Songwriters come together to seek the Giver, explore the gifts, and share the wealth!

Nov 9 - 12, 2021 // Colorado Springs, CO

About the Retreat

CO:Write Retreat is a place for us as songwriters to examine the beginnings and purpose of our creative gift; how it’s been wounded or managed, and how it can be replenished and alive.

You can expect times of worship, teaching, reflection, cowriting with others, observing writing sessions, sharing, and communal time together. We will cover the subjects of music business, publishing, royalties, touring, management, and more. We can’t wait to see you there.

A Note from Jared

Co:Write Community started as I began to travel and meet so many church teams and musicians making recordings that had no real handle or history on the collaborative process for songwriting. What if my friends in different places could strengthen each other since they have so much in common? On the other hand, my experience in the heavily structured and productive industry songwriting process left me hungry for something other than the familiar scripts and tricks. Could people that want to write from their story grow exponentially through collaboration?

We had incredible years of Co:Write retreats in 2012 and 2013 that were such a win. We wrote from our gut. We found people that were strong in areas we lacked. We sang together and were surprised to discover and uncover the glory and tragedy of the writing room. We endured through the question marks and doubts that what we wrote could have been better if we were willing to dig deeper. We were in awe that we could spend such a short time with people we’ve never met before and write something we really loved that would never have come on our own. We left with fresh vigor for the craft and a vocabulary to begin the practice.

Then, I needed to pause as our family adopted two children from Haiti. As we grew to the Anderson Party of 8 my world was, let’s just say, re-structured. Grinding into my own story also produced a fresh ear to the task of this restorative work. After a four year break and many conversations with close comrades, the signals were clear that it was time to pursue this again, and so we began yearly retreats again in 2018.

The vision of Cowrite Community is restorative. This means a good dose of “I’m not crazy.” This retreat is meant to help us re-view and re-member our own personal narratives and bring our imaginations back to working order. Some of us look at our creative voice like it’s a typewriter. Cool and clever as a decoration but not vital and efficient because let’s face it, everyone uses iPads now. No. Your creative voice is like a species of nature that when in a decline or extinction reduces the vitality of the whole landscape but when awake and thriving adds depth and richness to the tone of the forever climate.

Opposition is everywhere:

Even if I wrote something good no one would ever find it because blah, blah, blah, blah.
I’m not a good singer.
I can’t produce my own stuff.
I get stuck on lyrics.
My melodies aren’t hooky.
I live in Alaska.
I have kids.
I’m 30.
I’m 40.
I’m 90.
I don’t play an instrument.
It’s been so long.
I used to write a ton and then I don’t know…it kinda went away.

Guess what…you’re not crazy. We are all operating at a deficit. I get so jealous of Stevie Wonder who sings like an angel, uses words as well Hemingway, plays drums, produces his own stuff, and all this while completely blind. I want to give up. My pity party of “I’m a cotton-headed ninny-muggins” lasts only so long until I realize Stevie Wonder needed someone to help him walk to the piano. I can walk to the piano without help. I want to trade problems with Stevie Wonder, but I don’t get to. Comparison is the killer of joy. All of us need something. Great or small. There lies the invitation to collaborate and spend our courage if we dare.

At each Co:Write event I am joined by some wickedly talented friends who I like to call collaborators. They share their own experiences and passion with us and pour out their own talents and gifts generously while sharing their knowledge and expertise.

I hope I’ve described the work for you, and brought dignity to the struggle and joy enough to keep trying. I want to close with a song story. Not a song I wrote, but the infamous How He Loves. I remember I first heard that song at a worship event. I was in the green room while this new artist from Canada was doing 10 minutes for the gathering in the other room. The crowd roared the chorus and I felt it from quite a distance. I asked a publisher friend about the song. He had just signed the song by a guy from North Carolina, John Mark McMillan, a part of a church that had reputation for being pretty out there on the edge of things. He wrote it about his friend that died. The author never intended to write a hit (I feel dirty calling it that) and broke most of the conventional “make-it-singable” rules. There’s no bridge. Chorus is repetitive. Has a third verse that no one ever sings. But golly…relentless beauty and crushed humanity and everything I want to sing right there. John Mark was young and broke and writing his life. I’m so glad he did and still does.

