The Surge is an opportunity for intense project focus with built-in accountability and genuine cheer-squad encouragement for four days. But we’re all grown-ups, and this period is about self-reliance as much as peer support. The intensity of focus is completely up to you, and you’re responsible for your own level of commitment and productivity. Part of the benefit of the Surge is practising (in good company) the self-discipline and focus that any creative work requires.
Registration constitutes consent to the following conditions.
1. For these four days, we’re a community and we respect each other. All communications will be supportive and civilised, and anything said in the Surge forum stays completely confidential. In this space, for these days, we’re all equals regardless of experience, history, seniority etc. The check-ins are about giving as well as receiving, so do remember to encourage others occasionally.
2. Non-refundable registration is confirmed upon fee payment. In exceptional circumstances, refunds for cancellations at least three weeks before start date may be available at our discretion, only if a suitable replacement participant can be found. If you opt out at any stage after the Surge begins, no part of your fee is refundable. Registrations are not transferable between people or between dates.
3. The check-ins all take place in written form, using the Basecamp platform, and you will have the same specific (easy!) questions to answer each day, morning and night. The evening before Day 1 we will post the first morning questions there so you can sleep on them if you wish.
4. Check-in times are 8-9am in the mornings, and 6-7pm at night AEST. This means Charlotte will be online during those times to offer suggestions for blocks and problems and to answer questions. Sometimes you’ll find you need to check-in earlier or later – that’s totally fine, but just be aware Charlotte won’t be able to wait for you online outside the standard check-in hours.
5. There will be one optional, self-directed Day 5.
6. All participants must be allowed total focus on their own work during the days. The morning check-ins will include planning for setbacks and blocks, and that’s where to turn when you hit a rough patch. There won’t be an opportunity to ask for help or seek support from the group or from me until the evening check in.
7. The preparation check-lists are suggestions based on our long experience, but we won’t be hassling you to see if you’ve ‘obeyed’ the guide – if you need to vary things in any way to suit your circumstances, go right ahead.
8. Private queries or messages to Charlotte are fine if necessary before the Surge. However, the program is about communal accountability and group support and if you have a question it will probably be on someone else's mind too - so unless it's highly personal or private please post it in the group. There is no one-to-one mentoring or private support available.
9. Occasionally, artists’ projects can enter difficult emotional or psychological territory. It is essential that participants understand that the Surge is an arts retreat, not a therapeutic tool. All participants must have in place a practical option for psychosocial support (e.g. contact details of an available and suitable professional counsellor) outside the group to turn to if necessary. If we feel your needs are tipping more toward therapeutic than artistic support, we will direct you to use that option.
10. We reserve the right to ask any member to leave (without refund) if we deem their behaviour to be offensive or detrimental to other participants in any way.
11. Materials written by us & provided during the Surge (including the wording of daily questions etc.) are subject to copyright and not to be shared outside the group.
12. If you find it’s not for you and you need to drop out before the end for any reason, that’s completely fine (provided point 2 is understood). Just email email@example.com to let us know.
On registration, you'll be invited to the Basecamp group and you can start preparations for the Surge. If you hear nothing from us in the four weeks prior to the Surge start date, there has been a technical or other error - please get in touch immediately by email firstname.lastname@example.org.