Weekend Workshops

Spend the Weekend with a Literary Agent with Sheree Bykofsky Join the bestselling author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Getting Published at her one-of-a-kind workshop. This weekend seminar will teach you the ins and outs of the publishing universe, including:
  • What's hot right now in both fiction and non-fiction
  • The difference between a query letter, a pitch and a proposal
  • How to develop ideas with true commercial potential
  • How to write a query that really sells
  • How to locate and work with the right agent
  • How to craft an effective book proposal
  • What to realistically expect in a first-book contract
  • Why becoming a published author is just like being a contestant on Wheel of Fortune!
Memoir Writing with Robert Strauss We’ll talk about different kinds of memoirs and how to best do them.  We will do our best to critique what is presented by students with the whole class. And then in general we can talk about non-fiction writing as it relates to the memoir. Submissions Due: June 1 to

Word Count Limit for Submissions: 3,000
Flash Fiction with Randall Brown


This workshop discusses the technique behind writing great and fearless flash fiction. It’s an interactive, hands-on immersion into this exciting world where every word counts, where texts desire to end as soon as they begin, where every choice, every word, every second is your chance to go for it, like you never have before. Micro. Sudden. Flash. Fiction. Wow!

*Submission word count limit: 1,000.

Go Figure! Using Figurative Language to Get Beyond What You Know with J.C. Todd


A poetry workshop open to writers of all genres
Figurative language is basic to all imaginative writing. How do you develop poetic figures: image, metaphor, symbol, simile, metonymy, synecdoche? How can they enlarge what you write? Explode it, pop it, morph it, torque it? We’ll use close reading to explore the effects of figurative language and prompts to launch three or four new creative pieces. 

Bring one visual image (print or digital) that fascinates you. Bring one sound. Bring a dictionary.

Weeklong Workshops

Novel Writing with Marc Schuster
Marc would like 3,000 words from an opening chapter and a 500-word summary of the novel-in-progress from each participant.

Plotters vs Pansters
For too long, the writing community has divided novelists into two camps — “plotters” who map their projects out in some detail before beginning a first draft and “pantsers” who write by the seat of their pants, as it were, and without the aid of an outline. This workshop will attempt to bridge the alleged gap between plotters and pantsers by offering a more dynamic view of writing in which attention to both the forest and the trees shapes your novel-in-progress. To this end, I will examine structure, character, and sentence craft as they pertain to your project.  Classes will include discussion of student submissions as well as exercises for fleshing out manuscripts, honing language, and maintaining writerly momentum.
Short Story with John Henry Fleming
In this class, we’ll workshop short stories, read and analyze the craft of stories in the Best American anthology, and do writing exercises.  Please have one story already written and be prepared to write another story during the week of the retreat.

Submission word count limit: 5,000.
Writing Young Adult & New Fiction with Catherine Stine
Catherine Stine specializes in young adult (13 to 18) and new adult fiction (18 to 28), both red-hot genres. In workshop-based classes, students receive detailed feedback and guidance on their pieces, new or in-progress. Stine’s expertise is on plot, pacing and characterization, and on designing custom writing exercises that address authors’ specific needs. She also discusses crafting the novel, marketing and what to look for in an agent.

Submission word count limit: 6,000.
Tell Your Story (Memoir) with Anne Kaier
Turn your journaling, memories, and memoir drafts into marketable nonfiction stories. In the workshop we will write new work, share work to get feedback, discuss effective techniques and talk about how memoir is like and unlike fiction. You should leave the week with several drafts of new stories and with tips on how and where to get your work published.

Submission word count limit: 3,000.
Poetry with Grant Clauser
Every moment, place and person is a story. And in the core of every poem is a story. Even lyric poems such as odes and elegies have a core story element to them. In this workshop we’ll examine the core concept of story,  separate from narrative, in poems, and how the core issues of your poems can help shape the language, form and presentation, and how it contributes to your readers’ relationship with the poem.