The Millay Colony for the Arts

Master Class Retreat Week – Work on Your Writing and Publishing at Millay

Writing can be such a solitary business. You toil away, word after word, cutting, revising, submitting, waiting, persevering. At some point, it becomes crucial to have other eyes on your work. Not only on the writing, but on the process of getting it out in the world. We have designed this Writing and Publishing Intensive July 29 – August 5 with exactly these goals in mind, bringing to the Millay campus some of the sharpest writers, editors, and publishers in the business.

Our Master Class Retreat Week begins with a deep dive generative workshop led by award winning author Carole Maso using an approach she has fashioned after Joseph Cornell’s work. “The necessity of succumbing to the very real magic of language,” Maso says, “to the pull of intense and often buried emotion, and the deep mystery of the world we move through, is what is demanded of every writer. To abandon oneself to the uncertain and unknown, to give up preconceived notions, and borrowed or inherited forms is the task at hand. To find a shape that says, ‘I was here, and this is what it was like to have been alive.’” This workshop isn’t called Dream Box for nothing!

And because writing the book is just the first step in getting people to read it, LitHub’s Editor-in-Chief Jonny Diamond will lead a seminar on how to present the work. He will discuss — among other things — what kind of feature ideas appeal to literary editors, and the kinds of essays that have the potential get people talking about a writer (and, hopefully, that writer’s new book).

Also joining us this week, small press publisher and literary curator Naomi Huffman will offer a crash course on publishing with an independent press. Independent presses are publishing some of the finest and most original literature in America these days. Small press books are routinely recognized by national awards organizations. No longer viewed as just a proving ground for publishing with one of the Big Five, they offer a characteristically more experimental approach to finding, making, and selling books. In her workshop, she’ll discuss some of the small presses producing great work, what they’re looking for, and how to interact with their editors.

Then there is the art of the public reading of your work. To that end we have invited vocalist Samita Sinha to lead a workshop on the subtleties and possibilities of using the voice to bring your written work to life. A must for writers who intend to take their show on the road at some point!

We are very excited to offer this program for writers who are intent on moving their work forward for themselves and in the larger community of letters. This Master Class Retreat Week is perfect for emerging writers, published authors who want a tune-up, or anyone working at a dedicated level to further their own craft and presence.

One last thing – we have not forgotten that this will be summer and our area is gorgeous and will be in full bloom! There will be time to hike, visit swimming holes, pick blueberries, and go on local excursions. This is, after all, the house the Edna built. We promise to leave time for reveling!

For information on how to apply, go here.