About Co-Write

Join fellow songwriters in a beautiful snowy setting for an intimate weekend of seeking the Lord, cowriting, and community building, hosted by Jared Anderson.


Cowrite 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 two really incredible years of Cowrite retreats (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.

And 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 are clear that its time to pursue this again.

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 till 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.

I’ll be collaborating with two of my friends in this retreat process. Jon Egan is a wickedly talented human who oozes vision, texture, and feel-for-days and who has written the one song I wish I had written, which is I Am Free. His leadership in Desperation Band and New Life Worship and songs Overcome, Strong God, and gobs of others are to me like coffee and sea salt dark chocolate. Good (and good for you) anytime of day in any and every situation.

In addition Michael Rossback will be joining us who is closer to Stevie Wonder than I’ll ever be – though he is not blind. He can sing, play, write, produce, and crushes a mix. It makes me angry, but he’s also a great friend. He produced several of the Gungor records, Paul Baloche, myself, and hundreds of others.

Nicole Serrano is a new friend. We’ve written one song together that I adore. I’m sure she’s cooler than I know. I’ve invited her to come and dare with us.

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 apart 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. Hope you can make to Colorado in February.

Casa Coraggio,

JA

2018
Feb 6-9

Colorado
USA

39
Spots Available

04
Collaborators

Collaborators

Jon Egan

Nicole Serrano

Michael Rossback

What People Are Saying

“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 Foote – Songwriter, “Amazing Love” and “Sing to the King”

Register

Click Here to register for Co-Write 2018

What To Expect

The Experience

During this retreat 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 eating great food 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 There are a limited number of spaces at the Hideaway Inn, so we cannot guarantee that you will have your own room. Guys will be with guys and girls with girls, but these are not all single-occupancy rooms..
Transportation to the retreat center is not provided. We are happy to help you connect with one another to find rides. Denver International Airport is 61 miles from the Hideaway Inn and the Colorado Springs Airport is 27 miles away.
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.

Event Location

Colorado Springs
The Hideway Inn & Conference Center