Monday, February 18, 2008

Writers Retreat Workshop

(Scholarship still available.)

It's official. I'm going to be at the 2008 Writer's Retreat Workshop for the whole week. I'm so excited to get to be there, teaching and writing, for the entire time. This will be the first time I've done that; in my two previous visits, I flew in, did my gigs, and flew out. This time I'll stick around to teach, confer, and work on my own writing. I know Beth will be there. Kimberly, are you going, for sure? Conda? Rick? Anybody else thinking of going? I am so excited to be meeting some of our blog buddies.

It will be May 23 - June 1, at the Marydale Retreat Center Erlanger, KY (just south of Cincinnati, OH).

But them's jes' the facts. What you need to know if you're thinking of going is that this retreat is a wonderful experience. It's for any serious and ambitious writer at any level of experience. It can be thrilling. It's fun. It's also hard work, but that's exactly what the writers are there for--ten day's worth of intense learning and writing. And comaraderie. It's amazing to hang out with nobody but writers writing for that long! The location, shown in the photo above, is a former monastery that is actually much prettier than that picture. And did I mention that all meals are included, the coffee pot is always on, and the food is delicious?

I wish you all were going. What a time we'd have!

The director, Jason Sitzes, will be here at the blog sometime today.

Those of you who've been to the retreat might want to offer advice or just tell about your experiences.


Nancy P said...

I met Kimberly there, read some of her work, and I told my friend who was also there that I had just talked to somebody who was very likely to get published. And now Dr. K. has a 3-book contract with a major publisher.

Lots of talent shows up at WRW--some of it in raw beginners, some of it in writers in the middle of their apprenticeship, and some of it in people who are, as Kimberly was, within spittin' distance.

I wonder who'll be the next Kimberly?

Family Man said...

Good morning Nancy.

I'm so jealous that everyone will be there that I'm almost willing to put in all that hard work to become a writer.

Nah.......I'll just slack. :)

It does sound like a lot fun and a great learning experience though.

AndiF said...

Hey, hey that's great for you, Nancy. Might be for me too -- if you have any free time. If you do, I would love drive over and take you for lunch or something.

Rick Bylina said...

Finally have my electric back on. Alas, I will not be at WRW08, but the caramel elves might show up. The necessity of finding gainful employment has overruled the writing saith the other half...and rightly so.

FARfetched said...

I also would love to go, but FAR Manor swallows all income. But I do have a question — it seems that WRW is geared primarily toward novelists, or is that most of the people I'm hanging out with here are novelists? At least in this phase of life, I'm churning out short stories by the score, but can't get my head around any of the novels I've started.

Rick, good luck with the employment. And the electric.

FM, just as long as you pick up a book while you're slacking! :-)

Andi, we always knew you were a cool gal…

Beth said...

Morning everyone! Just a quick correction, Nancy, it starts the 23rd. Jason had the wrong date in his brain. It's actually 10 days of writing and reading and networking, and a wonderful place for writers to learn and study and work and hang with other people who "get it." And Marydale is absolutely gorgeous, peaceful, magical...

I'm so glad you're staying the whole time! And can't wait to study with you. I know of a few others who will be there, all great people and talented writers.

Hope others can join us! I can't wait. I'm not sure about the novelist thing, far.

BTW, I'm off to visit my adopted parents for a couple of days, so no internet. Back late Thursday. Save a scone for me!

Maria Lima said...

Nancy, sounds like a grand thing, indeed! I wish I could afford the time off.

In other news, I woke up this morning to find the news that Fidel Castro has resigned.

Most of you all don't know this, but I was born in Cuba and my family emigrated to the US in 1963. My father barely made it ahead of us in a raft.

This is good news, indeed. Not sure if it will change much, but it's a start.

Good morning, all!

AndiF said...

Morning FM, Rick, Far, Beth, and Maria.

Far, correction: I'm a kewl kid. ;)

Beth, hope you have a great visit. And if I understand right that you'll be at the workshop too, I hope that both you and Nancy will have some free time for me.

katiebird said...

Good Morning! It sounds great. I have to echo FAR, though: Is it just for novelists? Or is there a place for non-fiction writers?

Beth said...

Yep, I'll be there, andi. Afternoons are usually free for private writing time, til 5pm, when we have a speaker (and wine and cheese). We're not tied down for lunch, either - it's just provided. Classes are in the mornings and late afternoons and evenings.

Anyway, that would be great!!

