SEARCHING FOR YOUR CREATIVE COMMUNITY?

If you are like many people, you are craving connection more than ever right now. After a two+ year pandemic, there is nothing I can imagine more healing than sharing music with friends around a campfire! If you were at our first retreat in Oct 2019, you know that the outpouring of love, appreciation and excitement that was generated from that event was almost overwhelming! I can barely find words to express HOW incredibly magical and transformative this weekend was for people!

Our SUMMER CAMP 2022 (June 30-July 3rd) is OVER SOLD OUT! Get on the WAITLIST HERE.

If you didn’t make it into our Summer Camp, never fear, the next NW Songwriter Soiree Retreat is on the books for Autumn: November 10-13 at the Stampher Retreat Center near Olympia, WA!

Autumn Dates
November 10-13, 2022

COVID REGISTRATION GUIDELINES
We don’t know where we will be in November. At this point, everyone will require a negative PCR test within 72 hours of the retreat ( we will post resources for RAPID PCR testing leading up to the event). We will continue to update as things evolve.

Thanks, and see you ’round the campfire!

Warmly,
Robin Jackson, Retreat Director

AUTUMN SONGWRITER SOIREE RETREAT

November 10-13, 2022

ABOUT THE RETREAT

What began in 2009 as a monthly living room potluck, has turned into one of the largest communities of songwriters and lovers of music in the Pacific Northwest! This event is not a typical “songwriting retreat.” The Soiree is a place for ANYONE to enjoy the art and craft of songwriting, to learn music, and to enjoy community and connection! We hope you will become a member of our community and join our semi-annual retreat.

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.

Whether you are a songwriter yet or not, this event is for you! 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. 

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, to allow themselves to get up and be vulnerable and show themselves….The whole experience was something special!” — Gabriella C.

“It was transformative…if you have the opportunity
to go, I really encourage you to do it. It’s a wonderful
gift to yourself and your own creative soul.”
— Elenor O.


What’s Included

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!

Songwriting Workshops

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!

Reflection Time/Hiking/Fun

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 an amazzzing Retreat Center near Olympia, WA!

We are stoked to be at the Stampfer Jewish Retreat Center, about 10 miles south of Olympia, WA. They are very open and encouraging to groups of all beliefs and backgrounds. The retreat center boasts 175 acres of wild wetlands, a lake and a gorgeous river! The meeting spaces are big, updated and aesthetically pleasing with space for yoga, dance and performing!

Accommodations are clean, comfy and easily accessible near the main lodges. Sleeping arrangements mainly consist of clean, cozy shared cabins (6-10 beds per room). We have a limited amount of smaller hotel style rooms which each contain a queen and 4 bunks. These can be rented for an additional cost for a family, group or individual. (First come first serve so sign up now if you want one). Limited tent camping and RV parking is also available for privacy (same cost as bunks) . Please inquire for more info when you register. Guests must bring their own linens and blankets. Linens are available to rent for additional cost. 

All food is included! Enjoy three nutritious and healthy home cooked meals a day, as well as 24 hour snacks, coffee, tea and other refreshments always available in the main lodge. The kitchen staff is friendly to all dietary needs including vegan, GF, Kosher, etc. And has different sections of the kitchen devoted to each! How awesome is that! 


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

“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
• Magic
• Soothing time in nature
• A feeling of relaxation and peace
• A new song!


ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE INFO FOR SUMMER RETREAT

Check in is Thursday, November 10th between 4-7pm. Dinner is at 7pm followed by opening circle and orientation. We ask you be on site by 6:45pm at the latest. If you need to make arrangements for a late arrival please contact us.

Check out is Sunday, November 13th 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.


PRICING AND REGISTRATION INFO

We SO look forward to having you join us for this truly magical weekend! Your tuition includes all facilities, accommodations, workshops and food – Everything for just $550! And we are offering a discounted ticket price for people ready to sign up now!

COVID REGISTRATION GUIDELINES
UPDATE: Due to a decline in covid numbers and an almost full retreat, we have decided to open the remaining registration to all participants, regardless of vaccine status. (80% or more of the event participants will be vaccinated). Everyone will require a negative PCR test within 48 hours of the retreat ( we will post resources for RAPID PCR testing leading up to the event). And possibly a take-home antigen test day of event. We will continue to update as things evolve.

Cancellation Policy: For new tickets purchased for the Summer Camp after Feb 9th, we offer a full refund up to May 10th, minus a $50 cancellation fee. No refunds given after May 10th. Exceptions may be made if someone on the waiting list or someone not already registered can take your spot. We also may offer credit. There will be a $25 admin fee applied for transfers. If the retreat is cancelled by The Soiree or the venue due to COVID safety concerns, we will offer 100% of your credit to any future event (does not expire).

We have a limited amount of work trade and scholarships available. If interested, please contact us


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. 

It’s impossible to walk away not feeling loved, supported, and inspired! I feel welcomed into a community that has lovely altered the course of my entire life!

— Erin Chmela