Need time to write? Need inspiration?

Come to the Guest House.


Four days of inspiring workshops will spark new insights and leave you refreshed. You’ll feel optimistic about your writing. You’ll return to your daily routine having made more room for creativity in your life. In the nourishing serenity of the spring Connecticut woods you’ll be able to wander and think freely; in the workshops you’ll be able to try out ideas and have your voice be heard; and in the solitude of your room you’ll be able to write alone, dream, fall asleep with your notebook.

So give it a try. Call or email with question. It’s May 16 through 19, 2014, at Guest House Retreat and Conference Center in Chester, Connecticut. Cary Tennis (that’s me) will lead Amherst Writers and Artists-style workshops all four days and the amazing, lovable, brilliant and wise Pat Schneider, originator of the AWA method, will lead a special workshop on Sunday designed to lead novices as well as experienced writers in the writing of specific poetic forms. Whether you write for a living or have never written a thing, we all write together and participate as equals.

Rooms at Guest House are spacious and beautifully decorated and the delicious, healthy food is made, wherever possible, from fresh, local ingredients. Prices include four days and three nights’ lodging, all meals, daily workshops, individual conferences with me, and the special workshop with Pat Schneider. For more information, email or call 415.308.5685.

(Reserve a space with a DEPOSIT:  $625)

(Pay IN FULL now:  $1,275)


pat_smallerAbout Pat Schneider

Pat Schneider is a poet, playwright, librettist, and author of ten books of poetry and non-fiction. She was born in the Ozark mountains of Missouri. After a search for work took her single mother to St. Louis, from age ten Pat lived in tenements and in an orphanage until she was given a scholarship to college. Those early experiences have deeply influenced her writing, and fueled her passion for those who have been denied voice through poverty and other misfortunes.

Amherst Writers & Artists, founded by Pat in 1981, is now an international network of workshop leaders who use the writing method described in Pat’s book, Writing Alone and With Others, Oxford University Press. To find out more about the birth of the AWA method and the AWA philosophy, check out this 2013 interview of Pat by Cary Tennis. Pat’s newest book, How the Light Gets In: Writing as a Spiritual Practice, was released from Oxford University Press in April 2013.

What they’re saying about Cary Tennis:

 “You helped me find my voice. Writing for me is now a lot like running—I can choose when to start and when to stop and there isn’t any need for angst in between—I can just do it!”  —Shannon Weber, founder of

 “I generally avoid workshops because of the damage they can do to writers, with the critical sniping and demoralization. Cary’s workshop, though, was nothing but helpful, quietly and subtly leading writers to do their best in an open, welcoming environment.”  Randy Osborne, multifaceted, multitalented writer and teacher

“I have seldom in my career as a writer had a more rejuvenating and stimulating creative experience. Cary establishes an environment where work is respected and safe, positive sharing is the rule, and egos are left at the door. The food is good, too.”  —Gil Schwartz, nationally known columnist (pseudonymously)

Literary Places Nearby (Thanks to Poets & Writers Magazine)

Beinecke Rare Book And Manuscript Library
Literary Archive: Yale University, New Haven, CT

Mark Twain House
Historical Site: 351 Farmington Avenue, Hartford, CT

James Merrill House
Historical Site: 107 Water Street, Stonington, CT

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