Writers Advance PNW

Pacific Northwest
Eagle Creek, Oregon

Going into the writer’s advance weekend, my project had fallen to the back burner. I felt stalled out and unfocused. This weekend helped me refocus, prioritize, and get moving again. I moved through some personal hurdles and some project blocks and ended up with an additional 8000 words when it was all done. I love the environment Marc creates and will be back again.

Anonymous Feedback Form, Spring 2022


Alton Collins Retreat Center

Nestled in a beautiful old growth forest, surrounded by majestic, moss-covered trees, Alton Collins is secluded enough for focus, but still easily accessible. Just about an hour from Portland, Alton Collins sits on 68 acres of forest, and provides comfortable retreat accommodations. You’ll find it a perfect place to reconnect with your creative work.


The Writers Advance is all about getting you out of the space where you have to worry about details. Everything you need is provided–a comfortable room with private bath, no chores, great fresh food and constant flowing coffee, tea, and snacks. Great fresh food, well prepared. Alton Collins takes great pride in their fresh-cooked food and their commitment to accommodate a wide variety of dietary needs with excellence.

WA PNW Questions

Where is Alton Collins Retreat Center?

The Pacific Northwest Writers Advance is held at the Alton Collins Retreat Center outside of Eagle Creek, Oregon. You can learn more about the retreat center at their website.

Alton Collins is less than an hour or so outside of Portland, about a 45 minute drive from Portland International Airport. Find directions here. The retreat center address is 32867 SE HWY 211, Eagle Creek, Oregon 97022.

What if I’m flying in?

That’s exciting! Here’s the information you need. Alton Collins is located about a 45 minute drive from Portland International Airport (PDX). It’s easy to get a rental car, cab, Uber or Lyft at the Airport. It’s about a 45-minute drive to the Abbey.

What about carpooling? That’s a possibility. People will be arriving at different times, especially since some will be adding on the extra early day, but everyone will be leaving near the same time, and since some participants are from the Portland area, getting a ride back to the airport should not be a problem. If you are flying in and would prefer to car pool, email me. While we can’t guarantee a ride solution, we’ll see what we can arrange.

What kind of dietary needs can be accomodated?

Almost any need can be met! Alton Collins Retreat center takes pride in creating high-quality fresh menus for every meal. During the registration process you will be provided with a link to a web form where you can specify your needs. From this information, the chef curates a menu that will wow and nourish everyone including vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, acid-free, gluten-free, allergy restricted dietary needs.


What’s included in the cost?

This is an all-inclusive retreat. Registration includes your room with a personal bathroom and shower, linens and towels, delicious natural meals made from scratch on-site for every meal, all the coffee, tea, and snacks you need to sustain you. Optional one-on-one coaching and group feedback are also included, and you’ll find the environment encouraging and supportive with gentle accountability to focus on your writing.

How does double occupancy work?

Alton Collins offers double-occupancy rooms. This creates a lower-cost option for participating in the Writers Advance.  These rooms have two beds with ample space. Bring a friend to experience the weekend with you! You’ll receive an opportunity during the registration process to identify your room-mate. What if you don’t have a room-mate? You can still register for double-occupancy. If someone else of the same gender registers for double occupancy, you’ll be paired with them. If no one else of the same gender registers for double occupancy, you will not be charged extra for the room.

What is the refund policy?

Plans change. Life happens. That’s all understandable. You’re considering putting down a hefty deposit on an event, and undoubtedly you want to know what happens if you can’t attend. So, here are the policy and options.

1. Due to the nature of events like this, deposits are not refundable.

2. If your plans change, you can move your reservation to a future event or transfer the deposit to someone else. You can request this change up to 30 days before the event. There is no charge for this change. After this deadline, it is no longer an option to move your registration to a future event.

3. If an unexpected family or health emergency comes up within that 30-day window and you cannot attend, I can roll your registration forward if you or I can find someone else to take your spot. There are two options for this. First, you could donate your deposit toward their cost with them agreeing to pay the balance. In this case, your deposit goes to them, and you are no longer registered for the event. Alternatively, if they are willing to pay the same price you paid for the event (Deposit+Balance Due), I will roll your deposit & registration forward to a future event. If I have people on a waiting list, I may be able to provide this service, but I can’t guarantee that I’ll have a waiting list. If you need to do this, email me at marc@marcalanschelske.com to get the process started. This option does not apply if you forget to attend or miss the event for other non-emergency reasons.

4. If something happens outside of my control that forces the event to be canceled, I will notify you as soon as possible and give you the option to roll your registration & deposit forward to any future event at the current rate.

What’s this about adding another day?

The Writers Advance can be experienced as a weekend retreat (Friday Dinner – Sunday Lunch), but many people have found that adding an extra day really increases the impact of the weekend (Arriving for Thursday Dinner.) The extra day allows you to really settle into the space and get connected to your creative work. Because the group is smaller on the early day, you’ll have additional access to one-on-one coaching.

Reserve Your Spot

Writers Advance - Pacific Northwest

Fall 2023 – Alton Collins

$379 - $799
November 2-5, 2023
Writers Advance PNW 2023 Fall Alton Collins Retreat Center
  • November 2-5, 2023
  • Come for 2 nights (Friday Dinner - Sunday Lunch) or for 3 nights (Thursday Dinner - Sunday Lunch)
  • Choose single or double occupancy.
  • Your registration fee is all inclusive.
Payment Options
  • Pay in full or make a deposit to hold your space.
  • If you pay a deposit, you will receive an invoice and payment link for the balance due 30 days prior to the event.