To register contact Kelly Chamberlin, 800-292-0440 or

It is time again to gather in Curtis, MI, for the 8th Annual North of 45 Retreat for Writers.  The dates are May 4 – 7, and this year it is NOT Mother’s Day weekend! But the wildflowers will be starting to bloom, most of the ice should be out of Big Manistique Lake, and Kelly and Bud will be waiting to say “Welcome home” at Chamberlin’s Ole Forest Inn.

Every year seems more and more like a family reunion, even to the new ones who come. Maybe it’s because as writers we spend so much solitary time that when we find a tribe of like-minded people it is inevitable that it turns into a party. Maybe it is the strength of the friendships we’ve forged, the way we’ve shared our hearts, the trust we’ve built in one another that keeps us looking forward each year to our time together. 

At N of 45 we enjoy learning from some writers who inspire us, challenge us, and help us think about our passion for words in different ways. For the past two years, one of these has been our friend Rob Ritchie, of Wiarton, Ontario.  Rob has made us laugh and cry, but more, he has made us feel safe to write and share our hearts. You asked to have him back yet again, and it pleases me to tell you that he said “Yes”.  A poet, 3-time novelist, musician, and outstanding teacher, Rob has something good for each of us.

                Joining us for the first time is Deborah Reed (D.A. Reed). I met her through her YA novel, “Daisies in the Rain”. It’s a heartwarming story based on the life of a friend; a book that made me want to know the author. Raised in Grayling, MI, Deborah loves the outdoors, photography, running, her family, and writing!  She writes in a range of genres ...from women sleuths to Christian fiction to general action adventure. Her second YA novel is due to be out this spring. I’ve spent some time with Deborah, and am happy to call her “friend”. She’s witty. She’s warm. I think you’ll like her as much as I do.

As always, I will be there to encourage you as much as I can, and to keep us all moving forward together.  I’m looking forward to seeing you again, North of 45.


*The retreat is all-inclusive. Only your bar tab and gratuities are your responsibility.
*The main floor of Chamberlin’s Ole Forest Inn is accessible. The lodging rooms there are not. If you have mobility issues, please let us know and we will make accommodation for you in a near-by ground level inn.
* We have open mic time, so you can share your work with the group if you want to.

*You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to this weekend, because you are on retreat.
* Dress is casual. Be comfortable!
*If you want to come early (Wednesday) call Kelly for pricing and to arrange for accommodations.

Let’s write!

PAST RETREATS:             

The Erickson Center for the Arts is preparing for our 7th Annual North of 45 Retreat for Writers that will be held May 3 - May 8, 2016 at the Erickson Center and Chamberlin’s Ole Forest Inn in Curtis, Michigan.

The 2016 North of 45 Retreat for Writers is an all-inclusive weekend retreat with an amazing staff covering a broad scope of writing styles.  Featured presenters for this year's retreat includes Rob Ritchie of Wiarton, Ontario, Rachel Mills a lifelong Upper Peninsula resident and retreat director Ann Rowland of Northern Michigan.  Rob is  a multi-talented writer.  He has written two novels (with a third in the works), stage productions, short stories and many songs, rich with story.  Rachel has a Bachelor’s in English, Master’s in Creative Nonfiction/Pedagogy, and MFA in Creative Nonfiction.  She is a freelance writer and has taught at Northern Michigan University for 8 years.  Ann is a syndicated columnist, poet, songwriter and workshop leader.  In addition to the North of 45 Retreat for Writers, she is the director of Johnathan Rand’s Author Quest. 


The retreat will include workshops, one-on-one sessions, writing time and a presentation where the North of 45 staff will read from their work.  

North of 45 Retreat for Writers at Chamberlin’s Ole Forest Inn, in Curtis, Michigan, is designed to give attendees space and time to write…or not. Four workshops are offered by some of the finest writing instructors anywhere. Come prepared to have the words squeezed out of you. The retreat runs Thursday evening through Sunday noon.

Each year we arrive giddy with a feeling that we’re getting away with something, anticipating a deep soul rest, and knowing that we will be stretched. The time passes too quickly. We leave full, yet thirsty; wanting just a little more.


2015 Retreat:

The 6th Annual North of 45 Retreat for Writers will be held  April 30 – May 3, 2015, with  Chamberlin’s Ole Forest Inn and the Erickson Center for the Arts hosting once again. The retreat is an opportunity for writers of all styles to gather to explore the craft while relaxing with like-minded people.

Primary sponsorship comes from the Erickson Center, a non-profit corporation dedicated to enriching the mind, body and spirit of individuals of all ages. Other sponsorships come from local businesses and individuals.  

The all-inclusive retreat draws together writers from all over for a series of workshops, readings, and relaxation. The retreat begins on Thursday evening with a welcome reception, and is an opportunity for any adult who has a passion for writing or a desire to pursue the craft to get away from the distractions of everyday living.  Contact Kelly at Chamberlin’s Ole Forest Inn directly for more information.

The retreat is for adults who write, or who have ‘always wanted to’ write. Whether it’s poetry, fiction, or non-fiction…whether you’re a well-published author or just beginning… North of 45 is for you.

Workshops presented by well-known authors and writing instructors are offered, as well as stretches of time for attendees to relax, write, or simply enjoy the company of other writers. This year’s workshop presenters are Rob Ritchie, from Wiarton, Ontario, and Tina Welling, from Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Rob Ritchie is a multi-talented writer.  He has written songs, short stories, stage productions, and two novels. In addition, he is a corporate copywriter and editor.  Rob has kind of done it all. He views the world through a sharply focused lens, and has a gift for showing us, through the words he writes, what he sees .”

Jackson Hole, Wyoming is home to Tina Welling, who is a three-time novelist, and the author of “Writing Wild”, a step-by-step writing guide to connecting the writer to nature through experiential exploration and learning to focus on all the senses. 

An Authors’ Read will take place at the Erickson Center on Friday, May 1st at 7:00 pm as part of the event, with the staff of North of 45 Retreat sharing selections from their work. The public is invited. A small admission charge will be accepted to help support the Erickson Center for the Arts.


The 2014 retreat featured Michael Delp, former Dean of Creative Writing at Interlochen Arts Academy. Our first repeat instructor, Mike is a writer of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction whose works have appeared in numerous national publications. He is the author of Over the Graves of HorsesUnder the Influence of WaterThe Coast of NowhereThe Last Good Water, and As If We Were Prey, in addition to six chapbooks of poetry. Michael is a gifted teacher who challenged and encouraged us to think differently, wresting mirth from our lips, and making us write in spite of ourselves.

Joining Mike was Jack Driscoll. Jack’s credits include four collections of poems, four novels, the Barnes & Noble Discovery of Great New Writers Award, the Pushcart Book Editor’s Award, six PEN Syndicated Fiction Awards, two Michigan Notable Book Awards, and AWP Short Fiction Award. His most recent short story collection, The World of a Few Minutes Ago, was the winner of the Midland Writers Award and was named by ForeWord Reviews as the best collection of short stories for 2012. Lest you think he “just” wins awards, Jack also teaches fiction workshops in Pacific University’s low-residency program in Oregon.

As always, Bud and Kelly Chamberlin welcomed us home, fed us wonderful meals, and did all they could to help us feel spoiled and comfortable. 

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