Loading Events

« All Events

Summer Writing Retreat: “Exploration & Generation: Playing with Fiction Fundamentals” with Charlotte Gullick

July 6 2021 - July 27 2021

$289 – $409


The numbers below include tickets for this event already in your cart. Clicking "Get Tickets" will allow you to edit any existing attendee information as well as change ticket quantities.
SWR: Exploration & Generation: Playing with Fiction Fundamentals - Member (LEVEL 1)
2021 Summer Writing Retreat Online Class - Fiction. Level 1 (Class Only).
$ 289.00
SWR: Exploration & Generation: Playing with Fiction Fundamentals - Member (LEVEL 2)
2021 Summer Writing Retreat Online Class - Fiction. Level 2 (Class + Private Consultation).
$ 349.00
14 available
SWR: Exploration & Generation: Playing with Fiction Fundamentals - Non-member (LEVEL 1)
2021 Summer Writing Retreat Online Class - Fiction. Level 1 (Class Only).
$ 349.00
SWR: Exploration & Generation: Playing with Fiction Fundamentals - Non-member (LEVEL 2)
2021 Summer Writing Retreat Online Class - Fiction. Level 2 (Class + Private Consultation).
$ 409.00
20 available

Level 1 (Class Only): $289 for Members, $349 for Non-Members

Level 2 (Class + Private Consultation): $349 for Members, $409 for Non-Members

This July, join us for our virtual 2021 Summer Writing Retreat featuring three classes on memoir, fiction, and revision. Each class will meet weekly for four weeks, starting the week of July 5.

Our fiction class with Charlotte Gullick will meet every Tuesday (July 6, 13, 20, 27) from 6:30 PM CDT to 9:30 PM CDT via Zoom. A recording of each class session will be shared with all class registrants the day after – so you won’t miss anything even if you need to skip a session. Class details are below.

“Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” – E. L. Doctorow

Whether you’re writing novels or short stories, there are certain craft elements that are essential; they are the headlights leading you forward on that (sometimes) dark road. In this class, we will focus on the fundamentals of fiction that will get you to the end, including plot, characterization, dialogue, setting, and analogy.

Over the course of four sessions, we’ll generate new material during in-class writing exercises. There will be plenty of opportunities for discussion and participation, with breakout rooms that allow participants to connect with each other, get energized, and build community and confidence.

There will be assigned readings throughout the month and each week there will be an assignment in response to that week’s reading, thinking about character development, plot, and surprise. Assigned readings will include work by Danielle Evans, Stephen Graham Jones, N. K. Jemisin, and Caroline Kim.

About each session: 

Week 1 (July 6): Play and Practice, Conflict and Tension: In this first session, we will engage in lots of activities that foster joy and a sense of play in our work. We’ll generate material that surprises, with a sharp focus on the power of scene and causality.

Week 2 (July 13): Character Desire and Plot: In this second session, we’ll dive into the key relationship between character desire and plot. Discussion and writing exercises will highlight the ways character goals determine the quality of the story.

Week 3 (July 20): Setting, Dialogue, and Analogy: In this third session, we’ll explore the power of setting, the fundamentals of dialogue, and the potency of analogy to generate lively, first-draft material.

Week 4 (July 27): Habits and Practices; Tips and Tricks to Keep You Going: In the final session, we’ll define the path forward by discussing concrete steps to keep going. We’ll play with practices and patterns to maintain momentum and joy.

Take this class if…:

Take this class if you are a beginner looking to build your understanding of the discrete elements of compelling fiction. If you are a more established writer, this class will re-energize your writing life. The course is appropriate for both short story writers and novelists.

Preparation for the first day:

Participants will be asked to read two short stories and two excerpts from the novel Less by Andrew Sean Greer prior to the first day of class.

Registration details:

Choose your registration level:

Level 1 (Class Only) or

Level 2 (Class + Private Consultation)

The difference: Level 2 (Class + Private Consultation) registrations include one 20-minute meeting with Charlotte Gullick sometime during the month (via Zoom). If you’d like, you can also share 10 pages of your work for feedback ahead of the meeting.


Charlotte Gullick is Chair of the Creative Writing Department at Austin Community College. She holds BA in Literature/Creative Writing from UC Santa Cruz and a MA in English/Creative Writing from UC Davis as well as a MFA in Creative Nonfiction from the Institute of American Indian Arts. Her awards include a Christopher Isherwood Fellowship for Fiction, a Colorado Council on the Arts Fellowship for Poetry, and residencies at MacDowell and Ragdale. She is the author of the novel By Way of Water.

Before purchasing, please read all policies as noted below and on our Classes page.

If your browser has difficulty with our website store, or if you prefer to mail in a check, click here for a class registration form. The document provides instructions on where to mail it. If you prefer this option, please email wlt@writersleague.org with a copy of the form as well. We are working out of our office at this time.

Class & Event Registration Policy

Once a purchase has been made, registrations are not refundable and cannot be transferred to a different class or event. No exceptions will be made. If you purchase a registration and then find you cannot attend the class or event, someone else can attend in your stead. Simply contact us at wlt@writersleague.org and let us know the name and contact information for the person who will be using the registration so that we can update the class or event roster.

Credit Card Transaction Handling Fee Policy

All credit card transactions will incur a 4% handling fee. If you’d prefer to pay by check for membership, a class, or an event, you can use the provided forms on the membership or event pages and mail to: WLT, P.O. Box 14355, Austin, TX, 78704.


Our classes offer a combination of lecture and practical exercises, determined by the individual instructor, on focused aspects of the craft and business of writing. Your fellow participants will come from a range of writing experience, from beginners to people with MFA degrees and published books. WLT instructors, participants, and administrators all work together to create a welcoming, supportive environment.

If you haven’t taken a class with us in recent years, feel free to email WLT Program Director Sam Babiak at sam@writersleague.org if you’d like to discuss whether our programming is the right fit for your needs.


Once you register for the class, you’ll receive an email with detailed instructions no later than 48 hours before the class date. You should expect 2-2.5 hours of direct teaching and 30 minutes of Q&A (for three hours total). If you need to leave the class early or can’t attend the class on that date, all registrants will have access to the recording for one week after the class date. No microphone or camera required, just an Internet connection capable of streaming video. All online classes are hosted on Zoom. To learn more about how Zoom works, click HERE. 

Plan to log in to the online platform several hours before the class so that you can update your software or any other settings required to access the platform. (Updates usually only take a few minutes, but you don’t want to wait until the beginning of class.) Questions? Email us at wlt@writersleague.org.

Cultural Arts City of Austin

This project is supported in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department. Visit Austin at NowPlayingAustin.com.

Texas Commission on the Arts

Writers’ League of Texas classes and workshops are also funded in part by the Texas Commission on the Arts – Investing in a Creative Texas. For more information, go to www.arts.texas.gov.

National Endowment for the Arts

This project is also supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit www.arts.gov.

Mid-America Arts Alliance

This project is supported in part by the Mid-America Arts Alliance. For more information, go to www.maaa.org.


July 6 2021
July 27 2021
$289 – $409
Event Categories:
, ,


Online via Zoom
sponsor image sponsor image sponsor image sponsor image
community member image community member image community member image community member image community member image community member image community member image