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Summer Writers' Retreat and Publishing Seminar

Registration Now Open!
July 5-12, 2024

Rosemont College is a peaceful sanctuary located just minutes by train from center city Philadelphia. The Creative Writing Retreat offers either a weekend, a weeklong, or combination session featuring workshops run by award winning writers and student-focused teachers. The program includes time to write, craft lectures, and panels. Workshops will be limited to no more than 10 participants, ensuring that each author will have plenty of critique time. Nightly faculty readings and receptions, along with an open mic, will offer plenty of networking opportunities, but the emphasis will be on immersing oneself in the writing life and one’s own work.

The Publishing Seminar is 8 days focused on one topic of particular relevance to the publishing industry. The emphasis here is on discussion, case studies, and research with access to all the panels, networking, and readings.

Housing is available on campus in Mayfield Hall, which has single room accommodations and communal baths. Each attendee will have a private room unless you’d like to share a room with another attendee. (Email Carla Spataro for special pricing). Attendees will need to bring their own sheets and towels. All meals are provided during the weekend portion of the retreat. During the week, a welcome and farewell dinner will be provided along with breakfast and lunch each day. Snacks and beverages are provided in the evening during readings and panels. Coffee is available 24/7.


Matriculated students taking the program for credit: $2,130 + $75 materials fee for a total of $2205 per student – please contact Carla Spataro, MFA & Publishing program director if you plan to take the retreat for credit - do not register here.

Non-credit students

  • Weekend: $600/$510
  • Weeklong: $900/$765
  • Both: $1400/$1190
  • (15% Discount for Alumni)

Housing (for all)

  • Weekend: $195
  • Weeklong: $395
  • Both: $590
  • (No discount)

New! 8-Day Summer Publishing Seminar

Platform, Publicity, and Publishing in an Era of Social Media Collapse with Literary Agent and Author, Eric Smith

July 5-12, 2024


The word "platform" often brews up fear in new writers who are actively planning to seek publication. If you don't have enough Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, etc. followers, will you be able to get a book deal? Am I alone in promoting my book? Is it true publishers will do nothing when it comes to marketing and publicity, and I'm on my own, relying on these tools? Over the next few days, we'll spend some time talking about misconceptions (ie: social media doesn't matter as much as blogs tell you it does) and rumors, and how you can truly create a platform that works for you.

We'll discuss the differences in platform when it comes to fiction vs. nonfiction, how marketing works in traditional publishing vs. self-publishing, and meet virtually with guests who are experts in this space, to bring additional insight to what is a frequently complicated and changing topic in the publishing landscape. By the end of our time together, not only will you ideally walk away with a better understanding of how these things work, but will have a battle plan for your own platform, as well as one for building platforms for future writers you may work with as industry professionals.

Eric SmithInstructor: Eric Smith

Eric Smith is a Young Adult author and literary agent with P.S. Literary living in Philadelphia. He’s worked with New York Times bestselling and award-winning authors across genres and categories. In his author life, his latest book, With or Without You, published with HarperCollins / Inkyard Press in November 2023, and was a Junior Library Guild selection. For more information about Eric please visit

Writers' Retreat

reserve your spot

3-Day Weekend Creative Writing Workshops
July 5-7, 2024

FULL! Flash Fiction Workshop with Author, Trish Rodriguez

If you write poetry or fiction, or even if you’re not sure what you want to write, this class is for you. If you’re looking to restart writing habits, find new ones, or dip your toe in the writing world, try flash fiction. In this workshop, we will read, write, and discuss short-short fiction. We’ll look at what’s been published and what is being published. This class will be a supportive environment where you’ll receive feedback on your writing. And, of course, we’ll write.

Word count limit: 1500. Please submit work in advance by June 10, 2024.

Trish RodriguezInstructor: Trish Rodriquez

Trish Rodriguez is a writer and editor who is currently the Editorial Director of Philadelphia Stories. She teaches prose at Rosemont College. Her work has been published in Awakenings and Healing Visions and elsewhere. She reads and writes in Media, PA.


FULL! The Creative Notebook: How to Get Unstuck, Break Through Blocks, and Take Your Writing to the Next Level (A Multi-Genre Workshop) with Author, Margo Robb

The writer and artist Melissa Sweet advises writers: “Go out and play!” How do we reclaim that sense of play in our work? How do we access new ideas and make our work feel alive? This class will show how a fresh, blank notebook can serve as a life-changing creative space: a place that can generate ideas for fiction, memoir, essays, poetry, and articles; a place where we can dive more deeply into our work; and a place where we can break rules. Every day, we will do writing and creativity exercises, and read poetry and prose for inspiration. Weather permitting, the class will take place partly outdoors; we’ll discuss how writing in nature can inspire ideas and help us revise. The class will also include advice on submitting our work for publication, navigating the process of finding an agent, and strategies to manage interruptions and get our creative work completed.

