The September Gateless Writing Retreat

When Will We Write? The Spring Gateless Writing retreat starts the evening of Thursday, September 27th 2018 at 5:30 pm and continues until Sunday, September 30 at 2:00 pm. This part of New England is breathtaking in the early fall with miles of unspoiled coastline We will be cooked for by our own private farm-to-table chef, and receive daily Reiki and Thai head massage.  A bodyworker will be on hand to move blocks out of the body while you are blowing your work wide open on the page.

Gateless Retreats change lives.  I loved every minute of it. -Daisy Florin, Greenwich, CT.

Where Will We Write? For four days, we will be writing in one of the most beautiful spots in the country. Our retreat house is an osprey overlook set high up on the shores of sacred Indian Cove. Guilford has been voted one of the prettiest towns in New England by major media outlets including Yankee Magazine and Buzz Feed. Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones have turned heads while filming on the green.  Just minutes away, you will find the startling beauty of miles of preserved marshes and beach land (kayaks included with the retreat house).  The house, a state-of-the art contemporary beauty, has plenty of nooks and crannies to cozy up in.

Gateless plugged me back in and brought me back to myself and the writer I know I can be. When I came to retreat, I felt like I wasn't "ready,” and didn't have enough of my work solidified. What was surprising was that I could dive so deep into writing so quickly and easily. It wasn't the wrought, upward climb I feared, it was heaven on earth for writers. -Terri Trespicio, New York, NY.

How Will We Write? This retreat weekend will be filled with writing sessions otherwise known as Gateless Writing salons, the literary massage of the writing world. Salons have the unique ability to draw out your innate genius and untapped talent as a writer and unravel blocks that may have been keeping your best work hostage. The model is derived from ancient Eastern thought, brain science, and creativity studies and includes four parts:

1. The Stimulus: Gateless salons start with a deep connection to the inner field of creative knowledge, Thai head massage and Reiki that facilitates kinesthetic conversation between the body and the mind. An “activated” prompt is given that triggers centers of imagination and memory, then we spend a period (anywhere from 15-45 minutes) of blissful muse-inspired writing that has exquisite power to move a crowd.
2. Sharing the Work: Reading aloud gives you confidence as a writer and helps to move the stories out of your body so new creative work can rise. It is also a deft editing tool that can help you catch the rhythm, humor, core and meaning of your writing. Some writers choose not to read aloud, though often the feedback is so warm and valuable, it can be hard to keep your writing hidden.
3. Receiving Feedback: Gateless feedback, essential to salon, allows writers to relax and receive. In the aftermath of reading aloud, we feedback what we loved, we show you where you shine on the page, your distinct and matchless brilliance with the written word. As you receive the feedback, the amygdala in your brain begins to move forward, stimulating the intuitive, visionary and imaginative centers of the cerebral cortex. During feedback, the use of craft tools is contextualized, giving writers the skills to feel powerful on the page, and bringing attention to the tools they are already using. A skilled massage therapist will be on hand to massage you as you listen to your feedback, so that you begin to associate writing and sharing the writing with a visceral, feel-good response. This is perhaps one of the best ways to blast through blocks and jumpstart inspired creative work. I will also send you private emails each writing session, telling you what I heard and reminding you of the response the group gave.
4. The Gain: Salon raises immune levels, fires “happy” neurotransmitters in the brain and cracks open creative horizons we’ve never before journeyed through. Writers who have written Gatelessly have gone on not only to have incredible success in their literary lives, but, perhaps more importantly, to make amazing shifts in their personal lives.

The Gateless Writing Retreat is a hundred Christmas mornings: your super-sonic listening, the writing down of the comments and the Gateless rush of all I did right! I've got it now. I'm not used to seeing such joy, unfettered and alive (as Joni Mitchell says)...but I'm laying claim to it now too--thanks to you and your fearless defense of what is golden. I love you and I am going to write and write and write. -Kate Baldwin, Newburyport, MA.

