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Writing Inspiration Vacations: The Top Upcoming Writers Retreats in the U.S.

The occupation of writing can be lonely, exhausting work. Then again, weighing the time required to be alone to write versus the time needed to learn from others in the field is often the most difficult part of all, which is why writers need time to get away, recharge, and come back to the center of themselves and their craft.

With that thought in mind, we've compiled a list of several upcoming writers retreats in the U.S. that can help you with that recharge.

Sometimes, all you need to get the creative spark going is a personal retreat.
Sometimes, all you need to get the creative spark going is a personal retreat. Photo by Jared Rice on Unsplash.

Key West Literary Seminar (January, 2020)

Although 2019's event has already passed, featuring Margaret Atwood as one of the seminar's main speakers, the Key West Literary Seminar welcomes readers and to beautiful Key West, Florida. The flagship program is the annual Seminar, a four-day event that explores a unique literary theme each January, where readers from around the world enjoy presentations by some of the best writers of our time. In the Writers' Workshop Program, also in January, writers of all levels meet in small groups with esteemed faculty to share their work and explore the craft of writing.

To attend the Seminar in full, you may register for a fee of $675.00. Registration includes access to all onstage events, as well as social activities including a reception and a dinner. However, please note that general registration for the 38th annual Key West Literary Seminar, "Reading Between the Lines: Sports and Literature" (January 9-12, 2020), is now closed, although there is a waitlist available on the site.

Lodging is available at area hotels and inns for discounted rates. Admission is first come, first served.

For more information: Key West Literary Seminar, 717 Love Lane Key West, FL 33040. (305) 293-9291.

The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown (June – August, 2020)

Since registration is closed for 2019, you'll want to catch the next round in 2020. The 2019 workshops include a catalog of nearly 100 inspiring classes in poetry, fiction, memoir, nonfiction, playwriting, songwriting, painting, drawing, printmaking, and photography.

All summer workshops are held on the campus of the Fine Arts Work Center, located on the tip of Cape Cod. As the nation's oldest continuous art colony, Provincetown's streets are lined with art galleries, museums, and performing arts spaces offering a wide variety of cultural happenings.

Registration operates on a first-come, first-served basis. All workshops run Monday-Friday (with an orientation on Sunday) and levels include Open, Intermediate/Advanced, Advanced and By Application. For the By Application workshops, please follow instructions as listed in workshop descriptions. Classes are limited to ten students.

Workshops range from $600 to $650. On-site lodging is available for an additional charge.

For more information: Fine Arts Work Center, 24 Pearl Street, Provincetown, MA 02657. (508) 487-9960

Aspen Summer Words (June 21-26, 2020)

Recognized as one of the nation's top literary gatherings, Summer Words provides six days of words, stories, and ideas surrounded by the beautiful Rocky Mountains. The workshops feature intimate places for writers to work with renowned teachers and authors to develop a manuscript. Also in attendance are literary agents and editors, who are available to meet one-on-one with workshop participants.

The gathering also includes public panel discussions, with evening readings, receptions, and the Aspen Words Annual Benefit Dinner, featuring a special guest author.

Tuition is $1,525, which includes some meals.

For more information: Aspen Summer Words Writing Conference and Literary Festival, 110 East Hallam Street, Suite 116, Aspen, CO 81611. (970) 925-3122, ext. 1.

Kauai Writers Conference and Master Classes (November 4th-10th, 2019)

If you're looking for an escape into one of the most beautiful areas of the country, the Kauai Writer's Conference might be for you. Now in its fifth year, you can enjoy four days of master classes on November 4 through 7, 2019, with top authors and industry experts on topics including plot, character development, memoir, historical fiction, nonfiction, bringing life to your novel, and adapting your work to film and TV.

Following on November 8 through 10, 2019, there will be a three-day conference for fiction and nonfiction writers at the Kauai Marriott Resort, featuring craft talks, author readings, small-group discussions, pitch sessions with agents, and individual manuscript consultations.

The cost of the conference is $695. The cost for the four-day master classes is $695. Manuscript consultations are $95; agent pitch sessions are $50. Lodging will be available for discounted rates at the conference hotel. Registration is first come, first served.

For more information: Kauai Writers Conference, Kalapaki Bay, Lihue, Kauai, HI, 96766.

