SEARCHING FOR YOUR CREATIVE COMMUNITY?
If you are like many people, you are craving connection more than ever right now. After a 3 year pandemic, there is nothing I can imagine more healing than sharing music with friends around a campfire! If you were at any of our past retreats, you know that the outpouring of love, appreciation and excitement that was generated has been almost overwhelming!
If you didn’t make it into our Summer Camp, never fear, the next NW Songwriter Soiree Retreat is around the corner! We are excited to offer two retreats each year moving forward — a Summer camp and an amazing Winter retreat for contemplation and renewal. We look forward to playing with you this year as you discover and life your creative self!
January 15-18 2024
Registration will be Open soon!
Stay tuned and sign our email list (at the bottom of the page) to be the first to know!
Thanks, and see you ’round the campfire!
Robin Jackson, Retreat Director
SUMMER SONGWRITER SOIREE RETREAT
July 26th – 30th, 2023
ABOUT THE RETREAT
What began in 2009 as a monthly living room potluck songwriter soiree, has turned into one of the largest communities of songwriters and lovers of music in the Pacific Northwest!
What makes the soiree so special is the music, yes…and even more, it’s the PEOPLE! Our mission is to support songwriters of all skill levels and genres, create an inspiring and supportive experience, and provide a safe space where individuals can express themselves through music and storytelling.
This event was born from our monthly soiree and is different from conventional songwriting retreats. You will be stepping into a lovingly curated world of community and connection; a place to enjoy the art and craft of songwriting, to learn music, and to connect to yourself within a more integrated and experience.
Yes, it’s a songwriting retreat. And it’s also a creative arts and community retreat. The retreat provides an opportunity to learn the craft of songwriting, to develop and expand musical skills, and to commune and share with others, yourself, and nature, in an intimate and connected way. Whether you are a songwriter yet or not, this event is for you!
The focus of the retreat is on the SHARING aspect. In addition to the AMAZING songwriting and music workshops offered, the main event is an open mic session each night wherein participants share songs they have written, or are working on…followed by all night campfire jams!
Also note that sharing a song or writing a song isn’t required at all. How you participate is up to you! Just listen, bring your presence, give feedback, relax, learn and enjoy!
All of this magic is set in a location that provides an environment conducive to creativity, support and relaxation!
“You could not ask for a more receptive, listening, and encouraging audience to play for! It was so inspiring to see some people who had never played or performed before, or played anything before, allowing themselves to get up and be vulnerable and show themselves….The whole experience was something special!”
— Gabriella C
It was amazing. Probably the best group experience of my life.
— DeAnna Rose, Soiree Participant.
Open Mic Soiree
This is the heart of the soiree. Each night we will gather together in an intentional and supportive space, to share original songs. Participants are encouraged to talk about the process!
We are over the moon excited to have some amazing regionally recognized and talented teachers, performers and mentors join us. We will be offering daily workshop choices in all aspects of songwriting including lyricism, arranging, storytelling, form, musicality and more! All levels.
Music, Performance, and Creativity Workshops
Whether you are a professional or don’t identify as a “musician,” we have lots of dynamic ways you can participate and learn! Want to learn how to play the ukulele or guitar or just sing in a group? This retreat is for ANYONE who wants to be creative or just enjoy the community vibes. We will be offering workshops on circle singing, vocal improv, drumming, beginning guitar, ukulele, music performance, confidence and more!
Yoga and Dance
Begin each day with an optional, inspiring led yoga class taught by one of our renowned teachers, and an ecstatic dance on Sunday!
Group Connection and Play
Part of what makes the soiree unique is the safe, supportive and connected space we create. We will be taking some time to get to know each other (just like Summer camp!) and offer some fun, connecting activities to make the weekend even more awesome. Optional, yet encouraged!
We came here to relax, right?! Take the time YOU need to unwind, be still and let inspiration find you. We will provide lots of free time and space for reflection, hiking and connection with other activities. The property offers hiking trails, big starry skies, a stream for light bathing, and a serene and meditative nature experience!
