Words in the Hills writing retreat allows space for writers of all kinds to reconnect with themselves and nature

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Throughout the years award-winning regional singer-songwriter Megan Bee has found writing retreats such as the Colorado-based Rocky Mountain Song School to be massively helpful to her. Thanks to those positive experiences, she’s organized the first ever Words In the Hills writing retreat, which aims to bring those enriching experiences to writers of all kinds in our region.

Words in the Hills will take place May 6 through May 8 at Camp Oty’ Okwa in the Hocking Hills, featuring an array of regionally based writers. These include Athens Poet Laureate Wendy McVicker, regional singer-songwriter Bruce Dalzell, author Anna Egan Smucker, Bee herself, and Professor Emeritus of English at Ohio University Scott Minar.

Megan Bee
Megan Bee, organizer of Words in the Hills. (


Although writing can oftentimes feel like a solitary art, Bee says any type of writer’s ability can be enriched by the feedback of other writers.

“For me, I really feed off the energy from other people. And it also is helpful to get feedback on your art. Writing is a really solitary thing, but you got to show it to somebody eventually. And instead of just putting it out for the whole world, (Words in the Hills) allows you to share it with a close knit group of writers who have a lot of experience, or maybe a different perspectives than you who can give you some feedback and support that could be really useful,” said Bee.

In addition to connecting writers of all experience levels and writing mediums, Bee also hopes Words in the Hills just provides an opportunity for participants to reconnect with themselves and with nature.

“I want people to come together, maybe make a new friend, maybe take a workshop in a genre of writing you haven’t tried yet, and also just to get outside,” said Bee. “That’s what I love. I’m such a camp counselor at heart. And I just love helping people take a break and get outside and tune back into your senses. At the least I want everyone just to have a nice think time out in the woods together.”

Find more information on Words in the Hills at