Writing Retreats

Writing on the River: a retreat for teachers
Monday – Wednesday, July 17 – 19
8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Co-facilitators: Jennifer Chauhan & Colleen Doogan
Instructors: Allison Tevald, Lisa McLaughlin, & Lisa Hartsgrove

56 Shrewsbury Avenue, Highlands, NJ

$250 per person includes continental breakfast & luncheon

Put aside time for YOU this summer:

  • Learn more and engage in a conversation about the teaching of writing
  • Share stories from your own life through writing
  • Build camaraderie with fellow teachers
  • Unlock and reignite the writer within while invigorating your teaching practice

All participants receive a tote bag and other surprises.

Open to teachers of all grades.
*Limited to 50 participants.


Our fall retreat is slated for October 22, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Oyster Point Hotel. Check back soon for more information.

Jennifer Chauhan fell in love with the workshop style of teaching writing at Teachers College, Columbia University. Amazed by what kids could produce with a notebook, freedom, and supportive peers, she’s used this method while teaching writing to children in New York City’s foster care system, as a public high school English and creative writing teacher in Rumson, NJ, and during her creative writing workshops at her private studio in Fair Haven. Jennifer’s passion is showing students of all ages that what they think and believe matters and that they can use their words to impact others. Her belief is that by writing and sharing our stories we open up ways to understand one another a little better, generating empathy. In addition to her teaching experience, Jennifer has more than 25 years as a professional writer. She began as the managing editor of Teacher Magazine and currently writes for businesses, organizations, and various publications.


Colleen Doogan started her education career as a first grade teacher in Fair Haven and after eight years realized her passion for teaching reading and writing could take her beyond her classroom walls. Colleen left her job to pursue an opportunity as a reading specialist in Berkeley Heights, N.J., and then as a staff developer and literacy consultant at the Teachers College Reading & Writing Project with Lucy Calkins and her staff. While there Colleen not only helped others grow as writers, but she also rediscovered her own voice. She then worked in schools around the world teaching teachers about the reading and writing workshop as well as teaching at the TCRWP summer institutes in New York City and leading numerous coaching groups and institutes for those teachers who were becoming literacy coaches. Colleen’s love of writing goes back to when she used to write short stories sitting on the red shaggy rug in her childhood bedroom and keeping thousands of diaries and journals growing up. Now she records her daily thoughts as a mom of three children. She continues to have a passion for teaching and facilitating conversation about best practices for reading and writing.


Allison Tevald has a background in book publishing and newspaper copy editing and reporting. With an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College, Allison has a passion for precision and clarity in writing. She also has great interest in what the process of writing can bring about in terms of creativity, therapy, problem solving, and surprise breakthroughs. Allison believes everyone can benefit from deep play, either by working with words or by doodling, coloring, and sketching. By using the meditative space between paper and pen, one can create not just a piece of work but can also produce new ideas, come to realizations, or settle into decisions. Allison believes that everyone has a unique and compelling story within.


Lisa McLaughlin practices an interdisciplinary way of working and thinking, encouraging experimentation and collaboration with other artists. Through her work she explores the nature of writing, the impossibility of writing, and the experiences that defy writing. Her approach is to present her students with the widest possible spectrum of aesthetic and formal choices, along with a context within which to consider those choices. Lisa has her MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and has taught writing at Brookdale Community College and writing and literature at Georgian Court University. Most recently, she has been the writing specialist for the Horizons Program at Rumson Country Day School, a summer enrichment program for at-risk students primarily from the Red Bank community.


Lisa Hartsgrove has always been passionate about writing. She is most often inspired by human interaction and reaction, and she loves delving into the subconscious, exposing the “dark side” of humanity. Lisa has her MFA from Goddard College and is currently working on a young adult hybrid novel. She has been published in the Pitkin Review, the Atlantic Highlands Herald, and Collage, Brookdale’s literary magazine. Lisa teaches a number of creative writing classes both in and out of the PWN studio. Her goal in teaching is to encourage new writers to harness the power of their voices. Lisa believes that writing is transformational, and she encourages her students to write unabashedly, confidently, and to believe that writing can be both healing and fun!

Project Write Now reserves the right to cancel, postpone, or reschedule any class or event because of low enrollment or other unforeseen circumstances. In the unfortunate case a class or event is canceled, Project Write Now will issue a full refund of the fees paid. No refunds or credits will be given for any days missed by the participant.