Honor your storyEmpower Your Life!


PEN: an implement for writing or drawing AKA your flashlight.

Dora: is a female name derived from Dorothea, Theodora meaning “Gift.

PEN Dora Retreats and Writing workshops takes its name from the literary character Pandora, the wretched child who was brave enough to open the box of monsters and free hope. In the spirit of bold curiosity, we invite writers to “open the box” and bring light to their fears and fantasies. There is no amount of secrecy that can heal, and when you’re brave enough to look and tell your truth, we are all set free. Those who hold the PEN hold the power. 

PEN Dora retreats are designed to inspire confidence, growth, momentum, and motivation. Along with a passionate tribe of storytellers and writers, we gather by the water’s edge to tuck into three days of workshopping, whittling and wrangling our stories. Together we gather in nature to write. The fresh air and sunlight help to connect us with our own creative genius.

Plus there’s great food, hiking, yoga, biking and all the other fun activities that help to nurture your inner artist. 

These retreats into nature and our natural ability to create, provide a beautiful opportunity to work on the craft. You will experience a greater connecting with other writers as well as a strong commitment to moving into greater consistency with your own writing. Beautiful locations, powerful curriculum, and passionate creatives pursuing their writing and publishing dreams,  there is nothing like having a tribe. 

I have been working with writers and storytellers for the past two decades in Los Angeles and Chicago. I’ve witnessed the healing that comes when stories are adequately honored through the writing process. Check out what past clients have to say. As an actress and director, I bring a keen ear and a painter’s eye. As a licensed practitioner, you will also benefit from affirmative prayer and impeccable care with the delivery of your work. I am honored to support you in reaching your writing goals.

Places to stay

There are several amazing locations to rent on the island.

If you are interested in renting a room in our home please check out the room rates below. 

Private room $950.

Share a room with one other person regular price $750. 

Simi private porch room $550. 

If you would like more information on the retreats, or to book your spot, click below and set up a call with Maureen to to chat. LINK

What people are saying

I came to the retreat not sure I was even a writer… by the time I left I was “shitting diamonds.” Maureen and her curriculum helped to wake up the creative flow in me and then showed me how to harness it for impactful writing. Thank you and I’ll be back. I am a writer! – Maggie Evans

Maureen Muldoon demonstrates mastery at aural editing. She hears the essence of a story, suggests how to build it to full development, and also helps cull what is non­essential.  Maureen consistently brings forth the best in her writers/storytellers so that they convey their tales in a manner which connects with their audience. My work with Maureen has produced stories which feel more cleanly and honest than works from the majority of workshops and seminars in which I’ve participated.

-Terri Knutson

It was so empowering to be able to sit with a community of women and write. As a leader, Maureen was encouraging and a mentor. Her wealth of experience as a published author and an accomplished storyteller helped the people in the group “own” their writing. She made us all feel like we are writers, that we all have a story to tell. This was the most liberating and empowering thing to come out of the workshop. ~ Caroline Johnson

Of Maureen’s many gifts is knowing exactly what is needed to improve one’s writing and gently guiding you there. My artist’s statement is so much more a reflection of what I wanted to say thanks to her help!- Pam Peterson

The best part of working with Maureen Muldoon is the lady herself. She’s joyful, attentive, bright, engaging, respectful, insightful, and genuine. Maureen is a delight, and I thank her for challenging me to create some of my best compositions to date. –Jane Mathie Artist/writer

Having the confidence to share my writing with a crowd? And walking away feeling great about it? I am truly grateful for the miracle muse that is Maureen Muldoon. – Megan Rische

Maureen’s gift is her sensitivity, clarity, and humor. She drills down to the guts of the story and she is truly inspirational. –Elise Michele, Writer

Maureen- Thank you so much for helping me literally change my story and change my life. I want to thank you and tell you I was offered and accepted the job. This has been a miracle to me for sure that I am getting out of a work situation in which my skills are underutilized and underappreciated. Write On!- Lori W.

