Irene Sherlock's participation at the Adirondack Mountain Writers' Retreat has twice been funded in part by Poets & Writers, Inc., with public funds from The New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency. 2009 was the third year the Adirondack Mountain Writers' Retreat received the support of this national organization.


FROM 2008 - 2009 - 2010

I am so happy that I did not let my insecurities keep me away. It was the perfect mix of people and, of course, Irene was great. J.B.

Irene, whose own beautiful writing is almost enough to learn from by itself, has a style of teaching that is rare in that she wraps her critiques in a very gentle, positive blanket.... It makes you feel encouraged even when there's a lot of rewriting to do. After working with Irene, I couldn't wait to get back to my book and have been writing feverishly ever since. (It's 5:00 am now!)
Kim W.

My needs were met head on and I far surpassed my goals. Never one to consider myself a team player, I found the group experience incredibly powerful and motivating. Seeing everyone's progress in such a short time, under Irene's direction, was truly amazing.

Our writing lives are deeper as we become a part of the community of writers that you are creating.
David & Lauren

Somehow, each year, the people who come to her workshop are from all walks of life yet alike in their love of writing. The Adirondack atmosphere is like none other. We all are able to check our inhibitions at the door and embark on a wonderful journey for the weekend

This was my first writer's retreat and it was the best thing I could have done with three days, both personally and professionally. It addressed what I wanted to get out of the weekend, which was focus and constructive criticism about my writing, which in turn gave me momentum to move toward my goals.

There some alchemy going on here - each "part" of the retreat, excellent in itself, contributes to a "whole" that far exceeds all likely expectations. All that we, the participants, have in common is a love of writing; our ages, writing expertise and backgrounds are diverse. But the energy and excitement generated in this all too brief three-day period fuels some remarkable writing and renews commitment to a writing life. Everyone - novice and "pro" - grows in this creative environment.

I embarked on the Adirondack Mountain Writers' Retreat with enthusiasm and some reserve. Since college days...I have written only poetry.... No problem. I felt from the beginning that I was among friends and peers. Not only was the group, under her leadership, congenial and inspiring...she is an outstanding teacher in a quiet, unobtrusive way, a delightful woman whom I would love to know better and number among my friends. P.L.

I casually signed up for the first retreat, not knowing what to expect. I was unfamiliar with memoir writing, but I got hooked ....I developed an idea for a book I would like to write. At the second retreat, I was able to solidify and finish a few chapters....At the third retreat, I was able to regain the energy and focus I had been losing over the year. The true power of Irene's teaching methods became especially clear at the third workshop. Not only did I see the new members of the group noticeably improve their writing after a few days (which happened each retreat I attended), but I was blown away by the boldness and strength the returning members exhibited in their new work. It was evident we had all been working with Irene's advice in mind. I know I'm now writing
pieces I never could have imagined I was capable of.



Some of Irene Sherlock's students shared their feelings about Irene's instruction:

Irene showed me how to dig deep, to unearth my story, and then revisit the tale, to hone it. She is an elegant and eloquent guide through the creative landscape."
MFA student Laura Baione Hayden

Although I had been a writer for many years, involved in television and films, and thought I knew it all, my one semester studying with Irene at Western Connecticut State, taught me much more than I could cover in one short paragraph of praise. She is an incredibly creative writer and an inspiring teacher.
Bernie Orenstein

I was lucky enough to be part of Irene Sherlock's writing class at Ann's Place several times. Her class changed my life. Although my job is time consuming and exhausting I now find time to write in my journal and prepare for my future as a writer. Irene was so generous with her time and knowledge about what it takes to fine tune and polish a piece of writing.
Joyce Wigler

How rare and wonderful it has been to have found a writing mentor like you, who offers such gracious guidance, inspiration, and integrity to aspiring writers! Of course I benefited greatly from your expert writing instruction, but more than direction on technique, your skill and willingness to connect with my ideas and to actively reach into the meaning in my writing have had the most enduring impact on my work. You have the unique ability to both look into the written words on the page to explore their meaning, and the unwritten, underlying stories yet needing encouragement to be told. This kind of support for the writer to explore new directions, to stretch and grow, and to more confidently access the unexpected has led to some of the most fruitful and satisfying writing I could ever hope to do. Through the kind sharing of your own experiences that both serve the material and feed the writer, you have encouraged me to better connect with myself, with others, and with the world at large through my writing, which in the end is the best result. I wish for myself, as well as for the many others likely to discover what I already know, the great good fortune of being able to write with you once again someday in the future!

