Do you have a novel draft currently living in a dresser drawer? Or a collection of short stories that never became long enough to be a collection? Do you have a million little pieces of a memoir hiding under your bed, or in the back of your mind, or in a giant ball right behind your heart just begging you to dig in and put all the pieces together? Do you have a book pressing on you, niggling at you, suggesting to you in the early hours of the morning that if you don’t write it, it might be the one thing for which you cannot forgive yourself? Do you have an idea so big and hard and beautiful you suspect that writing it will set you free or heal your heart or save your life? At Writing By Writers DRAFT, we know exactly what that feels like, and we want to provide a space, a nudge, and a structure in which you can get that book written. You only have to make the commitment to yourself. Join us, for two unforgettable years of writing, fellowship, constructive compassionate critique and community.

Writing By Writers DRAFT is an intensive program for 15 writers who are committed to completing a novel, memoir, short story, or essay collection over the course of two years. Whether starting a first draft, or working through a new revision, this program is appropriate for writers who want a rigorous and supportive community throughout their process.  If you already have a completed manuscript you want to workshop over a long weekend, check out our Manuscript Boot Camp.

Key Dates:  Application Deadline, January 15, 2019; Acceptance Notification, February 1, 2019; Registration Deadline, February 15, 2019; Program Kick Off, March 1, 2019.

Curriculum & Format:  The heart and soul of Writing By Writers DRAFT are four in-person retreats where writers will workshop their draft-in-progress, as well as attend craft talks, panels and readings. Over the two year program, we will focus consecutively on the three stages of writing, inspiration, execution and revision. Our final retreat will be a pre-publication bootcamp, with agents and editors in house, where your faculty and fellow writers will read your entire draft. At each retreat, five writers will work closely with one faculty member, rotating each retreat so that by the end of a year and a half, all writers will have studied with Sam Dunn, Pam Houston and Josh Mohr. For the final retreat, writers will select who they would like to work with a second time. Before each retreat, writers will submit their cumulative pages to their faculty and four peers to be critiqued at the in-person workshop (up to 75 pages first retreat, 150 pages second retreat, 225 pages third retreat, 300 pages fourth retreat). Whether in person, or writing furiously at home, DRAFT members will be part of a supportive, encouraging and tight-knit writing community.

What you can expect from the program:

  • 4 in-person retreats (lodging and group meals included)
  • faculty panels focused on the stages of writing – inspiration, execution and revision
  • faculty craft talks specific to elements of writing a book-length manuscript
  • faculty one-on-ones to help shape and guide your process
  • reading and critique of 750 pages in total of your draft-in-progress by faculty members and four of your peers
  • the opportunity to work with three different faculty members who are accomplished novel, memoir and short-story writers
  • faculty and student readings
  • an agent/editor panel on the ins and outs of the publishing world
  • an agent/editor one-on-one
  • a monthly on-line book chat focused on the craft of writing
  • an on-line forum to connect with fellow program members to share encouragement, inspiration and support
  • an intimate and tight-knit community of 15 writers and 3 faculty committed to the same goal

Tuition:  Tuition is $6,250 per year (payable $3,125 per retreat) and includes four days of workshop, faculty one-on-ones, agent/editor one-on-one, admittance to all craft talks, panels and readings, group meals and lodging for three nights.  There will be an additional fee of $100 for every 25 pages over 300 for the final manuscript draft.

In-Person Retreats:  August 22-25, 2019 (Boulder, CO), February 13-16, 2020 (Mill Valley, CA), August 27-30, 2020 (Boulder, CO) and February 25-28, 2021 (Mill Valley, CA).  We will alternate retreat locations between The Colorado Chautauqua, in Boulder, Colorado and The Ralston White Retreat in Mill Valley, California. Chautauqua is located less than an hour from Denver International Airport, and Mill Valley is 30 minutes from San Francisco International Airport and an hour from Oakland International Airport.

Faculty:  Samantha Dunn, Pam Houston and Joshua Mohr.

Application Requirements: The application period opens August 31, 2018 and the application submission deadline is January 15, 2019.  Acceptance notifications will be made February 1, 2019 and the registration deadline is February 15, 2019.  All applicants must submit a writing sample of up to 30 pages (double-spaced, Times New Roman or similar font), ideally from the draft you plan to complete during the program, a project synopsis and a short bio.  Click HERE to apply!