minded short-fiction writers, and their hallmark positive feedback style make for a true retreat: Pressure-free, productive, and restorative.” ~Anne Weisgerber

“My week of “writing wild” at Peace Retreat in Costa Rica ” with Kathy Fish and Nancy Stohlman was an amazing way to start of 2019. Everything a writer needs to gain confidence and fire up her word machine was provided: time to write, community, useful exercises, mentoring, helpful critiques, encouragement, time for rest and contemplation, time for fun and games, time to reflect and dig deep. Stunning experience.” ~Gay Degani

The writers retreat with Kathy Fish and Nancy Stohlman was an inspiring, magical, once-in-a-lifetime experience. They are wonderful instructors, writers and mentors with great insight into the craft, as well as the writing life. I also loved meeting people from all over the world who are passionate about writing. I left the retreat feeling re-energized and refocused about my writing. In short, I loved every minute. ~ K.B. Jensen

If you want to learn about yourself as a writer and a person, if you want to open yourself to your creative potential, and your inner truth as a writer, take a retreat with Kathy Fish and Nancy Stohlman, they will guide you, encourage you, and inspire you. The rest is up to you, put aside your usual way of thinking, open yourself up to what you want to avoid, and.prepare to be amazed. ~ Annie Bien

The French writing retreat with Kathy Fish and Nancy Stohlman – my first ever writing retreat – lived up to all my expectations, and they were pretty high. It felt like a fairy godmother had shown up, asked us what we wanted and needed most for a week of writing, thinking, creating, sharing, learning and laughing, waved her wand and made it all come true: exceptional teachers in an exceptional location in the company of other inspirational writers. With a pool and fabulous food thrown in. I feel I am leaving with my writing well filled up to the brim with riches for me to keep drawing from. Thank you Kathy and Nancy! ~Philippa Bowe

Read “Everything is a Story”: Reflections and photos from the 2022 Spanish Flash Fiction Retreat


Summer Retreats Now Open!

Are you longing for a new creative spark?
An adventure to energize your spirit?
Camaraderie with your creative community?

You’ve emerged from the last year with a new sense of perspective, a desire to push yourself creatively, take risks, and realign yourself with your purpose on the planet: to tell the kind of stories that change the world.
But how?

Open Your Heart/Open Your Art
Summer Retreats 2022

Spain, June 6-13

Colorado, August 9-14

Whether you are craving adventure, rest, or artistic community, connection, and guidance, our creative souls need the gifts of a writing retreat more than ever. 

P.S. Even if it says “SOLD OUT” there will be some flux in these next days–so go ahead and apply with your rooming preferences and we will put you on the waiting list in the order received!

Happy writing and happy retreating! xoxo


Summer Flash Fiction Retreats Opening Jan 18!

Are you longing for a fresh perspective?
A new creative spark?
An adventure to energize your spirit?
Camaraderie with your creative community?

Join us in 2022!

Andalucía, Spain: June 6-13, 2022 (new dates!)

Grand Lake, Colorado: August 9-14, 2022

Don’t miss next week’s annoucement!