Retreat into the New England Woods


Tahilla Gatherings in Peterborough, New Hampshire joins with author Kathryn Aalto to present the Retreat Into the New England Woods: An Immersion in Writing and Wellness October 20-23, 2022.

This writing retreat is for lifelong learners who want to grow as essayists in any subject matter. The event is gloriously timed with peak New England foliage in colours of orange, crimson, and yellow. Guests will experience Tahilla Gathering’s generous hospitality and exquisite spirit of place at its most beautiful time of year while having quiet reflective time to learn and write in a small group of ten.  The setting will inspire guests to explore and grow in the literary arts, find time for quiet reflection in woods and meadow, and create new friendships.

The Retreat Into the New England Woods is hosted by Jeanne Henriques and led by Kathryn Aalto. Kathryn will teach the art of the personal essay, with readings drawn from themes of autumn and walking in New England.  Kathryn is a seasoned teacher, landscape designer, and sought-after public speaker. She is a New York Times best-selling author who has written three books including Writing Wild: Women Poets, Ramblers, and Mavericks Who Shape the Way We See the Natural World and The Natural World of Winnie-the-Pooh: A Walk Through the Forest that Inspired the Hundred Acre Wood. She co-founded the Rural Writing Institute in the Lake District with James Rebanks, author of English Pastoral and The Shepherd’s Life. She is a judge for the £10,000 Nature Chronicles Prize in England. 

Special evening speaker on Saturday night is Matthew Myer Boulton. He is an author, filmmaker, and former professor in the Divinity School at Harvard University. He will speak about the writing and spiritual lives of three nature writers. The schedule include Wellness for Writer workshops taught by experienced local practitioners in meditation, forest bathing, and qigong. The aim is to enhance writing practices to clear the mind and clarify ideas. Local forester poet Swift Corwin will lead an outdoor poetry workshop. Learn more about Matthew at his website, at the Harris Center, and this article in The New York Times.

Please read on to learn more about our schedule, reading, local off-site accommodation, meals, links, and tuition.




  • Tuition is £795.
  • Included: three lunches, two dinners, and coffee/tea/fruit and snack station in the meeting room.
  • Hotel accommodation at the luxury B&B Cranberry Meadow Farm is not included. Rooms are being held for our retreat guests. Jeanne with Tahilla Gatherings will liaise with guests to arrange reservations.
  • Ten places are available. Please write to to request a simple application.
  • Ten pages of your writing can be critiqued by Kathryn before or after the retreat.
  • Our reading list includes classic writing by New England authors including “Autumn” and “Walking” by Henry David Thoreau, The Outermost House by Henry Beston, and Mary Oliver as well as books from farther afield including The Living Mountain by Nan Shepherd and Trophic Cascade by Camille Dungy.



Day One (Thursday Oct 20)

  • 3:00 pm-3:20 pm Arrival and Greeting
  • 3:20 pm-4:30 pm Welcome in the Gathering Room 
  • 4:30 pm-5:00 pm Sunset walk in the meadow
  • 5:00 pm-5:45 pm Break
  • 5:45 pm-6:15 pm Drinks and nibbles around the fire bowl
  • 6:15 pm-8:00 pm Welcome country supper in the Keeping Room at Tahilla Farm
  • 8:00 pm Depart to local accommodation

Day Two (Friday Oct 21)

  • 9:00 am-11:00 am Writing Workshop in the Gathering Room
  • 11:00 am-11:15 am Tea Break 
  • 11:15 am-12:00 pm Wellness for Writers I: An Introduction to Breathing and Meditation with Janet Archer – The Mindfulness Coach.
  • 12:00 pm-12:45 pm Buffet Lunch
  • 12:45 pm-2:15 pm Writing Workshop in the Gathering Room
  • 2:15 pm-2:30 pm Tea Break
  • 2:30 pm-4:00 pm Wellness for Writers II: An Introduction to Shinrin-yoku (forest bathing) 
  • 4:00 pm-5:00 pm Writing Workshop
  • Dinner — Open night for guests to explore, gather or reflect on their own

Day Three (Saturday Oct 22)

  • 9:00 am-11:00 am Writing Workshop in the Gathering Room
  • 11:00 am-11:15 am Tea Break
  • 11:15 am-12:00 pm Wellness for Writers III: An Introduction to Qigong with Heidi Scott
  • 12:00 pm-12:45 pm Buffet Lunch at surprise location
  • 12:45 pm-2:15 pm Writing Workshop in The Gathering room
  • 2:30 pm-4:00 pm A Poetry Walk with Forester and Poet Swift Corwin 
  • 4:00 pm-4:30 pm Collecting Our Thoughts
  • 7:00 pm Cocktail and Charcuterie Board by the Fire Bowl
  • 7:30 pm Dinner in The Keeping Room with guest speaker Matthew Myer Boulton. 

Day Four (Sunday Oct 23)

  • 9:00 am-11:00 am Workshop in the Gathering Room
  • 11:00 am-11:15 am Break
  • 11:15 am-1:00 pm Writing Workshop 
  • 1:00 pm-2:00 pm Buffet Lunch at on the Porch
  • 2:00 pm- 3:00 pm Silent Poetry Walk Sunday afternoon tree planting 
  • 3:00 pm-4:00 pm Closing in the Gathering Room