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If you’re ready to spend some quality time immersed in your craft and drawing inspiration from experienced instructors (and your fellow writers), this is your chance. Commit to your writing this summer – and grow your writing community.

In 2024, we’ll be hosting our Summer Writing Retreat virtually and for a full month. Join us in July for one of three classes (Fiction, Memoir, Revision) taught by three terrific instructors (Amy Gentry, Elissa Altman, Chaitali Sen). Each class will meet weekly on Zoom for a total of four sessions, starting the week of July 8 and ending the week of July 29. Throughout the month, we’ll be hosting special events including a Saturday Craft Seminar with author Steve Almond (July 13), weekly presentations and meet-ups, and dedicated writing time.

If you’d like to attend the 2024 Summer Writing Retreat, the first step is choosing your class from one of the below options. Each class will meet once a week for four sessions total starting the week of July 8. Once you know which class you’d like to take, you’ll register via that individual class page.

Our Retreat Classes

FICTION: “Fundamentals of Fiction: Techniques for Plot, Structure, Character Development, and Scenes” with Amy Gentry meets every Monday of the month (July 8, 15, 22, 29) on Zoom from 6:30 PM CDT to 9:30 PM CDT. You can find the full class description and registration options here

MEMOIR: “Finding Clarity in Memoir: Permission, Story Ownership, and Truth-Telling” with Elissa Altman meets every Tuesday of the month (July 9, 16, 23, 30) on Zoom from 6:30 PM CDT to 9:30 PM CDT. You can find the full class description and registration options here.

REVISION: “Layering: A Strategic Approach to Revision” with Chaitali Sen meets every Wednesday of the month (July 10, 17, 24, 31) on Zoom from 6:30 PM CDT to 9:30 PM CDT. You can find the full class description and registration options here. 

We have a fourth option available for those who’d like to be a part of the Summer Writing Retreat experience but aren’t ready to commit to a class – or maybe you’re looking for more writing time, less talking time: The Write Away. Details on the Write Away can be found here.

2024 Summer writing retreat

What you need to know

Here’s how it works: 

Choose your class:

Fiction, Memoir, OR Revision (or the Write Away* option).

Each class will meet once a week for four sessions total starting the week of July 8. You can read more about each class below and on the individual class pages. Once you know which class you’d like to take, you’ll register via that class page.

*Write Away registrants will meet every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday for a total of 12 sessions. 

Choose your registration level:

Level 1 (Class Only): $269 for Members, $329 for Non-Members

OR

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

Level 2 registrations will include one 20-minute meeting with the class instructor 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. There will only be 20 Level 2 seats available in each class. 

Prefer to pay by mail? Click here to download the mail-in form.

We’ll kick the month off with an Orientation Session (July 7) which will be recorded and shared with all SWR registrants – so no worries if you can’t be there!  

Each class will meet once a week for four sessions total starting the week of July 8. The Fiction class will meet on Monday evenings (July 8, 15, 22, 29). The Memoir class will meet on Tuesday evenings (July 9, 16, 23, 30). The Revision class will meet on Wednesday evenings (July 10, 17, 24, 31). 

There will be evening writing sessions on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays (12 sessions total) and class registrants are welcome to attend these write-ins on the evenings their class is not in session, joining anytime after 7:00 PM CDT.

There will be weekly Summer Writing Retreat Lunchtime Presentations. These sessions will be open to all registrants and will feature craft presentations by special guests, plus plenty of time to chat and chew with fellow SWR registrants.

There will be two evening Meet-ups designed to bring writers together in small breakout groups to meet, connect, share their experiences, and maybe spark a new literary friendship or two (or three or four…).

On Saturday, July 13, registrants will enjoy a Saturday Craft Seminar presentation featuring Steve Almond talking about his new book on writing, Truth Is the Arrow, Mercy Is the Bow: A DIY Manuel for the Construction of Stories. All SWR registrants will be automatically registered for the program and will receive the featured book. (A total added value of $35.)

The Summer Writing Retreat closes with a special Student Reading Night (not to be missed!) on Thursday, August 1, during which three students from each class (and the Write Away) will share their work. 

Our Orientation Session will take place on Sunday, July 7, at 7:00 PM CDT on Zoom. It will be recorded for any registrants who cannot attend the live webinar. 

If you’d like to attend the 2024 Summer Writing Retreat, the first step is choosing your class from one of the below options. Each class will meet once a week for four sessions total starting the week of July 8. Once you know which class you’d like to take, you’ll register via that individual class page.

FICTION: “Fundamentals of Fiction: Techniques for Plot, Structure, Character Development, and Scenes” with Amy Gentry meets every Monday of the month (July 8, 15, 22, 29) on Zoom from 6:30 PM CDT to 9:30 PM CDT. You can find the full class description and registration options here

MEMOIR: “Clarity in Memoir: Permission, Story Ownership, and Truth-Telling” with Elissa Altman meets every Tuesday of the month (July 9, 16, 23, 30) on Zoom from 6:30 PM CDT to 9:30 PM CDT. You can find the full class description and registration options here.

REVISION: “Layering: A A Strategic Approach to Revision” with Chaitali Sen meets every Wednesday of the month (July 10, 17, 24, 31) on Zoom from 6:30 PM CDT to 9:30 PM CDT. You can find the full class description and registration options here. 

We have a fourth option available for those who’d like to be a part of the Summer Writing Retreat experience but aren’t ready to commit to a class – or maybe you’re looking for more writing time, less talking time: The Write Away. Details on the Write Away can be found here.

 

If you’d like to be a part of the 2024 Summer Writing Retreat experience but you’re not ready to commit to a class – or maybe you’re just getting started on a project and you’d like to get in as much writing time as you can – our special Write Away option might be just the thing for you. 

Spend the month enjoying virtual writing sessions with fellow writers. Each Write Away session is three hours in length and will take place every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday (12 sessions total) on Zoom from 6:30 PM CDT to 9:30 PM CDT. 

All Write Away registrants will have full access to the special events throughout the month, including the Saturday Craft Seminar with author Steve Almond (July 13; includes a copy of the book) and the Lunchtime Presentations & Meet-ups. Plus, the Write Away group will select three fellow attendees to read at the Student Reading Night. 

You can find the full Write Away description and registration details here. 

Our 2024 Summer Writing Retreat includes regular special events, kicking off with the Orientation Session (July 7) and closing with our Student Reading Night (August 1).

The SWR will be a month-long immersion in the craft of writing. Once again this year, we’re including a Saturday Craft Seminar (Saturday, July 13). Each SWR registrant will receive the craft book being featured, Truth Is the Arrow, Mercy Is the Bow: A DIY Manuel for the Construction of Stories by Steve Almond. 

In addition, all Summer Writing Retreat registrants will be invited to join WLT staff and special guests for regular Lunchtime Presentations and Evening Meet-ups. 

We have a big month planned and we know this is a lot of information to take in. If you have any questions, reach out to the WLT staff point person for our Summer Writing Retreat, WLT Executive Director Becka Oliver, and she’ll be sure to get back to you quickly: becka@writersleague.org.