I Heart Barrelhouse Writer Camp

The good folks at Barrelhouse held Writer Camp this weekend, and I got to go. I had a project to work on, and with the summer waning, a desire to get away and write (which I'm happy to say I did). Camp was held at the very awesome Godspeed Hostel.


My cabana for writer camp was very cute and cozy!To make new friends, I was sure to bring something to share from my home state.

Yes, buckwheat moonshine in an upside down pig from Heston Farms.There were two accommodation styles: bunkhouse and cabanas, both long wood structures. Cabanas offered a bit more privacy, bunkhouse more camp-style. 

So many hammocks, too!Inspired by the creek and natural landscape, it was time to get to work!

Barrelhouse organized late afternoon outings, and I tried kayaking, but only got about ten minutes on the lake before thunder rolled and rains poured down. But I did get a refund, and found out I could actually kayak (which I hope to try again sometime). All said, a good deal.

The lake where I tried out kayaking.Another outing was to nearby State College. Checked out Webster's Bookstore, which was quirky and cool, with a new writing friend, Mary Martha. We walked along the downtown along the edge of Penn State's campus, too.

Penn StateOne night, we watched Roadhouse. Awesomely bad. 

Yes, that's a giant screen with Patrick Swayze.Camp wouldn't be camp if there wasn't a campfire.

Really, though, most of my weekend was spent with this...

I have to give a shout out to Mike Ingram for a lovely chat and the idea for "rules for the book." All the Barrelhouse crew was just great (as was the Grande family who runs Godspeed). Remember, WV folks, that the Barrelhouse conference in Pittsburgh is coming up in October and is a very short drive. You should go!

And no camp experience would be complete without swag--so thanks for the goodies to both Barrelhouse and Hobart.

Another shout out to Dave Housley for making me feel very welcome. We met because I subbed for a colleague on an AWP panel about writing workshops (I was there representing the West Virginia Writers' Workshop, of course). It was at 9 AM in the morning, and still, it turned out great. Best of all I learned about writer camp, which was exactly what I needed--dedicated time to write. And so many fringe benefits, like meeting great folks who also write, staying at a great locale, and, on the last night, our own fireworks display.

Happy end of summer, y'all!

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