Cheers, everyone - off and running! Have a great week -

Nancy P said...

Andi, that's a huge YES, if you can do it!! Oh, my gosh, that would be so great!

Oh, and goodmorning, everybody! I was in such a hurry to answer Andi that I forgot my manners. :)

Nancy P said...

Beth, I hope I got here in time to say thanks for the date correction! I'll tell Jason, because I took it off the website. I had been thinking that it had previously been 10 days. . .:) That's GREAT.

Have a great trip. Come back SOON.

Nancy P said...

Family Man, we depend on you to slack for us. :p Are you feeling better?

Rick and Far and Maria and Kb. . .I'm sorry you guys can't come, but I do grok the need to earn a living, sigh.

Far, we'll check with Jason today, but I'm pretty sure they get mostly fiction writers and most of those are novelists. BUT I think a short story writer would fit right in.

Nancy P said...

Maria, wow, I haven't even seen the news yet today, and that's big news, indeed.

Do you mean that literally about the raft?

Jen said...

I was born in Cuba and my family emigrated to the US in 1963. My father barely made it ahead of us in a raft.

Maria, I grew up in Miami and while I am not Cuban myself, I can appreciate the impact of Fidel Castro's resignation for the Cuban-American community. Cheers to you & yours!

Nancy P said...

G'morning, Jen. What's next on the house-improvement scene?

AndiF said...

Nancy, I do this drive all the time because I have family in Cincy. The drive's just a little over 2 hours so not a big deal -- especially given the excellent payoff at the end. :)

Nancy P said...

Yay!! But the "excellent payoff" will be ours for going there and getting to see you. :) Bring camera.

Maria Lima said...

Nancy - yep, literally about the raft.

My father left a few steps ahead of Castro's goons as he was wanted for fomenting rebellion.

I'm not sure what's going to happen next, but it will darn sure be interesting.

Jen said...

G'morning, Jen. What's next on the house-improvement scene

Mornin' Nancy. That has to take a backseat to the depression right now, so I don't know yet.

Nancy P said...

Depressions have a way of doing that, indeed. Good luck to you, Jen. It's about time you had some of that thing called luck.

Kelly McCullough said...

Hello to all.

Nancy, Sounds like a lovely retreat, I wish I could stop in.

Luck to Rick.


And now back to work for me, since this is the book that refuses to be finished.

Jen said...

{{thanks K}}

jssitzes said...

Thanks for the note, Nancy! If anyone is interested in more information you should first visit our website, then feel free to email me with other questions (

You can apply for a first time participant scholarship but you should do it within a day or two! The deadline is Feb 22... it's the Robin Hardy Scholarship and pays for everything but your travel.

Even if you can't make WRW this year, drop me a line and I'll put you on our mailing list. It truly is a time set apart to think about nothing but writing. Kind of life changing if you've never done anything like it. And we're thrilled Nancy is joining us for the entire week!

Let me address the fiction vs non-fiction aspect. We wrangle your head around story-telling, period. Now, the short story is a different monster and while we do talk about them in theory, we don't "work" with them. But, if you're telling a narrative-style non-fiction story, you will learn from our workshop. David Chartrand, a columnist near Kansas City, is about a sign a deal with an agency (I think) and he's writing a book about a kid who killed himself in his small town and how it was all but ignored... a book on mental illness, basically. We've had memoirs, true crime, etc etc... again, if there is a narrative flow in the book we can work with you. Think Devil in the White City. AWESOME book that reads like a novel.

To the short story writer... you mentioned having a nugget of a novel idea you can't get your head around... I know we can help with that. A nugget is all you need and we'll make you run with it.


Nancy P said...

Jason, thank you! That's very helpful, and I didn't even know all of that, myself. I hope some lurkers are also reading today and lapping up the news.

Kelly McCullough said...

Off to dinner now, out for Mexican with Laura. 3,000 words today and the end in sight...Finally! 2-4 good days and I'll have this thing bagged. Have a great evening everyone.

boran2 said...

Have a fun and prolific retreat! It sounds very worthwhile.

Beth said...

Hey everybody! Virgin of Small Plains (and its esteemed author) are mentioned on Kristin Nelson's blog today:

It's quoted as an example of "literary writers who can tackle the more commercial themes in a way that's fresh and well constructed." She only mentions three books, and this is one of them.

Yay Nancy!! :-)

(Oh yeah, I found a signal to "borrow" tonight. No clue if it'll be here tomorrow...)

Night!! zzzzzzzz