The Millay Colony for the Arts offers four-day Workshop Retreats in writing, art and music on Colony’s workshops_1sylvan campus. Each Retreat includes twelve hours of workshop time, all meals, and ample time to work, ruminate and explore our lush natural surroundings. Private bedrooms and spacious private studios are available for all participants. Participants delve into their work, explore new ideas, meet extraordinary teaching artists and collaborate with others while spending intense work-time on our gorgeous campus. Fragrant with blueberries, thyme, and wildflowers, the quiet loveliness of our campus provides uninterrupted calm and inspiration—the perfect retreat for creativity and relaxation.

We also offer a program of Weekend Workshops and Professional Development Classes in New York City. Weekend Workshops are two-day/eight-hour workshops offering intensive sessions with some of the most exciting teaching artists around. Professional Development Classes take place over four hours on a Saturday and seek to address some of the career challenges and questions facing artists now.


Photo1Color-2The Art of Getting Started
April 23, 10 AM to 1:30 PM 
with Carmen Maria Machado 

Every part of the writing process has its own challenges and difficulties. But sometimes, the hardest part is getting started! In this class, we will explore how to strike sparks of inspiration, how to build new projects in the ashes of the old, and how to cultivate a rich creative life in which ideas can flourish.

Carmen Maria Machado’s debut short story collection, Her Body and Other Parties, is forthcoming from Graywolf Press. Her fiction and nonfiction have appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy 2015, and elsewhere, and she has been nominated for a Nebula Award and a Shirley Jackson Award. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and the Clarion Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers’ Workshop, and lives in Philadelphia with her partner. 

Time Sculpting: A Workshop for Parent Artists15_kprevallet
November 12, 10am to 1:30pm
with Kristin Prevallet

As parents who are also writers and artists, we know that children can be like time monsters who absorb our waking and sleeping thoughts. The time they occupy can be delightful, wonderful, and filled with creative play and newness; it can also create feelings of resentfulness, boredom, and self-incrimiation (along the lines of, if I’m having these thoughts, I must be a bad parent).

But the good news about time is that even when it is in flux, uncontrollable, and filled with interruptions, you can still be an artist. In this workshop you will learn how to be radically present with your kid(s) because of the more measured way that you sculpt out time for yourself. Bring your sketchbook and writing notebook—we will practice different time management strategies and mental tricks that you can use to navigate your fluctuating emotional and practical anxieties around time.

Kristin Prevallet is a poet, performer, and educator who is also a mother. She is the author of five books of conceptual poetics including most recently, Everywhere Here and in Brooklyn (Belladonna Collaborative) and I, Afterlife: Essay in Mourning Time (Essay Press.) She is a hypnotherapist who teaches creative mindbody healing workshops and works with private clients in Westchester, NY. ( (


mfebosThe Very Short Essay  
May 31 to June 4
with Melissa Febos 

In this generative workshop we will study and practice the art of the miniature personal essay. Works of 500 to 2,000 words are among the easiest to publish and the hardest to write. To reach true emotional depth in few pages requires both skillful economy of language and strength of heart; you have to get to core of your experience, and swiftly. We will examine the work of the form’s masters (Annie Dillard, Jo Ann Beard, and others), sharpen our tools of craft—especially story structure, pacing, and the art of both showing and telling—and produce our own original drafts. Participants will leave the workshop with multiple essays to revise and submit.

Melissa Febos is the author of the memoir, Whip Smart (St. Martin’s Press 2010), and the forthcoming essay collection, Abandon Me (Bloomsbury 2017). Her work has appeared in venues including The Kenyon Review, Prairie Schooner, Glamour, Post Road, Salon, New York Times, Guernica, Hunger Mountain, Portland Review, Electric Literature, Dissent, Poets & Writers, The Chronicle of Higher Education Review, Bitch Magazine, and Goodbye to All That: Writers on Loving and Leaving New York, and she has been featured on NPR’s Fresh Air, Anderson Cooper Live, CNN’s Dr. Drew, and elsewhere. Her essays have won prizes from Prairie Schooner, Story Quarterly, and The Center for Women Writers, and she is the recipient of fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, Virginia Center for Creative Arts, Vermont Studio Center, The Barbara Deming Memorial Fund, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and The MacDowell Colony. The recipient of an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College, she is currently Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Monmouth University and MFA faculty at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA), and she serves on the Board of Directors for VIDA: Women in Literary Arts.The daughter of a sea captain and a psychotherapist, she was raised on Cape Cod and lives in Brooklyn. 

