The Chippewa Valley Writers Guild will host the second summertime Priory Writers’ Retreat Thursday, June 25, through Sunday, June 28.
Originally established as a monastery for Benedictine nuns in 1964, The Priory now serves as an ideal location for creativity to flourish. Situated on 120 wooded acres just miles from downtown Eau Claire, the property features 48 single-occupancy dorm style, air-conditioned rooms, several common areas, and no shortage of natural splendor.
This summer’s course offerings include:
• Tessa Fontaine — “Beauty in Brevity: Finding Power in Flash Creative Nonfiction and Memoir.”
• Nickolas Butler — “Great Tales of Action and Adventure (and Horror, too …).”
• Kimberly Blaeser — “Poetry of Spirit and Witness.”
• Peter Geye — “The First Chapter, the Last Chance: How The Opening Pages of Your Novel Can Make It Or Break It.”
Writers Guild executive director B.J. Hollars said in a news release that while the daily schedule will mostly remain the same (sustained creative time in the morning, workshopping in the afternoon, and celebratory readings, music and performances in the evening), the retreat will showcase some changes as well.
“We’ve overhauled our entire menu,” Hollars said, “and also secured partnerships with SHIFT Cyclery and Coffee Bar and The Brewing Projekt. We want both local and out-of-town writers to enjoy some of Eau Claire’s local offerings.”
Additional sponsors include: the UW-Eau Claire Foundation, Pablo Center at the Confluence, Wisconsin Writers Association, Visit Eau Claire, Wisconsin Arts Board, Jamf Software, and Write On, Door County.
In addition to writer-in-residence led workshops, participants will also enjoy craft talks from Butler, Blaeser and Geye as well as a keynote address from Fontaine. On June 27, The Priory Celebratory Reading will be at Pablo Center at the Confluence. Tickets will soon be available to the public.
The cost is $480. This includes three-nights lodging, on-site meals and drinks, personalized instruction and critique, commemorative mug, craft talks and keynote address, bus transport to and from Pablo Center at the Confluence, complimentary ticket to the Writer-in-Residence Reading, and all other on-site events. For non-lodging participants, spots are available for $380. Scholarships are available, including the Writer Exchange Contest, which provides a free stay at Write On, Door County’s retreat.
Applications opened Feb. 1. To apply, prepare a 500-word writing statement as well as a writing sample. For prose workshops (Butler, Fontaine and Geye), please submit no more than 10 double-spaced pages of a single piece (excerpts are fine) or multiple short pieces, if preferred. For the poetry workshop (Blaeser), submit three to five poems.