Emma Bushnell is a writer and editor in Brooklyn, NY. Her work has appeared in Tin House, McSweeney's Internet Tendency, Bustle, The Establishment and elsewhere. A graduate of Tufts University, she has an MFA from Brooklyn College and is at work on a novel.
What was the most unexpected part of your stay?
I loved seeing the workings of a winery from sunup to sundown—being able to observe and chat with people whose labor happens outside of visiting hours felt like a privilege, and was a lot of fun for a writer.
What was the most enjoyable aspect of your retreat?
There's a little table and chairs outside the guest house, hidden by jasmine. Having a private, flower-covered courtyard to work in was extremely luxurious!
Did the vineyard setting inspire you and/or your writing? In what ways?
Absolutely. In addition to being able to write with a glass of delicious wine every day, meeting people in the tasting room, both those working there and tourists who had come from all over, was fascinating, and definitely inspiring.
What did you work on during the retreat?
Mostly I was working on getting back on track in my writing after a two week-long book tour. I am so glad I took the time to get my head screwed back on after being in a different city every night.
Did you participate in any activities or events arranged by the host winery?
There was a reading on the first night, and it was a really enjoyable event. There was a real glow of community.
Can you sum up your experience in ten words or less?
Relaxing, indulgent, yet shockingly productive!