Story of a Journey, Tale of a Stranger: Writing of PlaceCK_001
  August 30 to September 3 
  with Colleen Kinder

There are only two plots in all of literature, claimed the late John Gardner: the story of a journey, and of a stranger coming to town. Most travel literature is both: the story of a journey as well as a tale of a stranger, stepping into an alien land. This course focuses on travel writing or, more broadly, nonfiction with a strong element of place. Together, we will explore the tropes of he travel writing genre and the basic techniques by which writers of all stripes capture the essentia qualities of a place. We will also consider how voyages — broadly defined — lend writers a structure or a natural beginning middle and end. We will draw examples from the work of writers like Paul Theroux, Ryszard Kupuscinski, Jan Morris, Leslie Jamison, and Pico Iyer. Finally, as we workshop one another’s writing — whether it be memoir, poetry, journalism or essay, we will bear down on the setting of each writer’s work. Is the backdrop of the story simply a backdrop, or a vivid character in and of itself? The aim is to finish our five-day journey with a new artillery of techniques with which to render place with specificity, originality and force.

Colleen Kinder is a travel writer and photographer based in San Francisco. Her work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The New Republic, The Wall Street Journal, A Public Space, The, National Geographic Traveler,, Creative Nonfiction, and The New York Times Travel Section. Her essays have been anthologized in The Best American Travel Writing 2013, Readings for Writers, The Best Women’s Travel Writing, 20-Something Essays by 20-something Writers and The Innocent Abroad. Colleen graduated from Yale College and received her MFA at the University of Iowa. She teaches essay and immerseive travel writing courses in France for Yale Summer Session and is currently working on launching Off Assignment, a non-profit organization and an online publication devoted to the “gritty stories behind glossy magazines.”

Workshop Retreat & Weekend Workshop Application Process

Workshop Retreat Schedule: Each day begins with a fresh breakfast followed by a three- hour workshop at 10:00 AM. Total workshop time for the retreat will be twelve hours. The afternoon can be spent working in the studio, visiting local sites, swimming in a nearby lake or walking the mountain trails. Dinner is eaten overlooking our field and gorgeous meadows. Evening hours are devoted to worktime. Workshop Retreat Fees: $750 includes tuition, private room, private studio and all meals.$500 includes tuition and meals only. $1,200 for two Workshop Retreats.Limited Scholarships, based on need, are available. Millay Colony Alumni receive a 25% discount.  Participants may purchase a thirty-minute Private Consultation with their instructor for $150. Manuscripts (15 pages maximum) must be sent in advance.

Weekend Workshop Schedule: We will begin each four-hour class at 10:00 with coffee, tea and a lot of ideas about a lively, focused, smart writing and art practice. The day ends at 1:30 PM.  Weekend Workshop Fees: $150 for a weekend class, $250 for two Weekend Workshops. Limited Scholarships based on need are available. Millay Colony Alumi receive a 25% discount. All our Weekend Workshops and will take place in Manhattan’s East Village.

To Apply: Send a letter of introduction indicating your choice of workshop or class and including a brief biography with a $100 deposit. Also include a work sample (10 pages of writing — links to online work are also fine). Applicants will be accepted on a first-come first-serve basis. Please indicate if you require lodging and studio space for the Retreats. 

Apply To: The Millay Colony for the Arts, 454 East Hill Road, Austerlitz, NY. Attention: Workshops. Make Checks payable to The Millay Colony for the Arts. You can also pay via PayPal using our DONATE Button.

For more information please get in touch with Caroline Crumpacker at 518-392-4144 or .