Rave Reviews

About the workshops:

“This was my first writer’s retreat and it was the best thing I could have done with three days, both personally and professionally. It addressed what I wanted to get out of the weekend, which was focus and constructive criticism about my writing, which in turn gave me momentum to move toward my goals. It gave me the chance to discuss with other writers what it means to dedicate yourself to the craft, and hearing trials and tribulations by other writers put everything into perspective. My love of writing was renewed, getting into a routine of writing for the love of it was renewed. I appreciated the critiques, and the mix of people worked nicely. We benefited from hearing each others experiences in writing and that in tandem with the ‘lessons’ and prompts Irene provided was a good structure for the size of the group. I found the readings Irene selected for us very helpful in getting us to think in different ways about writing, especially how to set scenes and convey thoughts and subtext.”
- J.R., July 2010

“All that we, the participants, have in common is a love of writing; our ages, writing expertise and backgrounds are diverse. But the energy and excitement generated in this all too brief three-day period fuels some remarkable writing and renews commitment to a writing life. Everyone – novice and “pro” – grows in this creative environment. Perky’s organizational skills, concern for our welfare, and warm, welcoming hospitality create the retreat; Irene Sherlock’s consummate skill as a writer, teacher and group leader create the sparks. With her guidance, we all become better, wiser writers. I can’t wait for 2011!”
- D.G., July 2010

“Very inspiring – ”a great poet!”
- Anonymous, July 2010

“Insightful, encouraging; creates a safe zone for writers. Well done.”
- Anonymous, July 2010

“I enjoyed every minute of this workshop. I feel inspired.”
- L.S., July 2010

“This workshops (was) extremely helpful. I loved the reading and feedback. Of course, Irene’s take is invaluable and gives the writer encouragement.”
- J.B., 2011

“I didn’t know what to expect. Never one to consider myself a team player, I found the group experience incredibly powerful and motivating. Seeing everyone’s progress in such a short time, under Irene’s direction, was truly amazing.”
- D.D., 2011

“I believe that any writer can benefit from (Irene’s) workshop – everyone from the beginner to the experienced. It allowed me to focus back on the work and the craft. By allowing me space and time to practice it, I fell in love with writing all over again.”
- L.D., 2011

“I am so happy that I did not let my insecurities keep me away. It was the perfect mix of people and, of course, Irene was great.”
- J.B., 2011

“I appreciated the composition of our group – published pros, talented amateurs and newbies, some in each category who knocked our sox off with their writing voices. The readiness to learn and willingness to be open and take chances, despite our respective fears, gave palpable energy to the group efforts. A rare thing happened this weekend – all of us were placed in the hands of an enormously gifted teacher and intuitive group leader who also happens to be a fabulous writer. It was magical. Irene created an environment that was firmly defined – critiquing was honest, direct and heartfelt, but always offered with kindness and respect. Writers took huge risks and made incredible leaps in their work. Now add to the above a physical space that was beautiful, comfortable and filled with great food and even greater hospitality. It was hard to leave but everyone left glowing and hopeful. And ready to return next year!”
- D.G., 2011

“Although I have been to two other retreats with Irene as instructor, both outstanding, this topped them all. I’m sure the level of talent of the writers contributed to that, but Irene continues to surpass herself. I left with concrete ideas of how to improve my work in progress and how to produce quality writing.”
- P.L., July 2012

“From the start, Irene was spot on with her comments as well as words of advice. She took the time with each of us to offer us what we most needed to hear. Her advice was professional–not sugar-coated–yet always kind and respectful of our feelings.”
- C.F., July 2012

“I so enjoyed the Adirondack writer’s weekend. The variety, content and quality of the people and their work was exceptional. Irene’s talent to imagine, comment, counsel, and improve is stellar.”
- R.E.F., July 2012

“I had participated in four previous Adirondack Writers’ Retreats, so when I returned this summer, I again expected a little magic. Number five did not disappoint. The writers who gather may have varying levels of experience, but we all share a passion for writing and a desire to be better writers. This energy is harnessed and nurtured by two women: Perky Granger, workshop organizer, who creates a warm, comforting environment, graciously responding to our many needs, and, Irene Sherlock, richly gifted both as a writer and a teacher, who shares with us her remarkable skills and insightful critiques. At the close of the workshop, each of us expressed surprise and delight at the progress we made in this all-too-short (but magical!) weekend.”
- D.G., July 2012

