Roaring Fork Songwriting Retreat

May 28th-30th, 2020Four Mile Creek B&B – 6471 County Rd 117. Glenwood Springs, CO 81601

Songwriters performing in Carbondale, CO. Photo by Olive & West Photography.


Located in the mountains just outside Glenwood Springs, Colorado, this retreat is geared towards songwriters who want to dive deeper into the craft of songwriting. Through group workshops, one-on-one mentoring, and live performance, participants will have an opportunity to jumpstart and hone their writing process.

Between May 28th and 30th, songwriters will have access to six group workshops (topics and schedule listed below), two live performance opportunities, and private mentoring sessions with award-winning songwriters, Mary Bragg and Jackson Emmer. There will also be hours of quiet time to write in the rocky mountains. The retreat is open to all, ages 16+. 

Questions? Contact Jackson Emmer directly: (650) 799-5379,, or Jim Hawkins at Four Mile B&B: (970) 945-4004,

Registration fee: $575 – Includes:

Two full days of songwriting mentorship.

Two performance opportunities for participating songwriters.

The chance to connect and network with songwriters from around the country.

Time to write, reflect, and hone your songwriting in the beautiful mountains of Colorado.

Red Barn Concert by Mary Bragg and Jackson Emmer.

Light breakfast each day (coffee, scones).

Lunch each day (soup, salad).

Dinner on 5/28, 5/29, and 5/30.

* Lodging is not included. Scroll down for lodging recommendations.

Attendance will be capped at 15, so each participant will receive ample individual attention.


Meet Your Mentors

Mary Bragg

Mary Bragg is often noted as one of the finest, up-and-coming songwriters in Nashville. With five albums to her name, Bragg’s work has been praised by NPR, Billboard, Rolling Stone, Nashville Scene, and Music City Roots. Her songs have been streamed over 3 million times on Spotify alone, and she has toured the US many times over.

Read more about Mary Bragg here:

Jackson Emmer

Based in the small town of Carbondale, Colorado, Jackson Emmer has quietly built his reputation as a songwriter’s songwriter on the outskirts of country music. His music has been featured in Rolling Stone, NPR, the Cannes Film Festival, and played on over 150 radio stations worldwide. Emmer tours the US regularly, often performing 100+ concerts each year.

Read more about Jackson Emmer here:

Schedule & Workshops

5/28 – Arrive by 4:30pm for Welcome Dinner at Four Mile Creek B&B. Guitar Pull/Open Mic runs 6:30-9pm, in the B&B living room.

Day 15/29

9am  Chords (how to use them thoughtfully), Melodies (how to write original ones), and how to make them work together for you (90 min)

10:30am Break (15 min)

10:45am  Finding Your Own Writer’s Voice, Generating Ideas, and Breaking Through Writer’s Block (90 min)

12:15pm Lunch

2pm Individual meetings with Mary and Jackson. Sign up ahead of time for a 25 minute, 1-on-1 mentoring session. Participants can also use this time to free write individually, or co-write. (3 hrs)

5pm Dinner 

6:30pm  Guitar EQ & Microphone technique workshop in Barn, with full sound system (60 min)

7:30pm  Song Circle (~2 hrs)

Day 25/30

9am  Co-writing Demonstration: Respecting the Space, Honoring Your Co-Writer, and Getting the Best Song in the Room (60 minute song written by Mary & Jackson in front of the group)

10am  Co-writing debrief & questions (30 min)

10:30am  Break (15 min)

10:45am  Writing is Re-Writing (Bravery, Humility, Patience) (90 min)

12:15pm Lunch 

1:15pm  Music Business 101 (for those interested) (Touring, Publishing, Recording) (45 min)

2:00pm  Individual meetings with Mary and Jackson. Sign up ahead of time for a 25 minute, 1-on-1 mentoring session. Participants can also use this time to free write individually, or co-write. (2 hrs)

4:30pm  Participant Concert in the Big Red Barn. An opportunity for participants to showcase a song they’ve been working on at the retreat (60 min)

6pm  Community Dinner at B&B, plus potluck style with concert-goers.

7pm  Concert by Mary Bragg and Jackson Emmer in the Big Red Barn. Farewell, and thank you!


Four Mile Creek B&B (our top choice, as they’re hosting the retreat)

Hotel Colorado – short drive from the B&B retreat. Family owned.

The Hotel Glenwood Springs – Close to the Caverns/Adventure park, just outside downtown.

The Hotel Denver – located in downtown Glenwood Springs.


Recommendations coming soon.


The retreat will be held at Four Mile Creek B&B – 6471 County Rd 117. Glenwood Springs, CO 81601. It’s a 3.5 hr drive from the Denver International Airport to the B&B. The B&B is also a 1 hr drive from the Aspen Pitkin County Airport. There are shuttles, buses, and taxis available in area, but Uber and Lyft service is limited. There are numerous places to rent cars nearby, including Glenwood Springs, the Eagle Airport, Grand Junction Airport, Denver Airport, and Aspen Airport.

At this point we are unable to offer shuttle service/transportation specifically for the Retreat, but I’d be happy to connect participants with one another, if you’re interested in carpooling from an airport or nearby town.

What to Pack

Bring a an instrument (guitar, ukulele, or whatever your instrument is).

Journals, paper, and pens/pencils.

Water bottles (it’s easy to get dehydrated up here in the mountains, so be sure to carry water with you!)

Extra warm clothing/layers (it gets chilly up here at night, even in May, so bring clothes to stay cozy!)

More soon.