No work needs to be submitted in advance. This is a generative workshop.

Margo RabbInstructor: Margo Rabb

Margo Rabb’s essays, journalism, book reviews, and short stories have been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, Smithsonian Magazine, Slate, Salon, The Rumpus, Zoetrope: All-Story, Best New American Voices, New Stories from the South, One Story, Poets & Writers, and Marie Claire, and have been broadcast on NPR. She is the author of the novels Lucy Clark Will Not Apologize, Kissing in America, and Cures for Heartbreak, all published by HarperCollins; all have been named to multiple best-of-the-year lists. She received the grand prize in the Zoetrope short story contest, first prize in The Atlantic fiction contest, first prize in the American Fiction contest, and a PEN Syndicated Fiction Project Award. Margo grew up in Queens, New York, and now lives in the Philadelphia area with her family. Visit her online at


Honing the Poetic Voice With Poet, Chad Frame

In this workshop, we will explore the idea of poetic voices---plural, because they won’t just be yours. Not only will we analyze and develop the voice of the primary speaker of the poem, considering tone, mood, and character, but also voices through personae, historical voices, cultural voices, and even voices through the lens of pop culture. We’ll read and discuss examples, workshop the poems you’ve submitted ahead of time, and then put the techniques we study into practice by writing new poems. We will also employ the technique of “editing by ear” to revise poems based on their readings, as well as study and practice performative and reading techniques for our poetry. After all, a poem is only half on the page. As you’ll learn, the other half is in the delivery.

Poem Limit for Submissions: 3 Poems (up to 6 total pages maximum) Please submit work in advance by June 10, 2024.

Chad FrameInstructor: Chad Frame

Chad Frame is the author of Little Black Book (Finishing Line Press, 2022), nominated for a Lambda Literary Award, Cryptid (No More Poems Press, 2023), and Smoking Shelter (Moonstone Press, 2023), winner of the Moonstone Chapbook Competition. His work appears in Rattle, Pedestal, Strange Horizons, Barrelhouse, Rust+Moth, and elsewhere, including on iTunes from the Library of Congress, and was sent to the moon on board the Odysseus Lander in February 2024  as part of the Lunar Codex. Chad is Director of the Montgomery County Poet Laureate Program as well as a Poet Laureate Emeritus of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, the Poetry Editor of Ovunque Siamo: New Italian-American Writing, a founding member of the No River Twice poetry and improvisation performance troupe, Poet in Residence at the Eclipse Center for Creative Community, and the Founder and Director of the Caesura Poetry Festival. Chad also teaches poetry workshops online for River Heron Review.

6-Day Weeklong Retreat
July 7-12, 2024


Short Story Intensive – With Novelist & Short Story Writer, Elise Juska

Do you have a  draft of a short story striving to get to the next level? This workshop-style course will focus on thoughtful, detailed discussion of participants’ fiction. Workshops will be supplemented by exercises and readings designed to offer strategies for creating tension, complicating characters, writing realistic dialogue, and more.

Please submit one story by June 15. Instructor will provide detailed written critiques.

Elise JuskaInstructor: Elise Juska

Elise Juska’s new novel, Reunion, is forthcoming from HarperCollins in May 2024. Her previous novels include If We Had Known and The Blessings, which was selected for Barnes & Noble’s Discover Great New Writers series, Entertainment Weekly’s “Must List,” and the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Best Books of 2014. Her short fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Ploughshares, The Gettysburg Review, The Missouri Review, The Hudson Review, Post Road, Electric Literature, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of the Alice Hoffman Prize from Ploughshares, and her short stories have been longlisted by The Best American Short Stories and Pushcart Prize anthologies. Elise is a Professor of Creative Writing at the University of the Arts, where she received the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching.


