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2015 Summer Writing Retreat - "Focusing Your Fiction: Plot, Character, Setting and Analogy" with Charlotte Gullick

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Sul Ross State University
Alpine, TX 79832

7/19/2015 to 7/23/2015 From 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM


NOTE: This class is sold out. If you wish to be put on a waiting list, please call us at 512-499-8914.

Retreat Orientation to be held Sunday, July 17, at 6 pm -- Details will be shared with participants in advance of the retreat's start date.

$329 for Members (Please log in for member pricing)

$379 Non-Members

Please read both the credit card handling fee information and the refund policy at the bottom of this page before purchasing a ticket.

"The subject matter was excellent but Charlotte's presentation of it was outstanding, well organized and her sense of humor and her graciousness were great. She made it feel like you could ask questions and get a concerned and reasonable answer without being put off or glossed over."

-- 2014 November Novel-Writing Series Class Student

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.

Morning sessions will include discussion and analysis of existing published works and the current and developing works of the students. Class participants will practice and refine their abilities with the four elements (plot, setting, character, and analogy) and generate new material as well as discover how to enliven their current works-in-progress.

Afternoon sessions will be an optional workshop opportunity where participants discuss and critique material, honing their eye for what makes engaging writing. Workshop materials will be due to the instructor no later than a prearranged date and all participants in the optional workshop will be expected to read and prepare feedback ahead of the workshop's start (details will be shared with each registrant upon purchasing a class ticket).

All class participants will be sent a packet of required reading prior to the retreat and each participant should plan to bring five (5) pages of material they are currently working on. This material will be incorporated into the morning session's instruction and writing exercises and will also be critiqued by the instructor.

This workshop is appropriate for both short story and novel writers.  There will be a particular emphasis on: studying the relationship between character and place; discussing how scene goals engage readers and develop the story arc; exploring how analogy can deepen and expand the narrative; refining and practicing strategies for revision; and building community and confidence.


About the instructor: Charlotte Gullick is a novelist, essayist, editor, educator and Chair of the Creative Writing Department at Austin Community College. A first-generation college graduate, she received her AA with High Honors from Santa Rosa Junior College, a BA with Honors in Literature/Creative Writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a MA in English/Creative Writing from the University of California, Davis. She began a MFA in Creative Nonfiction at the Institute of American Indian Arts in July 2014

Charlotte's first novel, By Way of Water, was chosen by Jayne Anne Phillips as the Grand Prize winner of the Santa Fe Writers Project Literary Awards Program, and a special author's edition was reissued by the Santa Fe Writers Project in November of 2013. Charlotte’s other awards include a Christopher Isherwood Fellowship for Fiction, a Colorado Council on the Arts Fellowship for Poetry, a MacDowell Colony Residency, Faculty of Year from College of the Redwoods as well as the Evergreen State College 2012 Teacher Excellence Award.

Note: All credit card transactions will incur a 4% handling fee (this fee can be avoided by mailing in a check for registration with this form).


(Please read this refund policy closely before registering for the 2015 Summer Writing Retreat; no exceptions will be made):

Through May 1, 2015: 100% refund available.
May 2, 2015 - May 31, 2015: 50% refund available.

All cancellations will incur a $50 cancellation fee.

After May 31, 2015: No refunds will be made, but registrants can transfer their registration to another person as long as advance notice is given to the Writers' League of Texas. If you wish to transfer your registration, please call the WLT at 512-499-8914.


Writers' League of Texas classes and workshops are funded in part by the Texas Commission on the Arts - Investing in a Creative Texas. For more information, go to