Ed Kurpis
Master of Fine Arts candidate
Western Connecticut State University

Irene Sherlock is a writing 'mentor' in every sense of the word. She had the uncanny ability to read a piece and instinctively know what I was striving for; and then knew what changes I needed to make to get my work there. I've studied under many different writers, and have rarely received the thorough, balanced critiques that Irene gave. She delivered supportive feedback in an honest, upbeat manner that never left me feeling deflated or discouraged-quite the opposite, actually. Her ability to focus on the minute details as well as the overall direction of a piece has helped me complete a draft of my first novel and achieve a greater understanding of the craft. Irene's thorough feedback, guidance and generosity exceeded anything I could have hoped for.
Colleen Wright '07,
MFA in Professional Writing Program



The Adirondack Mountain
Writers' Retreat

Creative Writing Weekend Workshop
(Fiction/Memoir/Personal Essay)

Noon, Friday, July 18 through
Noon, Sunday, July 20, 2014

A workshop
taught by Irene Sherlock
spanning two days


Ready to take that next step toward becoming a better writer? Whether your focus is fiction or nonfiction, memoir or the novel, writing teacher Irene Sherlock will help you hone your writing style and deepen your understanding of the craft.

Morning and afternoon workshops (6 in all) will focus on the writers' own works in progress. Participants will read aloud and receive feedback on their work. Whether you've been writing for years, recently graduated from an MFA program, or have just now decided to take the leap out of your private notebooks and into a classroom, this weekend will provide the structure and the impetus you need to reconnect and recommit to the writing process. Come, be encouraged and engaged. Phone or email with questions.

You are invited to send a maximum of ten double-spaced pages (required for new applicants) that you wish to be workshopped during the weekend, so that Irene can familiarize herself with your work. Also, participants may schedule individual consultations with the instructor.

On Saturday after dinner, participants will read from their work for the entire group. This affords writers an opportunity to improve reading skills while getting a sense of where their work stands.

We hope to provide an inspiring and informative weekend for writers, thinkers and artists.

Irene Sherlock

Read about registration cost, cancellation policy and waiting list.


"Equinox" - Irene's new chapbook may be ordered now from Finishing Line Press. Read a review and see ordering information here.

"COIFED TO COOK" ~ Irene, with her friend Gina Weckle, have created a quirky and fun combination cookbook and style retrospective that will make you simultaneously giggle, reminisce and salivate. Sneak a peek and leave a comment at their blog, http:/// Forward it to a friend and bookmark it for an easy return visit.

"FOODCHILD" ~ In addition to the Adirondack Mountain Writers' Retreat and her university classes, Irene also teaches some private writing classes. She also periodically offers a highly-acclaimed workshop called "Foodchild," which helps participants understand how culture, family and gender shape (literally!) our eating habits and influence the way we feel about our bodies.

See Irene Sherlock's new web site,

See Gina and Irene on YouTube:



Irene Sherlock's poems, essays and short stories have been published in Alimentum, Chautauqua Literary Journal, Cloven Sphere, Cream City Review, Connecticut Review, Dos Passos Review, Fairfield Review, Melusine, Miranda Magazine, Poem-memoir-story, Poet Lore, Poetry Motel, Primavera, Roux, Runes, Slipstream, Tar Wolf Review, The New York Times, White Pelican Review and in many anthologies. Her essays have aired on WSHU National Public Radio. In addition to work as a book editor, Sherlock is a drug and alcohol counselor in Danbury, Conn.

Since 2008 Irene has served as writer-in-residence at the Adirondack Mountain Writers' Retreat, thanks in part, to funding from Poets and Writers and New York State Council on the Arts. Several times a year, she leads writing workshops in her home for beginners and advanced writing students.

More comments

After years as a technical writer, I recently made my first venture into creative writing. I was fortunate to have had Irene Sherlock as my instructor in a memoirs writing workshop, and in a 1-semester college level course in creative writing with focus on the human interest story. Ms.Sherlock was masterful at generating classroom discussion and in teaching us - by example and class exercises - how to turn personal experiences into riveting prose. I hope to be in her classroom again.
Neil Corday

Fiction Among Friends
Adirondack Mountain Writers' Retreat

This Adirondack Mountain Writers' Retreat is designed to give writers an opportunity to develop writing skills, tap creativity and explore new ways of telling their stories. The quiet mountain setting in the town of Thurman, NY, promises a peaceful place in which to nurture personal artistry, hone techniques and stretch literary wings. Writers have the opportunity to choose either full live-in retreat participation or commuter enrollment. Both options include all instruction, personal writing time and discussion/critique sessions, along with lunch and supper. In-residence fees cover lodging and all meals. Find the registration form, waiver, and payment details elsewhere on this website. Read what participants had to say about the 2008 Adirondack Mountain Writers' Retreat. Read more
or Register.

Perky Granger, Organizer
Adirondack Mountain Writers' Retreat

Perky Granger, retreat organizer, is author of Adirondack Gold, and Adirondack Gold II: A Summer of Strangers, both YA novels,, and she co-wrote and edited Shared Stories from Daughters of Alzheimer's: Writing a Path to Peace. She edits and helps write the John Thurman Historical Society Quarterly. In addition to the Adirondack Mountain Writers' Retreat, she also hosts the November St. George Island (FL) Writers' Retreat with author-in-residence Adrian Fogelin. St. George features an intensive week of writing, consulting and critiquing for those with a work in progress. This is an extremely nurturing and supportive environment for writers, many of whom are embarking on a first major work.


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