“It was a wonderful experience. Irene was responsive to each and every one and gave specific, important feedback. One of the most valuable aspects was Irene’s one-on-one time and her suggestions about my work. Now, I will approach my project entirely differently.”
- J.N.C., July 2012

“The feedback in the workshop is consistently insightful, warm and generous. It’s helped shape my writing in wonderful ways.”
- N.H., 2013

“The Irene Sherlock writing group offers me a safe place to share my creativity and receive encouragement and constructive feedback. The amazing and talented people I meet in the group inspire me to dig a little deeper and Irene’s feedback always prompts me to raise the bar on my writing technique. Over the years, the structure of the group and the words of wisdom I have received have allowed me to take a short story idea to a self published fantasy novel. Thank you Irene!”
- Michele Leigh, author of Tales of the Deer Witch, 2013


About the instructor:

“Irene showed me how to dig deep, to unearth my story, and then revisit the tale, to hone it. She is an elegant and eloquent guide through the creative landscape.”
- L.B.H., 2011

“Irene Sherlock is a writing ‘mentor’ in every sense of the word. She had the uncanny ability to read a piece and instinctively know what I was striving for; and then knew what changes I needed to make to get my work there. I’ve studied under many different writers, and have rarely received the thorough, balanced critiques that Irene gave. She delivered supportive feedback in an honest, upbeat manner that never left me feeling deflated or discouraged – quite the opposite, actually. Her ability to focus on the minute details as well as the overall direction of a piece has helped me complete a draft of my first novel and achieve a greater understanding of the craft. Irene’s thorough feedback, guidance and generosity exceeded anything I could have hoped for.”
- C.W., 2011

“Although I had been a writer for many years, involved in television and films, and thought I knew it all. My one semester studying with Irene at Western Connecticut State University, taught me much more than I could cover in one short paragraph of praise. She is an incredibly creative writer and an inspiring teacher.”
- B.O., 2011

“How rare and wonderful it has been to have found a writing mentor like Irene, who offers such gracious guidance, inspiration and integrity to aspiring writers. Of course I benefited greatly from her expert writing instruction, but more than direction on technique, her skill and willingness to connect with my ideas and to actively reach into the meaning in my writing have had the most enduring impact on my work. She has the unique ability to both look into the written words on the page to explore their meaning, and the unwritten, underlying stories yet needing encouragement to be told. This kind of support for the writer to explore new directions, to stretch and grow, and to more confidently access the unexpected has led to some of the most fruitful and satisfying writing I could ever hope to do. Through the kind sharing of her own experiences that both serve the material and fed the writer, she encouraged me to better connect with myself, with others, and with the world at large through my writing – which, in the end is the best result. I wish for myself the great good fortune of being able to write with her once again someday in the future!”
- E.K., 2011

“I was lucky enough to be part of Irene Sherlock’s writing class at Ann’s Place several times. Her class changed my life. Although my job is time-consuming and exhausting I now find time to write in my journal and prepare for my future as a writer. Irene was so generous with her time and knowledge about what it takes to fine-tune and polish a piece of writing.”
- J.W., 2011

“After years as a technical writer, I recently made my first venture into creative writing. I was fortunate to have had Irene Sherlock as my instructor in a memoir writing workshop, and in a college level course in creative writing, whose focus was human interest writing. Ms. Sherlock was masterful at generating classroom discussion and in teaching us – by example and through class exercises – how to turn personal experiences into riveting prose. I hope to be in her classroom again.”
- N.C., 2011

“It is rare to encounter a person more personally engaged in the discipline of letters than Irene Sherlock. Equal parts logos, pathos and ethos; Irene brings both her warm humanity and a dynamic literary competence to bear on the work and lives of the writers she touches. To know her is to know excellence; to work with her is to share that excellence in a meaningful way.”
- V.K., 2012

“Irene’s guidance and input is extremely valuable to writers of any level. Her critiques are always positive, motivating, meaningful and spot on. One always knows exactly what to do with, and how to apply, her comments to any work in progress. Pay attention, and you will be rewarded.”
- D.D., July 2012