ComposedUnfurl: A Weekend of Writing Practice + the Magic of Connection

When: 2017 dates TBA!
Where: Amherst, MA
What: Freewriting + sharing, inspiration, refuge, community, and summer beauty; further details to be shared upon registering.

What if you knew you could show up and be welcomed, to enjoy what happens when you give yourself the gift of time to breathe, write, and just be–alone and together? What if you could show up and let the words unfurl across the page? What if you could unfurl?

“A truly incredible experience.”
– Nicki Gilbert

I grew up a stone’s throw from the Emily Dickinson Homestead. I used to write late at night, gazing out the bedroom window, feeling like the only person in the world.

Writing is such a solitary experience in many ways, and the gradual process of finding my writing community has surprised and amazed me. Much of how I connect with others occurs online–and opportunities to meet face to face with others, feel precious and few.

“There was a feeling of profound permission being together in person that astounded me, really. The level of trust and truth and the total beauty of everyone’s words filled me. That’s a very special state of being.”
– Lisa Moskowitz Sadikman

Whether you’ve already found “your people” or are longing to deepen or make new connections with others who appreciate writing as a practice, come spend a weekend in a beautiful space just a short walk from Amherst Center, to listen to your own voice and benefit from the practices of showing up, moving your hand, opening your heart, and seeing what happens when you do.

“By the end, my creative juices were flowing.”
– Shelly Hatch Kastner

writing, writing retreats, Amherst

June 2015 Unfurlers | Photo by Cara Paiuk

* The retreat begins at 5:00pm on Friday and ends around noon on Sunday.

* The cost includes continental breakfast both mornings, a catered lunch on Saturday, and a beautiful custom notebook for your words. Jena’s books will be for sale during the weekend.

* Optional gentle yoga Saturday and Sunday mornings with Miv London, as well as meditation that will relate to our writing themes.

* Plan on a delicious group dinner out Friday night to celebrate your arrival and the beginning of our time together.

* For other meals, there are many local restaurants, cafes, markets, and farmstands in Amherst and nearby Northampton.

* A variety of prompts and timed writing exercises will provide opportunities to write indoors and out in the gardens. Expect bursts of writing interspersed with languorous periods of reading our work out loud and and reflecting on each other’s words and stories in a space free of judgment and pressure.

“There was no sense of competition or exclusion. It was a very inclusive, nurturing, safe, but not sappy or precious, space. It was seamless.”
– Allison Tyler

Swimming Optional :)

August 2015 Unfurlers at Puffer’s Pond

* Please note: This is NOT a writing “workshop” in the traditional sense; the intention is to relax and play more than to produce and polish.

Retreat only: $375
Retreat + 60-minute coaching session: $469

How to Register: Use one of the PayPal buttons below, and fill out the form at the end of this page.

Retreat Only:



Retreat + Private Coaching Session:


Cancellations + Refunds

* Payment plans available; just use the form below to contact me and discuss.

* There is a six-person minimum and ten-person maximum for each retreat. If the minimum has not been met 14 days before the retreat, the retreat will be cancelled and you will receive a full refund.

* If you cancel after registering more than 14 days before the retreat begins, you will receive a refund minus a $150 nonrefundable deposit. If you cancel less than 14 days before the retreat, you will forfeit the entire registration fee.

“By the end of the weekend I felt that these women were my sisters, my best friends,even though our ages spanned three generations. Our inner critics were banished from the outset, and for the remainder of the weekend we basked in a sea of kindness, generosity and love that nurtured and supported our writing in a way I’ve rarely experienced. In the end we openly and shamelessly proclaimed ourselves writers.”
– Miv London

Lodging within walking distance:
University Lodge
Lord Jeffrey Inn
Allen House B&B
Emily’s Amherst B&B
Wilbur Homestead
Air B&B (rooms in local homes)
Find other nearby hotels here.

June 2016 Unfurlers visiting the Emily Dickinson Museum

June 2016 Unfurlers visiting the Emily Dickinson Museum

Flying: Bradley in Hartford, CT is about a 50-minute drive from Amherst. Logan (Boston) is under two hours away.
Train: The Amtrak “Vermonter” has a stop in nearby Northampton (station code is NHT).
Driving: Amherst is approximately 3.5 hours from NYC and under two hours from Boston.

“Not only did I come away with some wonderful writing but I honestly feel that I connected to my heart, a truth in myself that I have been longing to find. Jena’s human skills as a coach and facilitator are matched perfectly with her artistic skills as a writer and promptress extraordinaire. She provided unusually evocative writing exercises and the magical safe place where truly transformational writing could happen. So yes, I left with a notebook filled with my own heart’s murmuring, but also with a new, stronger sense of direction about who I am as a writer. and, well, as a person. My only complaint is that it was too short.”
– Emily Cox Sinagra

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