Food and Accommodation at a stunning creative arts retreat center in Saint Helen’s, OR!
We are very excited to return to an amazing private retreat center in Saint Helen’s Oregon! (pictured right). This is an incredible secluded 20 acre art farm, recently created for events just like ours (The Soiree held the first event here in 2022).
The center boasts a secluded and magical forest and fields landscape with hiking trails, a creek, and lots of gorgeous buildings and art. It offers a unique indoor/outdoor experience with wonderful camping spots, an indoor gathering space, retreat house, cabins, and more! The founders are close friends of the Soiree, and are excited to make our event as easeful and magical as possible. You can view photos of the space HERE.
For our Summer event, most accommodations are camping in the fields or nearby the main event space with access to toilets and water.
We also have limited indoor options available in our luxury bell tents, cabins, trailers, and shared sleeping in the gorgeous retreat house. For all indoor options, accommodations are clean, comfy and all linens and bedding is provided! First come first serve so sign up now if you want a specific space!
All food is included! Enjoy three nutritious and healthy home cooked meals a day (catering to all meal types), as well as 24 hour coffee, tea and other refreshments always available. The kitchen staff is friendly to all dietary needs including vegan, GF, Kosher, etc.
ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE INFO FOR SUMMER CAMP
Check in is Wednesday, July 26th between 4-7pm. Dinner is at 5:30pm followed by opening circle and orientation. We ask you be on site by 6:45pm at the absolute latest. If you need to make arrangements for a late arrival please contact us.
Check out is Sunday, July 30th at 3:30pm after closing circle (guests asked to be off land by 4:30pm).
You will immediately get more information on arrival/departure, schedule and accommodations after you register.
“I came to the retreat curious about how this might further inspire my fledgling songwriting. When I arrived, I felt excited but also nervous, what was I doing here?! I was warmly welcomed and immediately felt at ease. The entire weekend was full of authentic connection and beautiful expression. I left feeling more open, expansive, inspired and supported. I couldn’t have asked for a better audience to share with for the first time!”
— Maria Veltman
WHAT YOU’LL TAKE AWAY FROM THE WEEKEND
• Songwriting tools and tips
• Creative confidence
• New skills in music
• New friends and connections
• Soothing time in nature at a world class setting in the Columbia Gorge!
• A feeling of relaxation and peace
• A new song!
The prices are different depending on whether you want to camp or purchase an indoor accommodation option. The price shown is the price you’ll pay for the entire retreat. Please note that these prices reflect the expansion of our retreat into a 5 day event (was 4 previously).
We have strong values around inclusion and accessibility. Part of our ethos is to provide an experience where people from many different backgrounds and situations can gather and learn from each other — not just those with the privilege or resources to attend. For our camping options we are offering three payment tiers and ask you to self select based on your income and resources.
We SO look forward to having you join us for this truly magical weekend! Your tuition is per person and includes 5 full days of fun, all facilities, accommodations, workshops, 12 meals, and 24hr beverage service!
For a detailed description and photos of our accommodations, please visit our accommodations page!
These prices are if you are camping in a tent or RV/Van. This is the total price you’ll pay for the whole 5 day retreat. Please note prices reflect our expanded retreat (now 5 days!).
**The First 10 people to sign up for camping will receive a FREE NW Songwriter Soiree T-Shirt!**
Tier One: Chorus — $979 (or 3 payments of $343)
If you register at this tier you will help sustain the retreat and also assist in helping others with less resources through our scholarship program. By selecting this tier, you are showing your support of this community directly with your dollars and it makes an enormous difference! We see you and appreciate you.
Tier Two: Verse — $779 (or 3 payments of $276)
All of the workshops, deep connections, inspiration and supportive space you can ask for while helping us sustain our program. Payment plan available for those in need (at checkout).