I could go on and will go on.

Casa Coraggio,

JA

Nov 9 – 12, 2021

Colorado Springs, CO

Collaborators

Sara Groves

She's the consummate storyteller, a singer-songwriter who is equal parts observer and autobiographer. Sara Groves has been sharing her heart and baring her soul through her music for 15 years. It's no easy feat narrowing down her esteemed catalog. From the first strains of her 1998 debut, Past the Wishing, to the confessional Fireflies & Songs and the award-winning Add to the Beauty, there are mini-masterpieces everywhere. Tracks like "You Cannot Lose My Love," "All Right Here" and "Roll to the Middle" testify to her gift as a poet, whether she's talking about parenthood, the difficulties of marriage or the loves and losses that shape who we are. It's no wonder she's garnered three Dove Award nods, been named CCM's Artist of the Year and last year, Christianity Today named her one of their women to watch.

Groves is able to explore universal issues and beyond-the-basic spiritual truths in a way few others can. Her sound ranges from stripped down singer-songwriter fare to thoughtful pop tunes and piano-driven ballads, but her music always has its heart in helping us figure out who we are meant to be and the intersection of faith and life.

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson did not always see himself writing worship music. The career of one of the most distinct and celebrated voices in modern worship—with songs like “Glorified,” “Amazed” and “Rescue” widely sung in churches around the world—almost never happened.

“I grew up playing the piano in church and singing in youth meetings. But by the time I was in college, I saw my music going in a different direction,” says Anderson.

In fact, Jared considered distancing himself from worship music entirely, but always felt a pull to write something for the church. “God revealed to me, and it was a slow process, that worship isn’t just a genre of music,” he explains. “Worship songs are prayers. We’re reciting the word of God back to him, and pretty soon we’re not just reciting it or singing it, we’re living it.”

Jared now embraces his calling as a worship leader and songwriter. But he’s very honest about what that means for anyone in that role. “We’re in the foot washing business,” he says. “If you want to lead, you have to serve. And if you want to serve, you have to surrender. And if you surrender you’re going to have to die.” These aren’t empty words. Dying to some of his dreams paved the way for God to do something bigger. It’s a narrow road, but it’s the path Jared has chosen to travel.

And that path has led him into an effective ministry. From his former work with the Desperation Band, to his role as a songwriter/leader for New Life Worship’s live CD/DVDs and his own recordings including Where To Begin,Where Faith Comes From and Live From My Church.

Whatever the setting – whether it’s a coffee shop, a church sanctuary or an amphitheater, Jared takes a simple song and turns it into a journey.

Coaches

Matt Ross

Matt Ross is the Worship Pastor at Pikes Peak Christian Church and has served on staff there since 2012. He has a Bachelor’s of Music in Jazz Studies from DePaul University in Chicago and before arriving at Pikes Peak; Matt served as the Worship Pastor for two churches in Chicago and Los Angeles starting in 2002. Matt has recorded and produced many worship and jazz albums over the years, most notably, King of Heaven, which was released by Pikes Peak Worship in October of 2018. He loves the local church and is passionate about all men and women worshiping Jesus! Matt enjoys leading, teaching, and raising up new worship leaders. He and his wife Valentine have been married since 2009 and are crazy about their three kids, Amelie, Lukas, and Isaac.

Shannon Adducci

Shannon (Wexelberg) Adducci has been writing songs since she was a wee young girl. Raised on a piano bench, she learned to play both classically and by ear right from the get go - a great combo for a blossoming songwriter. When she was twelve, her family moved from the Nebraskan plains to the Colorado Rockies. Soon after they arrived, her parent’s marriage fell apart, and Shannon’s time on the piano bench, as well as her songwriting, took on a new purpose and focus - to connect with the Father of her broken, desperate heart. It was then she began to learn not just to sing and play, but to worship. Pain, as is often the case, catapulted her into a deeper place with her King.