The storytelling workshop was great, I got a ton of value from attending, and Maureen is an excellent and kind facilitator.  – Amy Graver

The writer’s retreat was fantastic!   It was heartwarming to share with and listen to stories of the participants and Maureen was wonderful…supportive, encouraging, very sincere, gave great suggestions and was very welcoming!  Everyone grew in their confidence level and in their writing. Sign me up for the next one! – Deborah Jennings

Our writing workshop was wonderful. Maureen quickly created an atmosphere of trust‎, making it easier to share our stories, and her commentary was always encouraging and respectful. I feel we formed a unique bond through the storytelling experience-Martha Whitehead

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Maureen Plays and Publications 

is an award-winning writer, published playwright and author of Giant Love Song, The Life Of A Sandcastle, BoobyTrap and the musical The Very Breast Show,  Spiritual Vixen’s Guild to An Unapologetic Life.

Her reviews, personal essay, fiction, and creative nonfiction have appeared in Parade, Venture Inward, Pop Sugar, BookBub, The Sun, She Reads, Bookapotamus, Story Lab, Lit Up, Booby Trap, Story,  Actors Access, Risk,  VoiceBox Stories, Yahoo Lifestyle, and elsewhere.

Giant Love Song, a tender, autobiographical account of a family losing their mother to cancer. A bevy of aunts bearing morphine and wine try impossibly to manage the six sisters and two brothers who, each by each invent their own narratives in order to face this loss. They are all pulled toward a turning point that will re-shape how they love, the ways they need each other and at the core, deepen how they are family.

Spiritual Vixen’s Guide To An Unapologetic Life. This story begins with an ending: the day Maureen Muldoon realized the devastating fact that her husband was having an affair―and leaving her for Miss Universe. Miss freaking Universe! How does this even happen? An intimate examination of Muldoon’s unraveling in the face of this betrayal, A Spiritual Vixen’s Guide to An Unapologetic Life takes a fresh, funny and fearless look at loss, denial, anger, grace, and liberation. 

The Life of a Sandcastle. A brilliantly simple allegory that presents the cycle of life and death at a level that is accessible to children of all ages. This rhyming tale takes us on a journey that explores a day in the life of a sandcastle who comes to find she is not just a little sandcastle but one with the entire ocean. An inspiring story for all who struggle with loss.

Voicebox Stories: Out of the Box, Volume 1. Maureen Muldoon and Cathy Richardson take you on a journey through their experiences, the good, the bad and the in between. These quirky, hilarious and poignant stories will warm your heart and have you hungry for more.

Booby Trap, The Very Best Show in Town:  Booby Trap: The Very Breast Show In Town is a 2-hour theatrical extravaganza. It has played to sold-out audiences and standing ovations across the country. The show is dedicated to raise money, promote awareness, and to inspire hope and understanding through laughter and tears. Booby Trap opened at the El Portal Theater in North Hollywood California to rave reviews. Two years later the show was mounted in Hollywood at the Hudson Backstage Theater where it was presented by Smashbox Cosmetics. Its last production was mounted by the theatre company of Elmhurst College in Elmhurst, IL.  To date, the show has raised over $40,000.00 for Breast cancer awareness and support!

Trans-Parent Love: 

A professional actress and a natural storyteller, Muldoon is capable of creating a very personal story that opens up and becomes an ongoing harrowing adventure with still unknown endings.  She’s a mom whose 14-year-old, also very smart and very brave, has announced through a sign on her bedroom door that she is actually he.

In less capable hands, this odyssey in staged spoken word could easily spell disaster. It could slide into cliché or become mired in sentimentality.  Here it bristles with intellect, embraces the unknown, finds electric joy in humor and trusts the future.  It’s also like a fist sheathed in velvet pounding on iron demanding action.

In these doubting quivery times, when so many question whether their individual efforts bear any consequence, the power of one has the scent of a deceptive premise.  How appropriate that, in this case, the reality of that power comes in the form of a mother. – Mitchell Oldham, City Pleasures