BOAAT Writer's Retreat (June 7 - June 13, 2020)

This weeklong workshop and writing residency is held in a spacious log cabin in the mountainous Vilas, North Carolina. It consists of five sessions of workshops (three group workshops and two one-on-one workshops with this year's workshop leader Shane McCrae), Monday through Friday, from 11 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.

Tuition, which covers the workshop, board, and home-cooked meals provided by BOAAT Press is $1,100. All participants are expected to pay for any travel expenses to and from the cabin.

To be given one of the seven spots, you should submit ten pages of poems and provide a separate statement on why you think the BOAAT Writer's Retreat would benefit you (500 words or less). Acceptance is based on the potential seen in your writing sample and the statement of intent. Submissions will close on August 15th, 2019.

Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Retreat (~March, 2020)

Although details and dates haven't yet been announced for the 2020 Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Retreat, the 2019 retreat held in March provided a gorgeous getaway for writers seeking time to write while being inspired by the natural beauty of the Colorado Rockies. Offering the opportunity to meet and spend time with other writers, the retreat is the perfect opportunity to relax and draw inspiration for a quick and affordable weekend.

Cost for the 2019 retreat were $399 for a single room, which included three nights lodging, plus meals. For a room with two twin beds and for those who didn't mind "bringing a buddy," the cost was $ 299. There were also $64 "days only" rates, which covered the cost of the retreat workshops, plus meals provided throughout the day.

Good Contrivance Farm Writer's Retreat (rolling dates/year-round)

If you are a poet, fiction writer, and/or creative nonfiction writer, the Good Contrivance Farm offers a writer's retreat and residency of up to four weeks year-round. You'll find a serene writing space on a Victorian farm in Reisterstown, Maryland, located 25 miles north of Baltimore. The cost of the residency is $90 for an overnight stay, $560 for a week, or $1,060 for two weeks, and includes private lodging in a 1,200-square-foot renovated barn loft with library, bathroom, and full kitchen.

Residents are also invited to attend occasional readings and workshops held in the barn's programming space. If you'd like to apply, submit a writing sample of any length, a résumé, and the required application form with preferred residency dates. You can visit the website for the application form and more information.

For more information: Good Contrivance Farm Writer's Retreat, 2015 Emory Road, Reisterstown, Maryland, 21136. (443) 529-2939.

Write and Publish That Book in Lake Tahoe (August 4 - 10, 2019)

Named one of 2019's most Incredible Writing Retreats by The Write Life, this women-only writing retreat begins each morning with meditation and a healthy breakfast, followed by setting your individual writing goal for the day. You'll then receive expert guidance by Jess Lourey—TEDx presenter, Psychology Today blogger, and creative writing professor with 20+years teaching experience. It is a time to learn advice to help you release writing blocks, set reachable goals in your writing practice, organize your time, deepen your writing experience, and map your career goals as a writer. There will also be a special half-day seminar focused on getting your work published, led by industry professionals who know the ropes in publishing.

Your afternoons are your own and you can choose to use the time to write, receive individual coaching, take a hike around the lake, visit the nearby community of shops and galleries, soak in the hot tub, schedule a massage, or simply enjoy the beautiful natural scenery of the area.

A fee of $1, 950 without lodging or $2,795 w/private villa bedroom includes all workshops, led by Jess Lourey; a personal coaching session; 6 nights of accommodation if you choose the villa option (Sunday night to Saturday morning); a welcome dinner the first night; breakfast and lunch each day; all beverages; all materials; access to the villa's hot tub, stunning deck, and writing nooks; and the guidance and courage you need to set you on the path to publishing that book you were meant to write.

Writing at Stump Sprouts (August 11 – 14, 2019)

This four-day, three-night retreat at Stump Sprouts Guest Lodge in Hawley, Massachusetts offers the perfect escape for writers looking for a peaceful getaway. The lodge is surrounded by views of the nearby hills, and there are organic vegetable gardens and perennial flowers attached to 450 acres of wild lands networked with hiking trails.

Meals are included, along with expert guidance from Maureen Buchanan Jones, who understand the process of creating and publishing a manuscript. The fee is $700, as long as you don't mind sharing a room, and all meals are included.

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