2017 Writers Conference

Join us for the 2017 Writers@Work Generative Conference in Alta, Utah, June 7-11, 2017. Choose one of three intensive workshops, conducted by our award-winning faculty, and held at Alta Lodge, an intimate setting in the breath-taking Wasatch Mountains, where writers of all backgrounds gather to share ideas, craft, and fine writing. Learn more about the faculty and what to expect from each workshop. Have you already decided which workshop is best for you? Click on the button below to register online. If you prefer to mail in your registration, click here to download form.

CRISTINA GARCIA:  Cultivating Chaos: A Generative, Cross-Genre Workshop
This workshop will encourage you to make a mess—to allow your stories to unspool in unpredictable, organic ways. Over controlling your writing (too soon) often kills the spontaneous gifts that come with the embrace of what we only dimly perceive, of the mysterious and the random that can so enliven our work.

We can’t always describe this mystery, this wildness, but we recognize it: the strange, ineluctable, jagged-edged power of the wonderfully, dangerously unexpected. The feeling that the world, as we thought we knew it, has irrevocably changed. It might be a single image, or a startling convergence of events, or a devastating utterance that, for an instant, illuminates a character. Great poetry and prose are replete with these moments, moments that alter our perceptions and challenge us, as poet Simon Ortiz says, to “the vastness we do not enter.”

In this workshop, we will enter this vastness of unknowing, and emerge with at least ten pages of new writing. And we will learn how to do this consistently enough to make a lasting, vivid difference in our work.

Faculty Bio: Cristina García  is the author of seven novels, including: Dreaming in CubanThe Agüero Sisters, Monkey Hunting, A Handbook to Luck, The Lady Matador’s Hotel, King of Cuba, and the forthcoming Berliners Who (October 2017). García’s work has been nominated for a National Book Award and translated into fourteen languages. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Whiting Writers’ Award, a Hodder Fellowship at Princeton University, and an NEA grant, among others. García has taught at universities nationwide. Recently, she completed her tenure as University Chair in Creative Writing at Texas State University-San Marcos and as Visiting Professor at the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas-Austin. She lives in the San Francisco Bay area.

ABIGAIL THOMAS:  Just Get Some Writing Done–This section is full, please register for either the poetry or fiction workshop.

We will discuss writing, the difference between memoir and fiction and why we choose one or the other to tell stories. There will be in-class assignments, overnight assignments, and time for all to read their work. Since my particular passion is memoir, we will discuss telling as honestly as we can what our lives have been, noting that often memory is a creative force, not always true to whatever facts (?) there might have been.  I will also try to plan time for individual conferences during the workshops.

Faculty Bio: Abigail Thomas, the daughter of renowned science writer Lewis Thomas (The Lives of a Cell), is the mother of four children and the grandmother of twelve. Her academic education stopped when, pregnant with her oldest daughter, she was asked to leave Bryn Mawr during her first year. She’s lived most of her life on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, and was for a time a book editor and for another time a book agent. Then she started writing for publication. Her first three books Getting Over Tom, An Actual Life, and Herb’s Pajamas were works of fiction. Her memoir, A Three Dog Life, was named one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times and the Washington Post. It won the 2006 Inspirational Memoir Award given by Books for A Better Life. She is also author of Safekeeping (a memoir) and Thinking About Memoir. She lives in Woodstock, New York, with her dogs.

KEVIN PRUFER: Poetry, Music, and Meaning
So much of our experience of poetry is wrapped up in the musical qualities of poetic language. But how do poets communicate musically, and what is communicated through the rhythms, complex melodies, and silences of language? This workshop will try to answer these questions through thoughtful discussions of published work as well as through examination of poetry by participants.

Faculty Bio:  Kevin Prufer’s sixth book of poetry, Churches (Four Way Books, 2014), was named one of the ten best poetry books of the year in The New York Times Book Review. His seventh collection, How He Loved Them, is forthcoming. Prufer is the recipient of four Pushcart prizes as well as awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, The Academy of American Poets, and The Lannan Foundation. He’s also edited numerous volumes including New European Poets (Graywolf Press, 2008), Dark Horses: Essays on Overlooked Poems (University of Illinois Press, 2009), and Into English: Poems, Translations, Commentaries (Graywolf Press, 2017). His newest work appears in Poetry, The Paris Review, The Kenyon Review, A Public Space, Best American Poetry, and many other volumes.


The conference begins on Wednesday evening, June 7th. Pricing is as follows:
$730 – Conference only (no onsite lodging)
$845 – Conference plus dorm room
$895 – Conference plus shared room
$1015 -Conference plus private room

For those not arriving at Alta until early Thursday, June 8th, there is modified pricing as follows:
$695 – Conference only (no onsite lodging)
$785 – Conference plus dorm room
$820 – Conference plus shared room
$910 – Conference plus private room

A $150 deposit is requested at the time of registration and will hold your place in a workshop. The balance is due by May 31, 2017; however, for those paid in full by April 30, it is our pleasure to offer a free consultation ($50 value) with one of our consultation faculty members.