Shannon has written and recorded six projects of her own and has also collaborated with other artists and writers over the years, such as The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, Paul Baloche, Integrity Music, Our Daily Bread, The Desperation Band, and others. She leads worship at her local church and also loves to travel and minister at retreats, women’s events, churches, and conferences. She knows the satisfaction of a song seemingly being dropped from heaven into her heart and onto the page as well as the frustration of wanting to bang her head against the piano when nothing seems to come and inspiration seems far away. Learning to let go of her own expectations, and the expectations of others, as well as silencing (or at least subduing) her inner critic is key to bringing a song to life for her.

She is married to the love of her life, Joseph Adducci, and together they are raising three teenage boys and one awesome dog named Chloe. When she’s not spending time doing music, she could be found hiking, reading, blogging, chalk-painting, chasing aspens with her Nikon and her hubby, traveling, or just enjoying coffee with a friend. She is excited to be a part of the CoWrite retreat this year!

Shauna Chanda

Originally a southern girl from Texas, Shauna lives and bases her music career in the front ranges of Colorado. With her church roots, she’s well known for her heart of compassion with a desire to bridge cultures, genres and generations. Her unusual versatility easily integrates these seamless connections. These traits have followed her across the globe and back with a distinction of individuality in her voice and spirit. With her exposure to multiple cultures worldwide and “roll with it” personality, she’s a pro at walking into any situation, acclimating and adapting on the spot to fill a need. Shauna is habitually collaborating with other musicians with the same passions and desire to use their gifts to uplift any listener’s heart. Although she’s gifted with a uniquely powerful, yet soothing “voice of an angel,” this singer - songwriter is more than a musical talent. She’s lived a journey of her own. With a heart wrenching, yet heartwarming testimony of love, loss, survival and redemption, Shauna also remains steadfast in her desire to draw others to Jesus through their own story and journey through life. From tragedy to triumph and the road along the way, she simply inspires. On stage or off, Shauna will leave a lasting thumbprint on your heart, eagerly wanting more.

Aaron Wagner

Aaron Wagner is a singer, songwriter and producer based in Nashville, TN. From a young age Aaron has written and produced songs that have found their way in venues, churches, several television networks and the top of the billboard charts. Currently Aaron is touring the country with his band VEAUX, developing artists and constantly doing house projects with his wife Jennifer.

Nico Perez

Nico Perez is a Singer, Songwriter, producer based out of Colorado. He has traveled all over the world leading worship with Desperation Band, WorshipMob and White Flag. Nico is a gifted songwriter having written congregational ballads such as We Are Yours, More Than Enough, Moment by Moment, and more. He also has his own personal project, Aporia. Nico is passionate about people knowing their intrinsic worth and helping them step into their God-given talents.

I was so blessed to be able to attend Jared’s cowrite retreat back in 2012. It was one of the most enjoyable times I have ever had with songwriters from so many different levels of writing experience. It was time well spent both as writer and a worshipper.

Billy FooteSongwriter, “Amazing Love” and “Sing to the King”

Videos

Inspiration

Environment

Collaboration

Frequently Asked

What to Expect

During Co:Write retreats you can expect times of worship, teaching, reflection, cowriting with others, observing a writing session by the collaborators, sharing what we’ve written with the group (if you’re comfortable, not required), and communal time together. We will have time to interact for Q&A and will cover the subjects of music business, publishing, royalties, touring, management, and the like. Lodging and meals are provided at retreats. If you’re interested in connecting with other writers before and after the retreat you can do so on the Co:Write Community Facebook Page.

What’s Included?

For Co:Write Retreats, lodging and meals are included with your registration costs.

What to Bring

If you play guitar and can bring it with you, bring it. We will have keyboards in a majority of the writing rooms. If you can bring a keyboard, that also would be amazing. We do not provide amps. We ask that you come with a handful (3-5) of song ideas for cowriting sessions.

Registration

$675

(Early Bird Pricing until July 31st)

Please register below, and if you need more information please contact info@cowritecommunity.com.

Copyright. All Rights Reserved. Jared Anderson.