2016 Summer Writing Retreat

This year's event (our 10th Annual!) will take place once again in beautiful West Texas, at Sul Ross State University in Alpine, with classes meeting July 18-22, 2016 - and an official kick-off Orientation Meeting on July 17 at 6 pm.

REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN. Details are below, including links to the individual class pages and information on housing options. Please read closely and give us a call or drop us an email if you have any questions, we're happy to help.  (512) 499-8914, wlt@writersleague.org.



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 2016 Writers' League of Texas Summer Writing Retreat will be held July 17-22 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 experienced instructors (all writers with extensive craft and publishing credentials), offering a unique opportunity 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 appropriate for both beginners and more seasoned writers, this retreat is singular in its focus, its emphasis on community, and its very special location.h

Each class is capped at 20 students (so register early if you'd like to be assured a spot!).


Through March 21st:

Registration is open to Writers' League MEMBERS ONLY:

$299 Special Member Rate

Starting March 22nd:

$329 for Members

$379 for Non-Members

NOTE: The registration fee does NOT include room and board. There are several dining options in Alpine (including the Sul Ross State University cafeteria, in the same building that classes are held). There are also several hotels and motels in the area -- including the Quarter Circle Hotel which is offering a special discounted rate to our group -- and the Sul Ross State University Campus Housing makes dorm rooms available at a low rate; details on hotel and dorm options below.


2016 Class Options:

(NOTE: CLICK ON EACH CLASS TITLE FOR A FULL DESCRIPTION, INCLUDING INSTRUCTOR BIOS; Registrants must choose ONE class to attend; please read class descriptions closely and give us a call if you'd like to discuss a particular class and whether it might be a good fit for you, we're happy to help you decide!)

"The Confident Revision: A Roadmap for the Editing Process"
with Charlotte Gullick - SOLD OUT - Call our offices at 512-499-8914 to be added to the waitlist for this class
Morning sessions focused on instruction and afternoon work sessions will combine to offers students in this class a clear sense of what to focus on when revising, a definitive map for tackling the editing process, and meaningful strategies to get (and stay) unstuck.

"Capturing Real Life: Long-Form Narrative in a Short-Form World"
with Michael Hall 
ONE SEAT LEFT - Call our offices at 512-499-8914 FOR DETAILS.

With a winning combination of morning instruction and discussion followed by afternoon writing assignments, as well as personalized feedback from the instructor, this class will give students the basic tools to write lengthy, narrative driven nonfiction pieces that is more about attitude than objectivity, more about getting at the heart of a story than just the facts.

"Finding the Hidden Narrative: Turning Experience Into Compelling Memoir"
with Donna M. Johnson (and Kirk Wilson)

ONE SEAT LEFT - Call our offices at 512-499-8914 FOR DETAILS.
With a mix of morning instruction and in-class writing prompts and an optional afternoon workshop, this class will explore the use of scene, reflection, poetic truth, character, narrative voice, tension, compression of time, and other elements of craft that come together to create meaningful memoir.

"The Craft of Fiction: Strategies for Plot, Character, Setting, Dialogue, and Structure"
with Michael Noll (and Stephanie Noll) - SOLD OUT - Call our offices at 512-499-8914 to be added to the waitlist for this class
Appropriate for both short story and novel writers, and for writers of all experience levels, this class is built on the fundamental idea that the best way to learn to write is to read good writing, figure out how the writer has accomplished certain tasks or passages, and then learn to adapt these techniques to our own work.

"Something Bold, Something New: Best Poetry Exercises from a Decade of the Summer Writing Retreat" - SOLD OUT - Call our offices at 512-499-8914 to be added to the waitlist for this class
with Scott Wiggerman
To celebrate the milestone of the 10th Anniversary of the Summer Writing Retreat, Scott Wiggerman -- who has taught every poetry workshop offered at this event since the beginning -- has created a "best of" class filled with exciting new twists on student and instructor favorites from the past decade, all guaranteed to stimulate creativity and delight another lucky group of poets. (There's a reason we keep asking him back, folks!  He's the best.)



If you've visited West Texas before, you know that there are several hotel options in the area, both in Alpine and in the neighboring communities of Marfa and Ft. Davis. We suggest staying in Alpine if you can, and we have two housing options with special or low rates for our group we'll recommend here. Regardless of where you decide to stay, we suggest booking your housing as soon as you can, rooms can book up during the summer months, especially when special events pop up on the calendar:


If you'd like to stay in a hotel, we're pleased to announce a partnership this year with the newly renovated Quarter Circle 7 Hotel on Highway 90, three miles from the Sul Ross State University Campus (less than a five minute drive when we timed it). With more than fifty rooms available, a complimentary continental breakfast for guests, and a bar, pool, and patio, we're excited at the prospect of having many of our retreat attendees stay at the same spot.  The Quarter Circle is offering a special rate of $89.00 a night (plus tax) for the first 20 regular (not suite) rooms booked (the rate increases to $94.00 a night (plus tax) on rooms in our group beyond the first 20, so book soon if you plan to stay here). A link to the hotel's website is HERE. To book a room at the group rate, call (432) 837-1100 and mention you're with the Writers' League of Texas. NOTE ON SHARING ROOMS: While housing is the responsibility of each retreat registrant, we do like to do our part to connect potential roomates when we can. If you register for the retreat and you'd like to try to find a roomate to share housing costs, we'll reach out to you at the time of registration to help with that. Questions on any of this?  Call us at (512) 499-8914.

RESIDENTIAL HOUSING at Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas:

Staying in the residential housing (aka, dorms) at Sul Ross State University is also an option.  Keep in mind that the dorms are very minimal in terms of amenities and, while they're a nice low cost option for the budget conscious, you should be aware of this going in: the dorms are not going to offer you the services or comforts you might expect at a hotel. For more information and to make reservations: Call the Sul Ross State University Residential Living department at 432-837-8190 or email reslife@sulross.edu and tell them you are with the Writers' League of Texas's Summer Writing Retreat and would like to reserve a room. Dorm accomodations are $30 per night for double occupancy (with separate bedrooms) or $60 per night for a private unit. NOTEL: Linens are not included; you should bring sheets and towels from home or, as supplies last, you can request them from residential housing (this will be first come, first served, so we suggest bringing your own). If you require a room with handicap accessible lowered beds and a walk-in shower, request this when you call. (NOTE: The direct contact person with Residential Housing is Melissa Rodriguez; if you need to speak with someone about any questions or concerns, best to call the offices on Tuesday or Thursday when Melissa is there, 432-837-8190).


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

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This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. Art Works.


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