University professors lead busy lives. The “publish or perish” expression actually holds merit, describing the pressure in academia for instructors to continually publish their writing.
English professor Peter Moe organizes a writing retreat every year at Camp Casey. As director of campus writing at Seattle Pacific University (SPU), the retreat creates the right space for faculty to work on their own writing. Now in its third year, 17 attended this summer’s four-day, three-night program.
“I want to support the faculty and find somewhere beautiful to write, where I don’t have to cook the meals” said Moe. “Camp Casey provides lodging, and meals. It is a real treat for us.”
The schedule is simple. Eat breakfast, write for a few hours. Eat lunch, write for a few hours. Eat dinner, write, relax or socialize a bit. The next day, it starts all over again. Enjoying a beach walk, forest hike, campfire, or sunset are great options for fueling inspiration.
Faculty represent a variety of departments. There are no outside speakers and no requirement to share writing with each other.
“Last year a business professor read a philosophy professor’s paper and was giving feedback,” said Moe. “That exchange is welcome, but I do not facilitate it.”
Also last year, Moe actually put the final period on his own manuscript, while sitting at the Colonel’s House. The book is about whales and is currently under review by a publisher.
“I’ve had two faculty, independent of each other, say the Camp Casey writing retreat is the best SPU event they’ve been to,” said Moe. “I am thrilled to hear that. Seems like they really enjoy it because they get time and space to sit down and write. It’s an important service for my colleagues and I will definitely continue to do it.”