2015 Summer Writing Retreat

July 19-23, 2015 - with Orientation July 18 at 6 pm

Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas

Ever want to get away from it all and spend a week immersed in your craft?

Here's your chance with the annual Summer Writing Retreat at Sul Ross State University in scenic Alpine, deep in the heart of West Texas.

"I always feel that a workshop is as valuable as what the writer puts into it, and I worked very hard during this week-long retreat. My first experience with a Writers' League of Texas event surprised me in some ways: huge attendance, interesting participants, excellent instruction, along with an inspiring setting and enjoyable evening readings." - 2013 Summer Writing Retreat Attendee













"I am in awe that so many successful authors took the time to come meet with aspiring writers. It was a life changing event for me. I came home with the tools I needed to finish my novel."
- 2013 Summer Writing Retreat Attendee

The 2015 Writers' League of Texas Summer Writing Retreat will be held July 18-23 at Sul Ross State University in Alpine, the perfect summer escape. There’s something truly special and one of a kind about the stunning landscape of mountainous West Texas — not to mention the refreshing afternoon showers and cool summer evenings — that inspires writers to commune with each other and their natural surroundings and to, most importantly, dig deep and hone their craft.

During this six-day retreat, five intensive writing workshops will be taught simultaneously by five of Texas’ premier authors, offering a unique experience for participants to enjoy an intimate class setting during the day and a larger group dynamic outside of the classroom throughout the week. Open to all genres and categories within fiction, non-fiction, memoir and poetry, with classes for both beginners and more seasoned writers, this retreat is singular in its focus, its emphasis on community, and its low registration rates.


$329 Members (after March 24)  

$379 Non-Members

2015 Course Options:

(click on the titles for registration information, including our Refund Policy)

"The Joy of Revision: Editing and Revision Your Masterpiece for the Marketplace" - SOLD OUT
with Carol Dawson
Finally finished writing that first draft? Ready for the fine-tuning process? This course will teach you how to look at your manuscript from the editing vantage point. Learn how to trim away excess, sharpen dialogue, deliver thrust, flesh out what has been left unrealized, and persuade the reader with the certainty of your authorial voice and your crisp prose.

"Capturing Real Life: Long-Form Narrative in a Short-Form World" - SOLD OUT
with Michael Hall
This course will give you the basic tools to write lengthy, narrative-driven stories that are more about attitude than objectivity, more about getting at the heart of a story than just the facts. Read and deconstruct great stories. Learn how to get to your sources. Find out how to structure a story, write compelling "scenes," and revise and edit effectively.


"The Art of Memoir: Discovering and Deepening Your Story" - SOLD OUT
with Donna M. Johnson
The task of the memoirist is to sift through events and memory to uncover the hidden patterns that shape a life. Or as one writer put it: It's a way to figure out who you used to be and how you got to be who you are now. This class focuses on the quest to find and deepen personal narrative through the exploration of persona, time, tension, character, voice/tone and other elements of creative nonfiction.

"Focusing Your Fiction: Plot, Character, Setting and Analogy" - SOLD OUT
with Charlotte Gullick
There is so much that a novelist or short story writer needs to do well to create compelling fiction, and it is easy to become overwhelmed and even easier for our inner critic to batter our confidence. This workshop will empower participants with specific tools and techniques for increasing the power, clarity, and impact of their stories. Through instruction, critiquing, and writing exercises, students will leave the workshop with a deeper sense of the four key elements that bring focus to fiction: plot, setting, character, and analogy.

"Radical Re-visioning for Poets" 
with Scott Wiggerman
While editing is an important aspect of revision, many poets don’t take editing beyond surface revisions—corrected spelling, changed punctuation, a change in a word or two, suggested deletions, possible rephrasing of lines. No doubt these kinds of things are helpful, but they are only part of revision. True revision involves a complete “re-visioning.” It’s this kind of radical revision that this class aims to apply to your works-in-progress. By the end of the retreat, you’ll have taken at least five mediocre, humdrum (“drafty”) drafts and radically changed them into poems that sparkle with the energy of new life.


Note: Tuition does not include room and board. Discounted rates will be available at the Sul Ross State University residence halls and at nearby Alpine hotels (details below).

Lodging Options:

The Maverick Inn
1200 E. Holland Ave.
Alpine, TX 79830
$95 per night
(Located across the street from Sul Ross!)
Note: Reservations must be made over the phone. Please call 432-837-0628
and mention the Writers' League of Texas.


The Holland Hotel
209 W. Holland Ave.
Alpine, TX 79830
$95 per night
In the center of town.
Note: Reservations must be made over the phone. Please call 432-837-2800 and mention the Writers' League of Texas.

Sul Ross State University Campus Housing
Accommodations are available on campus. For more information and to make reservations: Call the Sul Ross State University Residential Living department at 432-837-8190 and ask for Clare Ritzi. You can also email Clare at critzi2@sulross.edu. Dorm accomodations are $30 per night for double occupancy (with separate bedrooms) or $60 per night for a private unit. There is a one-time $10 charge for linens.


Questions?  Email us at wlt@writersleague.org or call 512-499-8914.

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