Unleash Your Writing Power
Award-winning best-selling authors Tayari Jones and Cheryl Strayed come together for a brand new experiential workshop that reveals the truest things they know about writing and living a creative life.
Through lectures about their craft, conversations about their lives, and generative writing exercises aimed at inspiring wild awakenings on the page, you’ll explore the stories you long to tell and while learning how to do so with clarity, courage, consciousness, and depth.
In this workshop, you’ll discover
- Your truest self through writing
- Unique ways to break through the barriers that block your creativity
- How to cultivate personal fulfillment and transformation through creative expression
- The importance of mindset, magic, and imagination
- How to to create an uninhibited, purposeful and bold life.
This is a workshop for writers of all levels—from the novice to the experienced—and for those interested in using writing as a tool for self-discovery and creative expression.
A Retreat in the Mountains
During your stay, you’ll have time for personal R & R, whether you want to explore forest trails and bask in the fresh mountain air, enjoy a pottery or watercolor painting class, or release stress with a therapeutic Ayurveda treatment, the choice is yours. (Additional fees may apply.)
Make Your Retreat Extra Special
Combine your retreat with authentic Ayurveda for rejuvenation on all levels, body, mind and spirit. The recommended Ayurveda treatment for this program is an Abhyanga massage (“Abby” for short), followed by a relaxing steam to further release stress. Pre-requisite: 18 years of age or older.
Identify and explore the deepest stories you have to tell.
Generate new writing skills and express your true self.
Use your writing to be the change you desire.
Investigate and interrogate your connection to the outer world.
Bear witness to and speak your truth.
Connect with other writers in a nurturing and supportive environment.
Cheryl Strayed is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling memoir Wild. At age 22, Strayed found herself shattered by two major life events: her mother’s sudden death from cancer and the end of her young marriage. After hitting rock bottom, Strayed decided to confront her emotional pain by trekking over 1,000 miles along the Pacific Crest Trail. Wild tells the amateur hiker’s tale, peppered with the colorful characters she encounters along the way, as she struggles to find inner peace and stability. Cheryl’s story inspired Oprah Winfrey to revive her tremendously popular book club, with Wild as its inaugural selection for the launch of Oprah’s Book Club 2.0. The story also inspired producer and actress Reese Witherspoon to bring Wild to the big screen in 2014.
Cheryl’s personal struggles and story of survival motivate and inspire crowds. She is a dynamic speaker, and her moving rhetoric resonates with audiences of all sizes.
Strayed is also the author of The New York Times bestseller Tiny Beautiful Things, a collection of her widely popular Dear Sugar columns for TheRumpus.net, and the critically acclaimed novel Torch, a finalist for the Great Lakes Book Award. Her writing has appeared in The Best American Essays, The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post Magazine, Vogue, Allure, The Missouri Review, Creative Nonfiction, The Sun and elsewhere. Her books have been translated into 26 languages around the world.
Cheryl Strayed holds an MFA in fiction writing from Syracuse University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota. She is a founding member of VIDA: Women in Literary Arts, and serves on its board of directors.
New York Times best-selling author Tayari Jones is the author of four novels, most recently An American Marriage. Published in 2018, An American Marriage is an Oprah’s Book Club Selection and also appeared on Barack Obama’s summer reading list as well as his year-end roundup. The novel was awarded the Women’s Prize for Fiction (formerly known as the Orange Prize), Aspen Words Prize and an NAACP Image Award. It has been published in two dozen countries.
Jones, a member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers, has also been a recipient of the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, United States Artist Fellowship, NEA Fellowship, and Radcliffe Institute Bunting Fellowship. Her third novel, Silver Sparrow, was added to the NEA Big Read Library of classics in 2016.
Jones is a graduate of Spelman College, University of Iowa, and Arizona State University. She is an Andrew D. White Professor-at-Large at Cornell University and the Charles Howard Candler Professor of Creative Writing at Emory University.