Food Glorious Food: Nationally renowned chef, Renata Rokicki, will be hand to cook for us, wowing us with her incredible talent in the kitchen and catering to any food allergies or sensitivities.  Renata is also a fantastic writer and a Gateless-trained teacher.

The most surprising thing about these four days was having my words spoken back to me by other writers, like a generous offer. I feel now that I am a full-fledged member of a new sisterhood of words, and I know there is a never-ending source of word-inspiration that I can tap into whenever I like and let it flow. My vision for myself as a writer really can come true. -Sheena MJ Cook, St. Louis, Missouri.


Our first salon starts on Thursday night at 7:00.
We start morning salons at 9:30 and write until lunchtime.
Afternoon salons start again at 2:30.
Evening salons starts at 7:00.
Friday night is free.
Saturday afternoon will be open to roam the town, nap, write on your own, explore spa services etc.…

Morning meals are pick-up, whenever you wake-up.
Lunch is at 1:00.
Dinner, with the exception of Friday night, when we will be out on the town, is at 6:00.

A total blast! Suddenly the load is lighter because we know we have a community standing in the balcony, swinging jackets over their heads, calling out all the things that they freaking LOVE about us! If I had to say one thing about Gateless, it would be this: "If you're lucky, you get it before you die." -Karen Kenney, Concord, New Hampshire.

How to Get There: The best air prices are typically into New York's LaGuardia, Providence or Hartford. Tweed Airport in New Haven is also a possibility. The easiest airport (and the closest) is Hartford, with Providence being a second choice and New York being a third.  From LaGuardia, you have a little bit of a journey: take the airport bus to Grand Central, the Metro North train to New Haven, the Shoreline East train to Guilford, and someone from the retreat will arrive to bring you to the retreat house a few miles away. You will receive an email with all the group participants cc'd as we get closer to the date, and many people write to one another about carpooling. There's a reasonable car service from the Hartford airport, or rental cars are usually not too expensive from that locale.

What to Bring: Bring warm clothes in case it's chilly at night (we have a woodstove insert and often fire it up for those chilly New England nights). It has hit the 70's in April, so check the weather before you come!! Bring a laptop or notebook, any special snacks you love; earplugs (just in case!); cozy cozy clothes; a flashlight and your own beautiful unguarded ready-for-anything self!

The Unexpected: You will most likely cry at least a little bit. You will cry from the relief of letting that secreted self and your long-held creativity finally blow the roof off the house. You may cry from the joy of being able to come home to your own personal truth. You might cry from the beauty and depth of others’ writing and from your own surprise and happiness at what you really do contain inside. So bring Kleenex.

Support: Gateless retreats include a personal massage therapist for the group (see above, in the How Do We Write section). Because we move through so many creative blocks at retreat, the therapist is there to massage the blocks out of your body.  During retreat, you will have at least one session with her.  You will also receive Thai head massage and Reiki along with a guided meditation before the writing sessions. Gateless tends to draw exceptional people, and writers make lifelong friends at retreat.  To this end we have developed a private Facebook group of peeps who have written Gatelessly through the years. You are invited to join this  as soon as you register. Here you will find support for the Gateless life you’ve discovered and any and all writing endeavors, no matter how great or small.

The Jitters: Keep in mind that the critic tends to get restless as you approach retreat, that is very normal, and please do get in touch with me at when you feel shy and need some reassurance that this will be a life-changer. I promise, it will.

Unless otherwise indicated these prices include all salons with guided meditation, head massage, all meals, massage and my written feedback of your work after each session.

Single Queen or King bed room in one of the two retreat houses: $1875.

Shared room in retreat house: $1550.

Day Student (if you would like to stay in the area but not in the house), includes lunch, din-din, bodywork, all but the bed: $1300. (Rooms are available at The Comfort Inn, 300 Boston Post Road in Guilford, short drive to the retreat house).

How to Register:  To register, please send an email to us at (as soon as you can, retreats fill very quickly!

Can’t wait wait wait to write with you, Suzanne.

Want more sweet writerly treats?
It's freeeee: