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Q&A for first-time attendees
of Outrageous Voices Writers’ Retreats

What are some customs of O.V.?


We open the retreat on Thursday evening by gathering in a big circle, called “Opening Circle,” sharing our names, where we live, and something significant that happened this year. There is no pressure to share if you don’t want to. We usually have a dance on the last night. We also end the retreat in the same way, with “Closing Circle,” sometimes with a song. 

What are the accommodations like?


The spring retreat is held at a retreat center just south of Atlanta, GA, not too far from the Atlanta airport. Accommodations are accessible and air conditioned. There are several options from a bunk in a cabin to private hotel-style rooms, and costs range from $45-$450, depending on whether you come for one day or stay for the whole retreat, and depending on which type of room/cabin you choose. A day pass for $45 includes lunch, dinner and swimming. The full retreat includes room, 3 meals a day, and swimming. (Cost is “sliding scale,” pay what you are able, and we do request that, if you can, you pitch in a little extra money to help another person to attend O.V.) The fall retreat is in a more rural area and is more rustic. It is also south of Atlanta.  

About how many people attend?

Since the pandemic, OUTrageous voices has been smaller, and for the last two years, we’ve had about 35 people at the spring retreat. In the past, the group has been as big as 150. 

What is the average day like?

The day starts with breakfast and then there are morning workshops, lunch, more workshops, afternoon readings, dinner, and evening readings. Anyone who wants to can lead a workshop. In the spring, we’ll have time for swimming in the lake on Friday and Saturday. In the main dining area, people chat, network, and play games. Usually there’s a game or two of Scrabble in the evening. The Atlanta feminist bookstore, Charis Books & More, brings a wide selection of books for sale, so it’s like having a mobile bookstore onsite. 

Do you have to attend everything?

You can decide your own schedule. Take a walk, bring your bike and ride on trails, take a nap, find a quiet space in which to write or practice and time your reading. We plan a full day of workshops and readings, but everything is optional. 

Do you have to be a writer to attend?

We welcome writers and those who appreciate writing. In the workshops, everyone is encouraged to write, however, it is up to you whether you share your writing or not. Most workshops include time to write and time to share what we write in response to the prompts. You will not be pressed to share if you choose not to. We also welcome the partners and spouses of writers to attend the retreats as well. Many have found their voices through this experience and now call themselves writers, too, to their surprise. 

Do you have to be a lesbian to attend?

Our roots are in the lesbian community. However, not everyone loves the word “lesbian,” and we don’t try to squeeze everybody into that category. It is not our policy to ask how you identify. OUTrageous Voices welcomes lesbians, bisexual women, trans and nonbinary folks. 

Do you need to be a published writer to attend?

Writers at every level are welcome. 

Is it hard to make friends at O.V.?

We pride ourselves on being a friendly bunch, and we have a program called “Big Sisters” where you can sign up to have a big sister (or to be one).  That person’s role is to help you to feel connected and included.  

Do you have to read your writing out loud?

While we would love to hear your work, there is no pressure to share it in workshops or in the afternoon or evening readings. 

Is the space accessible?

The spring retreat center is accessible. The more rustic fall space is mostly accessible, but ramps for wheelchairs are steep.   

Tell me about the food…

The food is your basic fare, and we can easily adjust for vegans, vegetarians, or gluten-free. Please indicate this when you sign up. In the spring, a chef prepares our food. The retreat center charges an additional $16 per person (for the entire conference) for vegan, vegetarian, or gluten-free meals. In the fall, we bring our own food. Sometimes we coordinate shared meals at dinner and you will be notified when you register. 

Are there any expectations for attendees?

At the spring retreat center, we won’t have workshifts, but volunteer opportunities may arise. In the fall, it’s more likely that people will be asked to pitch in with chores like final clean-up. We also expect you to be kind, to be respectful of everyone reading their work, and to provide content warnings if anything you are about to read might trigger another person. We expect everyone to time their readings for the time slot they select so they don’t run over their allotted time.  


Am I allowed to leave campus during the retreat?

Yes, but you might want to tell someone that you are leaving just so we don’t start a search party.  

Is someone in charge?

We like to share power and to make decisions using consensus, and so there are about 20 people on the planning committees. However, for each retreat, one or two people volunteer to take the lead. We call them the coordinators. At the end of the retreat, we will ask for volunteers to coordinate the following retreat. 

Are drugs and alcohol allowed?

Neither of the venues for our retreats allows drugs or alcohol. 

Is nudity allowed?

Public nudity is also against the rules at these venues.  

Are pets allowed?

No pets are allowed.  

If you have questions we haven't answered, we encourage you to email us at  

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