Summer 2017 Residencies

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STRANGER THAN FICTION: ON WRITING NARRATIVE NONFICTION AND MEMOIR
FEATURING WRITER-IN-RESIDENCE ALLYSON GOLDIN LOOMIS

Butler

Join acclaimed writer and professor Allyson Goldin Loomis (Harper’s Magazine, The SunGlimmer Train) for three lively days of practicing the art and craft of telling true stories that are engaging and meaningful to readers and listeners alike.  Learn how to render people and places in vibrant detail, and explore effective techniques for structuring  a story that, once complete, feels whole and singular.  In addition to the workshop, participants will read and discuss a few brief contemporary works of nonfiction  as models for our own work, and will, of course, do plenty of writing in a beautiful, relaxed, and encouraging environment.

Special features of this week include:

June 8-11

I used to think writing was a solitary experience, but after the residency I realized the importance of community and the energy derived from a community of writers. I entered this residency not knowing anyone and left with friends and wisdom that I will never forget.

THEORY & PRACTICE OF FICTION
FEATURING WRITER-IN-RESIDENCE NICKOLAS BUTLER

                                                                                                     Credit: Jeff Rogers

                                                                                                     Credit: Jeff Rogers

Join award-winning author Nickolas Butler (The Hearts of MenShotgun Lovesongs, etc.) for three days dedicated to improving your fiction.   This workshop will focus on several elements of fiction writing, including narrative arc, dialogue, and creating a genuine sense of empathy for fictional characters.  In addition to leading workshops, Nick will be available to provide one-on-one consultations on each participant's story.

Special features of this week include:

  • Guest visit from Eric Rasmussen, editor of the newly created literary magazine, Barstow & Grand
  • Q&A on Nick's newly released book, The Hearts of Men
  • A  free and open reading for the public

June 22-25

Update: This residency is currently at full capacity.  We are happy to receive applications, but please understand the competitive nature of this residency.

This was my first exposure with any kind of writing group outside of a strictly business context. I have to say that [Nick’s workshop] was quite a life-changing experience. I learned so many things in regards to not only writing, but life in general. A fantastic experience recommended to all, not only those who consider themselves “writers.”

The art of memoir: Keep it honest, but keep it interesting
Featuring Writer-in-Residence June Melby

                                                                                                       Credit: Parker Deen

                                                                                                       Credit: Parker Deen

When writing memoir you have to stick to the truth.  You can’t invent characters, or make your mother into a Soviet spy.  You might have an uncle who’s interesting, but he’ll shoot you if you tell. So, how do you keep the reader riveted?  Are you expected to reveal your most embarrassing family secrets?  What are the ethical lines, and how do you keep from crossing them? Join New York Times best-selling author June Melby (My Family and Other Hazards; Henry Holt, 2014)  for three days focused on writing and revising highly readable narratives from real events in your life.  In addition to workshops, individual conferences, and time dedicated to creating original work, participants can also look forward to mini-lectures on craft topics, such as creating characters from family and the compression of time in memoir. 

Special features of this week include:

July 6-9

Update: This residency is currently at full capacity.  We are happy to receive applications, but please understand the competitive nature of this residency.

The atmosphere was perfect: smart, respectful, cooperative, and leavened with humor and fellowship. We were both instructed and encouraged. And this was true not only for our writer-in-residence, but for my fellow workshoppers. We grew together.

Poetry in the shadow of walden
FEATURING WRITER-IN-RESIDENCE and former wisconsin poet laureate Max Garland

                                                                                           Credit: Lisa Venticinque

                                                                                           Credit: Lisa Venticinque

GPS technology can guide us to almost any place on earth.  Websites supply demographics, historical events, and local oddities. But can we really know a place without knowing how it speaks to (and through) our imaginations? Can we know where we are (or who we are) without intimate knowledge of the natural environment of which we are a part? To paraphrase Henry David Thoreau on his 200th birthday, is it possible to travel "extensively" without going very far? Is poetry one of the ways we report back from our most attentive journeys into the world? Join award-winning poet Max Garland (The Postal Confessions, Hunger Wide as Heaven) to discuss  a range of "poems of place," as well as reflect upon how we might call upon poetry to more meaningfully locate and recreate ourselves in the world. In celebration of the bicentennial of Thoreau's birth, we'll particularly look to his writing and legacy for inspiration for our own. The goal is to encourage new poems and provide practical tips on revision of previously written poems. 

Special features of this week include:

  • Guest visit from Thoreau scholar,  professor, and author Joel Pace
  • Discussions of Thoreau's influence on contemporary poets
  • Daily writing and poetry workshops
  • Writing from the wild- the nature walk as inspiration
  • A free and open reading for the public

July 13-16

Update: This residency is currently at full capacity.  We are happy to receive applications, but please understand the competitive nature of this residency.

I am unable to overstate the value of Max’s poetry residency at Cirenaica. The natural beauty of the region, combined with Garland’s exquisite tutelage and talent...yielded the perfect storm for creativity.

Writing Young Adult Fiction: The Magic Formula
FEATURING WRITER-IN-RESIDENCE MARSHA QUALEY

                                                                                                           Credit: Addendum

                                                                                                           Credit: Addendum

A formula? Really? Author and veteran writing teacher Marsha Qualey says yes, there is a formula that if not quite magical is definitely useful for deepening any YA novel beyond its surface appeal (faeries! angels! vampires!). Join her for an exploration of this mysterious formula and many other aspects of crafting an engaging YA novel. Qualey will lead workshops, provide individual consultations, and present writing exercises and mini-lectures on craft topics especially relevant to the YA novel.

Special features of this week include:

  • Guest visit from middle grade author Julie Bowe
  • A Q&A on Marsha's latest work
  • A free and open reading to the public

Writer-in-Residence Biography

Marsha Qualey is the author of several young adult novels and is on the faculty of Hamline University's low-residency MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults program. Her books have won two Minnesota Book Awards and appeared on numerous best-of-the-year lists, including ALA Quick Picks and Best Books for Young Adults, IRA Young Adults' Choices, New York Public Library's Books for the Teen Age, and School Library Journal's Best Books of the Year. Her novel, Thin Ice, was nominated for an Edgar Award by the Mystery Writers of America. She lives in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. 

July 21-24

Update: This residency is currently at full capacity.  We are happy to receive applications, but please understand the competitive nature of this residency.

Cirenaica is a peaceful, supportive oasis for writers in a busy world. I treasure the time I had there, and I would encourage any and all writers to seize such an opportunity.