Back to Calendar

2019 Summer Writing Retreat - "Capturing Real Life: Long-Form Narrative in a Short-Form World" with Michael Hall

Add to my calendar

Schreiner University
2100 Memorial Blvd.
Kerrville, TX 78028

7/14/2019 to 7/19/2019

Registration is now closed for individual classes at the 2019 Summer Writing Retreat. There are still spots available for the Write Away option (no campus housing) until close of check-in at 5pm on Sunday, July 14. If you'd like to register for the Write Away, contact Becka Oliver at

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

"Capturing Real Life" with Michael Hall

Class Meeting Times:

Sunday, July 14: Orientation, 6pm
Monday through Friday, July 15-19: 9:00am to 12pm (class instruction), 1pm to 4 pm (writing time)

With a winning combination of instruction, discussion and writing assignments, as well as personalized feedback from the instructor, this class will offer the basic tools to writing lengthy, narrative-driven stories that are more about attitude than objectivity, more about getting at the heart of a story than just the facts.

Class participants will discuss how to focus a nonfiction narrative so that it has one main idea that guides the story, while learning valuable practices for keeping people interested regardless of length, including an analysis of various ways to structure the narrative.

Participants will also discuss: the challenges unique to narrative nonfiction, from writing scenes that play like movies in the reader's head to creating a sense of place to using anecdotes to move the story along; the fine art of putting "you" -- the writer -- in the story; beginnings and endings; and revising and editing--killing today what seemed so essential yesterday. By the time the class is done, students will have a better understanding of how to put their ideas together into a compelling piece.

All class participants will have a 20-minute one-on-one consultation with the instructor during the retreat and will have the opportunity to share additional details about their work and what they'd like to learn about during class with the instructor ahead of the retreat. Details on the consultation and instructions for submitting will be shared with registrants in May.

This class is a appropriate for writers looking to publish long-form articles (in print or online), as well as academics, bloggers looking to transition to long-form, and those exploring memoir, personal essays or other forms of nonfiction.

About the Instructor

"Michael was wonderful. He kept us thoroughly entertained, but managed to keep us engaged in
serious study of the craft."
-- Summer Writing Retreat Attendee

"I had been writing my story before the retreat and thought I was on the right track. Then came Mike Hall, who managed to find just the right beginning of my story. Because of him, I am now really on the right track."
--Summer Writing Retreat Attendee

Michael Hall graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 1979 with a degree in Government. He wrote for various publications, including Trouser Press, Third Coast Magazine, the Austin American-Statesman, and the Austin Chronicle. In 1997 he joined Texas Monthly, where he has won two Texas Gavel Awards from the State Bar of Texas and three Stephen Philbin Awards from the Dallas Bar Association. He was named the CRMA's Writer of the Year in 2015. Hall's stories have appeared in the Best American Magazine Writing, the Best American Sportswriting, the Best American Nonrequired Reading, Da Capo Best Music Writing, the New York Times, and Men's Journal. Hall is also a musician and has played in Austin bands such as Wild Seeds, the Setters, the Lollygaggers, and the Savage Trip.



All credit card transactions will incur a 4% handling fee. To avoid the fee, you have the option of mailing a check to our office with this registration form.



(Please read this refund policy closely before registering for the 2019 Summer Writing Retreat; no exceptions will be made):

Through May 15, 2019: 100% refund available.
May 16 - June 20, 2019: 50% refund available.

All cancellations will incur a $50 cancellation fee.

After June 20, 2019: 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.