The Selkie’s Skin – Roscommon Retreat

For writers of fiction, creative non-fiction, for poets,
and for visual artists who work with words.
Spend a week in Ireland uncovering layers of creative inspiration.
30 October – 6 November 2024

What is the magical skin you left behind when you came to live in this ordinary world? Come to this intensive  generative workshop for writers and visual artists to expand the boundaries of our creative imagination.

All profits from this retreat will go to support the Treewild Forest Classroom Scholarship fund, enabling all interested children, no matter their economic status, to have access to the programming at Treewild.

Generative Workshops with Cait Weiss Orcutt

 Every morning, we will meet for optional generative workshops. “Generative” workshops are meant to inspire you. You come as you are and create whatever rises to meet you. Together, we will read a poem or a short piece of prose together, briefly discuss how it works, and then pick up those tools (via Cait’s detailed prompts) to use in our own writing. We will write for a bit (10-30 minutes), then share what we’ve come up with. 

Even if you think you’re not especially invested in Ireland’s rich literary past and present (note: you may well be by the end of this week), these location-conscious, mythos-friendly prompts will open portals to allow you to explore your own cultural backgrounds and affinities, the lore you both carry and create as you move through this world, and the narratives you, too, may have inherited and/or transformed along the way. 

Writing invites us to pay attention to what was, what is, and what could be. Our morning workshops will prime you for whatever the rest of your day in Roscommon holds, be it diving deep into your own creative world or venturing out to explore the one outside.

Cait Weiss Orcutt is the author of VALLEYSPEAK, winner of the 2017 Zone 3 First Book Prize. She holds an MFA from The Ohio State University and is a PhD candidate at the University of Houston in English Literature and Creative Writing. Her essays and poems have appeared in Boston Review, Bust Magazine, Chautauqua, FIELD, The Pinch, The Academy of American Poets and more. Cait leads poetry and creative nonfiction writing workshops centered on identity, history, intersectionality and healing.

The Abbey Hotel, Roscommon, Ireland

What makes this place so lovely is that it is not on the tourist circuit. Roscommon is in the centre of Ireland, and very easy to get to. It is a quiet town with lovely arts, cafes, pubs, and a bit of history to dip into. 

But nothing need detract us from the intention of the week: creating powerful works of art. It will be November, so the weather will also be conducive to turning inward and finding deep focus. 

Bring a work in progress, or use the generative workshops to open a rich new vein of creativity.

The rooms are lovely, comfortable and clean. The beds are deep-sleep provoking. Working in your room for hours is easy and inviting, but there are also common areas where you can go for a change of pace.

The meals are remarkably delicious for country Irish fare. Bright flavors, and fresh, delicious ingredients.

Included in our rate is the room, breakfast, and a bag lunch each day, so you can eat without interrupting your flow. Also included are the first and the final evening dinners.  Other dinners are on your own, so that you can choose a salad, or a plate of pasta, or a full meal, or go explore a restaurant in town.

And then, there’s the spa. With a full pool and a hot tub at its side, there is also a steam room, sauna and a cold dip bath.

This spa is just the right touch to ease into Irish local time, last thing before bed, melt in the steam and then slip into bed.


Travel: Fly into Dublin. Play Air and Aer Lingus usually have great fares. Then go online to book a train ticket to Roscommon, and add on the airport transfer. The city bus picks you up right outside the terminal and brings you to the station, where several direct trains a day go to Roscommon. The average cost of the train ticket is $20. In Roscommon, the Abbey Hotel is just down the road and across the street, a two-minute walk.

Cost: Tuition is $400. Tuition is due upon registration, and non-refundable after July 15th.
Room and board for 7  nights at Abbey Hotel: 955 euros. Meals and room payments are done directly with the hotel. Meals include breakfast, lunch and first and last dinners.