Now in its tenth year, Clearwater Writers is a series of writing programs hosted by Reflections Inn, a quiet, rural travel lodge situated in North Central Idaho on the wild and scenic Clearwater River.

Breaking through is the concept we should all have in mind for 2023. It’s time to rise up with new purpose, to benefit from our resilience, and to unsnap that heavy backpack of old burdens and let it fall to the earth and succumb to the elements. We are new, we are whole, and we are ready for what lies ahead.

To further pay homage to this notion, we are again offering our Fall Residency program for the third year, which has been deemed a complete success by previous attendees. Arriving at the Inn with 10 days stretched in front of us gives us time to relax for a day or so before heading into our work. We encourage you to leave behind your other work, worries, commitments, and family obligations in favor of time to focus on yourself for yourself–think of this as a gift to your future self, to a self renewed. Not everyone is suited to spending 10 days apart from family and daily life, but if you are, we can promise you the transformation that comes when you have plenty of time for contemplation, for listening to your deepest self, and for writing.

This year’s program will be focused on craft as it arises from revision. For the first time in the history of Clearwater Writers, attendees will be submitting manuscripts of 25 pages (or 1-2 chapters from a book-length work) ahead of time, which will then be distributed among the attendees. We will meet for a total of 6 afternoons in class, five of which will be devoted to exploring one of the submissions through the lens of possibility. The final session will be focused on the ABC’s of querying and publication. More information about this will be provided as time draws nearer.

For 2023, we will again be adding yoga instruction to our mix of class offerings. You may know that yoga was developed thousands of years ago as a means to support the body for meditation. We know that writing, especially by hand, has the same impact on the body physiologically as meditation. Also, yoga and writing are both defined as practices. It makes sense to prepare the body for writing by engaging in yoga practice. We are happy to have Leslie Jo Sena returning as our instructor. Leslie comes to us from Palouse, Washington. She has been studying yoga for eleven years, and she teaches a wonderful style known as slow-flow, which will be beneficial to our creative process and help balance out all those hours in the writing chair. Last year we couldn’t get enough of her teaching, the majority of us showing up every day for her sessions.

ABOUT CLEARWATER WRITERS: First, the site we have chosen as host for our programs sits on the traditional lands of the Nimiipuu. We hope to honor their history by fostering a sense of peace and serenity in our community of writers and to carry the message of peace home with us. Our program was established to provide time and space away from the usual concerns to focus on furthering projects in an inspiring setting. We are dedicated to the notion that we as humans are creative beings and, as such, need significant breaks from technology and from our fast-paced lives into order to be our best selves, to do our best work, and to better serve our communities.

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. Ms. Coomer’s writing has been nominated for the Pulitzer, the Pushcart, and other national awards. Her work has been recommended by Buzzfeed. With more than 25 years of experience as a teacher of creative writing at the university and community level, Ms. Coomer is also a writing coach, an editor, a regular speaker at regional conferences, and offers creative inspiration and support for all writers, regardless of achievement, genre of focus, or ability.

Features of the 2023 FALL RESIDENCY

  • 10 nights in a scenic wilderness setting along the wild Clearwater River in Idaho’s Rocky Mountain foothills
  • Beautiful, serene, private accommodations at a deeply discounted rate
  • Near the confluence of 3 federally-designated Wild and Scenic rivers. Lots of unprecedented scenery to inspire your writing, plus the occasional wolf howl!
  • A maximum of 5 other writers
  • Group feedback on up to 25 double-spaced pages of writing (find specific formatting requirements here). This means each person will be reading and commenting on the work of 4 other writers, as well, in preparation for the Residency.
  • Daily afternoon workshop sessions (days 3-8)
  • Daily yoga/meditation sessions
  • Open mic/salon nights 8 and 9
  • Individual consults with Ms. Coomer
  • Deeply discounted room rates (see below)
  • We do not offer the Wifi password unless you ask for it, so those who prefer may remain off-grid.
  • No cell signal at the Inn, but Wifi calling is available–of course this means you’ll need to ask for the Wifi password! (The Inn’s business phone is for emergencies only.)
  • Check-in is at 3 p.m. on the day of your arrival.
  • Checkout is at 11 a.m. on the day of departure.
  • We will be honoring CDC protocols for wearing masks and keeping social distance as necessary. We do prefer that attendees be vaccinated and boosted. 

Meals and Transportation

  • Attendees must bring their own meal preparations, or you may choose to check out eating/shopping establishments in the tiny town of Kooskia (Koos-kee), which is 10 miles to west of the Inn. Cooking, cold storage, freezer space, and communal dining space is available to us in 2 well-equipped kitchens.
  • Compact refrigerators in each room as well as coffee makers and microwaves
  • For air transportation and car rental contact the Lewiston-Nez Perce County Regional Airport

Application for Clearwater Writers 2022 Fall Residency and Further Details

  • To inquire further about the Residency, 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 and personal reference contact information to
  • If you have been with us for a previous retreat, a writing sample and personal reference are not required; however, you will need to contact Ms. Coomer by email prior to contacting the Inn for reservations.
  • A phone interview will also be required of first-time applicants.
  • Cost for the Fall Residency is as follows.
    • Room rate for one person for 10 nights is a $1000 ($35-50+ per night off the regular rate) night plus 8% tax ($1080).
    • $540 is due at the time of registration.
    • Credit cards will be charged an additional $540 at arrival for rooms.
    • A payment to Ms. Coomer of $500 is also due upon arrival. This pays for our yoga instructor, her room, and travel expenses for Ms. Coomer. Please bring cash for this payment. Partial scholarships for this portion are available if needed.
    • Deadline for application is April 15, 2023.
    • Our programs fill up quickly, so please contact us as early as possible.
    • No refunds/not transferable–we are not able to offer refunds for deposits.
  • Also, for the first time, Ms. Coomer is offering a one-time manuscript read-through for those with book-length manuscripts. The fee for this is $500 for up to 70,000 words. This is 20% off of Ms. Coomer’s normal rate. If you are interested in this option, please contact Ms. Coomer directly at
  • For maps and more about Reflections Inn, go to
  • To express interest in the 2023 Fall Residency, contact Ms. Coomer directly at
  • Once you’ve interacted with Ms. Coomer, you will make reservations directly to Reflections Inn by contacting Vicki at the Inn at 208-926-0855.