Tier Three: Bridge — $549 Sold Out
You feel super called to do this program and immerse yourself in this potentially life changing experience! And maybe you need a little help to get there. Please sign up at this tier only if you identify as marginalized and need assistance. (Note, we can offer a payment plan on a tier two ticket as another option). We are happy to offer this at a lower price for you. This tier is only offered with support from contributions from others. This tier has a max of 15 tickets available. Payment plan available for those in need (at checkout).
* We may also offer a 4 month payment plan upon request.
**We also have a limited amount of work trade and scholarships available (depending on donations). If interested, please contact us before signing up!
ROOMS, BELL TENTS AND CABINS PRICING
For a detailed description of all accommodations with photos please view our accommodations page. You can tell us who you’d like to room with, or we’ll assign you one. All rooms come with full bedding, towels, and access to a shared bathroom.
We have a very limited number of rooms, bell tents, and cabins. We expect to sell out of these so make your choice soon. You can pay all at once or we offer a payment plan (info on next page).
Prices below are per bed for the entire 5 day retreat.
Double – Triple Occupancy Room in retreat house $1049 ( or 3 payments of $366) Sold Out Full/Single Bed in Sky Room (6 beds total in room) $879 – $899 (or 3 payments of $309-$329) Sold Out 2 Queens in a Cabin $1049 Sold Out 1 Queen in a Cabin $1129 Sold Out Glamping Tents (2 beds each tent) $899 (or 3 payments of $316) Sold Out
For a detailed description of all accommodations with photos, please view our accommodations page.
* We may also offer a 4 month payment plan upon request.
**We have a limited amount of work trade and scholarships available. If interested, please contact us before signing up!
COVID REGISTRATION GUIDELINES
At this point, our protocol is that everyone attending will require to show a negative home antigen test upon arrival. This was very successful in keeping our last event safe. We will continue to update as things evolve.
Cancellation Policy: We offer a 75% refund up to one month before the event. No refunds given after a month prior. We also may offer 90% of your tuition as credit towards a future event. If the retreat is cancelled by the Soiree or the venue due to COVID safety concerns or an act of nature, we will offer 90% of your credit to any future event (does not expire). The fees help us cover admin costs, thank you for your understanding.
Make a difference in someone’s life and donate to the scholarship program!
Not everyone is able to afford the soul enriching creative experience that we offer. To that end, part of the mission of the NW Songwriter Soiree Retreat is to make the retreat as inclusive as possible, regardless of financial ability. We offer options for work trade and low income tickets funded by our scholarship program. The funds available in our scholarship program are determined by donations made from individual donors as well as funds offered by the retreat. The more donations we have, the more people we can offer scholarships to!
If you want to help someone attend please consider making a donation. Your funds will go directly towards paying for someone’s ticket!
Any amount helps at all! Even $10!
Your name will be included in the gift when they receive it, unless you wish to remain anonymous, in which case please indicate that in the note under the donation.
It takes a village, thank you for your generosity!
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING
SAFER SPACE POLICY
The organizers of the NW Songwriter Soiree Retreat recognizes that oppression is real and that some of us (white people) reap unequal benefits from a legacy of privilege.
We believe that anytime people gather and hold space, it is a powerful opportunity to acknowledge and shift the ways oppressive systems harm and disconnect us from ourselves, from each other, and from the earth. We see it as a necessity in order for growth and transformation to take place.
We recognize that there are people in bodies which are marginalized. We aspire to co-create a space that is as safe as possible for all people, with the understanding that a fully safe space is impossible in our world. People of all races, sizes, ages, cultural backgrounds, gender identities, sexual orientations, trauma backgrounds, and religions are welcome. Intentional words and actions that promote racism, misogyny, hatred, bigotry, supremacy, sizeism, transphobia, ageism, or divisiveness will not be tolerated and will constitute expulsion from the retreat.
“I had wondered, as a non-singer, non-songwriter, and non-musician, what I could possibly get from this weekend. And, I got a lot. Songwriting was just the vehicle for the retreat’s true purpose: this was a creativity retreat! That’s something worthwhile even for someone whose only instrument is the kazoo.”
— Avi Kindle