Writers Retreat Workshop/Wake Up and Write WRW
is taking a break in 2020
Letter from Doc
2019 has been quite a year. As some of you know, my dad died in January at the age of 88. Up until the month before he'd been delivering food for Panera, volunteering at the nursing home where my mother had been until her death, and doing taxes for somewhere between 30 and 40 tax clients. He spent his last evening watching Blue Bloods with my brother and eating chocolate ice cream.
Our workshop in July was all the more special for me, because I'd spent the months since my dad's death acting as general contractor for the house renovations my brother, sister and I needed to do to sell the house. The opportunity to spend 10 days with other writers, talking, hanging out, and doing writing practice was pure joy. I also had the opportunity of learning from one of my favorite teachers, the brilliant Donald Maass, and enjoying the classes of the wonderful Robin Burcell, whose insights into the life and work of a cop were unforgettable.
Then we had the shop talk during which Tex taught us all how to pick locks - I didn't realize how many of us would delight in this skill. And I don't think I'll ever forget doing a joint class with Tex and Jason, during which I asked Jason for his take on something and he responded, "I'm sorry, I'm a little distracted. I just watched a tree fall on my house." Fortunately, no one was harmed, but that was a busy day for his wife, Lisa!
You could say it was a family affair - we had a mother-daughter and two sisters in attendance. You could also say we had some serious animal lovers, as at least three or four novels involved horses and one involved a dog-napping. But the best thing you could say is that a lot of writing was done, and as often happens at the workshop, folks bonded to the extent that several online writing groups emerged from the participants, and many others kept in touch. I was lucky enough to hang out with two workshop participants when I visited South Carolina in November and write with them.
I've been on the road, and to all intents and purposes homeless (though not really) since August, which is why I'm behind with the website and announcing the workshop guests for 2020.
One of the things I realized in July was that I like the smaller group. So I'm dropping the maximum number of students to 20. Now we haven't hit that since I started running the workshop, so that may not seem like a huge change. It's more a decision on what's important to me - and I find that I'd rather have the more intimate group of students and staff, than have the money from the five extra students. You don't get rich running this small a workshop anyway, and small is what makes it special, at least in my view.
Once I've firmed up the guests, and I am talking with a few folks, I will announce them. In the meantime, if you want to sign up for the workshop, please do. And have a wonderful holiday season!
I thought I'd be able to run a workshop this year, but I need to take a break for a year. My apologies to anyone who might have wanted to join us - as soon as I know what's next, you'll see it here. Doc
Comments from past participants
Thank you! The workshop was a fantastic experience. I learned so much and enjoyed getting to know the participants and instructors, all intensely interesting and fine people...
I've done morning pages before with varying degrees of success; but with Carol's direction and exercises (writing practice), I came to a major realization about a character who was well on his way to becoming a stereotype. I also got the germ of a couple of scenes from those sessions...
The readings, classes made all the difference for me...
I loved all of it but would have to say that I found the classes and the diagnostic sessions to be the most helpful in terms of learning about writing...
My friend says any workshop/retreat/conference that offers one nugget of insight is worth its weight in gold. If so, the Writers Retreat Workshop made me a wealthy woman...
100 WAYS GIVEN NEW LIFE!
WRW founder, the late Gary Provost's book,100 Ways to Improve Your Writing has been given new life by Penguin Random House in the form of an upcoming updated/revised edition. WRW co-founder, Gail Provost Stockwell has been working on this for years, and finally commissioned the revisions herself (done by WRW director, Carol Dougherty, Nushka, and PRH editor Tracy Bernstein), and Penguin Random House gave it the go-ahead. The original edition was published in 1985, long before laptops and tablets and the Internet we know today, and it's never been out of print. The book is out! Be sure to review it online - they need new reviews for the new edition.
"Your voice as a writer is the sum of all the choices you make."