Rooms & Pricing
All options include daily vegetarian meals from dinner on the night of check-in through lunch on the day of check-out. (Rates below are Per Person)
Shared Hotel Room (2 People)
- King bed or two full beds
- Flat Screen TV
- Private Bath
- Complimentary WIFI
- Daily Delicious Vegetarian Meals
- Complimentary Tea/Coffee & Fresh Fruit
- Daily Yoga & Meditation Classes
- Access to Gym & Steam Rooms
One other person of the same gender will share the room with you**
A Writing Workshop with Tayari Jones and Cheryl Strayed
October 1–3, 2021
Subject to change.
Friday 7:30–9:00 pm
Saturday 10:00 am–12:30 pm and 2:00–4:30 pm
Sunday 9:30–11:00 am Room checkout is 11:00 am; luggage may be held at Reception.
All times are Eastern Standard Times (EST) unless otherwise noted.
4:00 pm Check-in begins; Rooms are ready by 4:00 pm, but if you arrive early we will hold your luggage at Reception.
6:00–7:00 pm Dinner
7:00–7:20 pm Guest Orientation Session (Venue: Dining Hall)
7:30–9:30 am Breakfast
12:00–2:00 pm Lunch (included on your departure day)
6:00–7:30 pm Dinner
Apart from the activities in your program schedule, we offer the following optional complementary activities. (Please join only if your program schedule permits.)
Hatha Yoga Class | Gita Hall; during program dates only.
9:45–10:45 am and 4:15–5:15 pm
Hatha Yoga Class | Sattva Studio
11:00 am–12:00 pm
Mind and Meditation Session | Sattva Studio
Yoga Nidra | Sattva Studio; Saturdays and Sundays only.
Property Tour | Starts at Reception; Saturdays only.
1:30–2:30 pm and 3:00–4:00 pm
Guided Nature Walk | Starts at Reception; Saturdays only.
Guided Meditation Session | Sattva Studio
Meditative Chant/Kirtan | Gita Hall
Bonfire | Below Veda 2 Weather permitting; Saturdays only.
Optional Activities with Additional Fees
To ensure a space, please register for these activities by calling 800-392-6870 prior to your arrival.
Mindful Painting (1 hour) $25 Sunday Only
Express your creativity through art therapy as you connect your emotions to the art of watercolor painting.
Ayurveda Cooking Class $25 (1 hour) Thursday and Saturday Only
Learn how to best nourish your specific body type and thrive in every season.
Pottery Class $30 (1 hour) Thursday to Sunday
Explore your creativity. Get hands-on experience in throwing on the wheel, hand-building and decorating handmade pots.
Ayurveda Spa Appointments (Additional Cost)
Hours: 9:00 am–6:30 pm daily
We invite you to also make reservations at our award-winning Shankara Ayurveda Spa prior to arrival in order to ensure availability. Please call 828-264-8382 for details.
Actual schedules and venues may vary; please confirm with Front Desk upon check-in.
On-Campus Program FAQs
For room reservations, Ayurveda Wellness Retreats, and Art of Living Retreat Center (AOLRC) signature retreats, we have the following cancellation policy:
- Refunds are available (less a $50 processing fee) up to eight days before your program or stay.
- Nonrefundable credit toward a future AOLRC program or stay (less a $50 processing fee) is available if you give notice between seven and one day(s) before your program or stay. Credit may be applied to any AOLRC program or stay for one year following date of issue.
- No credit or refund is available if you cancel on the arrival day, if you do not show up, or if you leave an event early for any reason. No refund will be available if you attend a program and are dissatisfied with its presentation or content. AOLRC reserves the right to cancel a program at any time. If AOLRC cancels a program, you will receive a full refund. Some programs may have special cancellation policies; see individual workshop descriptions. For all other retreats, please be sure to check the registration page specific to that retreat.
To encourage a healthy environment we ask that guest to not consume alcohol or meat in our public spaces, however, guests may enjoy these items in their rooms.
Our property is always smoke-free.
Yes, we ask that guests with food allergies simply inform us so we can communicate those needs to our chef. Typically, we label potential allergens such as gluten, dairy, and nuts.
Discover deep rest and rejuvenation in a pristine natural setting in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Boone, North Carolina. Set amidst 380 acres of pristine forest high up in the Blue Ridge Mountains is a tranquil sanctuary.