Turning In . . . A Journaling Retreat

“Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.” -William Wordsworth

Explore the transformative power of journaling with a special weekend retreat at Rockvale Writers’ colony.

November 5-7, 2021.

As the year turns from the bright, crisp swirl of autumn into the spare, dark quiet of winter, we feel a pull within us to follow the call of the natural world, to go deeper, to turn inward. This is the perfect time to explore the benefits of journaling. “Turning In . . . A Journaling Retreat” will offer connectives for developing or strengthening a journaling practice alongside the seasonal lessons of honoring the darkness and the cold. We’ll “turn in” to our words and to ourselves, burrowing into that which offers warmth, sanctuary, and rest. From the gratitude journal to the art journal, from the idea journal to the letter journal, to morning pages and midnight dreams, we’ll explore an array of journaling modalities, each prompting you to explore the vitally important wanderings of your heart. This retreat will serve as a reminder that a journaling practice, be it simple or extravagant, is a radical act of creative self-love.

When practiced as a daily ritual, journaling has been proven to reduce stress, enhance a positive mindset, keep the memory sharp, and open up the mind to new ideas while clearing out all the old stuff that might be getting in the way. It’s the perfect tool for writers who are already working on a project or find themselves ready to start something new.

Cost: $415.00 per person (includes 2 nights in a private suite, 5 meals, snacks, 4 workshops, optional personal conference with the facilitators, and plenty of private time for writing)

Date: November 5-7, 2021

Place: Rockvale Writers’ Colony
            6994 Giles Hill Road
            College Grove, TN 37046

The Schedule (tentative)

Friday, November 5, 2021:

4:00 to 6:00 p.m. – Check-in and settle in. You’ll be given a short tour and we’ll show you to your assigned room.

6:00 p.m. – Dinner

7:00 p.m. – Welcome and Overview of Retreat

7:15 p.m. – Writing Workshop

9:00 p.m. – Free Time / Bedtime

Saturday, November 6, 2021:

6:30 a.m. – Coffee Ready!

7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – Breakfast is available. Come anytime you’re ready

8:30 a.m. – Writing Workshop

10:30 a.m. – Free Time for Writing

12:00 p.m. – Lunch

1:00 p.m. – Free Time for Writing,

– Personal discussions with workshop facilitators about your writing, journaling and/or your writing life (Optional)

6:00 p.m. – Dinner

7:00 p.m. – Writing Workshop

8:30 p.m. – Reading / Share your Writing – Sharing is optional; however, we ask that you attend whether you read or not, in order to support other writers.

10:00 p.m. – Free Time / Bedtime

Sunday, November 7, 2021:

6:30 a.m. – Coffee Ready!

7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – Breakfast is available. Come any time you’re ready

8:30 a.m. – Writing Workshop

10:00 a.m. – Free Time for Writing

11:00 p.m. – Checkout and Goodbye

Whether you’re keeping a journal or writing as a meditation, it’s the same thing. What’s important is you’re having a relationship with your mind.Natalie Goldberg


Sandy Coomer is a poet, artist, Ironman triathlete, and social entrepreneur from Nashville, TN. Over 150 pieces of Sandy’s art have been published in print and online journals and she has been featured in local art shows and exhibits. Her poetry has been published in numerous journals and she is the author of three poetry chapbooks and a full-length collection, Available Light (Iris Press). Another full-length collection, The Broken Places, is forthcoming from Saddle Road Press in fall 2021. She is a multiple Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee and her poem, “Calligraphy” was a 2019 Best of the Net finalist. Sandy is a past poetry mentor in the AWP Writer to Writer Mentorship Program and the founding editor of the online poetry journal Rockvale Review.

Sandy cohosts Black Dog Poetry Open Mic and Rockvale Poetry Book Club and is the founder and director of Rockvale Writers’ Colony in College Grove, TN, a not-for-profit organization that exists to support and educate writers of all genres and backgrounds. She is a self-professed “idea” person, as well as a teacher, a dreamer, and an explorer. Her favorite word is “believe.” Learn more about Sandy at www.sandycoomer.com.

Sonia Fernández LeBlanc (she/her) is a Storyteller. A Writer. Self-Directed Education Advocate. A Community Builder. A Systems Disruptor/Re-Creator with a penchant for the mystical. She is on a journey of radical self and soul sovereignty and she serves as a guide for those who feel called to journey with me.

Through her business, Revolutions Imaginarium, Sonia offers courses, one-on-one connections, writings, and a podcast focused on knowing, living, telling, and honoring our own stories. These stories are curative elixirs that offer personal and ancestral healing within. Sonia believes that when we truly know ourselves and our stories, we begin to transform into the matriarchal elders that our changing society needs and deserves. We are the bridge generations who will hold space for and support our living and future descendants at the end of an era we neither ushered forth nor will be able to rectify.

Sonia dabbles in ancestry, mythology, and archetypal tarot. She’s a devoted mama to her two human loves, a trio of fur loves, and a jungle of plant love. She’s a pretty impressive spouse to the coolest human I know, a damn good friend from what she’s have been told by those who call her so, and she throws one hell of a dinner party outside pandemic times. Cheers!