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Summer and Fall Reading Retreats, 2016
Aug. 25-28, Sept. 8-11, & Oct. 6-9

The tradition of Fall Reading Retreats in Minnesota continues, with a summer session added this year. We'll gather at a comfortable retreat center to put life on hold for a few days, as we talk about books and ideas with kindred spirits.

READING: The theme and books to be read and discussed will be announced. They'll be the same for each of three sessions offered.

THE GROUP: Participants come from all over the country. Some readers come with a friend, and some come alone — everyone leaves with a new group of friends. Each group will be limited to 14 readers.

HIGHLIGHTS: Lively book discussions are our focus. We'll also read children's books together and watch a video or two related to our theme. There will be some quiet time for walking, reading, visiting, taking a nap, helping out with a jigsaw puzzle, or just kicking back.

FACILITATOR: Facilitator will be Glenda Martin, who has been planning and leading our fall reading retreats since we began them 20 years ago.

ACCOMMODATIONS: Aug. 25-28: The Espiscopal House of Prayer, located on the edge of the campus of St. John's University in Collegeville, Minn., 80 miles northwest of the Twin Cities.

The one-story building (no steps) offers single and double rooms, all of which have sinks. There are two bathrooms at the end of the hall (three toilets, two showers). There's a comfortable living room, where we will gather for our discussions, a dining room, kitchen, and Oratory (a separate space for reflection). Meals will be prepared for us, but we will all take turns being responsible for setting up the meal and cleaning up afterwards. The building is air conditioned.

Sept. 8-11 and Oct. 6-9: The St. Benedict Spirituality Center, located in St. Joseph, Minn., on the edge of the campus of the College of St. Benedict, an historic women's college, 80 miles northwest of the Twin Cities.

The center offers single and double rooms, with a bathroom for every two rooms. Please note: All rooms are up or down one flight of stairs. Meals will be prepared for us. We'll eat breakfast in the Center; lunches and suppers are served in the main dining hall, about two blocks away (with easy parking, if anyone wishes/needs to drive to it).

Both retreat sites are close to trails, woods and small lakes.

Note that due to the popularity of our Retreats and the space limitations, we cannot guarantee single rooms or other special requests. We'll do our best to accommodate requests as space allows, but it may not always be possible.

SCHEDULE: All sessions begin with supper on Thursday evening and end after lunch on Sunday.

FEE: The cost of the 4-day, 3-night session is $450. This covers room, all meals, book group facilitation, snacks, and miscellaneous fees. It does not include books or your transportation to the retreat. A deposit of $100 should accompany your registration.

TO REGISTER: Registrations will be accepted in the order received. A deposit of $100 is required. Please read the instructions carefully.

To register:

1. Send an email to books@womenspress.com with your name, address and phone number. Indicate which session you wish to attend, and indicate second and third choices if you have them. If you're registering with someone else, include that person's name.

We will add names to the lists in the order we receive them. If the session you wish to attend is full, we'll add you to your second or third choice, if you've indicated one, or we will put your name on the waiting list.

2. Print out the registration form, complete it, and mail it to us, with your deposit, within three weeks. This will complete the registration process. (If you need a hard copy of the form, let us know and we'll mail you one.)

Registration forms will be accepted only by postal mail. If we don't receive your form within three weeks, we'll move your name to the waiting list.

Our refund policy: If you have to cancel, we can refund your full deposit and any other payment you might have made, until 60 days before the retreat starts. After that, the amount we can refund lessens with time:

* 45-60 days before the retreat: 70%*
* 30-45 days before the retreat: 40%*
* Less than 30 days before the retreat: no refund.*

* If we fill your spot, we can make a full refund.


We think of reading retreats as extended book groups, held in settings that are quiet and comfortable, away from the demands and distractions of everyday life. Our goal is lively book discussion, intellectual stimulation, camaraderie with kindred spirits, new insights, laughter.

We aim to introduce readers to books they might not discover otherwise, and we take seriously the facilitator role of finding challenging, well-written work that has the potential to provoke strong discussion. At the same time, reading retreats are not school. There are no "requirements," and we are not much interested in "academic" analysis of the books.

Our retreats draw readers who are interested in stretching their thinking, delving into new ideas, and listening to other readers' ideas as well as sharing their own.

The BookWomen Center for Feminist Reading, Minnesota Women's Press 970 Raymond Ave., #201, St. Paul MN 55114 651-646-3968 x312 books@ womenspress.com www.womenspress.com

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