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Writers Retreat

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19R116-2019 Writers Retreat: Mining the Story
April 26-28, 2019

19R116-2019 Writers Retreat: Mining the Story


Join us for the third annual Writers Retreat at Shake Rag Alley Center for the Arts, open to writers of all levels. Enrich your talent and prospects in this charming art community and old mining town.

Choose one of three genres taught by either Patricia Ann McNair (Memoir and Personal Essay; Retreat Artistic Director), Christine Rice (Short Story), or Shawn Shiflett (New Novel Pages) for an in-depth workshop that will challenge you across the three days. These workshop leaders are well-published and award-winning, and are active, experienced teachers of writing.

Interwoven around these main workshops will be optional and inspiring creative activities; publishing panel discussions; and participant, faculty, and local author readings.

Share lunches with your new writing friends each day and enjoy Mineral Point evenings together. Manuscript consultations are available with instructors on a first sign up, first served basis, at a very affordable price.

We are pleased to work in partnership with Hypertext Magazine & Studio, a social justice writing nonprofit organization. 

The retreat begins at 10am, Friday, April 26 
and runs through 5pm, Sunday, April 28

Retreat price $295
includes main workshop selection, optional workshops and activities, and lunches

Optional Manuscript Consultations $35
Manuscript consultations are available with instructors on a first sign up, first served basis. 

Workshop Descriptions:

Memoir and Essay-Patricia McNair

Our lives are filled with exciting moments and ordinary ones, good times and trying times, bits and pieces that make us who we are now. During this intensive three-day workshop, we will mine our memories and experiences in order to render our memoirs and short personal essays. Our own stories will be our foundation, and we will learn elements of the craft of writing and effective ways of capturing these moments on the page. We will read from published models and essays. We will write each day. We will leave with work-in-progress and creative paths to pursue after the workshop. Whether your goal is publication or preservation, this workshop is for you. Open to all levels of skill and experience.

Short Story-Christine Rice

Short stories are the lifeblood of thousands of literary journals; editors are on a constant hunt for beautifully crafted work. Are your short stories ready? If not, or if you are simply on a lifelong journey of discovery and learning, this workshop is for you. Each session will employ a range of exercises and activities to help you craft a powerful short story. We will focus on elements of scene including the “right” point of view, character development, dialogue, sense of place, and story movement. You will learn how to incorporate basic storytelling principles, forms, and techniques into your writing. This class will be useful for writers at any level of experience who wish to develop new or ongoing material. We will read from published models and write each day..

New Novel Pages-Shawn Shiflett
Been thinking of finally starting that novel? Already working on it, but need a creative nudge? Whether you are on page one or page 201 of your own novel, New Novel Pages will inspire and guide you along the way, providing strategies to keep the story dramatically moving forward from beginning to end. During this three-day workshop, we will explore the craft of writing a novel: structure, plot development, setting, dialogue, character interaction, placement and shaping of chapters, and much more. Time will be put aside each class for generating new material, as well as for reading our work out loud in order to further develop our sense of audience. Writers with novels at different stages of completion, as well as those who just need a creative nudge to get started, are welcome.

Manuscript Consultation-McNair, Rice, Shiflett, Hammond
Participants in the Writers Retreat may sign up for a 25-minute one-on-one manuscript consultation with any one of faculty members Patricia McNair, Christine Rice, Shawn Shiflett, or Sarah Hammond.

Please call the Shake Rag Alley office to schedule an appointment (608-987-3292).
There are 20 consultation appointments available. Appointments will be scheduled on a first come, first served basis:
Fri: 5:30pm & 6:15pm
Sat: 9am
Sun: 9am & 9:30am

Please email one piece of no more than 12 pages, double-spaced, 12-point font, 1-inch margins to ShakeRagAlley1@gmail.com. Be sure to enter “Mining Story Manuscript” and your last name in the subject line. This can be a continuous excerpt of longer material or a self-contained story or short memoir. Manuscripts must be received at Shake Rag Alley by April 15, 2019. No more than one manuscript per person. If you will need a hard copy of your manuscript, please bring one with you.

  • Registration deadline is April 15...MEMOIR CLASS FULL

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