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2016 Summer Writing Retreat - "The Craft of Fiction: Strategies for Plot, Character, Setting, Dialogue, and Structure" with Michael Noll

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Sul Ross State University
Alpine, TX 79832

7/18/2016 to 7/22/2016 From 9 am to 4 pm

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.

with special guest instructor Stephanie Noll

This class is sold out. Please call our offices at 512-499-8914 to be added to the waitlist.


$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.


"Michael Noll is wonderful, knowledgable, engaging. An excellent teacher."

-- 2015 Class Attendee


It’s often said that writing is a lonely art, practiced in solitude. Yet our education as writers is anything but solitary, even while alone in a room. We engage with books and, through them, the craft and writers behind them. This workshop 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 those techniques to our own work.

In the morning sessions, the class will read published work (stories, novel and story excerpts) with an eye toward discovering strategies for plot, character, setting, dialogue, structure, moving through time, and other essential skills for fiction. The concise lectures will include student participation and plenty of time for in-class writing based on exercises and prompts.

In the afternoon sessions, students have the opportunity to submit their work for workshop that includes discussion and written feedback from the instructor and other students. 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. Students should bring completed writing, ideas for stories, or whatever they will find helpful as they work on new material or add to or revise old material during the class.

This class is appropriate for both short story and novel writers and for writers of all experience levels. Beginning writers will find that the exercises and prompts help generate new material, and more experienced writers will find that the class helps address obstacles common to unfinished manuscripts.

About the Instructor: Before recently joining the Writers' League as Program Director, Michael Noll taught writing at Texas State University. He created and edits Read to Write Stories, a site that offers writing exercises based on published stories, novel excerpts, and essays. His work has been published at American Short Fiction, Chattahoochee Review, Narrative Magazine, Huffington Post, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, and The Good Men Project. He was formerly the writer in residence at the Katherine Anne Porter House in Kyle, TX. He’s currently at work on a story collection set in rural Kansas and a novel, Seven Attacks of the Dead.

About the Guest Instructor: Stephanie Noll studied fiction writing at Texas State University, where she earned her MFA. Last fall, she published a young adult novel titled Breach, a book that she co-authored with four other writers. She is a frequent storyteller at The Story Department, a monthly fundraiser for the non-profit Austin Bat Cave. Stephanie has 17 years of teaching experience and has worked as a senior lecturer in the English department at Texas State for the past 8 years. She also has led a memoir-writing workshop for female inmates at the Travis County Jail and has written a novel about a standardized test cheating scandal at an inner-city Houston high school.

(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 2016 Summer Writing Retreat; no exceptions will be made):

Through May 1, 2016: 100% refund available.
May 2, 2016 - May 31, 2016: 50% refund available.

All cancellations will incur a $50 cancellation fee.

After May 31, 2016: 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.