New for 2021!

Now entering its eighth year, Clearwater Writers is a writing retreat series hosted by Reflections Inn, a quiet, rural travel lodge situated in North Central Idaho on the wild and scenic Clearwater River. This year we have changed our programs significantly, with January-on-the-Fly going virtual, the Spring Retreat dropping to 4 nights, and the fall retreat expanded to a 10-day residency.

Our program was established to provide time and space away from the usual concerns to focus on furthering projects in a peaceful, inspiring setting. We are dedicated to the notion that we as writers need significant breaks from technology and from our fast-paced lives into order to do our best work. With new and established writers coming from all parts of the West, our retreats also have a reputation as “the answer” for anyone who is looking for guidance with a particular project.

Programs are facilitated and directed by the Inn’s writer-in-residence, Paula Coomer, poet and author of eight books of poetry and prose including Somebody Should Have Scolded the Girl, Jagged Edge of the Sky, Dove Creek, Nurses Who Love English, and Blue Moon Vegetarian. With nearly 25 years of experience as a teacher of creative writing at both the university and community level, Ms. Coomer offers creative inspiration and support for all writers, regardless of achievement or ability.

Features of the 2021 Fall Residency

  • 10 nights in a scenic wilderness setting along the Clearwater River in Idaho’s Rocky Mountain foothills
  • Beautiful, serene, private accommodations
  • A maximum of 6 other writers
  • Very low rates (see below)
  • Feedback on up to 25 double-spaced pages of writing (find specific formatting requirements here)
  • We are off-grid for the first 4 nights, meaning no Internet and no phone, and we ask attendees not to leave campus for those first 4 nights.
  • After night 4, attendees are free to come and go, and we will offer the Wifi password to whomever wants it. At that point Wifi calling will be accessible. (The Inn’s business phone is no longer available.)
  • Check-in is at 3 p.m. on Nov. 4. (No early arrivals, please.)
  • Checkout is at 11 a.m. on Nov. 14. (No late checkouts, please.)
  • We will be honoring CDC protocols for wearing masks and keeping social distance. 

Meals and Transportation

  • Attendees bring their own meal preparations; cooking, cold storage, and communal dining space available in 2 fully-equipped, well-appointed kitchens. After night 4, writers may travel to Kooskia (10 miles west) for groceries, etc. Kamiah is a bit larger, and is approximately 20 miles west.
  • Compact refrigerators in each room as well as coffee makers; most rooms have microwaves
  • For air transportation and car rental contact the Lewiston-Nez Perce County Regional Airport

Application for Clearwater Writers 2021 Fall Residency and Further Details

  • The Residency is open by invitation only at this time, however, we do intend to keep a waiting list in the event of early cancellations. To inquire further, write to Ms. Coomer at If you prefer, you may leave a message at 509-635-0444, and Ms. Coomer will get back to you.
  • Otherwise, please indicate your interest by sending a writing sample to
  • If you have been with us for a previous retreat, a writing sample is not required; however, do contact Ms. Coomer by phone or email prior to contacting the Inn for reservations..
  • A phone interview will also be required of first-time applicants.
  • Cost for the retreat is as follows.
    • Room rate is set at the astonishing rate of $50 per night plus 8% tax for a total of $540.
    • $270 is due at the time of registration.
    • $270 is due by Sept. 1, 2021.
    • A facilitator’s honorarium of $200 is due upon arrival.
    • Deadline for application is April 1, 2021.
    • Our retreats fill up quickly, so please contact us as early as possible.
    • No refunds/not transferable–unfortunately, our rate of last-minute cancellations has caught up with us, and we are no longer able to offer refunds for retreats. Clearly, this creates a sense of risk, particularly for those who do not know us. The best we can offer is to allow attendees to send someone in their place–provided we have had a chance to vet that person first, which involves a phone interview and a writing sample. For more information about this, please contact Ms. Coomer at
  • For maps and more about Reflections Inn, go to
  • To express interest in the 2021 Fall Residency, contact Ms. Coomer directly at
  • Once you’ve interacted with Ms. Coomer, to make reservations contact Chris and Arleen at the Inn at 208-926-0855.