The Joy of Beginning, the Murk of the Middle, the Thrill of the Ending: the Craft of Writing the Whole Novel – With Novelist, Laura Sibson

The process of writing a novel is at times exciting and at other times daunting. Understanding your process alongside the development of craft elements provides tools to ensure you finish your draft. During our time together, we’ll identify strengths and tools to guide your writing process. We will also deepen character desire, develop stakes and obstacles, and look at the use a throughline to pull your story from inciting incident to a satisfying ending. Generative writing exercises will apply knowledge and illuminate elements of your story. There is no required reading for this workshop, other than reading your fellow workshop participants’ submissions. This workshop is ideal for the writer who is working on a draft of a novel or who has completed a draft geared toward teens or adults and who seeks to further their knowledge of narrative fiction. Any genre welcome. 

Send submissions in advance of the workshop. Minimum 2500 words, maximum 7500 words + synopsis of entire novel. 

Instructor: Laura Sibson

After a career in undergraduate counseling, Laura Sibson pursued an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts.Laura Sibson Laura currently teaches creative writing at Arcadia University and has taught at the Highlights Foundation. When she’s not writing or teaching writing, you can find her exploring her neighborhood streets or hiking in Fairmount Park; she lives in Chestnut Hill with her family. She is the author of two young adult novels from Viking, The Art of Breaking Things and Edie In Between

FULL! CNF & Poetry

Taking it Public: Expanding the Forum for Memoir Essays and Poems of Conscience in Times of Crisis – With Poet & Essayist, Artress Bethany White

This multi-genre workshop will examine craft issues related to writing through and about crisis including intersectionality, performativity, and historical detail. This is a one-week generative workshop for poets and creative nonfiction writers based on prompts to bring new perspective to your writing. No matter how stalled or stagnant your creative life may feel, these strategies are meant to inspire, revive, and energize.

No work needs to be submitted in advance. This is a generative workshop.

Artress Bethany WhiteInstructor: Artress Bethany White

Artress Bethany White is a poet, essayist, and literary critic. She is the recipient of the Trio Award for her poetry collection My Afmerica (Trio House Press, 2019) and author of Survivor’s Guilt: Essays on Race and American Identity (New Rivers Press, 2020). Her prose and poetry have appeared in such journals as Harvard Review, POETRY, Solstice, Ecotone, Birmingham Poetry Review, Tupelo Quarterly, The Hopkins Review, Green Mountains Review, and the forthcoming anthology Why I Wrote This Poem: 62 Poets on Creating Their Works (McFarland, 2022). She is associate professor of English at East Stroudsburg University, teaches poetry and nonfiction workshops for the Rosemont College Summer Writer’s Retreat in Pennsylvania, and is nonfiction editor for Boston-based Pangyrus literary magazine. Check out her website at


WEEKEND SCHEDULE (Friday, July 5-Sunday, July 7)

Check-in                                                          2-5:30 pm                      Mayfield Hall

Friday Supper and Welcome                     6:00 pm                      Community Center Cafeteria

First Workshop/Class                                    7:30-9:00                    Community Center*


Breakfast                                                         7:30-9:30 am              Mayfield Kitchen Area

Morning Workshop/Class                         10:00 am-12:30 pm        Community Center*  

Lunch                                                              1:00-2:30                    Community Center Cafeteria

Workshops/Class                                           2:30-5:30 pm                    Community Center*

Dinner                                                             6:00-7:00                    Community Center Cafeteria    

Evening Reading (open mic)                           7:30                             Main Building


Breakfast                                                         8:00-9:00 am                Mayfield Kitchen Area

Morning Workshop/Class                             9:30-11:30 am                Community Center*

Farewell Lunch                                                12:00                          Community Center Cafeteria

WEEKLONG RETREAT (Sunday, July 7-Friday, July 12)


Sunday                                                             4:00-6:00 pm                             Mayfield Hall

Sunday Supper and Welcome                    6:00  pm                       Community Center Cafeteria

First Workshop/Class                                      8:00  pm                           Community Center*

The Daily Schedule

Breakfast                                                          8:00-10:00 am                        Mayfield Hall

FREE TIME                                                          10:00-12:00               

PS Writer’s and Readers Series                12:00-1:00 pm                      Main Building

Lunch                                                                     1:00-2:00                        Community Center Cafeteria

Workshops/Class                                            2:00-5:00 pm                     Community Center*

Dinner                                                                                                                     On your own                          

Special Events

Monday Publishing Roundtable                        7:30                                        Main Building

Tuesday Special Guest Reading                         7:30                                         Main Building

Wednesday Inside Look at Publishing            7:30                                        Main Building

Thursday Night Student Open Mic                    7:30                                         Main Building

Friday Night Farewell Supper                              6:00                             Community Center Cafeteria

Late Checkout: Saturday, July 13                    10:00 am

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