Each faculty member will lead a workshop with a maximum of 10 students for three morning sessions. These workshops will be augmented by daily craft talks, student readings, and lectures by guest speakers. On the final day, students will have the opportunity to get outside for a trail ride or river trip. The event concludes with our annual Gala Faculty Reading, a celebration of the arts open to community members with hor d’oeuvres and silent auction.


Writing About Environment: a Master Class with Linda Hogan

This environmental master class welcomes students working with nonfiction, fiction and poetry. During class sessions, we will examine existing work, generate new writing, and dive into group discussion, all with the goal of helping each student enrich their writing, understand how their creativity works and meet their goals. If conditions allow, some of our writing exercises will be outside because August mornings in Paradise Valley are reliably inspirational. Students will send a brief piece of writing (under three double-spaces pages or nonfiction or fiction, or a single poem) to Linda prior to the workshop.

Eccentrics and Left Outs – A Generative Non-fiction Class with Craig Lesley

This nonfiction class will encourage students to write about some of their peculiar friends, relatives, and acquaintances. Students will focus on unusual behaviors, dress, manners, habits. Some students may discover they themselves are the eccentrics.

One class session will concentrate on people who have been left behind when the gas station, market, school, or some other town focal point shut down. What are the people who used to work there doing now? This will be a generative workshop and students will complete some exercises in class.

Writing What You Know: Using Autobiography in Fiction with Nina McConigley

The old adage is to write what you know. Which is great — but as fiction writers, it’s sometimes safer to fictionalize what you know. In this craft class, we’ll talk about how to take real life experience and fictionalize it. We’ll look at published texts and use in-class writing (come prepared to write), to discover how to write about what you know — and how to use the truth to go into imaginary places.

Swimming Upstream – A Master Class with Jamie Ford

Last year my agent received 40,000 mind-numbing, email-clogging, Visine-requiring queries from aspiring authors. Out of those 750+ per week, she requested 85 full manuscripts, and signed 2 new clients.

Agents, editors (and more importantly, readers) are often turned on or off by the first chapter, even the first page. By analyzing opening scenes we’ll focus on immersing the reader, sinking story hooks, banking and spending emotional currency, creating likable protagonists (or lovable anti-heroes), and examine the types of contracts we make with readers in those early pages.

Students will submit the first chapter of a work-in-progress, or a short story (no more than 5,000 words) and we’ll figure out how to navigate this literary gauntlet.